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Sunday, January 27, 2013

You are of Value!!

I began another Friendship group last week and was so stinkin' excited about this activity we did!
It is from the Girls In Real Life Situations book (I talked about how amazing it is in a last post):
We started out by passing around our Kimochi and introducing ourselves and saying something unique about ourselves. It's funny how such simple things like holding a stuffed animal make it sooo fun!!

supplies and check in scale

Before the girls came in, I had printed off some coin pictures on yellow paper and had a treasure box ready. We talked about what our self esteem is and how we can impact it and how others impact it. I told them that it's good to see our weaknesses and struggles and things we want to work on  but it is also super duper important to focus in on our "treasures." We described "treasures" as things we are good at or things that make us special. Each girl took out 3 coins from our treasure box.
They then had the option to draw or write what their treasures are. We shared them with the group and added them to the box or they could take them home in an envelope they decorated. They loved this and it just melted my heart to see their smiles when they read their coins aloud to the group!!

I also spent a little time today working on a FREEBIE that I plan on getting printed pretty big at my local Walgreens and hanging (and possibly framing) in my office!

You can download your very own here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Counselor-Words

I also spent some time creating a little activity packet for the book A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue...I so CAN NOT wait to use it with our kinders and firsties who are in desparate need of this little lesson!!!

This can be found here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Bad-Case-of-Tattle-Tongue-Activity-Packet

I hope to craft it up this week because I have seen so many cute ideas on fellow counseling blogs! I am also super excited about a solution focused training I will be going to on Thursday by Dr. Linda Metcalfe! Hope you all have a great week!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

So many kiddos...so little time!

I have been so stinkin' busy that I haven't been able to post as much as I would like! Our sweet little boy had the flu and it was pretty bad for awhile but he is all better now! 
Then me and my daughter enjoyed some fun shopping and manicures!
So I am super happy to be back and everyone healthy and things back to normal!

How many of you have oodles of kiddos to see individually? I know that at my campus I do and I am sure most of you do, too!!! With guidance, group counseling, lunch bunch, character council (which I will have in a later post) it can be a bit overwhelming but I love it SO much and as counselors it is a huge part of our job! I have a binder with all my consent forms organized by grade level tabs and from there I have it organized by student's last names. This works so well for me and helps me to see my case load by grade level. I also have a log sheet with the student's name and it has a table and I jot down the dates that I see them. This has come in handy this year!!! I don't keep any notes just dates so I have a record that I am seeing them and when.
I recently made this little form below to help me figure out who I will see and when. I make a weekly schedule which I will post this week but as I am sure you know...our picture perfect schedules don't always work out. So this little life saver helps me plan my individual sessions when things are changing. Here is a blank one for you to check out:

I always use a pencil because it may change when unexpected things pop up. I then highlight their name once I see them and document it in my handy dandy binder. It may seem like a lot of extra work to some people but it works for me. It's like a to do list but for my case load. You can find this freebie at:

Please feel free to share any ideas that work for you on here or on my fb page which you can like by clicking on the left side of this blog!

I am thankfully off for MLK, Jr. and will spend it taking my kiddos to dr. appointments but...get this...counselors are off on Tuesday in my district! Yippee!! So be watching for more freebies and some units/packets to purchase because I hope to work on some on my lil' vacation!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Freebie Posted!

Here are the Rules of Confidentiality freebie I promised, I finally have it uploaded!!

I have been so stinkin' busy with a little guy with the flu and our recent "snow/sleet" day which turns Texas into shut down mode. It took me 3 and a half hours to get to work yesterday morning and luckily I had some Starbucks, instagram, and some good music to keep me entertained!

Here are some pictures of my office updated:
my character signs you can find in my tpt store (use the above link)

The super cute BE signs that I adore. I can't find the source...so if its yours or you know where it is from, please let me know. I would LOVE to share it with everyone!

