My Wonderful Website for the month of January is Maria Dismondy's website. She is a wonderful children's book author that develops great books for counselors and teachers. Check out my post about Maria's newest book...
I am so excited to be a part of a virtual book tour with many other counseling blogs. I want to start by thanking Maria Dismondy for allowing me to preview her new book, Spoonful of Sweetness. In my current job, I have the privilege to work with children as young as 18 months, so this book will fit into my counseling program perfectly.
This adorable book is a great way to teach very young children about core character traits. Many adults focus on toddlers' appearance instead of the child's behavior, and therefore, children are often praised for superficial reasons that the child really doesn't have any control over. It is important to teach good character at a young age, and then focus on praising children when we see them expressing the taught character traits. This book is a great psychoeducation tool for young children and parents of young children. It's a fun way to help children have great manners!
I encourage you to visit Maria Dismondy's website by clicking on the button above. Maria is a talented writer that produces great books to help counselors. I have used her book, Spaghetti in a Hotdog Bun, in many counseling groups and lessons. I know that I will do the same with her new book, Spoonful of Sweetness.
Choice - Kindergarten
That's Bad! That's Good! On Santa's Journey is a book that I am using to help teach my young students about choice. After reading this story, we talk about the fact that good and bad things happen. Then we discuss making good choices. I play a game with the students called Good Choice vs. Poor Choice. I say a choice out loud, if I say a good choice the students do a certain action and if I say a poor choice the students do another action. Check out the game below.
Giving - 1st-3rd Grade
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a classic book that can help teach children the true meaning of Christmas. After reading this story, the class brainstorms ways to give to others. I use an anchor chart to document the ideas. The poster can hang in the classroom to remind the students ways to give to others. This helps create a great classroom environment while teaching kids the true meaning of Christmas.
Grateful - 4th-6th Grade
Merry Un-Christmas is my favorite Christmas story. This is a great story that helps teach children not to take blessings for granted.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." - John 3:16
Storybird is a website that is made up of electronic books. You can write your own electronic book or search for books others have written. My favorite book is The School Counselor. It is a story that addresses the role of a school counselor. I love using some of these stories during my classroom counseling lessons.
Stress is very evident in kids today. I have had many young students struggle with anxiety brought on by stress. My first response is always calming techniques. Guided imagery is one of the many techniques that can help kids calm down and relax. I like to use the book A Boy and a Turtle for guided imagery with kids.
Click on the button below for free guided imagery scripts.
Dr. Seuss is one of my favorite children's authors. He was so creative, and at the same time, he knew how to provide life lessons to children through his stories. I have listed some of my favorite Dr. Seuss' stories and the lessons they teach.
The Cat in the Hat
Green Eggs and Ham
The Zax is one of the short stories in the book above (The Sneetches and Other Stories). I love using this story when teaching conflict resolution. The video is below.
What Was I Scared Of?
Horton Hears a Who!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Visit Seussville to learn more about Dr. Seuss and his stories.
Inspirational Quotes by Dr. Seuss...
"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose."
"Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!"
"Think left think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!"
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."
"To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world."
"Don't give up. I believe in you all. A person's a person no matter how small."
Testing season is upon us all. Achievement test time is a very stressful time in the life of a school counselor. Testing expectations and guidelines are so strict that many things can go wrong. It is our job as testing coordinators to make sure those things do not go wrong and everything runs smoothly. To the lucky school counselors that are not test coordinators for their district or building, be grateful. Honestly, testing coordinator is one of those "extra" responsibilities that I really do not mind doing in order to help out my school. I see it as part of my time in the academic domain. I was blessed to have a great counselor, friend and co-worker teach me how to organize testing materials in my internship last year. This year I have learned that organizing and scheduling are two of the most important parts of planning testing. My ridiculous organizational skills come in handy. :)
It is important to create a testing climate that is serious but not stressed. I use my guidance lessons to go over testing strategies and expectations.
Also, all students need great encouragement during this time. Here is a great way to encourage students with candy fun that I found on Pinterest.
Here are a few more great resources for test preparation.
I wish you and your students good luck!
Happy Autism Awareness Day!
April is Autism Awareness month, and April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day. I have had the privilege to work with several students with autism in my short time as a classroom teacher and a school counselor. I wanted to share a few things that I have learned from my experiences.
1. Children with Autism have such great potential. It is important for us to understand this when working to help students with Autism. We need to advocate for these students that struggle advocating for themselves.
2. Every child is unique, this includes children with Autism. Every case is different; therefore, we need to look at each child individually in order to help him or her to the best of our ability. Every child is special in their own way.
3. Education is key! It is our job to educate others about characteristics of Autism. This includes our other students, parents, school faculty and staff. Below are a few books that are helpful when educating other children about Autism.