FLOW: A Brain Break by GoNoodle

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Flow by GoNoode- SavvySchoolCounselor.comI was thrilled to recently learn about a great brain break website called Go Noodle.  This site offers a variety of awesome, free brain breaks to use with children.  Included is their newest brain break, FLOW, which focuses on student mindfulness and stress release.  After creating my free account and checking out Flow, I was excited as I thought of the great ways to use this tool in my school counseling program.

End-of-Year Testing time is a great opportunity to use FLOW.  Many students, especially third graders who are testing for the first time, experience some anxiety about doing well on their tests.  FLOW includes meaning activities to assist students with managing stress and maintaining the confidence they need to be successful.  It can also be an excellent tool to use with individual students who come to your office feeling angry or worried.  The activities in FLOW can be used for whole class lessons, small group sessions or individual counseling.

Here’s how you can get started:

Create an account. (It’s FREE!)  You will be asked to enter the following information:

Create An Account

Once you complete this step, you will have access to the free brain breaks.  You will need to create a class or you may use the demo class.  Simply click on the purple “+New Class” button, name your class and add the number of people in the class.

FlowClass

 Once your class is added to the list, you may click your class link and select a classroom champ avatar.  The longer you and your students use GoNoodle, the bigger your class champ will become.

Classroom Champ

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Click the green PLAY button to enter the brain break menu.  Click on the FLOW link, and you are ready to begin!

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Once you have entered FLOW, you may select a grade level.  I tried it using both Kindergarten and 5th grade, and I did not see a difference in the videos.  You will select one of the two categories (Attitude or Stress) to begin.

Grade Level Selection

Category Selection

 

 

 

 

 

The background sounds in all of the activities are very relaxing.  Students have the option of closing their eyes or keeping them open and watching the screen.  The screen gives visuals of everything being described throughout the activity.

The ATTITUDE option includes two activities:  Chin Up and Weather the Storm.

Chin Up talks students through shifting their moods.  This is an excellent activity for students needing to calm down whether they are angry or worried.  It is a very relaxing activity which includes head tilting and raising and lowering of the chin.

Weather the Storm is a great visual for students who are going through a difficult time.  During the activity, the students watch as a small tree weathers a storm but remains strong and standing when the storm passes. (Love it!)

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The STRESS option also includes two activities:  Bring it Down and On & Off.

Bring it Down is great for helping students to bring down stress.  Students imagine a balloon high in the sky.  They imagine slowly pulling the string on the balloon until they can hold the balloon between their hands.  Finally, they imagine letting it go as they watch it fly away in the air.

On & Off involves managing stress by making parts of the body tense and then letting go to relax.  Students will turn on the energy in their toes, legs, hands, arms and whole body.  When the energy is ON, the screen brightens up almost like the sun is in the center.  When students turn their energy off, the screen becomes dark.

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I am so excited to learn about this great tool to use in school counseling.  There are other great games you can try like “To the Maximo” where students perform stretches and poses to help with relaxation also.

If you’d like to TRY OUT FLOW, you may follow any of the links in this post to get started or click the button below.

GoNoodle- New brain break FLOW- SavvySchoolCounselor.com

The developer of FLOW, Wynne Kinder, will be participating in a #GoNoodleFlow Twitter Chat on Wednesday, April 16 between 8-9PM (EST).  This will be a great opportunity to learn more about this awesome new tool.

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Virtual Book Tour Featuring Maria Dismondy

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Virtual Blog Tour Featuring Maria DismondyI am excited to participate in the virtual book tour for author Maria Dismondy’s latest book, Spoonful of Sweetness: and other delicious manners.  You may know Maria from her books Spaghetti in A Hot Dog Bun, The Potato Chip Champ and Pink Tiara Cookies for Three.  She also co-authored The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up For Others.

Maria’s adorable new board book was created for children ages Birth – 3 years old.  I love her use of character traits throughout the book which stresses the importance of instilling good character in children at an early age.  Kindness, Friendship, Responsibility, Empathy, Respect and Courage are all included with the cutest illustrations for the youngest eyes.

Click below to view the Spoonful of Sweetness book trailer.

Maria Dismondy is a #1best-selling children’s book author, former teacher, and highly sought-after speaker. Spoonful of Sweetness is her 5th children’s book.  Maria has a passion for spreading an anti-bullying message and making a difference in her writing, public speaking, blogging and charity work. She lives in southeastern Michigan with her husband and children. To find out more about Maria and her award-winning books, visit www.mariadismondy.com.
Author, Maria Dismondy

CLICK HERE to check out Maria’s book on Amazon.

