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?


Teaching Children About Self-Expression

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I recently found an adorable book about self-expression called Unique Monique written by Maria Rousaki.  I’m sure you have an idea of why Monique is unique just by looking at the cover.  However, her large, red glasses are not her only way of expressing herself!

Monique attends a school where everyone wears a uniform.  Everyday she must wear her blue top and brown skirt. She wants to be different, so each day she looks for a way to express her uniqueness from painting her nails to carrying a big fancy bag.  Sadly, all of her ideas are prohibited by the school principal.

Interestingly enough, every idea Monique comes up with is quickly embraced by her school mates.  They always return to school the next day repeating the same actions as Monique had done the day before.

It finally ends with Monique displaying her uniqueness in a way her principal could do nothing about!  You’ll have to read the story to find out how!

This book can be used to lead into a discussion about how we are all special and have unique qualities.  Shy or withdrawn students can benefit from a discussion like this as they work to develop positive attitudes toward themselves as unique and worthy people. Monique expressed herself in a variety of ways.  Like Monique, we all have gifts inside to share with others.

I looked in one of my favorite resources, Turn the Page for Play Therapy Activities, for an activity to tie into this discussion.  In order to assist shy or withdrawn students with “coming out of their shells,” it is important to help them realize the strengths that lie within them.  This great resource, by Dr. Michele Neace Page and Dr. Joy Wilson, has an activity called “What’s the Prize Inside?”   This would be a great small group activity.  Each student is given 5-6 plastic eggs, drawing paper, and a small basket.  You can make paper baskets out of paper bags or find some at the dollar tree.

The students will place “prizes” in each of their eggs.  The “prizes” are examples of their own special qualities.  They can cut pictures from magazines or draw their own pictures to illustrate their special qualities.  Each picture will go inside of an egg.  The students can then decide which “prize” they want to share with the group.

I love that this great resource is aligned with the ASCA standards.  Each activity lists the specific standards that are addressed.  It also comes with a CD which includes all of the reproducible pages from the book.

Of course if you don’t have any plastic eggs on hand, you can always have your students make foldables! (I love a foldable!)

I made this foldable with four flaps.  Since the “prizes inside” are like their special gifts to others, your students can decorate the outside of each flap to look like a gift.  Inside each flap, they can glue pictures from magazines or draw the pictures of each gift.  You can create a school counselor sample to share with students.  Behind one flap, glue a picture of an ear because one of your gifts to your students is to be a good listener.  Another flap can have a bandage because your job is to help children heal.

No matter how you choose to use Unique Monique, it will be a hit with your students.  This book also lends itself to a discussion about being who you are- even within a group.  You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing just to fit in.  Be yourself!

Stick around!  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates.  As always, I’d love to hear from you!  Tell me about books you use to teach self-expression.


12 Ways to Manage Anger

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A common issue I deal with in my school counseling program is assisting students with anger management difficulties.  I discuss this issue with all students, Kindergarten through fifth grade.  I know you have all heard different anger management tips and have shared them with your students.  As I prepare for my anger management groups for next year, I wanted to also think about an activity I can do with individuals who are referred to me out of the blue.

I made a puzzle using our schools VariQuest cutout maker which can cut just about any shape you can imagine.  As I was looking through some of the cutout options one afternoon, I came across a puzzle template and cut it out. Since there were twelve puzzle pieces, I decided to put an anger management strategy on each piece.  I didn’t want the puzzle to be difficult, so it is not hard to figure out by any means.  I only want it to be a tool to share with individuals or small groups to spark discussion.

 

 After we discuss the strategies on each puzzle piece while putting the puzzle together, I will have the student(s) make this anger management flip book foldable.  Once completed, the student(s) will have strategies to refer to that work for them.  The flip book only requires five strategies.  Every tip doesn’t work for everybody, so the students will be able to choose the five strategies they feel will work best for them.

To make this flip book, I took two sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 paper and cut them in half.  I used three of the four halves.  I layered the three sheets.  I picked the sheets up and folded the top half over until I had six flaps. This foldable can be stapled at the top once or twice to keep it together.

 

 

 

 

I will have the students write a strategy at the bottom of each flap (except for the top flap where they will write the title).  Above each strategy (but under the flap) they will describe and/or illustrate the strategy.  This will depend on what the strategy is.  The “I-Message” strategy would need to have a sample I-message written, while walking away can be illustrated.

I used the book How to Take the Grrrr Out of Anger to assist me with most of the tips. However, many of these tips are universal from one anger management book to another.

The 12 anger management strategies are:

  • Count backwards from 10.
  • Take 3 deep breaths.
  • Exercise or play to let off some steam/energy.
  • Find a quiet place.
  • Vent!  Talk to someone!
  • Tell yourself calming statements. (It’s okay.  Keep calm.  Relax.)
  • Lie down and relax.
  • Tense your body- then relax it. (Repeat)
  • Use an I-Message. (I feel angry when you ___.  I want you to ___.)
  • Think peaceful thoughts. (relaxing by the pool, holding your pet, hugging a parent)
  • Walk away.
  • Avoid anger triggers.

What activities do you have on stand-by for that student who comes to you before having time to calm down?

Be sure to check out my Teachers pay Teachers store for an Anger Management Activity Pack which includes a foldable, 8 anger management strategy posters, and an I-Messages Activity.  You can also find The Anger Games which includes a BINGO game and cootie catcher.  Each product sells for only $3.00.

AngerFoldable

AngerGamesCover

 

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.  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!

 

 


Character Trait Review

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My school district has adopted eight character traits.  Each month, we focus on one trait.  As I visit students during classroom guidance, we talk about the trait of the month.  Students take turns sharing examples of how they have shown the character trait in their daily lives.