This bulletin board set is actually part of an activity packet but I thought it was so cute and great for my younger ones! You can find it here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Way-I-Feel-Primary-Kit-to-teach-about-feelings-and-emotions. It is by www.simplysprouteducate.com and it's FREE!!!

my new confidentiality rules...it seems hard to see but in person it is pretty clear to read

I am gathering ideas and resources as I start up four new small groups and I am so excited!! I would have to say small group sessions is one of my Oh.So.Fav parts of counseling!!! I hope to post some things this weekend but in the meantime, what are some of your go to introductory activities for small groups? Please feel free to share!! I hope y'all have a great, warm week!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Confidentiality and Diversity Guidance Lesson

As a counselor, I want students to trust me and feel comfortable telling me ANYTHING! After all, that is part of my job! One thing that I always do before a counseling session (as I am sure all of us do) is refer to the rules of confidentiality. I have a set of posters near the table I use and I always make sure I ask kiddos if they understand or have any questions. I love this because I feel that it helps build the trust we have in each other and also it helps them know that there are instances that I have to repeat what they tell me...so it's all on the table. Today, I made some super cute chevron signs that are similar to the ones I already have...just more color to match my office! I was having difficulty uploading this FREEBIE to Teachers Pay Teachers but will work on it and post the link on The Stylish School Counselor's facebook page. Which you can like here"

Here is a peek at what it looks like!

With MLK, Jr. day coming up, I have been looking for ideas for great guidance lessons on diversity but I wanted something easy to understand and hands on. I combined two ideas and it ended up working out great and the students LOVED it!

For K-2, I read the book What I Like About Me! by Allia Zobel Nolan.

This ideas came from the fabulous School Counselor's Chronicle! You can find her lesson here: http://www.schcounselorschronicle.com/2012/02/what-i-like-about-me.html
For 3rd-5th grades, I read Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport. This is an amazing book and the kids absolutely loved it!
After we read the stories, we discussed the book. For K-2, we focused more on how they are special and unique and had them brainstorm things they liked about them and their classmates. For 3-5, we talked about what it means to celebrate diversity and how being different is a good thing. The students had some wonderful conversations.

After our books and discussions, each student received a puzzle piece like this:
The kids then wrote their first and last name, drew a picture of themselves and decorated! I told the kids that we were doing puzzle pieces because when you put a real puzzle together all the pieces are different but when they are together they make something amazing! The older ones thought this was quite clever. They really enjoyed the chance to color! : )

I hope to get the bulletin board together soon! I hope you all have a great week and stay warm in this cold weather. It is in the 40's in Texas, so that means FREEZING to us!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I HEART Donors Choose!

I am sure many of you have heard of Donor's Choose....if you haven't you MUST check it out! It is amazing. It's almost like a fundraising site for you and your counseling program or classroom. You can ask for donations for anything from games or books to smart boards and ipads.


I created a project over the Christmas break and it was funded within a day of it being posted! I was SO excited! I found most of it from Kaplan's website.

Today, our office manager rolled my goodies in and I was beyond excited!!! I literally yelled, "YAY!" and started tearing boxes open. She was laughing and asked if this was how I am at Christmas. Here's a picture of what I got today and I put them to use within 30 minutes!!!
Responsibility, Character, and Respect BINGO...I used the Responsibility Bingo in a Good Choices small group session about 30 minutes after I got it and the kids loved it!!!!

Bullies, Victims, and ByStanders board game. I will be using this in small group or maybe playing it with some students that struggle with bullying issues.

Character posters for the hall

all the good stuff....including a craft keeper to organize all of my color paper and card stock

This was full of books on bullying and character....awesome

me and my excitement

awesome posters and K-2 books on character (sharing, kindness, etc)
I can't wait to use it all!!! Go check out donors choose, you have nothing to lose...only great resources to gain!!!

I hope you have a great rest of the week and I will be posting another freebie this week, so be on the lookout for that! : )

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Character Posters and Back to School We Go!

Right now, I feel excited, overwhelmed, and a little sad all rolled into one! I am excited to get back to work and see my kiddos and take pictures of things to blog on here and just dive into work! I feel a bit overwhelmed with all the to do lists I have to get taken care of when I get back. Of course, I am sad because I have enjoyed every bit of the break with my sweet kiddos and my husband (a PE teacher) so we had a lot of time together and I sure will miss it!

This afternoon, after baking banana bread and catching up on Hart of Dixie (my new fav show), I was brainstorming something cute and decorative for my office that would be meaningful! So I created some character words with super cute chevron and little frames. You can find it in my Teachers Pay Teachers store...for only $1.50. This is my first time to "try" to sell something so we will see. So feel free to check it out here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Character-Word-Posters
Of course, here is a picture of one of them, there are a total of 6 and I hope to make much more!!!

