Tattling Vs. Reporting Freebie

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This FREE download from my Teachers pay Teachers store will help your students think about the difference between tattling and telling.  This is a great addition to any lesson about tattling that you may do with your students.  (If you downloaded the one with the type-o, it has been corrected!)

FREE Tattling Vs. Reporting Download (Type-O Corrected!)

I have also added a new end-of-year school memories paper folding activity.  It sells for $2.00, but will be on sale today  for $1.50.  Additionally, my Character Trait Paper Folding COMBO PACK will be a dollar off as well.  It sells for $4.00, but is marked $3.00 today only.

Character Trait Paper Folding Activities COMBO PACK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This sale will end tonight, April 14, at 10PM EST.

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.

I’m still waiting to hear from two winners of the Social Skill Builder App Giveaway.  Emails went out Saturday morning, and the deadline to respond is Monday, April 15 at 7PM EST at which point new winners will be selected as per the Terms and Conditions.

 


Tough!- A Bully’s Perspective

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Weird Series- Tough!- Activity Sheet included-  savvyschoolcounselor.comI have thoroughly enjoyed presenting The Weird Series by Erin Frankel during my school counseling lessons with my fourth grade friends.  I wrote previously about the book Weird! which tells the story from the perspective of a victim and Dare! which told the story from the perspective of a bystander.  Last, but not least, is Tough!  Of course, this book comes from the bully’s point of view. My students were hooked after the first book.  They were all ears during the second lesson and were very excited to hear the last book of the series.  The students have enjoyed discovering similarities between the books.  Each had a signature symbol- from polka dots, to stars, and now hearts- which helped drive home a similar message:  Know Yourself. Be Yourself. Sam is the main character in Tough!  Readers get a peek into Sam’s world at the beginning of the book as the author reminds us of situations and comments she’s made to Luisa and Jayla from the previous two books.  As Sam tells the story, we see her brother calling her names and taking her guitar away from her.  It appears Sam has had her share of being picked on, and it turns out she stays “tough” in order to keep others from bothering her.  Her teacher, Mr. C, reaches out to her, and she soon decides to accept his help.  Just as we’ve hoped, Sam begins to listen to her heart and takes a turn for the better by the conclusion of the book. All three girls have a club at the end of each book.  Sam has the Kindness Club.  Her activities include a great reflection activity suggested to her by her teacher Mr. C called “Picture This.”  This activity allows her to write her thoughts on paper in order to help her see how her actions affect those around her.  After dividing a piece of paper into four equal sections, she labels the sections with four questions:

  • What did I do?
  • What did I hope to get by doing it?
  • What happened when I did it?
  • How can I get what I want without hurting others?

She then draws pictures to go along with each of the questions. Using this idea, I created an activity sheet called “Picture This” with four equal sections.  Each section has a question at the top and space underneath for students to either draw and/or write their answers.  During the lesson, the students can complete the sheet using Sam’s story OR they may refer to one of their own situations.  It’s also a good idea to give a blank copy to the classroom teacher to use as he or she sees fit in the future. Click the picture below to print a copy of the activity sheet.

"Picture This"- Activity Sheet to support the book Tough! by Erin Frankel- savvyschoolcounselor.com

  The Weird Series is one worth having on your counseling book shelf!  Thanks to Roxanne, from Books That Heal Kids, for bringing this series to my attention on her blog last summer. Stick around!  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates.  As always, I’d love to hear from you. Be sure to let me know how your lessons go along with any new ideas you decide to add.


Kindergarten: Feelings and Responsibility

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One thing I really look forward to each year in my school counseling program is my very first visit with my new Kindergarten friends.  After seeing grades 1-5 over the last three weeks, it’s finally time to share my first lesson with Kindergarten.  I usually schedule them last intentionally.  I do this as to not disrupt the teachers’ firsts days with them.  They have so many new things to learn including classroom procedures.  Usually by the time I visit, they are ready to sit on the carpet crisscross applesauce with hands in their fish bowls and listening ears.

I had the opportunity to assist with the Kindergarten assessments, so I worked with most of them one-to-one during their staggered entry days.  So, many of them are already waving and saying hello when they see me.

I have thirty minutes to complete this lesson. The first part of my lesson includes my “A Counselor is…” cards I wrote about in a previous post.  These cards are great for explaining what a school counselor does.  As mentioned in my other post, the students learn that a counselor is a friend, a helper, a listener, a problem solver, and a secret keeper.  I make sure to stress that I can keep any secret as long is no one is being hurt.

