Image -Based Life Lessons

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Image-Based Life LessonsI recently added another Youthlight school counseling resource to my collection called Image-Based Life Lessons by Eric Cooper.  This book is designed for Kindergarten through 6th grade and comes with a CD which has 50 PowerPoint presentations.  There are eight topics covered and each has anywhere from four to eight lessons.

Each section’s PowerPoints can be opened as one presentation with all of the lessons, or you may chose to open each lesson’s PowerPoint individually.  Lesson’s were created to last about 5-10 minutes, so they may be incorporated with what you are already doing or combined to created a 30 minute lesson.  Scripts and review questions are included for each presentation and can be printed from the CD.

The topics include:

Section 1:  Attitude, Thoughts and Feelings (8 lessons)

My Favorite Lesson:  Grow Your Smarts – Abilities can grow with hard work and practice.

Grow Your Smarts

Section 2:  Friendship (8 lessons)

My Favorite Lesson:  Open or Closed? – If you’re picky or stubborn, you can push friends away.

Open or Closed

Section 3:  Peer Pressure (5 lessons)

My Favorite Lesson:  Ten Ways to Say “No” – Ten great options are provided to help kids who have a difficult time saying no.

Ten Ways to Say No

Section 4:  Bullying (7 lessons)

My Favorite Lesson:  Don’t Cross the Line – This lesson helps students understand two types of teasing.

Don't Cross the Line

Section 5:  Self-Concept (4 lessons)

My Favorite Lesson:  Nobody is 100% Normal – Students learn to accept and embrace the things that make them different.

Nobody is 100 Percent Normal

Section 6:  Hard Work and Career (8 lessons)

My Favorite Lesson:  Plan B – Students with big dreams can think about their plan B…just in case they don’t all work out.

Plan B

Section 7:  Anger and Self-Control (6 lessons)

My Favorite Lesson:  Feeling Angry? – This lesson provides anger management strategies.

Feeling Angry

Section 8:  Problem Solving (4 lessons)

My Favorite Lesson:  Coping Skills – Students learn how to deal with the “unsolvable” problems.

Coping Skills

After taking the time to go through the presentations, I’m able to think about where I could fit them into my school counseling program.  Most of the lessons in the first section, for example, tie in perfectly with Growth Mindset.

Not only can these lessons be used in the classroom, they can be incorporated into small groups and individual sessions.  I believe I will get plenty of use out of this resource with my student self-referrals.

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June 2016 Sale

This sale ends tonight at midnight! Everything, including my already discounted bundles, are 20% off.


The Savvy Files Series

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Savvy Files SeriesI am excited to launch The Savvy Files Series.  This ongoing series is a group of “file” activities created around various school counseling topics.  Most of the packs will include both a primary and intermediate version.  I have said, and will continue to say in each pack – you of course know your students best and will know which version is most suited for their specific needs.  In my mind, primary may be used for K-2.  Intermediate may be used for grades 2-5.  As a former second grade teacher, I feel as though second grade falls right in between and can go either way in some situations.

These activities are great for all methods of delivery:  Classroom counseling, small groups and individual sessions.  You may choose to prep them ahead of time for your smaller sessions , but only if you want to.  The general idea is for students to do the creating.

So far, five “Files” have been released.  Be sure to download The Friendship Files – FREEBIE from my store.  This pack is free to give everyone the full idea of how the packs are set up.  This pack only contains an intermediate version.

The Friendship Files - FREEBIE

This series is ongoing and each of the packs will be released as they are completed.  So far, along with The Friendship Files, I have released The Bully Buster Files, The Meet the Counselor Files, The New Student Files and The Respect Files.  A list of forthcoming files is included in the FREEBIE.  I also ask that you email me with any ideas you may have for future Savvy Files packs.

The Respect Files - Savvy School Counselor The New Student Files - Savvy School Counselor

 

 

 

 

 

The Meet the Counselor Files - Savvy School Counselor The Bully Buster Files - Savvy School Counselor

 

 

 

 

 

Stick around!  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates.  You can also follow my TpT Store to keep up with my latest products and freebies.  Additionally, I do giveaways through My Facebook Page with my new products.  Be sure to like Savvy School Counselor on Facebook and click to receive notifications so you don’t miss them!  (There’s one going on right now by the way!  It ends at 6:00 EST this evening.)

