One Day Sale

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Aug15 - Sale2

A one day site-wide TpT sale  will begin at midnight tonight:  August 19th.   For one day, you can save 28% on all items in my store and most other stores on TpT.  All you need to do is use the Promo Code:  MORE15 for the complete discount.

Just click the photo above to visit my store!

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.

Back to School Staff Gift

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Back to School Staff Gift - Savvy School CounselorDo any of you school counselors like to get in touch with your crafty side?  I do!  I spent the beginning of the summer preparing bottle cap magnets as Fish Extender gifts for friends on the Disney Cruise I was taking.  During that time, I had an idea to use my school’s mascot image (created by the husband of one of my co-workers – Tony Nichols) to create these cute welcome back gifts for the staff at my school.  I really wanted to have this idea published before I set sail a couple of weeks ago, but time got away from me.  If it’s too late for you to make these now, you could always make them for National School Counselor week.

So, I want to tell you the materials I used and the steps I took to make them.

When I first researched how to make them, most sites suggested using resin.  When I visited Michael’s the first time and inquired about the resin, the sales person suggested I use another product that really made the whole process A LOT easier for me than I first expected.

Back to School Staff Gift - Savvy School Counselor

Materials Needed:

bottle caps (I ordered my bottle caps from in my school’s colors)

1 inch images (Printed on cardstock)

1 inch circle punch

Mod Podge  Dimensional Magic (Clear)

Mod Podge Glue and Sealer (Gloss)

Small paint brush

3×5 Plastic Baggies

Magnets (I used Tacky Magnetic Adhesive Dots)

First, you need to decide on the image you want to use and make it small enough to fit inside of a one inch circle.  I used two of our schools mascot images and copied about twenty-five of each on one page.  I cut them out in strips of five and used a one inch circle punch to make all of the inserts for my bottle caps.

Back to School Staff Gift - Savvy School CounselorBack to School Staff Gift - Savvy School Counselor







Next, I used the Mod Podge Glue and Sealer.  I used my paint brush to put some inside of the bottle cap first.  I glued one picture inside the bottle cap.  I used more Mod Podge to seal the picture into the bottle cap using the paint brush.  It’s a good idea to let them sit for awhile to dry.  Overnight is a good amount of time to make sure everything is sealed.

Back to School Staff Gift - Savvy School Counselor

Back to School Staff Gift - Savvy School Counselor

Back to School Staff Gift - Savvy School Counselor

Once the bottle caps are dry, squeeze in the Dimensional Magic.  I use enough to completely cover the picture.  You do not need to fill the entire bottle cap.  Once this step is done, they will need to sit for at least 24 hours to make sure they are completely dry and ready.  You’ll know when they are ready because they will be nice and clear instead of cloudy.

Back to School Staff Gift - Savvy School Counselor Back to School Staff Gift - Savvy School Counselor






Once the Mod Podge is completely dry on the inside of the bottle cap, attach an adhesive magnet dot to the back of the magnet and it is finished!

Back to School Staff Gift - Savvy School Counselor Back to School Staff Gift - Savvy School Counselor






I made cards that would fit inside of the baggies.  The card has the name of our school at the top.  On the bottom it says, “This bottle cap magnet was made especially for you by (your name) – school counselor.  Here’s to a GREAT school year!” I used a small piece of tape to attach the magnet to the card.  Now they are ready for me to place in the boxes of my staff members for our first workday.  I really hope they like them!

Back to School Staff Gift - 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.

FB Fan Freebie – Lunch Bunch Tags

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Facebook Fan Freebie - Lunch Bunch Tags - Inspired by Ms. Sepp's Counselor CornerI’m excited to begin using these cute lunch bunch lanyards for my school counseling lunch bunch groups.  I found the idea from Ms. Sepp’s Counselor Corner.  I purchased the black lanyards and plastic name tag holders from Office Depot/Office Max. To make one, I used two of the same color tags and placed them in the tag holder back to back so the picture is showing either way. Next, I attached the lanyard. That’s all! I will place these in teachers boxes the morning of Lunch Bunch (or afternoon before) and students will wear them to the cafeteria. I will collect them once they are in my office to be reused for future groups.  The tags I used are free on my Facebook Fan Page

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.

Back to School Sale!!

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BTS Sale2

I’m excited to announce the next site-wide TpT sale happening at midnight tonight:  August 3rd.  The sale will run through Tuesday, August 4th.  During those two days, you can save 28% on all items in my store and most other stores on TpT.  All you need to do is use the Promo Code:  BTS15 for the complete discount.  I will be continuing the sale in my store through Wednesday, August 5th.  Please Note:  The promo code will no longer work on August 5th.  You will receive a 20% discount only on Wednesday.