Congratulations to Maria on the birth of her third child, a son, on December 30, 2013!

If you would like an autographed copy of Spoonful of Sweetness, you may enter my giveaway below.  There will be one winner.  The giveaway will be open until 12:00 AM EST on Wednesday, January 22.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thanks so much for stopping by!



A Lesson About Kindness

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Rosie's Roses- An adorable book to use while teaching kindness!- SavvySchoolCounselor.comToday, I’d like to share a book I’ve used when teaching kindness.  Rosie’s Roses, by Pamela Duncan Edwards, is an adorable book about Rosie the Raccoon.  Rosie has four roses for her Aunt Ruth’s birthday present.  While on the way to deliver them to her Aunt, she discovers she is missing a rose – not once but three times.  When she realizes her roses are being used by Mr. Rat, Mr. Rabbit, and Mrs. Robin, she’s not so happy at first.  However, Rosie goes on to show kindness to each of the animals after she learns why they needed the roses.  With one rose left for Aunt Ruth, Rosie goes on to show her greatest act of kindness with her fourth and final rose.

During the last TpT sale, I purchased a cute unit about Kindness from a seller who teaches first grade.  There are several pieces to pull from it, but I used just a couple of them for this lesson.  After reading the story and talking about the ways Rosie showed kindness, I used an activity where the students read different sentences aloud to the class and decided whether the act was kind or not kind.  The unit included the “kind” and “not kind” signs which I copied onto card stock, laminated, and taped inside two small buckets. There are 12 cards with sentences to use for this activity.   Student volunteers came to the front, read the card aloud to the class, and decided which bucket their cards should be placed in.  This allowed us to continue to discuss examples of kindness.  Four of the cards gave examples of not being kind.  Most of my first graders love to volunteer and participate, so this lesson has been a hit with them.

A lesson about kindness! -  Purchased from A Year of Many Firsts

After the lesson, I left the students with a writing activity which also came from the unit.  They were asked to write about and illustrate a time they were kind.  I visited one of the classes the following day to find their writing hanging from a display cord, so I took some pictures to share.

A lesson about kindness! -  Purchased from A Year of Many FirstsA lesson about kindness! -  Purchased from A Year of Many Firsts A lesson about kindness! -  Purchased from A Year of Many Firsts

 

 

 

 

 

It’s nice to find activities like these to help complete a school counseling lesson.  I really enjoyed doing this with my students.

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A Treasure Chest of Test Taking Tips

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Testing Treasures- A fun way to share simple test taking tips with your students- SavvySchoolCounselor.com

While looking through one of my favorite Test Taking resources, Excite Me! Motivate Me! Test Me! by Sandra Robinson, I came across another great idea.  I couldn’t wait to find a treasure chest!  Here’s a fun way to share a few basic test taking tips with your students:

What you’ll need:

  • A treasure chest (I was just about to order one from Oriental Trading before a co-worker had one she didn’t need anymore!)
  • A pencil- This reminds students to have a #2 pencil.
  • A clock- This reminds students to use their time wisely.
  • Cake mix- This reminds students to follow the directions.
  • A pillow- This is to remind the students to get a good night’s rest.
  • Glasses- These remind the students to keep their eyes on their own papers.
  • Checkers- These remind the students to check over their work.
  • Cereal- This reminds the students to eat a good breakfast.
  • A hanger- This reminds the students not to give up – just “hang” in there!

I was able to find just about everything on the list.  I couldn’t find a small enough pillow, so I purchased a small piece of felt and some pillow filling and made it myself by sealing the edges with stitch witchery.  I found a small checkers game and the glasses at the Dollar Tree.  I purchased a variety pack of cereal so the box would be small enough, and I found a small Jiffy Cake Mix.  The hanger came in a set of baby hangers from the Dollar Tree also, and the small clock I found at Walmart.  I grabbed an extra pencil from a drawer, and I was set!

Testing Treasures- A fun way to share simple test taking tips with your students- SavvySchoolCounselor.com

I can’t wait to use this as I begin working with my students on test taking tips.

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Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) TpT Sale!!

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Teachers pay Teachers is having it’s quarterly site wide sale on Monday, December 2nd and Tuesday, December 3rd.   Everything in my store will be 20% off. Use the code CYBER to receive another 8% for a total of 28% in discounts.

Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) TpT Sale- Dec. 2-3

My newest products include my School Counselor’s December Activity Pack and my School Counselor’s January Activity Pack.

School Counselor's December Activity Pack

School Counselor's January Activity Pack

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