It’s Just Me and Mr. Potato Head

Has it really only been a week? Wow . . .

Here’s how it all started:

The lesson was to talk about how Miss LeBrasse and Mr. Potato head are alike. The purpose of the lesson is to help the students understand who the counselor is, what I do, and how to come talk to me if they need to. It went something like this:

I made this giant book.

It is very unruly and it makes me miss my Promethean board more than words can explain. But anyways, I made it. The book describes situations in which a student may need to talk to the counselor. Being teased on the playground (I am really against using the word bully, I like to phrase it as respecting or disrespecting others), being upset about a grade, feeling anxious about school work, a dog dying, or being unsure how you feel but you know something is not right. We talked about how Miss LeBrasse’s ear are used to listen. I then have one student come up and put the ears on Mr. Potato Head. I then say who do I listen to, and they all yell ME! I didn’t intend for that to happen, but it did for each class I taught this week. I absolutely loved it!

So we moved on to how a counselor’s best tool is listening because she has so made ideas in her head to help who? And of course they all say ME! We talked about how the ideas in a counselor’s head stay there until help is asked for. This lets the children know that you believe they can solve their own problems, but you are there to assist when needed. I told them that the hat keeps all the ideas in until help is requested. So, I asked another student to place the hat on Mr. Potato Head.

Then we talked about what it means to lend a helping hand. How could a counselor do that for you? What about high 5’s? We discussed how the counselor still likes to hear happy stories, such as when you win a baseball game. Another student adds on both arms.

Lastly, we talked about how a counselor helps students see their problems and feelings clearly. A student then adds the eyes.

As a review, we labeled the large Mr. Potato Head on my board. Once again, I really really wish I had my Promethean board back, but my paper cut out will have to do.

It was also important to explain how to refer yourself to the counselor during this intro lesson. Each class got to practice filling out a form and slipping it into the mailbox.

For the younger classes (1st and 2nd), I began the lesson by reading the Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown to engage the students and get them to realize that everything has a special purpose. We then moved onto the above Mr. Potato Head lesson.

Kindergarten got to meet Meebie!

For the older students, I ended the lesson by having them answer 4 questions for me and place their answers on posters around the room.

I was able to meet with 1 Kinder, 1 first, 1 second, and 1 third grade class this week. I will normally go into the classrooms when doing whole group lessons, but since my position is new, I took the classes to my room so they could see where I was.

I remember saying after I my first few days in the classroom during my first year of teaching, “Nothing prepares you for this!” Well, six years later after an enormous amount of money spend, and even more hours spent in class, reading textbooks, writing papers, and doing research I can still say, “Nothing prepares you for ANY of this!” I guess experience is the most valuable teacher, I will have to remind myself of this each and every day.

Doing something new was not meant to be easy.

4 thoughts on “It’s Just Me and Mr. Potato Head

  1. Hi! I’m starting my first job as an elementary counselor this year and I found this posting – I LOVE this lesson! I see you were able to do K-3 grades, and I’m wondering if you think this would work with 4th graders, or will Mr. Potato Head be a bit beneath their interest level?

    1. Lyndsay, My 4th grade class last year was tricky because I moved from classroom teacher to counselor. So, I actually taught this group of boys the year before. My introduction to my position and role change was very different from the others. They had many more questions for me. So, I opened it up to more of a discussion session, letting them express their concerns and questions, or excitement. This year, I plan to use a different lesson that I can use for all grades. This year I will focus more on when it is necessary to come to me so that problems do not build up through out the year. I hope this helps. And thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!!

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