Here's the original post:
This #tbt is a little bit of a cheat because it only throws back to about 6 months ago. I have been working really hard on updating my products over on TPT and my Caterpillar Character Cards are the best example of this!
Here's the original post:
One of the most challenging things about working with kids is getting them to talk. I mean really talk. Like, not about minecraft. Kids aren't usually used to being self-reflective and that can make a counselor's job challenging. To help, I made an activity I call "character cards." I used 36 character words like "afraid" or "lonely." I then ask the student to sort them into three categories: like me, kind of like me, and not like me. This opens up a lot of discussion both during the sorting process and after. Because the character cards include both positive and negative traits, we can really see what a child thinks of themselves. It's a great activity and one I come back to again and again.
Now to share what the cards look like now!
I'm super proud of all the updates going on over there at Teachers Pay Teachers. It's so much fun to spend the extra time on making the products really great. Here are some other updates (click on the picture for the link):
Today's #tbt is an awesome game hack from a while back. Get ready, because I will be using it in an amazing friendship group post I have been working hard on. Expect to see that tomorrow! I just discovered the best counselor game hack- Chutes and Ladders. First of all, this game was one of my absolute favorites ever so I still love to play. The thrill of the ladders! The defeat of the chutes!
Anyway, I have recently been using the game as a great tool for managing angry or sad feelings. Each time we go down a chute, we say something that makes us angry/sad. Each ladder is a strategy that helps us to calm down. The kids love it, I love it - win!
What game hacks do you use? I've seen the Jenga conversation starters, but I am way too much of a neat freak to write on my Jenga pieces. I might have a problem. Maybe I should go see the counselor.
Oops where did #tbt go? I wanted to share this Girls Group post from the old blog. I just wrapped this group and am hoping to gather permission from parents to post the awesome video my girls made about relational aggression after finishing the book. In the meantime, here's what we did in our book club:
Oh, girl drama. We've lived it and now sometimes we live surrounded by it. If you're a school counselor, you spend at least a portion of every day dealing with girl drama. This is such a difficult topic to manage. Some days, I can remember that this is preparing our young girls for all the relationships that they will have as adolescents and adults. Other days, I just want to scream "Get over it! You'll be friends tomorrow!" Just kidding. Sort of.
While I have certainly implemented many mediation and conflict resolution interventions, I was looking for something that would teach new relationship skills and allow for real change. Enter the book club! My good friend, Angela Poovey, over at Life on the Fly, really introduced me to the book club concept and I love it.
I used the book The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss. In this group, we read a portion of the book and discuss the implications of the selection. We begin each lesson with a youtube video that relates to what we read previously. I put all the videos on a playlist here.
To begin, I assigned each girl in the group a character. They each received a piece of paper with the character's name on top and two columns: What they think, What others think. Here they wrote the impressions their character had about the other girls and what the other girls thought about their character. It was really great to see each student grab their pen and add to their paper while I was reading. I think that the character pages helped the girls in the group to really connect to the characters and relate to the story. It also kept them paying attention!
To end the group, we used a technique that I picked up doing the Bullying Specialist professional development through ASCA. In this technique, I empowered each of the girls to use resources to research ways to handle a fictitious problem. In my district, we use google docs. I created a google doc with different bullying resources and assigned one to each student. Outside of group, they researched their resource and input ideas for how to handle our fictitious problem. We then discussed their resources and ideas in the group.
You can check out all the lesson plans below (may not be visible on mobile). I hope that you find it helpful!
PS - Teachers LOVE book clubs because they incorporate reading skills and using resources to research a problem is so Common Core :) Have fun!
It's Thursday (for a few more hours), so I'm sharing my most popular post ever about Integrity from over on the old blog. Enjoy!
It's time to learn about Integrity! I've found that integrity is one of those words that kids have heard before but don't really understand. I wanted to teach this quarter's lessons about integrity in a way that challenged the kids to really think.
I started with some googling- you know: "integrity elementary lesson plans." I was surprised at how little I found! One of my pet peeves is lessons where the teacher/counselor introduces a concept and then we color a picture about it. Where's the challenge?
I am so happy with the lesson that unfolded! The kids had to think and think hard. Some of the kids had a hard time and needed help from their peers. Some of the kids were on the edge of understanding and had "aha" moments during our lesson. So. Great.
A lesson that is fun and creative but still requires thinking?? Yes, please! Hope you enjoy!
What we did:
Introduce the word integrity. Ask for definitions. Write the definition on the board: Integrity means doing the right thing even when no one is watching.
Read story of The Empty Pot. I didn't have the book so we watched this youtube video.
Discuss the book: Why did emperor give the children dead seeds? Why did Ping have an empty pot?
Integrity Flowers: Brainstorm ways that you can show integrity. Have students write the ways they show integrity on strips of colored paper. I hand-drew lines and copied so that students would know where to write. It looks best if they only write on one half of the strip. (HINT: have students write their initials on back and paperclip to the full page so you'll be ready for the next lesson).
Integrity Flowers: Glue a circle above the pot. I used the die-cut to make circles out of construction paper. Using glue stick: glue the ends of the strips of paper together but do not crease. This helps it stay "fluffy." Use glue stick to glue around circle and make petals. (HINT: some students took the entire 30 minutes to finish these steps and others finished more quickly. They can decorate the pot and around the page if they have extra time). If time allows: share your petals around your table.
You can purchase the worksheet and the materials here at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store!
I have decided to celebrate Throwback Thursday by bringing back old, popular posts from my school blog. Happy Thursday!
Do you have a personal anthem? A song that gets you ready to face a challenge, feel proud of who you are, or helps you feel motivated? I recently met with a group of students for lunch bunch on the topic of "self confidence." We focused on the personal anthem.
I introduced the topic by talking about a national anthem. What is the purpose of a national anthem? To share your pride in your country, to help you feel a part of a community, and to bring the nation together.
I was pleasantly surprised with how much my students "got" this. In fact, it was so successful that I replaced my normal stress lesson plan for my academic groups with the personal anthem.
Here are some personal anthems my students chose:
Brave by Sara Bareillos (the video is also definitely worth checking out!)
Happy by Pharrell Williams
Let It Go with Indina Menzel
First Time In Forever with Kristen Bell
Hall of Fame by Will.I.Am (does include one curse word starting with an H)
Roar by Katy Perry
Best Day of My Life by American Authors
Pompeii by Bastille
Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams
It was so much fun to listen to music and I think everyone left in a better mood. Enjoy!!
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