P.S. There's a FREEBIE at the bottom of this post - Happy School Counseling Week!
Happy school counseling week! Thank you for everything that you do to help kids, schools, and parents. You truly make a difference. In keeping with tradition, I have created some fun memes. Feel free to pin, share, text them around to your friends. If you do, please link back to this post.
P.S. There's a FREEBIE at the bottom of this post - Happy School Counseling Week!
One of my favorite ways to celebrate school counseling week is to give out stickers! You can read a whole post on how I do that here. You can also download some super cute stickers for FREE on my TPT store.
I am excited to share my monthly lessons of character for February! The character trait is courage and for those in a PYP school, the learner profile attribute is Communicator. You can see the January lessons here. When writing these lesson plans, I had too many ideas that I just couldn't leave out! Each lesson is designed in a similar format:
Kindergarten: Courage My Way
In this lesson, students explore how they can apply the skills learned in the example of the historical leader in their own lives. If your students are able, they can write a sentence at the bottom of the page or you can write the sentence for them. This is a great way to personalize the story of a historical leader. In this example, we used the story of Florence Nightingale. This entire lesson is available for free in my TPT store.
Courage is more than doing something scary! In this game, students draw a card and decide whether the card describes courage. If yes, the class gets a balloon. If no, the teacher gets a balloon. The page with the most balloons wins! Spoiler alert- there are more cards with courage than without so the class should always win! Of course, our PYP friends are included with a set of communicator cards as well.
Second graders create a balloon to show how they can show courage or be a communicator. When they're done, add a string on the balloons to create a great bulletin board. These look so adorable when you have a whole class (or grade level) set.
This lesson goes well with the kindness tree post a few weeks ago. Let the kids do the hard thinking on how to show kindness! What a great discussion too- why does kindness take courage? Why is kindness a tool of the communicator? I would love to be a fly on the wall to listen to every single conversation these two questions start!
You know I love a good role play! Role plays are only as good as your expectations. I like to be really clear about what is expected in a role play and the rubric helps to do that. When kids know exactly what's expected of them, they really rise to the occasion!
The fifth graders in your school are your leaders. Help them to spread the word about historical leaders who showed courage and communication. If you can, allow students to research the historical leaders included in the lessons and then create posters to encourage others to act courageously or be a communicator. If you don't have enough computers to allow the students to research online (using the links provided), you can print some materials for them to use.
All the Extras
These are simple, focused lessons. It is always my goal to provide you with all the information that you need to recreate on your own. If you prefer less planning (or better clip art and fonts), you can purchase these lessons as a bundle at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Each individual lesson can be purchased separately as well (links in headings).
Also included in the February set on TPT is a set of 20 quotes that exemplify courage, communicator, and kindness to use in morning announcements or newsletters. I've also created a reproducible update to send to parents and staff about the monthly lessons for both courage and communicator.
For January, we will be exploring self-discipline through goal setting. If you are a International Baccalaureate PYP school, I have also included the PYP Learner Profile attribute "thinker."
These are fun, interactive lessons that I really think your kids will love. Just in case you can't wait to find out the yearlong plan - here you go!
For this lesson, I really wanted to introduce the concept of actions that take you towards a goal and actions that take you away from a goal. I've worked with so many little ones that really struggle to see the connection between choices and consequences, and this seemed like a natural fit. In this lesson, the class works together in a cooperative game to try to reach the top of goal mountain. You could easily make this game by hand but if you would like the game ready-made, you can purchase here on TPT.
For my first graders, I wanted them to begin thinking about a goal that they would be interested in and then 2 steps for reaching that goal. It was important to me that they be able to write their own goal. This is a hard lesson for first graders but, with support, can be so valuable. Really, the goal doesn't matter - it can be to collect all the My Little Ponies in the world - just as long as the steps to reach that goal are related. In this example, my students are always concerned about beating their mile time in PE - our PE Coach is great about incorporating goal setting into his talks on fitness and health. This would also be a great lesson to do with star shaped die-cuts!
In this group activity, students will receive a baggie of cards that contain 5 steps to reach a goal. Working together, they sort the cards in order of completion. This activity is designed to get the kids thinking about order and purpose to reaching a goal. Once they have completed a set of cards, they can trade with another group and keep going!
