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
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
This year I became an adivsor for our middle school boys. I know it sounds crazy, but as a school counselor in a PreK-8th grade school, I hadn’t been permitted to work with our middle school students until this year. Remember it’s a year of change and I LOVE CHANGE! Read more
Another modified lesson from Puzzle Pieces that I combined with my Bucket Filling Book. Read more
We teach children a lot about what to say to each other. How to say kind words, how to think before speaking, how to be nice . . . but we don’t explicitly teach them how to read each other’s body language. Someone can say a lot by not saying anything at all. And by recognizing this, I think our boys can keep themselves out of some otherwise poor situations.
Last year, I frequently talked about my Jellybean Jamboree. I used the Jamboree only with my Kindergarteners and it was a hit!
I know I have mentioned this many times before, but a big skill we’ve been working on in 1st grade is building healthy friendships. More importantly, understanding that what we do and how we act can effect our friendships. Children say what’s on their minds and they act with impulse, they are resilient to the consequences of their actions, which is actually a quality for which we should commend them. Yet, when your behaviors, actions, words are hurtful to others, children must begin to recognize how this effects the relationships they are building or breaking. Read more
Have I ever told you how much I LOVE puzzles?
I can only take credit for 3/8ths of this idea. The other 5/8ths belong to Marissa at Elementary School Counseling.
I used this lesson for Kinders, 1st, and 2nd graders (pretty versatile). The Kinders got the second part during their small group Social Skills lessons, while 1st and 2nd graders got it during their bi-monthly guidance lesson.