In addition to regular small groups, I began incorporating Lunch Bunch groups into my school counseling program during the 2010-11 school year. My goal was to connect with more students in a smaller group setting. Additionally, I wanted to address behavioral and emotional needs of students who needed more support outside of my regular classroom guidance lessons. I also wanted each grade level at my school to have several opportunities to participate. To do this, I created a schedule which would allow me to see two grade levels each week thus seeing each grade level every three weeks. This adds up to approximately 54 lunch bunches and LOTS of small group counseling opportunities nestled throughout the school year! Because I’ve worked at my school for eight years, I am aware of the most common needs teachers would like addressed during these sessions. I plan topics ahead of time and give the Lunch Bunch form to the grade level chairs to share with their teams during planning. Each teacher can send one student. If a teacher doesn’t have a student needing the topic, he or she will give the spot to another teacher to use. Additionally, there is a place on the form for the team to “override” my topic choice and submit their own in order to address a grade level issue or concern.
As state-wide testing time approaches, I have used Lunch Bunch Time to focus on test taking tips and strategies for grades 3-5. Some other Lunch Bunch topics include: anger management, telling the truth (integrity), good manners, self-confidence, staying on-task, and completing assignments to name a few. Reward Lunch Bunches are also held so teachers can acknowledge students who have been caught being good. I always share those names with the office and have them announced on Fridays with our weekly school-wide bucket fillers.
Stick around! I’ll be discussing Lunch Bunch in future blog posts. You are welcome to use this Lunch Bunch Form to schedule your lunch bunch groups. I punch holes in them and store them in a binder to document the groups I’ve held and the students who have attended.
I would love to hear how you facilitate lunch bunch. Connect with me!