 


Middle School Transition

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Middle School Transition - Savvy School CounselorMy school counseling lesson for 5th grade this week is all about transitioning to middle school.  I really enjoy talking with my 5th grade friends about going to 6th grade.  There are many things they are excited to experience, but there are also some things they are unsure about.  This lesson simply serves as a time to discuss all the feelings they have about transitioning from elementary to middle school.

To start the lesson, I gave each student a copy of the Middle School Transition form I created for discussion.  The form has three feeling faces, and the students chose the one face that best describes how they feel about going to 6th grade.  Next, they explained why they feel that way.  The majority chose the smiley and straight face while very few chose the unhappy face.  I asked several of the students to share with the class.  Some of the reasons they stated were:

“I am excited to meet new friends.”

“I don’t have to stay in the same class all day.”

“I get to choose electives.”

“I’m excited about meeting new friends, but I am going to miss my old friends who aren’t going to my new school.”

The last statement is key for students in my district because it is very large.  My 107 or so 5th graders are going to 15 different middle schools.

Middle School Transition - Savvy School Counselor

After the students shared, I asked them to work with a partner to brainstorm lists of all the things they are excited about and all the things they are unsure about.  The conversations I heard while walking throughout the classroom were interesting and seemed to be sincere thoughts about how they are feeling.  After a few minutes, I asked them to share from their lists.  As they shared, I squashed any “myths” and explained some things in further detail.

Middle School Transition - Savvy School Counselor

 

Middle School Transition - Savvy School Counselor

Click the link below to print your copy of the sheet I’ve used in my classes.

Middle School Transition Sheet

Next, we watched a video I found on YouTube which was made at a school in Texas.  Even though the video mentions some specifics about their particular schools and district, it worked perfectly for my lesson.  It included both 5th graders and 6th graders.  There are lots of great tips shared by staff members as well as students.  The students in the video give advice and also share their fears about going to middle school.  There were times during the video where I would pause for more discussion or to restate comments as they would relate to our school district.

After the video, many of the students had thoughts to share about what they learned from watching the video such as how organization is important when it comes to keeping up with homework and assignments.  We used the remainder of our time to discuss open house dates for the different middle schools and our 6th grade registration night.

Over the next few weeks before our 6th grade registration night in April, I will hold lunch bunch groups for the individual middle schools.  During these sessions, we will talk about information that is specific to each school and look at elective forms.  I usually have about 6 groups for our 3 largest feeder schools and combine most of the rest into 1-2 more groups.  Students leave with copies of the elective forms so they have time to think things through with their parents before they complete and sign the official paperwork in April.

What are some activities you use for middle school transition lessons?

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Introducing the School Counselor Giveaway

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~A great new book about Introducing the School Counselor by Erainna Winnett~I recently received my copy of a new book for introducing the school counselor.  The book is called Mrs. Joyce Gives the Best High-Fives by Erainna Winnett, and it is geared toward Kindergarten through 6th Grade.

The role of the school counselor is explained throughout the book as a new student, Raymond, meets and talks to his new counselor for the first time.   The following description is found on the back of the book:

“Mrs. Joyce, the school counselor at Emerson Elementary, uses high-fives to connect with her students. When Raymond moves to town he’s not sure what to think of Mrs. Joyce. He enters her office nervous and full of questions, but it doesn’t take long for him to trust the caring counselor. By learning exactly what a school counselor does, Raymond finds he has nothing to fear and much to gain from friendly Mrs. Joyce.”

“Building relationships is one of the primary jobs of a school counselor. Whether it’s giving a high-five, a thumbs-up, a fist bump, a handshake or a hug, finding a way to connect with students is vital. “Mrs. Joyce Gives the Best High-Fives” is a fun-loving story that explains the important role of the school counselor.”

The very last page includes an idea from my Meet the School Counselor Ideas post!  I am very excited to be a part of Erainna’s great book.

Enter this giveaway to win your own copy of Mrs. Joyce Gives the Best High-Fives signed by Erainna.  This giveaway will run through Thursday, August 14 at 11:59 P.M. EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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!

gonoodle3

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!)

gonoodle11

gonoodle12

 

 

 

 

 

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.

gonoodle13

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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.

gonoodle7

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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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