Over the past few days, I've posted a bunch of new resources on the website portion of my site. Here are the recent additions:
You could also use the self-reflection paper in an individual or small group setting. When students understand their behaviors, they are more likely to control them, rather than be controlled by them.
At my District Leadership Team meeting this evening, we opened with this very entertaining and also VERY enlightening video from TEDx Talks. The presenter, Shawn Achor, discusses how happiness can positively impact our lives, including how successful we feel at work, home, and beyond.
I think this would be a great video to show at a staff meeting or to cut into segments to discuss with older students. I would like to use these concepts to help my 6th graders, in particular, find better ways to deal with stress, disappointment, frustration, and failure. There are some aspects of the talk that may be inappropriate for your intended population, so be sure to view and decide which sections, if any, you'd like to share with those specific individuals.
Just watch. You will be glad you did.
How would you use this video to help your
You may have heard about a captivating poster series created by graphic designer, Khoa Ho, that depicts the origins of various superheroes. What I love about these thought-provoking posters is that they are simple, yet powerful. Children could look at these images and understand the general message. However, school counselor friends, I think we could go beyond that.
As described on Khoa Ho's website, "everyone has a memory, a past. It's the driving force behind all of our actions for our present, our future." That statement got my school counselor wheels turning - isn't that what we teach our students?! Our experiences shape our thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and understanding that connection can help unlock the secret to making better choices. These posters reinforce that "despite the trials of our past, what we choose to do moving forward is much more important to us and the world we share."
So, you could use the superhero images to introduce a variety of topics: identifying and expressing feelings, positive school behaviors, making and keeping friends, self-esteem, etc. I often use superheroes (and other pop culture references) to address the ASCA standards. Kids love it and more importantly, remember it.
One activity could be a self-portrait, like the example on the right. Start by having students draw a basic outline of themselves in pencil. This is who they are now, which can be represented in a specific pose. Then, have students reflect on what caused that change. How did they become the person they are today? That image is put inside their bigger drawing. The example shows a confident, independent person who is not afraid to be noticed, which came from being singled out and teased. I would use this activity with my older students (4th - 6th).
"It's not who you are underneath. It's what you do that defines you." - Batman Begins
You may remember a school-wide program we implemented at my school that involved grade levels earning ice cream scoops for showing respect in the cafeteria. Well, that program was a success, so we decided to try another good behavior competition using a popcorn theme.
The big difference, other than the visual, is that grades can earn their reward much quicker (2 school weeks).
For more information about our good behavior competitions, check out this page.
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I recently discovered two AMAZING picture books by Jon Klassen called I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat. Both stories involve a missing hat, a frustrated hat owner, and sneaky, hat-snatching behavior. The difference lies in the perspective: I Want My Hat Back is about the search and This is Not My Hat is about the escape.
School counselors could easily use these stories to talk about stealing and lying, both of which have negative consequences. It would be interesting for students to imagine what caused the animals to steal, then discuss how all of the characters could have handled the situation more positively. This could be done as a writing activity or roleplay. You could even create a class book that follows the same structure, but shows the characters making the right choices.
My name is Marissa Rex and I am an elementary school counselor from Ohio. I hope you enjoy my site!
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