Thursday, July 31, 2014

Masterminds and Wingmen

I heard Rosalind Wiseman speak at VSCA and ASCA about the research behind this book about boys. It is now available in paperback and I am excited my copy should arrive from Amazon this week.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Resource by a School Counselor is a site loaded with brief 1 minute videos on various social emotional learning topics.  Unfortunately it is not free but you might want to check it out since the cost is reasonable and the developer, Rusty, is a school counselor

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Behavior Goal

We were not successful this year in meeting our goal of reducing bullying incidents in grades 2-5. The number of incidents in these grades went up 12.5%.  We have a comprehensive bullying program in place based on the materials from the Committee for Children but there will always be bullying behavior. This data will be shared with staff during preservice week and hopefully we can figure out some ways to revise our program so that next year we can meet the goal of reducing the number of incidents.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

New Goals

According to the Third Edition of the ASCA National Model program goals should target improved student achievement, attendance, and behavior. Last year we focused on the overall attendance rate at our school because it had dropped in 2012-2013 from the previous two years. We used a lot of ideas from the Attendance Works website to impact attendance.  This year our goal will address those students with chronic absences. We have students who are tardy repeatedly and miss over 15 days of school a year.  We have a new social worker this year who will hopefully be active on our attendance team so we can change the behavior of the children/families who are not making on time school attendance a priority. I am still working on the wording of my SMART Goal but I will post it later.

Friday, July 25, 2014

SMART Counseling Program Goals

Here are the SMART Goals we set the past 2 years:

Goal 1 By the end of the 3rd quarter of the 2012-13 school year, identified 4th grade students (failed one or more SOL in grade 3 and/or received low grades 1st quarter) will increase their report card grades (GPA in core subjects and work skills) by 10%.
Goal 2 By the end of the 2012-2013 school year, the number of documented bullying incidents reported and coached by staff involving 3rd-5th grade students will decrease by 3% compared to the 2011-12 school year.
Goal 3 By the end of the 3rd quarter of the 2012-13 school year, chronically tardy students (3 or more unexcused tardy arrivals) will decrease their number of unexcused tardy arrivals by 5% compared to the 1st quarter.

Goal 1 By the end of the 3rd quarter of the 2013-2014 school year, identified 4th and 5th grade students (failed at least one Standards of Learning (SOL) the previous year, scored below benchmark in writing/math/reading assessments, and/or received low grades 1st quarter) will increase their report card grades (GPA in core subjects and work skills) from first to third marking period by 8%.
Goal 2 By the end of the 2013-2014 school year, the number of documented bullying incidents reported and coached by staff involving 2nd-5th grade students will decrease by 2% compared to the 2012-13 school year.
Goal 3 For the 2013-2014 school year, average attendance rate will improve from 96.2% to 96.5%.

In 2012-2013 we were successful in all 3 goals. In 2013-2014 we did not meet goals 1 & 2; we did meet goal 3. We struggled to get the data for goal 1 because we had a new information system in place. It is very hard to impact grades (seem out of our control). Unfortunately we had a slight increase in bullying incidents that were documented and coached.  We track bullying incidents very carefully and with our school's growing population it is hard to decrease the number of incidents. We worked very hard on attendance this year to try to improve our school's culture that coming to school every day on time unless a child is sick (or at a medical appointment or family emergency) is important.

It is hard at the elementary level to set goals that have outcome data, as required in the ASCA Model (Third Edition). I'd love comments about the goals you set for your programs.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Hawn Foundation MindUp

This research based social emotional program has a lot to offer. It is funded by Goldie Hawn's Foundation. I have the books and use parts of it in my classroom lessons and with some groups.

Scholastic MindUp


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Career Song - Buckalope Elementary

I am planning to incorporate more visuals and music into my class lessons this year. I think the kindergarten students would find this one fun and educational.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Developing New Habits Takes Longer Than We Thought!

Research has recently proven that the 21 day guideline that has been around since 1960 underestimates the time needed to change.  On average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic -- 66 days to be exact. And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. Before you mislead yourself (or a student) read about Lally's research at

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Multicultural and Anti-bias Children's Literature

My school is adding Spanish for all students this year so we are searching for additional resources about Spanish culture and especially children's literature we want to have in the classrooms and library. Two good resources I came across are:
1) A checklist by the Anti-Defamation League on criteria for selecting books

2) A  web site contains links to annotated bibliographies of children's multicultural books appropriate for the elementary grades (kindergarten through grade six). Cultural groups currently listed include: African Americans, Chinese Americans, Latino/Hispanic Americans, Japanese Americans, Jewish Americans,  Native Americans, and Korean Americans.


This is the disclaimer we put at the top of the referral list we provide parents when asked for outside resources. We usually give the names of many providers. I think it conveys we are only sharing information, not making a recommendation for treatment or a specific outside referral source.

Private Mental Health and Psychological Services Providers

This list is of known providers of a particular service.  The providers on the list are from a variety of sources.  The list is being provided as a courtesy, for information only, and the user should understand that no assurances or guarantees regarding the providers on the list are being made by providing this list.  Arlington Public Schools neither endorses, approves, nor recommends any specific provider listed below.  This list is not inclusive of all community agencies, services, or organizations that provide the particular service, and the omission of an agency, service, or organization from this list does not imply disapproval.  It is the responsibility of the user of this list to determine whether any of the content is of value to them and whether or not the agency, service, or organization meets their specific needs.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wobble Chair

I want some of these stools for my office. We have so many students who hate school because they are forced to sit upright in a chair most of the school day. Kids are frequently asked to sit way more than is good for them. These stools are better than exercise balls because they stay in one spot but allow the same type of movement. They are sold under the brand name "Kore Wobble Chair."