Next, I introduce my Jellybean Friend Eugene, the emotional blue jellybean from Jellybean Jamboree.  This leads us to a discussion about feelings.  You can read more about Eugene and the other jellybeans here.  I read The Feelings Book by Todd Parr to Eugene and the class.  It is a great book which showcases many different feelings including some silly ones like “Sometimes I feel like eating pizza for breakfast” or “Sometimes I feel like kissing a sea lion.”  This year, I also have Todd Parr’s “Feeling Flashcards” which I am so excited about using.  For the purpose of this lesson, I will share the flashcards for happy, sad, angry, and scared as I discuss the different feelings Eugene has experienced.  I’ve decided to use the majority of the cards during Lunch Bunch and other small groups.  I will also use some cards here and there throughout the school year during future lessons.

Finally, I talk about all of the BIG words they’ll be learning about throughout the school year called character traits.  I share the first trait, responsibility, which is on their very first scoop of ice cream.  I mentioned my ice cream cone and scoops incentive  in the post They All Scream for Ice Cream.  I make a big deal about how big the word is, and we count the 14 letters.  (Then I make a big deal about how they can count to 14!)  I explain what it means to be responsible by sharing the book You Can Count On Me.  This is one of the character songs I sing with my kindergarten friends throughout the school year.  The words in the book are the words to the song.  After sharing it and having them repeat the chorus, we sing along with the CD and give ourselves a “round of applause” by clapping around in a circle.  If time allows, we will usually sing it two times.

To close, I review all the things we talked about during our lesson and add their very first ice cream scoop to their cone.

Stick around!  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates.  As always, I’d love to hear from you.  What special activities do you use with your Kindergarten students during your first visit?


The 3 Learning Styles

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This week, I am working with my fourth grade friends for the first time this school year.  Over the years, I have incorporated the learning styles into individual school counseling and in my small groups for academic advisement.  This year, I decided to introduce the learning styles to my fourth graders in order to get them thinking now about how they learn best.  I worked with my first class today, and it went very well.

Knowing that all students learn differently, I thought fourth grade would be a good age to introduce learning styles and to help students understand why knowing their preferred learning style(s) can be beneficial to them.  The students seemed very interested during our discussion today.  It was nice to see some of them react when they connected with one of the learning styles as we discussed them.

I decided to create a basic three-flap foldable.  As usual, I made sure my lesson targeted each of the learning styles as well.  This is the same group of students I created the Test Taking Foldable for last year.  I explained that I wanted their new foldable to be another in which they could refer to as necessary.

I gave them a 9×11 sheet of manilla paper.  They folded the paper in half and divided the cover into three equal sections by drawing two lines.  Some simply cut across twice to make the three sections without drawing the lines.  While students were cutting, those who were ready were instructed to draw a hand on the first flap, an ear on the second flap, and an eye on the third flap.  Once everyone got to this point, we were ready to begin our discussion about the three learning styles.  I began my discussion by connecting the three pictures to how we learn.  Using the document camera, I displayed my sample foldable so they could label each flap.  I included two words for each picture: “Doing” for Kinesthetic, “Listening” for Auditory, and “Looking” for Visual. I used both words as I described each learning style.

Behind each flap, the students wrote the meaning of each learning style.  I used the meanings from an activity sheet from Diane Senn’s book Spectacular Guidance Activities called “Which Way Do I Learn?”  These were already written behind each flap on my sample, so I opened each flap one at a time so they could transfer the the meanings onto their foldables.

On the right side, the students wrote the tips I shared for each learning style.  I continued to refer to the “Which Way Do I Learn?” sheet as well as another chart from the book Academic Advisement Program.  We talked about several tips and how they can be used to help students study and learn throughout the school year.  I also talked about how their teacher creates lessons with these learning styles in mind.  Near the end, I asked student volunteers to tell the class how I incorporated the three learning styles into my lesson.  I shared that I am more of a visual learner and talked about the things I do that help me.  I even shared my “Which Way Do I Learn?” sheet in which I used three different colors to highlight the three learning style examples on my sheet to use during my discussion.  The students were able to see that as a visual learner, the colors were helpful for me as I taught the lesson.

I’m looking forward to visiting the remaining four classes to do this lesson.

You can find a template for this activity and a Learning Styles Cube Game in my TpT store.

Stick around!  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates.  As always, I’d love to hear from you.  How do you teach your students about the 3 learning styles?