Also, I would like to share with you all my personal blog which has updates on my crazy life:

Have a wonderful week and please be on the lookout for more!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

No Interruptions and Some Freebies!!!

When I started at the campus I am at, I wanted to be a lil' beacon of positivity and help. I never wanted to say no to taking on a task or helping someone in need. Yet, after awhile people thought it was okay to interrupt counseling sessions which equals no bueno to me or my students. So I quickly created a cute door poster that I attached ribbon to so I could easily flip over outside my door. It has made a world of difference. I have two options! One from last year and one from this year!

You can download your own copy for free here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Counseling-in-Progress-Door-Sign

Find it here for free: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Come-on-In-Welcome-Sign

I just glued the come on in to one side of scrapbook paper and the session in progress to the other side, laminated, hole punched the top, added ribbon and hung it on a command strip hook. I will try to post pictures of mine at work soon. Sorry I am home on break!
You can find the counseling in progress sign here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Counseling-in-Progress-Sign

Another way that helps me in my counseling program is to give out appointment cards. I was using some cute lil cards I had made on vista print but after awhile it was easier to just print some. I don't have to use them too much because most of my regulars automatically come at their day and time but just in case...I give them these reminders. I had originally made it smaller but kids kept losing them and for some reason have kept up with this size. Only bummer is they print two to a page but like I said I haven't had to use them for all my students.

I don't know about all you other sweet counselors out there but I am enjoying my last couple of days of winter break! I head back Monday! Have a wonderful weekend and don't forget to follow Stylish School Counselor on blogger and on facebook!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Music and Counseling

I recently went to a counseling conference that my large, urban district put together. It was amazing!!! Two fellow counselors in our district shared a pretty good presentation on using music in counseling. Being a past Kinder and 1st Grade teacher, I often used songs in the class and just sang my lil' heart out! I had used a couple of songs in counseling and I would love to share some with you! I know there are A LOT of good ones out there but these two happen to be my FAVS. These can be used in guidance or small group.....even individual!

I have actually used this with a Friendship group! Along with that we used the Ah-mazing book above Girls in Real Life Situations which I use quite often. You can find it on Amazon for about $38 but it is SO worth it!!

We looked at the lyrics and discussed what we thought she could be talking about (bullying, girl drama, mean friend, boyfriend/girlfriend trouble).  We then talked about a time in our lives when someone made us feel that way. What did we do? How did we feel? It was a great conversation starter for the group!
(NOTE: some of the latter part of the lyrics are a bit inappropriate for my elementary kiddos so I cut the song short and didn't put those lyrics on their sheet...always listen to the song and read the lyrics FIRST. I didn't show the youtube videos, I just played the song and they had a copy of the lyrics)!

Another song that I think is great for counseling is "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson. I had planned on using this song during Character Counts week. My plan that seemed so perfect in my head was that the school would come out of their classes and make a chain of kindness and character while the song played on the intercom. It didn't exactly turn out as planned due to a fire drill and some other events that day but I hope to do it next year!

And before I go, I have to share my goodies from the counseling conference that I went to...I am still figuring out the Kimochi but it seems like fun! And can you believe I didn't have these books? It should be against the law for a counselor to not  have these...haha! I hope to make some fun activities to go with these stories soon!

 Thanks for stopping by and please don't forget to follow and like The Stylish School Counselor on facebook...what are some songs you use in your counseling program???

To Do Lists and Organization

Many people say that I can be a little crazy when it comes to being organized. Many of those people are the people I work with. I feel to run a successful counseling program, a big part is being organized. I have a binder for everything that is labeled and ready to go and I always have running to do lists to make sure that I don't miss a detail! Here is a picture of what my "to do list" looks like. It may be too busy but it's cute and works for me! : )

I am giving this as my first freebie on my TPT store, you can get your own copy here:

I hope to start creating and adding much more!

I also downloaded this stinkin' cute feelings pack I will most likely use with pre-k to 1st grade students on feelings. It's absolutely adorable!!!


Please be on the lookout because I will be posting more this week! What are some ways you stay organized? I would love to hear them!!!