Monday, April 18, 2016

Mother Nature helping to educate on Teamwork

It seems now more than ever, we need more lessons on character education. In our upper grades, we have a designated time each week to have character education class. This week we are focusing on teamwork, we this is our character virtue of the month for April! 
Feel free to use this lesson with any age! I could see it being used in Kindergarten all the way up through middle school. The more we have these conversations, the better off our students will be.

Objective: Students will understand the concept of teamwork, and how mother nature is using teamwork to be more effective and efficient with their resources. 

I started out the lesson by asking students what teamwork is, and why we need it.  I then asked them what animal uses teamwork. I LOVED asking this question because I learned so much about random animals that I would have never known otherwise. After I heard from everyone on their guesses and explanations, I told them we would be learning today about Canadian Geese! We watched a short 2 minute video on Canadian Geese (Canadian Geese on Teamwork), and then had them work together in groups to answer the questions about the video:

1. How does flying in a V formation benefit the geese as opposed to flying alone?
2. What happens if a goose that is flying in V formation gets tired?
3. If a goose is sick or injured and has to leave the group, what do other geese do?
4. Why do geese make a honking noise when flying together?
5. What did you learn about teamwork from the Canadian geese flying in formation?

I love when they make the connection between what they saw in the video and what is happening in their classrooms. The more we can demonstrate and model positive character traits for them, the more likely they will be to use them in real life!

Honking away,

Your Floridian Chick!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bringing video games to school (yes you read that correctly!)

The students have told me about their love for video games, so I thought I would bring video games to them! In one of my small group lessons for older elementary school boys, we talked about self-control. When we play video games, we use the controller to direct when we start, stop, pause, move, etc. We also have an internal “controller” in our brain that can help us when we are experiencing a problem. Each person was given a “PS5 controller" (No, not Play Station! This is Positive Support for 5th graders!) and we talked about how we can use the buttons in our brains.  
-What can do when we feel like we are out of control? We might get mad, angry, sad, upset, etc. We discussed the following “buttons” when we need our self-control:

  • Pause - count to 10, take deep breaths, THINK- what are my options?
  • Fast Forward- If you want to get away from a situation, what can you do to move past it?
  • Remind- If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
  • Play- Use when you know what to do. Go PLAY!
  • Stop/end- use when you are done- walk away, change thoughts to something else
  • The handle- what can you hold on to for support? Name 3+ people you can go to.

It was interesting to see which buttons they said they could use most, and which ones they never use. The attachment below will show you what the control looks like.  I also let them choose some of their own buttons to see what they would come up with. I got some amazing ideas! From walk away button, breathe button, a sync button (creative), and many more! 

The kids loved it and I have been using the language with them ever since.

Who knew students would be “playing” video games at school?! 

Video Gamer for life,
Your Floridian Chick!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Eating Fruit Every Day

They say to go out on a limb, because that it where all the fruit it.  My mentality has long been this, but more recently, I have been asking myself- What's the worst that can happen? What if I go out on that limb, what is the worst thing that can happen? 
I have tried small groups, classroom lessons and individual counseling skills that have been a huge successful, but also an awful disaster. Through the disasters, I always learned something and humbled myself (quite a bit!) after the dust has settled. 

SO I went out of a limb and tried out for something that (I think) I am very under qualified for. I have lived in Florida almost 4 years, have been a school counselor almost 4 years, and have been involved in multiple school counseling organizations/events. 4 years is a short time though.. I feel like I just started, and sometimes I feel like I am still learning the ropes through difficult situations. 

SO, like I said, I went out on a limb and applied for a board position in my state organization. 14 people hold board positions, each having  3 year term. Everyone else had their doctorates, or were working towards completion, OR held the highest position in their county as a "head" of counseling. 

I applied the end of February, waited until elections opened, waited until elections closed, and then waited for results. It turns out I WON! I will start my term on the FSCA board July 1, and will (hopefully) be able to make some headway on providing tangible, useful curriculum for counselor's, and maybe even do a little advocating where we need to, to get counselors.. COUNSELING! 

So thank you to anyone who voted- I am ecstatic beyond belief. I want to sink my teeth into this and make a positive change.  See you July 1 FSCA!


Your Floridian Boardin' Chick!