Setting Up the Office: B-Boards and Displays

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It’s amazing how we, as educators, can work in our rooms all day long and feel like we’ve barely accomplished anything by the end of the day!  I’ve been so excited to start seeing my school counseling Pinterest inspirations come to fruition.

Today, I finished the small bulletin board outside my office, the bulletin board behind my desk inside my office, and one of my doors-for the most part! I also put my character trait sayings back up.  I’ve been so excited to be back in my guidance office this year with sufficient space for all I need to do.  I had no bulletin boards last year, so even though boxes and such are still all over the floor- I spent most of the day laminating, cutting, and putting together my boards!

First is my board inspired by Danielle from School Counselor Blog.  I couldn’t wait to do this board.  I purchased the puzzle pieces from a teacher supply store. (Trend- Classic Accents)  I traced and cut out the letters by hand.  I even punched holes to add the polka dots on them.  I found the border at Target in the $1 section.

Also inspired by Danielle is my “What you say in here stays in here” poster I ordered from Vista Print.

Next is my bucket filler board.  I first saw these buckets on a bulletin board here on Pinterest.  Here is my adaptation.  I purchased the buckets at the teacher supply store. (CTP- Designer Cut-Outs)  I decided to put the title “How will you fill a bucket?”  On each bucket, I added different ways to fill someones bucket such as saying kind words, smiling, and giving compliments. I have several extra buckets to add more ideas in the future. The smaller side of the board is for the monthly calendar, my lunch bunch schedule, and other schedules I’ll need to see at-a-glance.

I’ve always had this on my door to show where I am.  I came across this pin on Pinterest and decided to try something new.  This is the door on the main hallway.  I have another door that enters into the student services suite area.  I’ll be putting my buddy Garfield back on that door.


Finally, I have my character trait sayings.  I’ve had these for eight years.  I have no idea who created them, but I took them from a paper I received at a school counselor meeting and created this display.  I purchased to kids from a teacher supply store.  I’ll probably create a caption to go with it at some point.

I still have A LOT to finish in my office.  We have several meetings and open house this week, so I am hoping I can have some final pictures by Friday.

Stick around!  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates.  As always, I’d love to hear from you.  Is there something special you’ve done in your office this year that you’re excited about?

A Very Respectful Foldable

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I have continued to spend time thinking about how to use foldables in my school counseling program.  I teach students about a different character trait each month during classroom guidance at my school.  My latest idea is this four flapped foldable where students can list or illustrate the different ways they show respect.

Whenever I discuss the character trait respect with my students, I always make sure they understand that it can be shown in many different ways.  Many times, the focus is on how to show respect to others by saying that respect is “treating others the way you want them to treat you.”  To extend this, we discuss how to show respect at school and at home.  We also include showing respect to the Earth.  So when I came across this foldable style, I thought it would work well to teach respect.  It can be adapted to fit the needs of lower or upper elementary students.

First, I folded the paper the long way leaving a small section for writing on the side.





Next, I folded the paper in half.





Afterwards, you can fold it in half again to make the four sections.  Because I used card stock for my sample foldable, I folded each side to the center.





Once it is opened, you can cut across the folds on the shorter side to make the four flaps.





Across the bottom, I will have the students write “This is how I show respect!”  On the flaps, they will write “To Others,” “At School,” “At Home,” and “To the Earth.”  The students will also be able to draw a simple illustration on the front side of the flap.

Under each flap, younger students can draw a picture showing how they will show respect.  Older students can list a variety of ways to show the trait in each area.  You could also have students write an idea under the flap and then illustrate the idea at the top (behind the flap).





You could use this foldable for other traits too.

  • Responsibility- How I show it at school, home, with my things,  and with other’s property
  • Courage- Illustrate or write about four examples of times you showed courage.
If you can think of other ideas, please leave a comment.  I’d love to hear more suggestions!

Stick around!  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates. Also, be sure to enter the Character Readers and CD Giveaway which ends at 11:59 P.M. EST on Friday, June 15.  As always, I’d love to hear from you.  Connect with me!



Character Readers and CD Giveaway!

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In a previous post titled Pass the Mic: Singing About Good Character, I wrote about how I really enjoy singing songs about character traits with my Kindergarten friends.  I mentioned that the readers can be purchased separately but that they also come in sets of six.  This giveaway is for one set of six character readers which will include one CD.  The CD has three versions of each song. There is the regular singing version, an instrumental version, and a read aloud version.  All six songs in this set align with the traits I teach in my school counseling program.

This great resource will include a CD and one of each of the following books:

Dare to Have Courage- Courage

Would It Be Right?- Good Judgment

Telling the Truth- Integrity

Never Give Up- Perseverance

Following the Rules- Respect

Think Before You Act- Self-Discipline

There will be one winner selected to win this prize.  I will contact the winner by email to request the mailing address where he or she would like the CD and readers sent.  I will order and have it delivered directly from Creative Teaching Press.  You may enter this contest by using the Rafflecopter widget below this post.  There are several ways to enter.  You will receive three entries for subscribing for email updates.   Two entries are given for liking Savvy School Counselor on Facebook, tweeting about the giveaway, or pinning this giveaway on Pinterest.  One entry is given for following Savvy School Counselor on Twitter and one for liking this post on Facebook.  Tweeting about the contest can earn two new entires everyday, so be sure to come back for additional entries!

