Mix it up, Fix up!

Mix it up, Fix up!

It’s that time of year again! What time of year you ask? The time of year when the boys start jumping all over each other’s nerves. It’s that time between parent/teacher conferences and Thanksgiving break when the boys are so comfortable with each other that they begin wondering how far they can push each other before someone loses it.

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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

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