The Girl World: A Small Group

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One of my favorite small groups I conduct in my school counseling program is “Surviving and Thriving in the Girl World.”  This small group is taken from Diane Senn’s Bullying in the Girl’s World.  If you don’t already have this book in your collection, it is one I would highly recommend to you.  This small group unit is only a piece of what is included in this wonderful resource.

I first used this resource last year in a proactive effort with a small group of 4th grade girls.  I thoroughly enjoyed the lessons.  The format is such that you can give the student survey and create your group lessons around the most immediate needs.  I personally enjoy conducting all ten of the small group sessions and have had a wonderful time participating in the discussion with my students.  The group includes opportunities for role play as well as self-reflection.

This year, I decided to invite fifth grade girls to the group.  We have met three times so far, and I am enjoying this group just as much as I did last year.  This year I made folders for the girls to keep their handouts in.  There are several handouts which I feel are very important for them to be able to refer back to once our group has concluded.

There is a cube to make for the group sessions that is used to facilitate closing discussions.  The cube says “Target?  Then Handle it.” and “Guilty?  Then change.”  Several of the handouts include suggestions for the girls to use if they are guilty of certain behaviors such as teasing, exclusion, and gossiping.  They also include suggestions for what to do if the girls are the target of such behaviors as well.  The cube is used to allow the girls to take turns facilitating the closing discussion.  During this time, they also make additional suggestions that can be added to the sheet.

Each of the lessons has a specific and worthwhile message and purpose.  Here is a snapshot of two of the group activities.

During the second group session, we discussed what it means to be popular.  It’s always interesting to hear the negative connotations that are associated with popularity.  We spent time discussing the many ways one can be popular and that a popular person isn’t always someone who is mean.  Here is a quote given in the book used to spark our conversation:

After our discussion, I put a large piece of paper on the table along with markers and asked the girls to write “admirable qualities” they would like to be known for having.  A person possessing these qualities can be considered “popular” also.

Another session I enjoy is the lesson about reputations.  This is the sixth lesson of the unit.  At this time, we talk about the word reputation and discuss the ramifications of having a bad one.  The girls are able to self-reflect during the mirror activity.  Each girl receives a mirror copied onto card stock and cut out for her ahead of time.  I then share the quote “Mirror, Mirror in my hand.  What is my reputation?  Where do I stand?”  We take time to discuss the quote and the girls are able to share as they feel comfortable about any feelings they have regarding their own reputations.  Afterwards, each girl will write the positive things about her reputation inside of the mirror as well as words she would like others to use when describing her reputation.

As I said before, I REALLY love this resource and this small group is only one section of this great book.  It includes school-wide suggestions, classroom lessons, and ideas to use with individual students.  I can’t say enough about it!  I always say, you can’t go wrong with Diane Senn’s resources.

Stick around!  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates.  As always, I’d love to hear from you.  Have you used Bullying in the Girl’s World in your school counseling program?

National Boards: Continuing Entry 1

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Today’s post continues to discuss Entry 1 for school counselors.  This entry involves a small group session that focuses on a critical need at your school.  Read my last NBPTS post, Planning for Entry 1, if you missed my initial explanation of the entry.


Entry 1 is divided into the following sections:

  1. Instructional Context (1 page)
  2. Planning and Implementation (5 pages)
  3. Analysis of Student Work (4 pages)
  4. Reflection (2 pages)

Be sure to include these headings in your writing.  Also remember to create a header to automatically include your candidate ID number on the upper right side of each page. Use the suggested page lengths to keep within the 12-page limit for this entry.  You are not required to include the questions in your writing.  If you are thinking about doing it, I would suggest you reconsider.  Just answer the questions.  You can use parts of the questions as sentence starters where appropriate or simply use a connected standard as a lead in to your answer.  You want your writing to flow and be an “easy read” for your assessor.

The bulk of your writing will cover planning and implementation and the analysis of the students’ work.  Notice that the planning and implementation sections should be no more than five pages in length, but there are eleven bullets of questions to answer.  The Analysis of Student Work section should be just one page less, but only has five bullets.  What does this tell you?  The assessors will really be looking for a thorough analysis of your students’ work.

When you write your reflection, be sure to really think about how your lesson went.  Approach this just as you do any group or class lesson.  When you teach a lesson for the first time, more times than not you will discover something you could have done differently or something that went very well.  Really take time to think through this section of your writing.

You will need to choose and submit three student work samples.  Two pages per student may be submitted, but no more than six pages total.  You will turn in the original work samples.  The pages must be 8.5 x 11 in size.  One of the work samples I submitted was a half sheet of manila paper.  I still had to affix the half sheet to a full sheet of paper. Also, you may not submit an assignment that is front to back thinking it is one page.  It will be considered two pages. These specific directions are included in the Format Specifications section of your portfolio instructions.  There are more things you will need to know, so PLEASE be sure to read them thoroughly.

With Entry 1, you are also required to submit a description of the assignment and a set of instructions.  This should be no more than one page in length.  Do not over think this.  Just tell the assessor what the assignment was along with the directions the students followed to complete it.  My own description page was approximately a half page in length.

Stick Around!  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates. My next NBPTS post will begin to address Entry 2.  As always, I’d love to hear from you.  Let me know if there are any questions you have about Entry 1.