Great iPad App for School Counselors

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Our school recently received a grant which gave us 180 iPads!  So, I have been on the lookout for iPad apps to use for my school counseling program. I came across an iPad app today that can be used for classroom guidance, small groups, or individual counseling sessions. It’s called “Feel Electric” and is an Electric Company app created by Sesame Street.  I really like the fact that this app is all about feelings.  There are four areas of play:  My Life, My Games, My Stuff, and What’s the Word.

To start, users are able to choose three feeling words for the “Today I feel…” section.  There are several feeling words to choose from.  If you don’t know what the word means, you can tap the word and the definition is read aloud for you.  The definition is accompanied by a picture of Danny or Jessica showing the feeling face.  You can choose three words to describe how you are feeling today.

 

 

 

 

My Life

The My Life section features “Mood Dude” whose arms, eyebrows, eyes, and mouth can be changed to illustrate your mood.  It’s a very cute feature.

Also featured are Mood Tales.  Here, you select various words to complete a mood story.  If you’ve ever done a Mad Libs story, this is very similar.  After choosing all of the words, the story is read aloud for you using the words you chose.

 

 

 

 

 

Clicking “Moodosphere” will show your mood on the map.  After choosing feelings associated with anger, my mood map showed lightening bolts.  Clicking edit allows you to choose new feeling words.  The “weather outlook” changes on my map after choosing the feelings cheerful, brave, and proud.

 

 

 

 

 

My Games

There are three games included:  Pets vs. Monsters, Prankster Madness, and Hey You Guys…Catch!  Each one involves matching a feeling word to the feeling face by either hitting it with a bat, catching it while riding a skateboard, or launching it across a field to hit the matching target.

 My Stuff

My stuff includes pictures, music, and videos.  Students can take pictures and add them to the device.  They can decorate the picture with stickers that say how the picture makes them feel.  There are several pictures of different Electric Company scenes to use.  Mood dude pictures also show up in the My Stuff section as well.

The music and video sections includes a few Electric Company songs and videos.  You can also add you own songs and videos to the device.

 

 

 

 

What’s the Word?

On the bottom right side of the screen is “What’s the Word?”  If you tap it, all of the feeling words and faces will come up.  You can tap the feeling word you want to hear the definition of.

To encourage users to keep learning new words, the app gives points for just about every action you do while playing.  This includes five points every time you listen to the definition of a word in the “What’s the Word?” section.

There you have it!  I look forward to using this app with students at my school.  Students are able to look (visual), listen (auditory), and do something (kinesthetic) thus meeting the needs of the three learning styles.  As of today, this app is FREE!

How do you use iPads in your school counseling program?

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Creating A Plan for Student Success

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iconOrganization plays a vital role in having good study skills .  I incorporate study skills through various ways in my school counseling program.  I was glad when I came across the book Annie’s Plan.  This book helps students take charge of their schoolwork and homework by giving strategies to use at school and home.  Annie is a smart girl, but she sometimes is distracted by all the things going on around her at school.  I love the examples the author, Jeanne Kraus, uses to show different ways Annie gets off task.  I’m sure we’ve all seen students drawing when they should be listening or completing an assignment.  How about the student who can’t focus on his or her own work because they are too busy watching what someone else is doing?  Of course when Annie gets home, she can’t remember what the homework assignment is.  Both her teacher and parents know she is smart enough to do so much better.  Therefore, Annie’s plan was born!

Her teacher created a ten step schoolwork plan and a ten step homework plan.  The school plan included cleaning her desk, the use of a daily planner and setting daily goals. During my lessons, I discussed with students why each of the items on the lists were important.  The students were open to sharing items in which they could improve upon as well.  The homework plan included having a scheduled homework time, taking homework breaks when necessary, and preparing for tomorrow.  Many students affirmed that they learned at least one new strategy and that they would begin to implement those strategies in order to take charge of their schoolwork and homework.

Complete Schoolwork Plan

 

Complete Homework Plan

I gave each student a handout titled “What’s Your System?” from the book Spectacular Guidance Activities for Kids by Diane Senn.  This activity tied right in with three of the strategies from the book.  The students wrote about their plan for their desk, book bag, and home study area.  On the back, they could also write any other strategies from the book they would like to improve upon.

This is a great book!  I have used it during a fourth grade lunch bunch as well as classroom guidance with my third grade friends. It can be used for individualized counseling as well for students who, like Annie, are capable but just need a plan in place to keep them on track.

ETA (11-2-13):  Last week, I created a new sheet to use with my students.  I included specific areas of improvement from Annie’s Plan.  My third graders did very well using this sheet and it helped our discussion about the importance of using the book’s strategies for school success.  You can download a free copy of the sheet by clicking here:  Annie’s Plan Worksheet.  You may also click the picture below.

Annie's Plan Worksheet

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