Monday, April 30, 2012

The end of an era!

August 22, 2011 seems like days ago, but clearly we have come a long way since the first day of my internship! Since August, I feel like I have grown so much as a person and as a counselor. During my last days at the elementary school, I received many kind words from faculty, staff and students, that encouraged me for what is it come. I would like to say a BIG thank you to all the people who shared ideas with me, helped me finish out my graduate school days with a smile, and those who gave me the inspiration to start a blog!

I will be continuing this blog this fall. Thanks for following and you'll hear from me soon!

My last day as an intern, hearing such kind words from some of my elementary friends.

 Florida, here I come!:)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Study advice for license tests (Local, state and national)!

In order to graduate from my program, I  had to take a multitude of tests ranging from a university given comprehensive exam to state exams and then finally (if you chose to ) a national exam. After scouring through Barnes and Noble, online, and it seems everywhere in between, I found two very helpful and useful books that enabled me to do well on my exams.

The first book, Encyclopedia of Counseling has over 1000+ questions to get you ready for the big test. I was able to pick it up when I had 5 minutes or when I had an ample amount of time.

The other book that I found to be useful was the book "Mastering the National Counselors Exam" This had information for every topic and questions to go along with the information.

Hopefully this will help you as you are walking the isles of Barnes and Noble looking for those "A+" books!

Enjoy and good luck!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kindergarten Night

Recently, the district I am interning at invited every 2012-2013 Kindergarten family to their very first district event! The panel of district employees included 2 school counselors, a kindergarten teacher, the head of curriculum and myself.
After this Kindergarten night, I complied the information and added to it to create a "Kindgarten morning" for incoming families to this elementary school. Some of the extra information that I gathered was from the Occupational Therapist at our school, and the kindergarten teachers. Here are some key issues/concerns O.T. is seeing with incoming Kinders:

1. Hand dominance- help children decide which hand will work best for them.
2. writing their own name- using correct upper and lower case letter.
3. drawing a person-including appropraite placement of hands, feet, arms, legs, and head.
4. scissors-appropriate grip, safety and using the opposite hand to guide.

As our Preschoolers are getting ready to head to elementary school, there are so many ways we can help them gear up to be great in Kindergarten. Hopefully some of this information will trigger an idea for you to something special for your new students!

A Bitter Sweet lesson!

Today, our F.I.S.H. group (Families In Separate Homes) ended. I began by giving them lemon juice with a VERY small amount of water- clearly, this drink was too sour for them! We talked about how divorce is kind of sour sometimes. Then I asked what are some ways that might help us to make the situation better. Every time they gave me an answer, I added water to their cup. By the end, their drinks were much sweeter and less sour!

Lemons are kind of like families who live in different places. There are some sour things that make divorce/separation difficult, but there are also sweet things about having parents live in different places (less fighting, more attention, etc.).

I hope you can use this in one of your groups because when life gives you lemons...:)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Friendship sand necklaces

Last week in our flower (friendship) group, second graders came together and talked about qualities that make up a great friend. We made a huge list on the board and from there, we narrowed down the list to 6 qualities that they felt were the most important.

From there, we assigned a color to a quality and they were allowed to choose 4 of their favorite qualities that they think they possessed. to make a sand necklace. They worked in pairs and helped each other to make their beautiful necklaces.

The girls left the office with their heads held high and enjoyed making the necklaces!  I hope you can do this in your office soon!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Formal dining" in 4th grade

I have started eating lunch with the 4th grade as a "Bon Voyage" as they make their way out of the elementary school and onto  the "5-6 School." I wanted to make this meal a little more special and make sure that they had a great time eating with their classmates and the counselors. Some easy ways to make them feel special include:
  •  An "invitation" to lunch instead of just a simple note
  • Centerpiece with a sign to welcome them
  • TWO choices of hand sanitizer (WAHOO!)
  • Name cards 
  • Table Cloths

These simple but extra things made them separate this lunch from all the other lunches that they have had with the counselor before.

As your oldest grade graduates from your school, hopefully you can use these simple ideas to make them feel great!