Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sharing how you feel is magic!

I have successfully survived the first 2 weeks of school!  It has been very busy around here, meeting new students, helping kindergarteners adjust to school, collaborating with parents and teachers, as well as conducting student surveys.  I try to visit each class in the school every month to do my lessons.  This month, I decided to tag-team my lessons with a student survey.  We had a student survey a couple of years ago, but decided to do it again.  I created the survey using google docs, and it asked questions such as: what's your favorite subject? Do you feel safe at school? And do you feel like you have a friend at school?

One of our classes on the special rotation is called Sharpen the Saw, which focuses on the 7th habit, taking care of yourself.  I teamed up with this teacher this week to complete the surveys.  Literally, I have been in the computer lab all week!  When students come to their usual Sharpen the Saw rotation, they come down to the computer lab where I show them how to get on the student survey, and then we have our September "Meet the Counselor" classroom lesson.  It has worked out great!  I'm getting all of my initial lessons done in the first week, as well as collecting data through the surveys!  We decided not to do the surveys with Kindergarten, as they do not have the computer skills yet, and then decided half way through 1st grade, that it was too difficult for them at this time as well.  The rest of the groups did great!  They were excited to give their feedback and a lot of them had some great comments. 

As for my Meet the Counselor lesson, I wanted to share something that was passed down to me and I have enjoyed using over my past 5 years as a school counselor.  It's the Magic Coloring Book of Feelings by Robert P. Bowman, Ph.D. and Kim Frank, Ed.S., LPC.  This is a great tool when discussing the role of the school counselor and how sharing your feelings is like magic:  you feel better, and you help others understand you.  First, I show the students the different feelings represented in the coloring book and we talk about times we may have felt that way.

Next, I ask the kids what is missing.  Usually they will figure out that it needs the colors.  I explain to them that they all have the different feelings inside of them, and they need to share those feelings with me to see what happens.  I have the kids rub their legs and arms to get the "feelings" on them and then on the count of 3, they throw them into the book.  I pull the book back dramatically like I caught them.  Next, I flip through the book and all of the pages are filled with colors!! It's magic!  

The kids start gasping and laughing.  Next, I tell them they all need those feelings inside of them, so they need to take them back.  The kids take back their feelings, but when I open the book, the lines are gone too!  I act really surprised and say "You took my lines! Very Funny! But I need those back for my next class!"  

On the count of three, they throw back just the lines and we all laugh some more.  We talk about how this is a reminder that when you share your feelings, it is like magic.  (the directions for the magic trick are on the back of the book.)  The kids love it and ask me about it all the time.  I started out just doing it in Kindergarten, but now I use it in every grade level every year.

I also created this StoryBird about the School Counselor to use with my special needs classes!