Third Time’s The Charm

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What puzzle are school counselors always trying to solve?Check out Savvy School Counselor to print a copy of the schedule form!

Trying to create a schedule for your school counseling program can be like playing musical chairs. You keep going around and around and can sometimes be left standing without an effective method.  I’ve been there, but this past school year I decided to try something new.  You know what?  It finally worked for me!  Could it work for you too?

I have attempted to solve the “scheduling puzzle” for a long time now.  Here’s how it began:

The Sign up Calendar

During the first three years in my school counseling program, I used this method to schedule guidance.  It was what I heard most counselors did, so I did it too.  I created a schedule for the week with rows and columns and the times of the day from 8:30 to 4:30 down the left side.  I would fill in the spaces where I had a duty or time set aside for groups or individual counseling.  I would then post it outside my office, email the teachers to let them know it was there, and wait for everyone to make their way to my office to sign up for guidance.

Pros:  Hang it up and wait!  Look at the schedule each day and see who’s signed up for the day and go teach guidance!

Cons Hmmm… Mrs. Second and Mr. Fifth haven’t signed up yet.

Me- ”Mrs. Second, when would you like for me to visit your classroom for guidance?”

Mrs. Second- “Oh, I’ve been meaning to come by your office to sign up before I leave in the afternoons, but I keep forgetting.”

Bottom line:  I’m waiting and busy teachers are trying to take care of everything else on their plates.

Additionally, sometimes four or five teachers would sign up for the same day!  It just didn’t work for me and made me feel overwhelmed.  After a couple of years, I decided I needed to create a different method for scheduling guidance.

Grade level Specific Form With Assigned Week

For the next few years, I decided to use a form I created for the grade levels to complete during their planning.  This idea stemmed from me missing one or two teachers from the schedule because they didn’t sign up.  Now, the grade level would hopefully sit together, fill out the form and return it to me.  The fact that I used the method for a few years is evidence that it worked pretty well.

Pros:  I assigned the days I was available for guidance and listed the options for the teachers.  If there were five teachers, I would list five options.  The teachers could pick the date that worked for them and give a time when I could visit for guidance.  I had more control over my schedule and rarely had a large number of classes signed up for one day.

Cons:  If I wanted to schedule two grade levels, I couldn’t give them the forms at the same time because the teachers chose times that worked for them.  The issue of overlapping came into play.  So, I’d have to wait for “this” grade level to return the form before I could give a form to “that” grade level for the same week.

I prefer to have my schedule in place about a week prior to the beginning of a new month.  This method turned into a week-to-week task for me.  I am a planner by default, and this method slowly began to frustrate me.  So, a year ago, I decided I needed to create yet another method for scheduling guidance.

Assigned Time and Day of the Week (Yay!)

Something I began to notice the last year I used the grade level specific form was this:  Grade levels were being required to adhere to more structured schedules with literacy blocks, math blocks, and writing blocks.  Of course they were doing this before, but now grade levels had to be teaching the same thing at the same time.  Because of this, many of the members of a team would select the same time of day for guidance.  Due to this new trend, I created a new form.

Click here to open and print a copy of my guidance scheduling form minus the web address.

Last year, I gave this form to grade levels during the workdays prior to school officially starting.  Teachers chose a day of the week and a time for guidance, and I stored the forms in my planner. Most grade levels all chose the same time of day.  So I would know, for example, I have second grade everyday at 2:00 this week and fourth grade at 11:30.  I send out a guidance schedule to teachers a week ahead of time via email, and they plan accordingly.

Pros: Teachers fill out the form one time, and they’re done.  Teachers know they have guidance on whatever day of the week they have chosen one time each month.  I’m not missing Mrs. Second or Mr. Fifth on my schedule.  I can schedule two grade levels without worry of overlapping.  I see two classes each day (three on occasion) and have time in the day for small groups, individual sessions, and those unexpected “fires” that need to be put out.

Cons: Sometimes I have to change a teachers “day selection” due to a meeting off campus or an appointment.  Nothing’s perfect! ;)

I am fortunate that the teachers at my school are very receptive to classroom guidance.  I’ve heard some colleagues say they can’t see all of their grade levels.  This would be a tough pill for me to swallow, as spending time with and being visible to all the students in my school is important to me. This method worked very well for me last year, and I will continue to use it.  No plans on changing yet, but I’ll let you know if I do!

How do you schedule classroom guidance?

Stick around!  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates.  You may leave any comments here or visit my contact page to email me directly. As always, I’d love to hear from you.  Connect with me!

 



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!