Just click the photo above to visit my store!

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.  Coming soon:  A craft idea to welcome your staff members back to school!

School Counseling App: Decide Now!

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Decide Now! App - Savvy School CounselorI recently purchased an iPad app that will be a great addition to my school counseling program.  It’s called Decide Now! by Catforce Studio.

The app comes with several preset wheels like:  Where to eat?  Where to travel? and Weekend activities.  When I first purchased it, I immediately started thinking of several ways to use it in my program.  I want to share those ideas with you in this post.

When you prepare to create your wheels, you will touch the settings icon on the bottom right side of the screen.  A box will open and you will touch the + sign to add a new wheel.  Next, you will give your wheel a name.  You can also choose a color scheme for your wheel.  You will see a green circle with a + sign inside for adding each of the labels for your wheel.  It’s pretty simple!

How To Create a Wheel

One of the main ways educators use the app is for choosing a student to call on randomly.  School counselors can use it the same way for classes and/or small groups.  Because there is an unlimited amount of wheels you can make, you could also make one for each of your classes as well if that’s your preference.  But, what other ways can school counselors use this app?

  • Anger Management Strategies:  Use the spinner to discuss the different strategies during small groups or with individual students.
  • Character Education:  Add different character traits to the spinner.  One way you could use it would be to review student’s understanding of the different traits.  Spin the wheel and the student(s) tell what the trait means or how they or someone can use the trait.
  • Bullying:  When discussing different scenarios, students can spin the wheel and give their take from the perspective of the bully, victim or bystander.  How can the bully make a change?  What can the bystander do to make the best choice?  What can the victim do in this specific situation?
  • Careers:  As students are learning about the different career clusters, you can use Decide Me! to assess how much they have learned.  Add different professions to the wheel and have the students decide which cluster the job belongs to.
  • Learning Styles:  This would be great to use in academic groups when discussing the different ways people learn.
  • Feelings Charades:  Add several feelings to the wheel and use the spinner to play feelings charades.

Here are a couple of screen shots of my wheels.

Decide Now! App - Careers - Savvy School Counselor

Decide Now! App - Anger Management - Savvy School Counselor









The Decide Now! wheel could also be used for choosing prizes for games.  If you are playing Bingo with a group or class, and you have a selection of prizes, students could spin the wheel to reveal the prize they’ve won.  Additionally, you could add brain breaks to the wheel and use the spinner to choose one when the kids need a mental break during a lesson.

The regular app is just $0.99 and well worth it.  There is a lite version, but it does not include the ability to create your own wheels.

If you would like a chance to win the app for your iPad, please take a moment to enter my giveaway below.  Five will win!!  Unfortunately, I can only gift this app to entrants who use US iTunes.  I have contacted the Catforce Studio about donating codes for a giveaway, but I have not heard back from them yet.  If and when I do, and if I receive any codes, I’ll have another giveaway on my Facebook page.

This giveaway will end on Monday, June 8 at 11:59PM (EST).  I will email the winners on Tuesday, June 9.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’d love to hear some of your ideas for using Decide Now!  If you have an idea, please leave a comment.

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.

School Counseling Group: Test Preparation

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School Counseling Group:  Test Preparation - Savvy School CounselorEach school year, as part of my National Model plan, I conduct school counseling group sessions for my third grade friends as we get closer to End-of-Grade (EOG) Testing time.  This year, we met once a week for five weeks, and I really enjoyed this time with them and felt it was beneficial.  During these sessions I’ve used some of my favorite products already mentioned on my blog previously as well as some of my own products.  Today, I am sharing what I did for each of the sessions.

First of all, National Model action plans must be data driven.  Since our students have started taking a Beginning-of-Grade (BOG) Test in September each year, I am able to use those results to create my small groups. This test is a predictor or indicator of sorts as to how students may do on the EOG.   I usually pull students who missed being proficient (Level 3) by one, two or three points.  Once I determine who those students are, I let their teachers know who must be in the group.  Any empty spaces may be filled with students chosen by the teacher.  Our group focus is test taking tips and decreasing test anxiety.

This year I had 31 students. (5 groups)  Once the EOG scores are available, I’ll be able to see my results.  I hope to see those BOG Level 2’s become EOG Level 3’s.

So, here’s an idea of how each of my group sessions went:

Session 1:  When the students arrived for the first session, they completed this “How do you feel about the test today?” sheet.  This is just one of many great resources you can find on The Ned Show website.  It helped start our discussion about test anxiety.  A good number of students circled nervous and concerned.  Of course there were some confident students as well.