Friday, July 11, 2014

No Longer a Dilly Dally by Carl Sommer

Front Cover
A book you might want to check out for a character education lesson on responsibility or for an academic lesson if No Longer a Dilly Dally.  There are several lessons available online that use this book The book is also used for an activity in the book by Robin Zorn (ASCA Counselor of the Year) to teach good study habits. I bought Robin's book at ASCA and am planning to use it to develop a study habits group for grade 3 this coming school year. STEP UP to Better Grades (Space, Tools, Ending, Pay attention, Understanding directions and Practice) can be used for small groups or classroom lesson. It has a CD with parent letters, power points, and reproducible pages.It is available from

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Princess Priscilla and the Bully-Bee Day

I purchased this book at ASCA 14 and actually showed it to the counselors who came to my presentation on Reduce Bullying via Bibliocounseling. I did so because it meets the criteria I use to select books to read aloud in class lessons. It definitely addresses our districts results statement, "Demonstrate effective responses to bullying situations." It has read aloud appeal including direct dialogue. The book is large (9x12") which means a large group of children could see the terrific illustrations done by Dr. Poppy Moon (a certified counselor). The story is only 20 pages long so the length is a plus too. There is a clear plat and it sends a message that if you want to have friends you need to stop being mean and use kind words and actions. It is age appropriate for K-1 and it depicts a female doing bullying behavior (many books are males doing the bullying). You might want to consider purchasing this book and adding it to your bullying unit.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Great Resource for Technology

I watched 5 thirty minute free webinars today mostly about how to use Google better on this site
simplek12.  The webinars were very well done and they have many archived and others coming up soon.  There is a free membership and also an enhanced version with a cost. You can sign up and network even if you only have the free membership. I recommend checking it out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Anti-bias Education Resources from Reaching Tolerance

When I stopped by the Teaching Tolerance booth at ASCA 14 to tell them how much I love their web site and magazine they gave me 2 very informative documents I am sure you will want to download and read:

Critical Practices for Anti-bias Education is organized into four sections: Instruction, Classroom Culture, Family and Community Engagement, and Teacher Leadership. In each section, you can explore recommended practices, find helpful explanations and learn how each practice connects to anti-bias education. Drill down further for specific strategies you can try in your own school. Download your copy at

The Anti-bias Framework (ABF) is a set of anchor standards and age-appropriate learning outcomes divided into four domains—identity, diversity, justice and action (IDJA). The standards provide a common language and organizational structure: Teachers can use them to guide curriculum development, and administrators can use them to make schools more just, equitable and safe. The ABF is leveled for every stage of K-12 education and includes school-based scenarios to show what anti-bias attitudes and behavior may look like in the classroom

Monday, July 7, 2014

Presentation with Livebinders

Elementary School Counseling Program Resources
I wanted to share that I had a very positive response to presenting at ASCA by sharing resources related to "Reduce Bullying via Bibliocounseling." Many participants were unfamiliar with Livebinders but easily accessed my Livebinder site just by typing Elementary School Counseling Program Resources in the Google search bar. They were thrilled to get a dozen lesson plans to go along with the books we use as part of our comprehensive program to address bullying.  Check out the Bullying and ASCA14 tabs at

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Big Disconnect by C. Steiner-Adair

This book is a must read (won best non-fiction book of 2013) if you have not already done so.  I plan to share it with staff and parents when I return to school in August. The author points out youth are being taught in the digital age to "accept being routinely ignored and treated as unimportant." The author is a clinical psychologist who sees: 1) an increasingly destructive gender code starts younger than ever; 2) social cruelty has become in vogue and more intense via social media; 3) popular culture deletes childhood by normalizing violence, sexual exploitation, and pornography, once adults-only domains; and 4) the tech accessible to children at this age far exceeds their capacity to manage their use of it or anticipate the consequences of their misuse. The author encourages parents to use this message to encourage children to report concerns and ask for help... You can always tell me. I will never be mad at you. Even if you have gone someplace online where you weren't supposed to go, it's more important that you tell me.  There is nothing you can tell me that I can't handle. The author emphasizes that "common sense and manners matter and must prevail in tech-assisted communications. I think this book is a valuable resource for families to address the tech revolution unfolding in homes today.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Draft of the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors for Student Success

ASCA has published a draft of mindsets and grade-level competencies that will replace the Student Standards in the existing National Model.  As with any change I think you will find some things you like and some things that might have you asking, "Why?" Please go to to provide feedback to the following questions:
1 What are strengths of the revised ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors?
2 What about the revised ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors will be challenging for school counselors to understand or implement?
3 What changes would you recommend?
4 What other feedback or comments would you like to provide?
The comment period is only open til Friday, July 18, 2014 so act soon.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Pictures from ASCA 14

Mrs. Obama addressing school counselors.

Me receiving our Re-RAMP certificate from ASCA President.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

ASCA Conference was magical

The highlight for me (and I believe most in attendance) was hearing Mrs. Obama speak so clearly about the importance of school counselors and the White House desire to partner with us to get young people into meaningful post-secondary education. You can read her speech on the ASCA website. The best breakout session I went to was on Monday morning by Jeffrey Ream and Jeremy Goldman.  They recently wrote articles for ASCA and presented "Brand and Market Your School Counseling Program." Check out their Power Point on the ASCA Conference App.  They are both high school counselors but you can apply much of what they present to elementary. I had over 50 participants at my session, Reduce Bullying via Bibliocounseling" and will be adding participants suggestions to my Livebinders soon.  It was a honor to recieve our Re-RAMP recognition at the dinner. The ASCA staff work very hard on behalf of all of us so I want to conclude by saying THANKS!