Fresh Picks for 7/16/14

ORGANIC FOODI find great resources all the time, things I use right away or plan to soon, but often don’t have time to blog about them. So I’ve decided to go ahead and share them here in a regular series called Fresh Picks for School Counselors. (Oh how I’d love to say weekly series, but, well, you know . . .) They may turn up again in a later blog post when I’ve incorporated them into a lesson, activity, or have done some serious thinking about them, but until then (if there is a then), here they are as is. I’d love to hear how you use them! I hope you enjoy the first harvest!
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#ReachHigher Photo Project: A Fun Way to Share & Advocate

photo-49The #ReachHigher Photo Project is a fun and easy way for school counselors to collectively show our dedication to helping our students become successful learners so that they can achieve success in college or other post-secondary training. All you need is a goal, paper and marker/printer, and a camera! Write your goal, which should be specific and related to college readiness, on the paper, have someone take a picture of you holding your goal paper, and email it to the address linked below by July 20, 2014. School counselors at all levels are encouraged to participate. If you are an elementary counselor, do not despair! Tons of what we do is related to college readiness, even if it is not college specific! Continue reading

Michelle Obama Speaks To and For School Counselors

Photo credit: ASCA

Photo credit: ASCA

Here it is! Your chance to see the First Lady thanking and clapping for you on this video of Michelle Obama speaking at ASCA14! One of the most exciting experiences in my career was being in the audience for Michelle Obama’s speech about school counselors and the work we do. It was (and still is, thanks to video) engaging, moving, and so, so validating! The ASCA staff clearly did a great job of making sure that the First Lady and her staff understood what daily life is like for school counselors and how much our students need us. I laughed, cried, and was simply amazed that this was happening. I think you will be too.
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A is for #ASCA14, and Also for Advocacy

EasyI am still processing all the wonderfulness that was #ASCA14: amazingly dedicated (and fun) colleagues, inspiring sessions, meeting blog and Twitter friends in real life, making connections for future collaboration, picking up some school counselor swag, oh, and did I mention seeing and hearing Michelle Obama speak about, thank, and REALLY GET school counselors????!!!! I’ll have more to share with you as all the new info and resources settle in and percolate, but I don’t want to wait to tell you about the super-easy advocacy opportunity we have right now. Here’s a simple but powerful way that you can advocate for school counseling to your local stakeholders about the role and appropriate responsibilities of school counselors, and the need for reasonable, effective caseloads and quality professional development and training.
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Enjoying ASCA14, Whether You’re There or Not

photo-23By this time next week ASCA14 will be over and you and I will be either (1)  overtired basking in the afterglow of attending and/or (2) feeling good about everything you got out of it, even if you didn’t go. Whether you’re going to be there in the flesh or not, you can still join in and feel a part of it all and get some great ideas and resources. I will be there, and hope to meet you. Some of the School Counseling by Heart readers I met last year have become my very good friends! That one time, at ASCA Camp . . . Continue reading

Kid-Created Career Trading Cards

Kids have lots of fun at Career Day, and are exposed to a lot of new possibilities, but how can we be sure that they’ve truly understanding the concepts that we want them to learn? More and more in recent years, I’m incorporating ways for kids to demonstrate their learning as part of the units I teach. Sure, it takes additional class time, but it also enriches and deepens their understanding and, when they have the opportunity to share their work with others, that of their classmates. It also helps me assess their learning and the efficacy of my lessons. One example of this is the Career Trading Cards assignment, which serves as a follow-up to Career Day, provides a way to address Common Core writing standards within counseling lessons, and results in some very nifty, personalized thank-you gifts for our Career Day guests.    Continue reading

Coordinating Career Day

career-1Career Day is one of the highlights of the technology-based CareerSmarts unit, but for the event itself and the lesson right before it, students use face-to-face interpersonal skills instead of using technology. They do, however, build on what they have already learned through technology about multiple intelligences, interests, and careers, and gather more information that will help them create their digital final projects. Continue reading

Fourth Grade Lessons for Sexual Abuse Prevention

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 3.26.13 PMMy sexual abuse prevention unit for fourth grade consists of two lessons that focus on how to recognize and report about grooming and sexual abuse. Each lesson begins with a read-aloud story in which a child grapples with complex uncomfortable feelings and how to tell about what has happened. Follow up activities help students think about why it might be hard to tell; understand how telling can change how a kid is feeling; figure out ways to tell, even when you’re feeling very uncomfortable; and practice telling about unsafe or uncomfortable situations Continue reading

Where Do I Begin? Identifying Behavioral Targets

we Raise your hand if you’ve ever worked with a kid whose behavior was complicated. Yeah, I thought so. Now, raise your hand if you’ve ever had staff describe behaviors using terms like “disrespectful,” “rude,” “unfocused,” or any other vague descriptors and then wanted you to be able to fix everything quickly. Raise your hand one more time if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to begin! Join the club! We’ve all been there. I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve had a conversation like this: Continue reading

SuperCounselor Saves The Future of School Counseling

SuperCounselor & minions-1I haven’t seen SuperCounselor in ages – she’s been M.I.A!  Well, not missing, exactly, more like keeping her nose to the grindstone, her head down, her pedal to the metal – choose your cliché – she’s been working hard! She’s just been so, so overwhelmed busy at school and trying desperately to find some kind of work/life balance, that she hasn’t had the oomph for heroics (beyond the regular ones she performs every day at school, anyway.) But never fear, even on her most tired, rung-out-iest days, SuperCounselor can always be counted on to leap to the rescue!  Continue reading