Be sure to enter to win before 11:59 P.M. EST on Friday, June 15th. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Thanks for participating!

Congratulations to Giveaway Winner Nola W.!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

They All Scream for Ice Cream!

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I incorporate character traits into each of my classroom guidance lessons.  I’ve mentioned before that my school district focuses on eight specific character traits.  I discuss a different trait each time I visit classes.  Each trait is assigned to a particular month.  So, when I visit, I bring a “scoop of ice cream” with the character trait on it.  I begin all of my guidance lessons by discussing the character trait with the class.  During our discussion, students are able to make connections and share examples of how they show the character trait in their everyday lives.

After sharing the character trait, we talk about my behavior expectations during the guidance lesson.  I remind the class that they are working to earn a new scoop for their ice cream cones.  I give each class a cone to display in their classroom for the school year.  By the end of the year, they have an eight scoop high ice cream cone.  Many teachers display the ice cream cones on the outside of their doors.  Others have special spots in their classrooms to display the cones. If students become too talkative during a lesson, many times I only need to remind them that they are working toward earning a new scoop for their cone.  It’s just a small incentive to keep students on task throughout the lesson and to give them something to show for doing their best.

I also have an extra large ice cream cone to display outside my office door that grows each month as well.  I’ve used it for so many years that it’s a little faded, so I’ll need to make a new one soon.

Do you have a behavior incentive you’ve incorporated in your school counseling program?

Stick around!  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates.  I’d love to hear from you.  Connect with me!


Crafty Character Trait Collage

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 I love scrapbooking even though I rarely have time to do it!  When I saw this cool idea on Pinterest a while back, my brain started racing.  How could I use this in my school counseling office?  It wasn’t long before the character traits came to my mind.  I already had the frame sitting in my craft room.  I bought it two years ago and had never put a single picture in it.

Today, I have had a blast cutting paper and using some of my favorite sticker purchases to make this character trait collage to hang in my office.  It was not difficult at all.  Here’s how I did it:

I looked through my tub of scrapbooking paper and found a mini kid’s slab of 6×6 papers.  There were lots of fun patterns to choose from.  Because I was going to add stickers of children on them, I didn’t want the paper choices to be too busy.

After choosing eight patterns, I used my paper cutter and cut each one down to 4×6 which is the size of the frames on the collage.  I ended up having to cut another tiny sliver less to get them to fit in though.





I used my favorite letters, which I can’t seem to find ANYWHERE anymore, to make the character traits on each.  Four of the pictures are vertical and the other four are horizontal.  I added New Kids Stickers by  “me and my BIG ideas” which I have had for so long and never used.





Afterwards, I put them in the frames, and I was very pleased with the results.  I really like that I can display the frame horizontally or vertically.  I’m not sure which one I like best.  Which way do you like it?

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Pass the Mic: Singing About Good Character

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One of the first purchases I made before starting my school counseling job was two sets of books and CDs.  I remember going to my neighborhood teacher supply store to find resources for my new job, only to find out the terrible truth.  You won’t find any school counseling resources at your regular teacher supply stores.  You can, however, find a few things supporting character education.  So after grabbing some character ed. resources, I stumbled upon these character education readers published by Creative Teaching Press.  Each set contains six books and one CD.  I can tell you, I haven’t skipped a year without using them!I really enjoy singing songs with my Kindergarten friends.  They have come to expect a new song each time I visit.

Our school system focuses on eight specific character traits, and I have a song to go with each one.

  • Responsibility- You Can Count on Me!
  • Respect- Following the Rules
  • Courage- Dare to Have Courage
  • Kindness- Everyone is Special and Unique or Show You Understand
  • Self-Discipline- Think Before You Act
  • Integrity- Telling the Truth
  • Perseverance- Never Give Up!
  • Good Judgment- Would It Be Right?

It doesn’t hurt that I enjoy singing. The words in the books are the lyrics to the songs.  The chorus is usually easy enough for the kids to pick up.  By the second play, they are singing right along with me.  I love it!  It is a great way to help the smaller ones understand what those BIG character  words really mean.  Once they are in first grade, I’ll sing a line or two to remind them of the meaning of the character trait we are discussing.  Many of them will still remember the choruses.

There is a resource book that goes along with the character readers.  You can make individual student readers for small groups and use the additional activities to go along with each of the books.  Most companies sell these books individually or as a complete set.  You can still find them in six packs as well.  You can also purchase the CD separately.  There are four additional books about various topics including sharing, friendship, compassion, and cooperation.  These books are great for lower elementary age groups.

Stick around! You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates.  As always, I’d love to hear from you. Connect with me!