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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lunch Bunches

New Kids Lunch Bunch
During the first week of school I sent out my New Kids Lunch Bunch invitations. I use a pdf file from Marco's Creative Small Groups and personalize it a bit on my computer.

I use the same Lunch Bunch Invitation throughout the school year for all my different lunch bunches.

During the New Kids Lunch Bunches we played Get To Know You Jenga. I detailed this activity in my previous blog post.

Get To Know The Counselor Lunch Bunch
I conduct a lot of lunch bunches throughout the school year with students. Last year I did "Get To Know The Counselor" Lunch Bunches with every student in my school, all 575 of them! I did this because I was new to the school district and I think it is very important for all the students to know who I am and it was a great chance for me to meet every student in the school in an informal setting. 

This year I am only doing the "Get To Know The Counselor" Lunch Bunches with the 3rd grade students because they just transitioned into our school from the lower elementary school. Each week I eat with students from a different classroom. I ask the classroom teacher to divide their students up into groups of about 5 students; I leave it up to the classroom teacher how to divide up the students. Some teachers just go in numerical or alphabetical order, others divide them up by gender and others do mixed groups. I eat with about 5 students a day and by Friday I have met an entire class!

When I went to go visit the 2nd graders last year (current 3rd graders) at their elementary school to introduce myself and answer questions about my school I told them about these lunch bunches and they were very excited. The students have been asking since the first week of school when these lunch bunches would start up so it was nice to start getting to know them better this week.

These are just informal lunch bunches so we just chat about how things are going, what their interests are and what their favorite and least favorite things are about school. This gives me a lot of information about who they are and I also start noticing some trends as the weeks go by! 

I also keep some interesting things (mind jars, Find It Kids, etc.) on my table to  help spark conversation in quieter groups.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Personalized Name Plate For My Office

I saw on the Entirely Elementary School Counseling blog a name plate that she purchased for her office and thought hmm I could make something like this myself! So my creative juices started flowing!

So the 'theme' for my office this year is polka dots and the colors pink, green and blue; I wanted to continue this into my name plate as well. I downloaded a black and white polka dot clip art that I used for the background of my name plate. I then used the same squiggly line frame that I used on my bin labels in my office and stretched it in Photoshop Elements to create a larger size. (I got my FREE bin labels from Fun in Room 4B's TPT page.) I then downloaded the FREE Illuminate font and used it in Photoshop Elements to type my name, position and room number on top of my background layers. I printed my design in color and then laminated it at my local Staple's Copy and Print Center

I then made a trip to JoAnn Fabrics to purchase some ribbon for my sign. I got 3 different types of ribbon, two 5/8 inch and one 3/8 inch ribbon. I then took my 1-hole puncher and used it several times to create 2 holes large enough to push the ribbon through. I knotted the ribbon in the front of the sign and left just a little bit of ribbon out in the front.

Now that my name plate was complete I took it to school and hung it outside my office on the glass panel next to my door using plastic hook from my local Lakeshore Learning store.


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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Get To Know You Jenga

We just completed our first full week of school and I met with the new students at my school during grade level lunch bunches. I used a FREE DOWNLOAD from Rachel Lynette's Teacher's Pay Teachers page to play Get To Know You Jenga. The kids loved it and asked to play again next week.

To save a little bit of money I purchased Jumbling Tower at Wal-Mart instead of Jenga, the generic version only cost me about six dollars! Every little bit of savings helps!


I downloaded the free PDF file off of Rachel's TPT page and then printed it out. I then cut out the strips and used double sided tape to attach the strips of questions to the wooden blocks. I had a few extra question strips left over (it may have been because used the generic version of Jenga) but that was perfect because there were a couple questions that weren't 'just right' for my audience.

I set the game up ahead of time so when the students walked into my room we were able to start playing immediately after some introductions and some quick conversation.

As the students answered the different questions on the blocks they were able to share a bit about themselves in a fun and unobtrusive game setting. Not only did the kids learn about each other but I was also able to learn about the interests of my new students. It was a win win!

Please check out Rachel Lynette's Teacher's Pay Teachers page to download your own copy of Get To Know You Jenga. I have also used this game during the first week of my weekly small groups, such as friendship and social skills groups.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Where Is The School Counselor Sign

I get a lot of my ideas from other school counselor's blogs and off of Pinterest and this was one of the first! This idea came from Danielle at (love her blog!) and I adapted it for myself.

I started with a piece of small poster board and 13 pieces of scrapbook paper: 6 glitter sheets for the circles, 6 patterns for the different sections and 1 sheet of black glitter for the dial. I created a half circle off of the poster board based on the size I needed for outside my office and then did some quick measuring to determine the size of the 6 sections. I chose: in a meeting, out of the building, visiting a class, in the main office, with students and be right back; but you can do whatever is best for you! I traced a kitchen glass for the circles with the locations listed in them. Once I had everything cut out I used spray adhesive to mount everything. I then laminated the whole design. For the dial I just drew a basic shape, cut it out and laminated that as well. To attach the dial to the design I used a brad.

Don't forget to use your Teacher Rewards at JoAnn Fabric's to save money!

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