The school year is coming to a close, and I wanted to review with my second grade friends all we have learned this year about good character.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I want to incorporate foldables into some of my classroom guidance lessons.  I created this simple foldable to use for the character trait review lesson with second grade.  Similar to my preparation for the testing tips foldable, I drew and copied the lines on manila paper ahead of time and pre-folded the paper. The students only needed to cut the seven lines on the left side of the paper to create the eight flaps for this foldable. Using a document camera, I demonstrated where and how far to cut. (I loooove the document camera!)

After cutting the flaps, the students wrote one character trait on each flap.  Using the document camera, I displayed each character trait one by one as the students wrote them.  The next step was to write a kid friendly definition of each trait on the opposite side of the flap.  I shared each one by one for the students to add to their foldables.

Next, the students wrote one sentence for each character trait beginning with “I will…”  I asked them to write how they will display each trait going forward. I showed examples of each, but I encouraged them to come up with their own.

Finally, the students used the remainder of the time to decorate and color their foldables. Some of the students volunteered to share their “I will” statements for a few of the character traits.  Many of them really thought about areas where they could improve in order to show the traits.
I’m always looking for new character education ideas to use in my school counseling program. I’d love to hear your ideas. Connect with me!

8 Tips New Test Takers Should Know

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I was determined to find a new way to review test taking tips with our third graders this school year.  As everyone knows, this is their first year taking the “Big Test.”  In the past, I have worked with third graders in small groups using student data for my ASCA National Model plan.  This year, the teachers requested a testing tips classroom guidance lesson for all of the students.  After looking through one of my favorite testing resources (Excite Me! Motivate Me! Test Me! by Sandra Robinson) along with Tyler Tames the Testing Tiger by Janet Bender, I created this Testing Tips Foldable.

Both resources give many similar test taking tips.  Tyler Tames the Testing Tiger includes ten test prep cards.  I used a few of the test prep suggestions from Tyler Tames the Testing Tiger to create five of the flaps, and I used five of the discussion cards from the back of the Excite Me! Motivate Me! Test Me! book for the other five.  Here’s an explanation of each tip:

  • Be Prepared- This flap is where the students wrote important things to do like getting a good nights rest the night before and having a good breakfast the morning of the test.  They also included having number two pencils .
  • Reframe Your Thinking- Some students don’t believe they can do well on the test.  This flap includes positive self-talk such as  “I can do it” and “I am ready for the test.”
  • Stop, Look, and Listen- This flap reminds the students to be still, look at the test administrator, and listen to the directions.
  • No Fear- Many third graders are nervous about the unknown.  They also fear they will not go to fourth grade if they don’t pass.  As they wrote notes on the back of this flap about not being afraid and doing their best, I told them that these tests are just a small piece of data used to determine whether or not they will go to the next grade.  I also told them it is important to work hard throughout the school year because their quarterly grades are just as important.
  • Plug it In- This flap reminds students to use each of the multiple choice answers to fill in the blank.  Some won’t make sense and will help them narrow their choices down.
  • Jail the Detail- This flap reminds the students to circle or underline the key words in a test question.  They can look for the key words in the reading passage or determine how to solve a math problem by using this tip.
  • Stash the Trash- Many times, there are sentences included in test questions that really aren’t important.  This tip reminds students to cross out any unnecessary information.  This includes answer choices they already know don’t belong. This tip can also be called “Slash” the Trash.
  • Zap the Maps- Students sometimes don’t look closely at keys and legends on standerdized tests.  They will see a chart with four triangles and say the answer is four. However, one triangle equals 3 according to a key near the chart.  This makes the answer twelve.  This tip reminds them to pay attention to the key of a chart, graph, or map.
  • Pace Yourself- Our students are given PLENTY of time to take their tests.  That being said, they need to pace themselves.  This just means not rushing through the test and also watching the time and making sure they are not going too slow as well.
  • Check it out- This last flap reminds students to check over their answers when they have completed the test if there is time left.  If they have a bubble sheet, it’s also good to check it for stray marks.
Inside the foldable is a bulletin board idea from the “Testing Tiger” book (which I made a smaller version of) and four additional helpful tips for students to refer to as well from the Excite Me! book.  I used manila paper, made copies so lines would already be there, and pre-folded them. The students only needed to cut the lines to make each flap, and we were ready to begin.  Although the students were exited to decorate and add some “flavor” to the foldable, our class time focused on content.  They had time near the end to draw and color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The former teacher in me can’t help but love the idea of using foldables in the classroom.  After I discovered them, I just had to find a way to incorporate a few into my school counseling program.  This is my first attempt, and I was excited to see it all come together. I’ll be sharing another one soon, so come back! I’d love to hear from you regarding test taking activities you’ve used.  Connect with me!

Template on TpTTemplate on TpT- Version 2

Like this idea but not sure how to make it?  No time to purchase the two resources mentioned in this post?  Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store to purchase two versions of my template for just $3.50. All you’ll need to do is choose your 8.5 x 11 paper and copy!  The lines are provided for your students along with my very own tips for the inside!  (Please note- the product in my store can NOT have the same pictures on the inside as the example here on my blog due to copyright.  If you want the comics seen on the original project up top, you will need to purchase the two books mentioned and make the project from scratch with your students.)

You may also like this Testing SMART Bingo Game.  It’s available for whole class or groups.  My Test Taking Board Game is also a great test taking tips reviewing tool.

The three products come in a Test Taking Bundle for a 20% savings.

ETA:  So after the fact, I realized I said there were only 8 tips, but low and behold there are 10!  Too late to change the blog title now, or no one will EVER find it! :)

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