Moving on up to Third Grade and working on independence! I don't know about you, but my students LOVE role plays. They literally cheer when they hear we are doing role plays in a lesson. Honestly, I love them too - so fun AND some great independent skill building. Here, students will work with their group to plan a role play that includes a goal and five steps to achieve that goal. I've even created a rubric to help students know what is expected of them.
Let the creativity flow! Fourth graders have most likely already begun some goal setting in their learning. To expand this concept, they can create a cartoon showing an identifiable goal and three steps to reach this goal. I have always been impressed over the years how creative kiddos can get when creating a cartoon. This is one of my favorites for sure.
In my district, fifth graders are getting ready to enter the world of middle school as 6th graders. January is a great time to start focusing on their ultimate goal - lockers and independent lunch (kidding- mostly). I've created an awesome SMART Goal printable that you are welcome to use in your office or during a SMART Goal lesson - it's FREE in my store. Below, I have an example of the fillable worksheet I created to go with the 5th grade lesson.
Whew! I knew that was going to be a long post! These are simple, focused lessons. It is always my goal to provide you with all the information that you need to recreate on your own. If you prefer less planning (or better clip art and fonts), you can purchase these lessons as a bundle at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Each individual lesson can be purchased separately as well (links in headings).
Happy Veteran's Day! Thank you to all our current and former service members who sacrifice so much for our country. I was lucky enough to visit a local elementary school and take part in their Heroes Day yesterday and met many service members who had come to visit. I teared up when I heard the kids sing their thank you song. It was a great visit.
It is fitting that I am headed to our state conference today, on Veteran's Day, because I will be presenting about supporting National Guard and Reserve Families. I am far from an expert but I organized a professional development for my district and wanted to share what I have learned. You check out all the resources we gathered here on our Padlet. I am also included my conference presentation below (may not be visible on mobile). Some of the slides are unique to the student information system used in North Carolina and may not be applicable elsewhere.
Check out this post featured on the TpT blog!
I love the idea of teaching students positive life lessons rather than a list of things they shouldn't do. Leadership is an essential skill to modern life. Whether you are a leader at work, in your community, or simply within your household, every person will need to take the lead at some point.
In some ways, leadership seems like a gift or talent. Certainly, some people are natural leaders and seem to have a certain je ne se qua about them. However, like all things, leadership skills can be taught and using great historical leaders is a great way to combine a little history and leadership into one lesson.
Lesson 1: Defining a Leader
For the beginning of the first lesson- we do a chalk talk. Students can walk around and write their thoughts on the following sentence stems:
Before they leave, class completes a ticket out. I have included my ticket out page for you here! Students can choose to write: I learned, I think, or I wonder.
Lesson Two: Non-violent Action
Non-violent action is not passive (that's where the word action comes in). Conflict is most often resolved by leaders within the conflict. Stepping up and solving conflicts peacefully is an important part of being a leader.
The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them self respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not think they had. Finally, it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality.
In this lesson, we create an anchor chart: How to be a Leader to Solve Problems. I let the kids brainstorm their ideas and make a list. If you're not familiar with anchor charts, here is a great explanation of anchor charts as a teaching tool.
After completing our anchor chart, I divide the class into groups for role plays. You can either assign each group a strategy from the chart or allow them to choose for themselves. I created a rubric to show the class what my expectations are for role plays.
Lesson Three: A History of Perseverance
All famous leaders have one thing in common -perseverance. Many kids today have one thing in common - a lack of perseverance.
After discussing the definition of perseverance, we complete the activity Famous Failures: You Can Quote Me. Each student has a piece of paper with a famous failure and a quote from this person. I tried to choose people from history that my students were likely to know and connect to.
Students can write a story, poem, play, song, or draw a picture or cartoon to share their thoughts on and ideas about the failure and quote. It's always amazing to see the powerful responses you get. Afterwards, students can share their ideas. This makes a great bulletin board as well!
You can re-create these lessons on your own or find everything together for you on Teachers Pay Teachers. Do you teach leadership with your little ones? What are some of your go-to activities?
Welcome to my blog where I talk about all things school counselor and encourage others to Counselor Up!
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