Bag of Tricks

Bag of Tricks

As we work to explore our different feelings in 2nd grade, we must also know what to do with our feelings, especially the ones that make us feel not-so-good.

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What’s your decision making personality?

What’s your decision making personality?

* Newsflash! This is by far my favorite lesson I’ve taught this year. Remember how excited I used to get about Jellybean Jamboree? Well, this lesson is comparable to that same excited feeling. The boys absolutely loved it! And it even taught me a little bit about the people around me and what kind of decision makers they are.Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 10.46.45 AM

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It’s Mine!

It’s Mine!

Each year, as part of my Friendly Francine Unit (from Jellybean Jamboree) I do with Kindergarteners, we talk about sharing. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to reiterate the point in 1st grade. I thought it was especially important this time around not to emphasize sharing, but more . . . what we shouldn’t be sharing. With multiple food allergies throughout the school, I thought it was important to stress the idea of not being able to share food or medicine.

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Fishing for Feelings

Fishing for Feelings

My favorite part of this lesson was it’s particular way of raging against my typical lesson format (story, lesson, written activity). Not that I’d say I’m stuck in a lesson format rut, but why change what’s not broken. I guess it’s the teacher in me that feels everything needs a written (assessment) component. Read more

Using Heart Talk

Using Heart Talk

There are very few things I remember about my school counselor when I was in elementary school, a few more things about my middle school counselor, and maybe one more after that about my high school counselor. Read more

Home Run

Home Run

In advisory this month, just like in our lower school classes, we are focusing on fairness. It seemed that last week’s discussion the boys had a fairly cut and dry explanation about what constituted as fair and what did not. To add a little spice in their life, if you will, we gave them a situation in which they had to use a moral decision and still classify it as being fair or not.

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Who Makes Your Decisions?

Who Makes Your Decisions?

During the month of September, we are talking about fairness. A seemingly easy topic until you work at a boys’ school and they are always thinking things are unfair . . . “He cheated.” “No, that is mine.” “My teacher won’t let us play at recess because all she wants to do is sit inside.” “We want more freedom.” “Really it’s only fair if I win.”

No joke, these are all things I hear on a weekly basis . . . from all grade levels. You want to tell them, “Hello! Live and learn fellas.” But then again that wouldn’t be very counselor-y of me.

So instead I teach them things like how to be fair, how to assess if situations are fair, and yes  . . . I teach them about decisions . . . because Lord knows some decisions are just flat out unfair, like jury duty, or pay days, or having to work . . . it seems in the life of a boy if you don’t get your way, it’s unfair. If I ran around doing the same thing, I’d be half as productive. So we move from focusing on the problem to understanding why decisions are the way they are. Read more

Let the Music Move You

Let the Music Move You

Music Therapy is one branch of counseling used all around the world. In fact, there is an entire website dedicated to music therapy. The website states:

Music therapy interventions can be designed to:

  • Promote Wellness
  • Manage Stress
  • Alleviate Pain
  • Express Feelings
  • Enhance Memory
  • Improve Communication
  • Promote Physical Rehabilitation

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Friendship Bandaids, The Right Way

Friendship Bandaids, The Right Way

I adapted my next lesson for 1st grade from my new Puzzle Pieces book. The original lesson, as it is written, was just a bit too “young” for our first graders. It had the perfect message, but I had to work to extend the ideas just a bit. Plus, I fully believe in teaching children that there is more to fixing a problem then just saying sorry. Read more

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Door Openers and Road Blocks

I Hear You

ADAPTED FROM: CONNECTING WITH OTHERS

Topics Covered: Interpersonal Effectiveness, Communication Skills, and Fairness

Fair

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