Friday, February 6, 2015

School Counseling Week--Day 4 & 5

Should have planned ahead and had these all written and ready to post, but, well you know how it goes.
Day 4 was spent in the classroom pretty much all day.  I missed my 2nd grade classes on Wednesday and wanted to make up that time so we squeezed them in on Thursday.
We started our hands for the Kindness Challenge world record.  It was so fun to see the kids get excited about kindness!  We were invited to do this because we participated in The Great Kindness Challenge Week sponsored by Kids for Peace.  Can't wait to see all the finished hands decorated and ready to mail off!

Today was about TEAMWORK in 4th grade.  We tried building a house of cards a couple weeks ago.  It didn't get real far except flat!  So, I decided to show them the only thing I could think of as a tutorial which was of course The Brady Bunch episode where they built a card house.  (How come we don't have good shows like this on TV anymore?)  After watching, the kids decided to work as a class building the house of cards.  I think if we were snowed in at school, this would keep them busy all day because they love a challenge!

I got to thinking that TEAMWORK is what makes a school counseling program work!  I am so grateful that the wonderful people I work with help me in helping kids!  
Bus drivers let me know if there are kids having trouble getting along on the bus or maybe who don't want to get on the bus.  Custodians build relationships with kids by taking time to help them out if something isn't working right even if they take them on as a junior janitor!
Secretaries greet kids and help solve problems when they need to get in contact with a parent.
The school nurse sand I work very closely together---repeat visitors usually have something going on from anxiety to issues with other kids or at home.
Teacher associates seem to be the ones who get bombarded at recess with all types of problems from seeing kids having difficulty finding friends to anger issues.
Teachers know their kiddos so well that they can tell if something isn't right.  That is when we work together to figure out what is going on and what type of help they need.
Principals are the ones who follow up with discipline so the counselors are not put in that role.

I am also grateful that I get to work with 3 of my sisters in the same building I work in!  Cool or what?!
Today I twisted my twin sisters arm to let her 2nd grade class be a part of the music video I was working on.  I love writing parodies that can tell others about what I teach or do.  Thanks kids for being in the video during your milk break today!
I hope you enjoy the video too!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

School Counseling Week--Day 3

Every year during School Counseling Week our AEA's put on a great PD day for counselors, it's called FEAST at the Forum!  We are actually treated like royalty thanks to the National Guard and all of those who put so much work into making this a great day for us!  One of the best perks for the day is getting to hear all the presenters (mostly counselors) share great things that they are doing.  I currently use so many of the ideas I have learned at FEAST and have made some great connections with other counselors too!

This year I twisted the arm of another counselor (it didn't take much) to present a session with me.  We decided to do our session on MOVEMENT IN THE CLASSROOM and the BENEFITS!  So I now present to you:
Get Yo' Body Movin'
presented by Laurel Klaassen (me) and Chelsey Town (my counselor friend)

Go Noodle is a great resource for brain breaks, yoga and just plain fun for kids.  AND IT'S FREE!!!
*You might need to help teachers get this set up in their classrooms on their computers so they are more apt to use it when you aren't there.

Benefits of Movement:
(source:  Dr. Martha Eddy,
Why move?
1. Our bodies are designed to move.
2. Some people think best when they are moving.
3. To engage diverse types of learners fully--kinesthetic learners or sleepy ones!
4.  To deepen understanding.
5. To experience a subject from a new perspective, using kinesthetic intelligence.
6.  To develop creativity.
7. To foster community.
8. To rest, recuperate and refocus.
9. To invigorate the body -- exercise for health.
10. To have FUN!

(Source:  Find Something To Do by Jim Cain)
Have students stand in teams of 4 people in a line, hands on the shoulders of the person in front of you.  Introduce the following 3 commands:
Change-- the person at the front of the bobsled team moves to the rear of the same bobsled.
Switch -- team member two trades with team member four.
Rotate -- everyone individually turns 180 degrees.

In round one, invite teams to listen and follow your commands.  Then give teams two minutes to practice the change, switch and rotate commands on their own.
In round two, stack more commands together (change-change-switch-rotate).
In round three (the final round) add one more command (Loose Caboose -- where everyone scatters and must quickly become part of a new bobsled team of four).

I was fortunate to have our county extension youth specialist come to our school to do some programming with our students.  He did a program called Ricochet and incorporated TOOBEEZ into the program.  The kids L.O.V.E.D. them!  It got all the kids up and moving and working together.  Try the following activity which could be done using PVC pipe if you don't have TOOBEEZ.
The Helium Stick is such a fun activity and really pulls a group together to solve some problems. Click on the title to find out the directions.

Look at the awesome volunteers who were trying to get the helium stick to go down to the floor.


Zenergy Chime
Be sure to order your Zenergy Chime (just google it and find the best price).  These are so helpful to quiet kids quickly.  It's like the "mute" button!  Once you train each classroom, you can use this in the hall or anywhere and it will quiet the kids FAST!
Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube
Yoga on Go Noodle

We hope you can enjoy the information we presented.  Of course, if you are reading this and were not present, you will have to gather up some of your friends and try these out!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

School Counseling Week--Day 2

Today my word is MINDSET.  There is so much out there right now that discusses mindsets.  As counselors (and my fellow educators) we address mindsets all the time.  Today we were talking about anger in 1st grade classrooms.  I asked the kids what pushed their buttons---an anger button is when something happens that causes an immediate anger, just like when we push a button and something automatically happens.  We said that there are consequences that go right along with those immediate choices we make when our buttons are pushed.  We talked about the Super Bowl and players getting into a fight and then getting kicked out of the game---consequences for even adults!

So, what do counselors do?  We help kids with their mindsets.  When they are struggling with behaviors, we can talk about their belief system and how we can change or alter that to bring them more success.  Of course, we use kid friendly language that they understand.

What is a mindset that you might need to alter?  I know I can think of a few for myself that would help me to be more positive and feel better as a person.
For example, I found out yesterday that I have a stress fracture in one of the bones in my foot.  Lucky for me (the doctor said) that it is my left foot so it won't affect my driving.  Ha!  Guess who is a 2 foot driver?!  Yep, me!  Guess who is learning to be a 1 foot driver?  ME!

Monday, February 2, 2015

School Counseling Week 2015--Day 1

Wow!  It is National School Counseling Week and this has me totally pumped!
This week I am going to share with you what I do as a school counselor.  I am also going to share a word for the day and a challenge for you.

My husband and I have a belief that we share:  If you don’t enjoy your job, then find something else!  I feel so blessed to be able to go to school each day and work with a great staff and awesome kids!  I never really know how my day is going to go---I can have the best made plans but if there is a student who is in need of my help, that day can change rather quickly.  As counselors we have different ways to “serve” our students:
Counseling Curriculum--
this is the planned out deliberate lessons that we take to our students.  I mostly do this in the classroom lessons I teach.  I L.O.V.E. this part of being a counselor because I get to see ALL the kids!
Individual Student Planning--
This is when we help students plan out their personal goals to guide them in their future.
This is exciting because you get to hear what kids dreams are and help them figure out how to get there!
Responsive Services--
This is when a student has an immediate need, possibly even a crisis situation.  I can help students individually or in small groups.

Even though it is the students who receive these services, it may be parents, school staff or community resources that work together with me to meet the needs of students.


My challenge for the day is to find a way to serve others.  This can be little things like helping someone who is struggling with math or just being a friend to someone.  Find someone to serve today.  You will be amazed at the positive feeling you will receive by serving others.