Monday, April 28, 2014

The Juice Box Bully

This is a great book for grades 1-3 to teach students what a helpful bystander can do in a bullying situation. I use a juice box as a prop to ask "How could a juice box be used to bully?" The students love when I bring props into the classroom.  The school in the story has "The Promise" regarding how to handle bullying. It is a good example of how the whole school must work together to decrease bullying. I use an anchor chart to show what is helpful and not helpful when you see bullying. My essential question is "How can bystanders be helpful in a bullying situation?" I have a large outline of a juice box with lines where they answer this question.  Here is a sample from a first grade girl, it concludes with "and then hug."  On the back I copy "The Promise" from the book and encourage the students to discuss this with parents when they take their work home.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I Can Believe in Myself

Author Interview: I CAN Believe in Myself - Win copies of the book 
Miriam Laundry's story is perfect to use in counseling to teach children the power of their thoughts. She hopes to proactively promote positive thinking as a way to prevent depression.  It also works well with students who tend to be anxious. It normalizes that everyone has challenges. You might want to check out the author's webpage .

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Last summer I posted about each one of the components as I wrote up the application to submit for RAMP a second time. The first time we achieved easily, but this time, under the Third Edition, we did not get 54 points when we submitted and had to redo most of our components and resubmit to achieve.  As the only full-time counselor at my elementary school, I have worked on RAMP with 3 different part-time counselors over the past several years. Both times I documented every detail of my program for the year, but did most of the writing in the summer. Our school is 700 students so during the school year between planned parts of our program and crisis response we are in survival mode most days. I am satisfied to achieve again.  It does give me satisfaction to know that a panel of reviewers verified that we have an exemplary program. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Great book Scary Mary by Bowles

This book is about a angry bird who chases away everyone who tries to be friendly, ends up feeling lonely, and then tries to repair relationships with the other animals in the barnyard. It could be used to teach bullying (see to download a free lesson to go with book) or about how feelings and behavior go together. The illustrations are great! I am adding it to my bookshelf.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Gender Spectrum

Another great website that was mentioned at the workshop I attended on "Sexual Identity" was Despite efforts to be inclusive of all students, one basic area of student diversity that schools rarely acknowledge is gender. While many children fit easily and naturally into our culture's binary gender options, others do not. For these children and their families, schools represent one of the greatest areas of uncertainty and fear.  However, schools can create supportive climates at their sites. Gender inclusive schools and classrooms welcoming all children and teens are within any school community's reach. This site has many great resources for use in schools (and for families).

Monday, April 7, 2014

Welcoming Schools

I just learned about this website at a workshop this afternoon. Check it out at to download a free starter kit to make your school be a safe place for all students and LGBT  families. It is sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.  You might want to become a member and get their excellent magazine "Equality." They also have some excellent short videos. 

Attendance Counts

We have a goal to raise our Average Daily Attendance rate this year.  Each day the attendance secretary fills in this sign in our front lobby (based on the previous school day's numbers) the number of students who were in school on time and stayed all day, the number of tardy arrivals, and the number of early dismissals. We are trying to build a culture that children should be in school unless they are ill or there is a family emergency.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I "Must Ask" You How To Solve Small Problems

This bulletin boards was the idea of our part-time counselor and executed by our outstanding parent volunteer. The kids are all in to mustaches, it has attracted a lot of attention.  It is clever and we even reused scraps from another project to make the colorful fringe at the top.