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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The A, B, C, and D of Bullying

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Free Bullying Poster- SavvySchoolCounselor.comWith Bullying Prevention Month in full swing, I have been focusing on the subject in my school counseling lessons.  A resource I’ve mentioned before that I really enjoy using is Diane Senn’s Bullying in the Girl’s World.  This week, I began using the PowerPoint (that comes on the CD in the book) with my fifth grade friends.  The PowerPoint is such a great discussion starter.  I thoroughly enjoy using it with my students.  This lesson is one time where we are simply having a discussion and nothing else.  I once felt like I needed to come up with something for them to “do” while we went through the slides, but they are always so engaged that the PowerPoint is enough.

It first asks the students to raise their hands if they have ever bullied someone.  This is always interesting.  I usually do have 2-4 students who are brave enough to admit this from the beginning.  I always commend them for having the courage to raise their hands.  After going through several examples of “bully behavior” another slide says to raise your hand if you’ve had bully behaviors.  At this point, I’ll usually see more hands come up.  Many students don’t realize what bullying truly is.  Many are quick to say they are being bullied.  This lesson really helps them understand more clearly.  I’ve said it before, but this book is a must have for elementary and middle school counselors in my opinion.  I LOVE it!  The classroom lessons section is great for both boys and girls.

Bulllying in the Girl's Word by Diane Senn

Dr. Robyn Silverman, a child development specialist, was a guest on Good Morning America yesterday.  She was there to discuss an incident in the news that was being called bullying.  She spoke about what bullying is and it fell right in line with the PowerPoint I have been using with my fifth graders.  I loved her A, B, C, and D of Bullying.  She says when determining if a situation is bullying or not, remember A, B, C, and D:

  • A- Aggressive: Bullies attack physically, socially, or emotionally.
  • B- Balance of Power is Unequal:  The balance of power is usually unequal such as bigger vs. smaller and older vs. younger.  I added Diane Senn’s point about the power of popularity.
  • C- Consistent:  Bullying happens more than once over a period of time.
  • D- Deliberate: A person usually bullies with an intent to do hurt or harm.

I thought this information would make a great poster to put in classrooms to help students remember what bullying is.  So of course once I got home, I made one.  I envisioned the black background with the colored letters, but I decided to make one with a white background and a black and white version to give you options.  You can download your free copy by clicking HERE or by clicking the picture of the poster at the top of this post.

I’ll be starting The Weird Series again with my 4th graders in November.  I’m looking forward to doing those lessons again.  If you don’t know about those wonderful books, just click HERE to see my three posts.

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Facebook Fan Freebie- Character Trait Coloring Pages

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I am so excited to add a new feature to my Facebook fan page.  Fans of the Savvy School Counselor Facebook Page will now receive exclusive fan freebies through Facebook only.  These freebies will not be posted in my TpT store.

My first freebie is called Character Trait Coloring Pages.  It comes with six coloring pages to use with students featuring the character traits courage, respect, integrity, kindness, fairness, and caring.

FREEBIE Character Trait Coloring Pages

I look forward to sharing more freebies with Savvy School Counselor followers!  Thank you all so much for your support.  It really means a lot.

Click on the “Facebook Fan Freebies” box at the top of my Facebook Fan Page to get yours today!

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.  My newest products include:  Learning Styles Cube Game, Goal Setting Pack, and “Pillars” Character 6-Pack.


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!
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.

TpT Two-Day Back to School Sale

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Teachers pay Teachers is having it’s quarterly site wide sale today and tomorrow.  Use the code BTS13 to receive 10% off of your total purchase after the seller’s discount.  I have added an additional 20% off in my store on all products, for a total of 28% off any purchases made today and tomorrow.

The newest product in my store is for Red Ribbon Week. Be sure to check out “Being Drug Free is How We Roll!”

Red Ribbon Week Activity Pack- 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.

 


Self-Advocacy for School Counselors

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Self-Advocacy for School Counselors- savvyschoolcounselor.comI have thought a lot this summer about self-advocacy for school counselors.  I started outlining this post, and a few days later I received an email from a new school counselor who is really in a difficult situation with her new position.  She is assigned to SIX schools and isn’t feeling the love so far.  Unfortunately, my email response to her came back to me undelivered. So, I’m hoping she will see this post and contact me again.

I want to preface this post by saying, administrative support is key!  Regardless of the level of support, it is important for you to advocate for your program.  In the end, your administrator has the final say.  Even if you don’t feel supported, know that you’ve done all you can by advocating for yourself.  If you don’t, who will?

Avoid Discipline Issues

As school counselors, we pride ourselves in creating positive relationships with our students.  We work hard to build a good rapport and establish trust with the students we come in contact with each day.  This can be hindered if we are asked to handle disciplinary situations at our schools.  Assisting with disciplinary issues will confuse children about your role.  Instead of seeing you as their adult friend, they will not look forward to coming to your office.  Let your administrators and teachers know where you stand to help avoid being involved with discipline.  Also, be sure to let your students know they are never “in trouble” when they come to see you.  Let them know from the beginning during your introductory classroom counseling lessons.

Avoid the Therapy Trap

Although school counselors have degrees in counseling, we are unable to provide regular therapy to students.  If there is a student needing to be seen once a week for the whole school year, they need more than you can effectively give them.  This doesn’t mean you won’t have some students who come to see you for consecutive sessions.   Be sure to state up front how many sessions the student will have with you.  Last year, I purchased the loyalty cards sold on Vistaprint. I got the idea from THIS BLOG. They have five boxes along the bottom that can be punched or stamped.  This is a great visual for your students to know how many times they will get to visit with you.  Of course, all students won’t need to use the cards, but they are great to have for the ones needing more extensive counseling.

If an IEP or Behavior Plan has included you as an “intervention,”  be sure to speak up.  Yes, you want to work with the student, but being bound in writing by plans like these can be detrimental to your program.  Sometimes the writers of these plans need to be reminded that the student they are creating the plan for isn’t the only student you are working with.  They won’t always see your “big picture.”  Self-advocacy will help make the picture more clear.

Implementing Your Program

I don’t know about you, but running my school counseling program is very important to me.  When I get caught up for days or weeks where I am unable to run my program because of other “school related assignments,” it bothers me to no end.  We can’t always avoid these, but we can still speak up.  The ASCA National Model was created to help with this, so be sure to create yours and make sure your administration has a copy.  We are accountable for following through with the closing the gap action plans we create each school year.

Along with your National Model, you’ll want to be sure to “market” your program.  You can read more about school counselor public relations HERE.  Showing pride in your school counseling program is also a great way to advocate for it.

Management Agreement

As I said before, support from your administration is key.  The management agreement is a part of your ASCA National Model plan.  This agreement is a great way to gain support from your principal.  It outlines all of your programs and services.  It details the percentage of time you will spend delivering your curriculum, planning for individual students, providing responsive services and lending system support.  All of this is done with hopes that you won’t end up doing all of the non-counseling duties we are so often stuck with.  It assists you with advocating for your program.

There are some school counselors who are able to truly do their jobs each day, and that is wonderful!  If you find yourself in a situation that goes against the grain of your school counseling program, speak up.  Doing so may help you get what’s needed to make your program effective.  If it doesn’t, you can feel good knowing you spoke up and advocated for yourself and your program.

To the school counselor who reached out:  I hope to hear back from you again so I can re-send my email to you. :)

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.