Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dear Readers, we are about to get personal.

Here's what you may know about me:
*I am in love with pitbulls.
* That love is thanks to my two babies, Brooklyn and Boss.
* I have an entire instragram (@brooklynandboss) dedicated to my obsession to them.
*I'm a school counselor.
* My love of pineapples hit 100 thanks to HIMYM and Psych (counting down the minutes to that return).
Brooklyn and Boss
* I love working with students more than anything in the world.
* I was born in England.
* I am a tv addict.

Here's what you may not know about me:
* I actually love cats equally to dogs. In fact, until I got Brooklyn I was a die hard cat lady.
* My first career was actually in health and fitness (so many jokes associated with my last name).
* I struggle with depression...



Brooklyn keeping up appearances
Mental health, oddly, seems to still be a bit taboo. I still struggle with pretending I have my life together - the "keeping up appearances " pressure is real. (Side note: that's an excellent tv show).
This summer I am studying for the ASCA anxiety and trauma certifications. Trust me, the irony is not lost on me. I study and read and investigate, and I still can't seem to understand why this topic is so taboo. The stats and studies all tell me I'm not alone, yet I feel so alone.

So tonight I write this post, because I know I'm not alone.


Rooted in Reading- Attendance Small Grps

This year I got to work with Tiffany Buckles (not Buckles for too much longer 😊 ), an incredible intern from CNU. Attention all HR departments- if she ever applies to your district hire her immediately.

We called ourselves the "counseling girls" (an ode to the amazing Gilmore Girls) and I gotta admit I think we were an amazing team. We combined my addiction of children's book/biblotherapy and her wisdom/love of owls and thus the "Whoooo Loves School" small groups were formed. I can't brag on these groups enough, but the data speaks for itself!








Read more about our "Whoooo Loves School" small group.....

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Books galore



This holiday weekend I got lost in a sea of heaven- aka I went to a bookstore. Union Street books on Market Square is my dream. I want to own a small book store like Union Books one day, but until then I'll draw attention to myself walking around taking pictures of books and sitting in the kids section reading (no wonder I'm single!).

Here were some books that got added to my summer reading list (I need a 2 month extension on summer):

This book is going to on my "to buy" list because it would be a great way to introduce choice theory or the connection between feelings, thoughts, and actions. It'll partner perfectly with the Counselor Keri Interactive Notebook. 

I mean what parent can't relate to this! I know I can (see embarrassing pictures of how I slept last night below):

It's like Page Six in a book!
I loved Girl On A Train and Gone Girl, so I am pretty sure it's a given I'll love this too.
Synopsis thanks to Google: A father coming to terms with his divorce and custody battle and his new life with his boys. I am intrigued.
Named one of the 9 Most Addictive Books of 2017 (So Far) by Kirkus, a Happily Ever After read by USA Today, and one of Entertainment Weekly's Best New Books. - Wow that's an impressive amount of peer pressure to read this book.
Award winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson is one of the best YA adult authors of our time (in this bloggers opinion). I bet you already own her book Each Kindness (no you don't- stop reading for a second and get it here.) "The book was written as an adult book, unlike many of the author's previous books and titles. NPR wrote that the book was "full of dreams and danger."
I am a former dancer so enough said!
Plus it's a graphic novel! "Mood swings"- oh Josephine I feel ya!
Adding this to back to school reading list! 
A little golden gem. 
Synopsis (thanks Google) "This debut novel from US cartoonist Terri Libenson follows two girls who could not seem more different: shy, observant, wallflower Emmie; and loud, popular, cheery Katie. What both girls do have in common are their strong feelings for the same boy, Tyler Ross. Then Emmie's very private, very embarrassing scribbles fall into the wrong hands ." I mean what YA can't relate to this! I remember losing too many notes, because they were folded into tight little envelopes and thus tiny. I didn't need my crush to know that we are getting married- yes huh MASH said so- sheesh. 
I am that adult that watches "Pretty Little Liars" and "Riverdale" proudly.  So when EW.com described it as  “Pretty Little Liars meets The Breakfast Club” I knew I was in.
I am sucker for books about unexpected friendships!
Did you know I love children's books? I know right?! Well here's some even more shocking news- I like dogs too. Ok kidding aside, I can't wait to get my hands on a book about John Newberry and the birth of children's books.
I've seen this book floating around Instagram and FB a lot lately. I wish I was a classroom teacher so I could host a shark week like Mrs. Lemons from  Step Into 2nd Grade or even partner this book with some cool STEM activities .
Jackie O- enough said.
How fun would it be to do a book tasting with this book and then ask students to create a story about "how to be a super student?"
The original is a favorite among my ELL students so this is also on my must buy list. Maybe we can read it and then take a siesta.
Enjoy friends:
 

Friday, March 31, 2017

It's a friendship easter egg hunt!

Do you ever see easter eggs on sale after the holidays for pennies? I do, but then I also buy them =)
They've been sitting in a closet for a while and my amazing intern finally got some use of of them.

