Social Skill Builder App Updates and Giveaway

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Social Skill Builder App Giveaway on SavvySchoolCounselor.comLast year, I wrote a review about the Social Skill Builder App.  This app comes in a full version and a lite version.  You can check out my previous post to learn more about what the app offers.  There are new modules included in the “My School Day” section.   When I first posted about the app, there were only four modules.  Now there are ten.  Like before, the newer modules include videos of various school day situations followed by questions for students to answer.

 

Social Skill Builder

Here’s a little about each of the newest modules included since I posted last:

Transition Time demonstrates how students should respond during a transition.  The example used in the module is the end of recess.

Social Skill Builder- Transition

Cubby shows the appropriate way a group of students should use their cubbies along with expected behaviors when several students are at the cubby area at one time.

Social Skill Builder- Cubby

Lunch Time demonstrates how students should find a seat in the cafeteria and table manners.  It also shows the correct way to go through the lunch line.

Social Skill Builder- Lunchtime

Social Skill Builder- Lunchtime

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating shows students’ expected and unexpected behaviors when eating such as chewing with your mouth closed (expected) and wiping your mouth with your hand (unexpected).

Social Skill Builder- Eating

Social Skill Builder- Eating

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Games 1 and Team Games 2 focus on appropriate ways to play, what to do if someone gets hurt and good sportsmanship.

Social Skill Builder- Team Games

I have used the app with my social skills groups, and they have enjoyed using it.  I would love to hear from those of you using Social Skill Builder with your students.  If you have used it, please leave a comment and share how it has worked for your students.

Something that has changed since last year is the price of the app.  If you want to purchase the full version, it is now $19.99.  The Lite version is still $2.99 and allows in-app purchases of additional modules.

Here’s another chance for someone to win a code for the FULL Version of the Social Skills Builder App- a $19.99 Value.  All you need to do is enter this giveaway before 11:59 PM (EST) on Monday, April 21.
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!)

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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.

gonoodle7

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A School Counselor Lunch Bunch Linky Party

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LBLinkyImage

I was so excited to see this linky party on Tabitha’s blog, Scrapbook of a School Counselor.  Lunch bunch is one of my favorite things about my school counseling program.  You can check out my lunch bunch posts by clicking HERE.

LB1

For me, lunch bunch is a time to connect with students in an informal setting.  It is an opportunity to focus on a variety of needs within my school’s population that I may not otherwise have the chance to address during my classroom counseling lessons.  It also allows me to get more small groups in during the school year that will not take away from instruction time.  I usually have between 4-6 students per lunch bunch.

LB2

I usually find activities that do not involve writing or coloring.  This usually includes a book, discussion cards, or a discussion cube.  Some activities with laminated cards work well during lunch bunch also.  Some lunch bunches are just a time to get to know students.  During these types of groups, we mainly just chat and learn about some of the things we may have in common with each other.

lunchbunch3

Over the past few years, I have created a schedule which includes each grade level (K-5) in my school.  On a good year, I’m usually able to see children from each grade level between 7-9 times which is up to 54 groups.  To do this, I create a schedule which allows me to see two grade levels per week.  I send the form found in this blog post to each grade level the week before their assigned date.  The teachers are able to select the students they feel need the topic OR they tell me a need within their grade level they would like addressed.

This year, I am having lunch bunch groups with all of the new first through fifth graders in our school.   This will probably take me until the end of September to accomplish, but I am enjoying meeting them all.  Once I’m able to get through those groups, I will begin to plan out the rest of the year.  I may tweak my Lunch Bunch program some this year and see how things go.

LB4

I use my lunch bunch time as a way to reward good behavior as well.  In our school, students are expected to S.O.A.R.  S is for Show respect, O is for Order and Safety, A is for Awesome attitude, and R is for responsibility.  On occasion, I ask teachers to send their “SOARing” students for a mini celebration of sorts.  Their accomplishment is a big deal and I make sure they know it.  I usually invite an administrator to stop by and give pats on the back as well.