Ned1After completing and discussing this sheet, I read Julia Cook’s The Anti-Test Anxiety Society.  Most of my students were excited to know this was the same author of a book I had shared with them in first grade called My Mouth is a Volcano.  We always referred back to the book during our future sessions tying in the “Dynamic Dozen” and using the “Get to” part of your brain instead of the “Have to” part.  This book was a perfect opener for my small groups!

The Anti-Test Anxiety Society by Julia CookAfter reading and discussing the book, the students began working on their test taking foldables.  I had already printed them and cut the flaps for them, so they just needed to get the information written on the front of and under each of the flaps.  They had time to complete and discuss three of the flaps during the first session.  I told them they would do a few flaps each week until it was done.

Session Two:  When the students entered, I had GoNoodle Flow pulled up on my laptop and facing them on the table.  I wrote about GoNoodle Flow last year as a great tool to use for school counseling.  Flow has great brain breaks that tie in well with helping students decrease test anxiety.  I used On & Off with my groups.   On & Off involves managing stress by making parts of the body tense and then letting go to relax.  Students turn on the energy in their toes, legs, hands, arms and whole body.  They really enjoyed doing the brain break.  On & Off is something they can use discreetly anytime they are feeling some stress.

Flow by GoNoode-

We reviewed the things we learned from BB, the main character from The Anti-Test Anxiety Society.

Next, we completed and discussed three more of the flaps on the test taking foldables.

Session Three:  My laptop was on the table when students entered for session three.  They thought they were going to do another brain break, but today it was time for Ned’s Test Prep Rap Song.

This was a fun way to incorporate all of those very important testing tips.  After watching the video, each student got a copy of the Ned’s Top 10 Testing Tips activity sheet.  We reviewed the tips learned in the test prep rap. Students took a few minutes to recall some of the things they heard in the rap.  They also took a moment to do tip #10 which was to plan something fun to look forward to after the EOG Tests.  Some memorable ideas were “just do nothing” and “eat fried chicken.”  They were too funny!

Ned's Top 10 Testing Tips from The Ned Show

We used the rest of the time to complete and discuss the last four flaps of the test taking foldables.

Session Four:  When the students entered the room for this session, they saw a Treasure Chest on the table.  I had them guess how each of the items in the chest related to test taking.  You can read about what was in the chest  in my post A Treasure Chest of Test Taking Tips.  Next, we played Testing SMART Bingo.  Although the students had fun playing Bingo, this gave us a great opportunity to discuss dozens of important tips to remember.

Testing SMART Bingo - Savvy School Counselor

After Bingo, we discussed the final tips pre-printed on the inside of the foldables.  The students were given a few minutes to put any final touches on their foldables.

foldable foldable2









Session Five:  This session was essentially the Big Test.  I wanted to see if they could use all of the tips and strategies we had learned about and discussed during the previous four sessions. I used the book Excite Me! Motivate Me! Test Me! (One of my favorites!!) They entered the room to find a sample scan-tron sheet.  Their first “test” was to see if they could simply follow directions when bubbling.  The test questions said things like “Fill in answer C for #4, #10 and #15.”  Once they finished the test, they were supposed to have items 1-20 completed on the scan-tron.  I would say 95% of my students did this successfully.

scan-tron practice

Next, they took “The Smart Test.”  Many of the test questions had to do with test taking strategies.  I gave them another bubble sheet and the test paper.  I told them they may find something strange, but to just do what they had learned to do.   The strange part:  The test was missing #1.  So they needed to make sure they bubbled beside the correct number or they would become misaligned.  This is something that can easily happen when students are not paying close attention to what they are doing.  During our time together, I always told them to look at the number of the test item and make sure it matched the number on the bubble sheet before they filled in the bubble.  I found that 2-3 of my six students in each group would catch this immediately and skip #1 on the answer sheet.  The others would eventually realize the further along they went, and they had to do some erasing.

practice test2


As the students worked on their tests, I would give stickers as I saw them using the tips we had discussed throughout our time in group.  It was wonderful to see them checking each question and making sure their bubble sheet answers were matching their test papers.

I gave them a final test from Focus on the Test which consisted of random reading and math skills.  Nothing too difficult, just enough to practice the testing tips.

When all tests were finished, we went over and discussed each of the answers.  The students then received all of their completed work from the previous sessions.  I gave each a paper clip and a laminated bookmark with test taking tips.

I enjoyed these group session just as much as I believe the kids did.  Twenty five small group sessions later, I can honestly say I’m looking forward to doing it all again next year!

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.