In each easter egg we put a scenario or quality of a good or bad friend. Students had to go around the room and find the eggs. Then open the egg, read the scenario, and sort them into a basket at the front of the room.



*Tip: we had about 40 eggs. So we told each student to find one and then help a friend find an egg so that everyone had a chance.


Don't Be A Bossy Bear


Today we did a lesson in being bossy!

First we read this book, which I love because my dog is Boss and I often call him Bossy Bear.


When reading this story we stopped at the "oh" page. I used to always fear not reading an entire book, but through a lot of encouragement through my librarian friends I have embraced the idea of not reading the entire book.

So after stopping on this page we discussed what he might be thinking. If the author had added a thought bubble, what would it say? You could give students a page or paper with a thought bubble and have them write it down if you want.

Here are some other books you might like to use:



Follow up videos:

Here is a very bossy frog that the students can follow along to:


This is a very cute video with a very bossy sister bear:


Practical practice:
Follow it up with giving a direction for example- passing the crayons, and have students act it out in a bossy or non bossy way!

What would you do to address bossiness?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Mushy Manners

I've heard a lot of talk about bad manners in our cafeteria. So I pulled together some book resources for our teachers to check out. They can read them during our morning meetings or during a rainy indoor recess.


What is your favorite book on manners?

Saving Sam!

I have an amazing intern this semester! She's really become my right hand man and is a natural for elementary. So it's no surprise that she just created a winning lesson for 3rd grade. We have been talking all year about perseverance, mindset, and goal setting. So this was a perfect lesson to review and refresh on all three topics. 
Here it is:

First, she created an awesome Power Point. It introduces perseverance with a great Bruno Mars video, that even our 3rd graders asked to watch again.


It also highlighted some famous "failures." 

Here are her talking tips: Helpful Tips for PowerPoint…. Who are those people?

Walt Disney: The man who gave us Disney World and Mickey Mouse. His first animation company went bankrupt. He was fired by a news editor because he lacked imagination. Legend has it he was turned down 302 times before he got the money to create Disney World


J.K Rowling The author of the Harry Potter series didn’t magically become wealthier than the Queen of England. Coming from poverty, she wrote the first book in the series on an old typewriter only to be turned down by more than ten publishers. A year later, a publisher named Barry Cunningham agreed to publish her book, but suggested she get another job because children’s books do not typically lead to making a lot of money.

Next we challenged them to play "Saving Sam".

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

It's NSCW 17!

 

It's National School Counselor Week! 

It's time to celebrate to advocate. I had a wonderful plan for the week, and then illness hit and our county closed. So I am celebrating some of this week from home (is there any better gift?). But here is a brief outline of my original plan:



 First, I sent out a newsletter with a daily activity or giveaway for my teachers. I also printed this wonderful infographic by the TN School Counseling Association on the back about how we became the wonderful school counselors we are today.





Monday
School Counselors think their students are soda-lightful. 
 Thanks to the Middle School Counselor for this idea. I set out her adorable sign and some soda's in work room for a treat. 

Parent Workshop- 
I hosted a parent workshop on stress/anger management. Each parent received a goodie bag for coming. The bags included hangouts, brochures, pencils for journaling, stress/fidget toys, bubbles, stickers for reward charts, etc. I also had tons of books for parents to check out. I will follow this up with a thank and you and links to more resources.  








Tuesday
I love ...
I love being a school counselor because my students rock. Why do you love having a school counselor? I put one sign outside my office and printed copies of the sign for teachers to complete with their class/grade level team. Every class that sends me a picture or shares with me will get a special treat.  

Wednesday
Reach Higher
Counselors encourage students #reachhigher! Wear your favorite college gear and ask your students what they want to be during morning meeting.  
I also created this hall display with my amazing intern, about how counselors help during each stage- elementary, middle, high school, college, and beyond. 





 







Morning Meeting Day- 
I will (or had hoped to) visit classrooms during morning meetings this month to read this wonderful book. I hoped to share with them why I love working with them and ask them what they love/are grateful for.
Thursday

 Take time to de-stress. I had bubble wrap from an old move so I created little stress reliving goodies for the teachers.


Counselors "chip" in. I have been very focused on helping my admin. understand my role this year, so I created a little "chip in" handout that explains my job. I can easily staple this to a bag of chips and bam. 

Friday
Mystery Reader

Each month I put a character ed. mystery reader book on our Canvas system, what teachers use to watch the news. I reminded teacher to  watch the Character Education mystery reader video. I asked classes to guess and vote on who they think the mystery reader is for February. If they E-mail their guess (1 per class) and I will put the correct answers in a drawing for a prize or give each class a surprise.  This month our book is One.


 Need more ideas?
Visit the Elementary School Counselor Idea Exchange Group on Facebook.


Check out Pinterest.
And....
Is there any better way to say " I love you" than with a sale?