 

If you would like to participate, here are the instructions:
-Create a blog post titled “A School Counselor Lunch Bunch Linky Party”
-Place the Linky Party logo (above) in your post.
-Answer the questions (above). You are free to copy and past Tabitha’s headers as I did if you’d like.
-Submit your blog post link by visiting Tabitha’s blog post which is linked above . Be sure to link to the actual post, not your homepage.

 

Thanks, Tabitha, for creating a great linky party!  It’s so great to learn and get new ideas from each other!
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8 Great Anger Management Strategies

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Anger Strategies Foldable- savvyschoolcounselor.comIn my school counseling program, I am always looking for activities to use with my students to assist them with managing their anger.  I took my latest idea from…me. :)  One of my first blog posts was 8 Tips New Test Takers Should Know.  It’s funny to me today because there are actually ten tips included in the activity, but I never caught it.  This activity, however, actually DOES have eight tips.

Using the same format (minus a couple of flaps), I created this anger management foldable to make with my students.  Inside is an area for students to identify the things that trigger their anger.  There are five possible triggers listed along with a blank line for students to add an additional trigger that may not be on the list.  Next, there is an area for students to circle descriptions of how their body feels when they are angry.

Identifying triggers and your bodies reactions are key in managing anger.  Once students are able to identify these areas, they are more likely to implement as many of the strategies as necessary.  This activity does include eight. Students illustrate the strategy on the outside of the flap and write the strategy on the inside.  The eight strategies I used on my foldable are:

  •  Take three deep breaths.
  • Count backward from 10 to 1.  (Students can decide to begin counting backward from any number they would like.)
  • Exercise/Burn some energy.
  • Talk about it with a friend.
  • Spend some time alone.
  • Use I-Messages to express your feelings.
  • Tell yourself calming words like “Calm down” or  “It will be okay.”
  • Walk away from the situation.

AngerFoldable

I have created a new product in my TpT store which includes a template for this activity.  There is an Anger Management contract included to copy on the backside of the foldable.  After identifying triggers and body reactions inside, students list them on the back along with the strategies they intend to use from the flaps in order to calm down.  Additionally, there is a two-page activity for students to practice creating I-messages along with eight posters to use which illustrate each of the strategies.  This 12 page Anger Management Pack sells for $3.00 Your feedback is always greatly appreciated.

You may also like this end-of year  School Memories Paper Folding Activity.

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.  As always, I’d love to hear from you!


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?


Lunch Bunch Anyone?: Getting to Know You

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The first lunch bunch sessions I hold with my first through fifth graders are “Getting to Know You” sessions for new students to our school.  Teachers choose students from their classes who they feel I should get to know.

At the beginning of the session, I showed students the self-referral forms on my door and talked about how to make an appointment with me.  I also shared my School Counselor’s First Aid Kit.  We talked about their old schools as well as things they enjoyed about their new school.  Then we used my “Getting to Know You” cards.

Ice breaker statements are always a great way to learn more about your students.  They get them thinking, and I’ve found the students really enjoy sharing about themselves with me and the group.

I made these “Getting to Know You” cards to use with every grade level.  To make them, I cut a few sheets of card stock into quarters.  I printed and cut out the title for one side of each of the cards.  I also printed and cut out the statements for the opposite side of each of the cards.  I used a glue stick to glue them to the cards and then I laminated them.

The statements on the cards came from the book 201 Icebreakers.  This book has just about any icebreaker activity you’ve probably ever participated in!  It has icebreakers for all audiences from children to adults and small groups to large presentations.  I chose the “Favorite Things” activity.

I have used the cards for my new student lunch bunches over the last week and a half.  I read them aloud for my first grade friends and they took turns answering them if they wanted to.  The older students pulled their own cards, read them aloud, and answered them.  I also gave group members opportunities to answer the questions other students pulled.

I really liked that these simple “favorites” sparked wonderful conversations among new friends.  Students were excited to share about the crazy stunts their pets have pulled as well as sharing about their favorite place to be.  I enjoyed getting to know the new personalities.  It was nice to even see the more quiet students open up during the conversation.

You can print the statements and the title for the back of each card by clicking these links:

Getting to Know You Cards

Getting to Know You- Back of Card

Stick around!  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates.  As always, I’d love to hear from you.  Have you held any new student lunch bunch groups?  What did you do with your students?