Monday, November 20, 2017

Self-Regulation for Young Students

My school is loaded with young students who need help with self-regulation. We work on it in classroom lessons with Second Step which fortunately our district bought for all our schools. A less expensive alternative is the self-regulation materials from  You can buy just the Curriculum Guide but I highly recommend purchasing the kit. The materials in this kit can be used in classes by teachers and counselors and especially our teachers who work with students identified as needing special education. It is recommended that this be used over 8 weeks and taught on two different days of the week (Tues and Thurs). The only place that can happen at my school is for students with an IEP that includes social skills.
I was thrilled to obtain this kit because even though it says "Preschool" I am using it in my psycho-educational  self-regulation groups with kindergarten and first grade. The kit has 40 lessons, games, and activities. The Curriculum Guide by Brad Chapin (with Lena Kisner and Brooke Stover) follows the same structure as his other manuals for older students. It is based on cognitive-behavioral psychology and addresses three areas: 1) physical; 2) emotional; and 3) cognitive. There is a regulation poster for each of the 3 areas. There are also core lesson image cards to use with lessons. There are core lessons for each of the three areas. For my groups I select 2-3 lessons from each of the areas. My students enjoy singing the "Safe and Calm Song." They are entertained by the book "The Horsefly Sigh" that teaches a fun relaxation breathing technique and thy like to practice it and go home and teach it to a family member. They love the "Calming Skills Block Game" using the cube that is provided in the kit. Students in self-regulation groups need activities that build in movement, throwing, practicing!
There is a CD which has all the forms for printing. There are great resources for counselors like a Sample Parent Letter and Self-Regulation Teacher Rating Scale. These are very helpful if you are using a self-regulation group for your teacher evaluation SMART goal or collecting data to RAMP. If you need other resources on self-regulation click one the labels on the right of my blog to see what else I use to address this critical need for students.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Teaching Children to Apologize

Here are 2 excellent books to anchor a class lesson or small group session on this important social skill. Start With Sorry by Finch is perfect for Pre-Kindergarten to grade 1. Zach Apologizes by Mulcahy is good for grades 2 and 3. Mulcahy teaches a 4-part apology strategy.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

National Adoption Awareness Month

As school counselors we need to be very aware of adoption and how children process being adopted at various developmental levels stages We also need to educate our staff in the use of positive adoption language. This article does a good job explaining the preferred terminology my-forever-family My go to resource and referral agency is The Center for Adoption Support and Education (CASE) My children are both adopted and I sent our oldest to CASE for a group in the upper elementary years. It was very helpful for her to be with other children who were adopted and share stories and learn strategies. I have run groups for adopted children at both the school. I have worked at but generally there are not enough children in a single grade level to offer an in-school group.