Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Kindness Tree

Here is our beautiful Kindness Tree: Acts of Kindness Make Me Bloom adorned with the hearts our kindergarten and first grade students did in response to this month's lesson on kindness. The kindergarten students made a pink heart with an act of kindness for their family to take home and a red heart with an act of kindness to do at school that is displayed. The first graders drew and labeled an acts of kindness for home, school, and the community. Our wonderful volunteer made the 3D tree and the roots are burlap.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Group Process Data

We have gone through the RAMP process twice and part of the group component is compiling a complete list of groups, numbers of students, and numbers of sessions. I keep this form on my Desktop and update it each time I begin and end a group during the school year. At the end of the year I have the data I need for Results Reports and the Annual Report I compile on my program and share via my school webpage and with the Advisory Council. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Kindness, Positive Psychology, the Power of a Smile

This book addresses bullying but focuses on the use of positive psychology to combat it. It relays the message that happiness is a choice and a smile can change a negative environment into a positive one. The author, Shawn Achor, is a researcher on positive brains and success. Learn more about him at goodthinkinc.com

Sunday, February 14, 2016

RAK Week

In all my kindness lessons this month I touch on the message of this quote. Today is the start of Random Acts of Kindness Week. Smiling is contagious so smiling at a person may change their whole day and ripple out to countless others. Kindness elevates the level of dopamine in the doer's brain ("Helper's High"), the receiver's brain, and the observer's brain. The other message I deliver in every class is BE KIND TO YOURSELF. With the 5th graders I introduce the idea of self-compassion http://greatergood_selfcompassion

Friday, February 12, 2016

Kindness Lesson

Kindness is the theme of the counseling lessons this month in kindergarten through fifth grade. Above are the materials from my first grade lesson based on the book Kindness is Cooler Mrs. Ruler. It teaches about being kind to others in a variety of settings. At the end the students label and draw an act of kindness toward family, at school, and in the community.  The hearts will go up on our Kindness Tree bulletin board next week.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

New Julia Cook Release Baditude!

I have seen Julia Cook present five times (if you have not had the pleasure find an opportunity to do so) and spoken to her several times in person. I am sure all elementary counselors are very appreciative of her books that show she really "gets" the challenges kids referred to us face.  This new book, Baditude!, is perfect to help students realize it is not the situation but their thinking about the situation that cause the unpleasant emotions and what they can do to change. It is part of the Responsible Me series - check out the other books here http://www.responsible-me

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Check for Understanding - What Stuck With You?

I only get 30 minutes to teach in classrooms. One quick way to check for understanding is to give each student a sticky note and ask them one of the essential questions from the lesson like "Why are random acts of kindness so powerful?" or "What is something new you learned today about problem solving?" or "What is one question you still have about electronic bullying?" Asking the essential question and tabulating the results can give you Perception Data for your lesson if you are following the ASCA National Model. All our students have a number in their class so I just have them put their number on the sticky note. You can put the numbers on your chart and just have them place their response on the laminated chart. That also serves as a quick way for you to remember who was absent when you taught the lesson. There are other versions of this chart on Pinterest...

Friday, February 5, 2016


Here is a picture of my SOLVE bingo game I created to review problem solving skills I teach in groups in first and second grades. The pictures help my lower readers find the skill. I never give certificates or treats my last sessions. I frequently do my post group survey and then play a bingo game geared to the topic for an engaging review.

Monday, February 1, 2016

National School Counseling Week 2016

National School Counseling Week 2016, "School Counseling: The Recipe for Success,"  will be celebrated from Feb. 1-5, 2016, to focus public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counseling Association (ASCA), highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. For ideas about how to use this week to educate and advocate for school counseling go to https://www.schoolcounselor.org/Because I was the VSCA Elementary Counselor of the Year my district made a video about my program to feature on our local cable network and school division website this week. I agreed to do it to provide more awareness of elementary counseling in our County.

My district made a video featuring my counseling program that is on our district's web page and TV station this week for NSCW http://www.apsva.us/snapshots