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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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7 comments:

  1. I just got my first counseling position for next year and I'm researching lunch bunch ideas. I stumbled across your blog and I love it! I love the idea of having lunch bunch groups with every student since I'll be new to them. A few questions... how did you schedule lunches with every class and how long did it take to get through them all? Did you bring activities or just conversation? Thanks for the great ideas!

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  2. One more... is this how you introduced yourself to them the first time?

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    1. Hi Lisa - thank you so much for visiting my blog, I am so glad that you have found some ideas here that you may be able to implement with your own students next year!
      As for the 'get to know you' lunch bunches, I schedule a class per a week and asked the teachers to group their students into 5 groups (1 group a day for 5 days). My first year in my building I did this with every grade level, which was exhausting but totally worth it. Now I only do it with the incoming 3rd graders as I know the rest of the student now. We have between 5 and 7 classes per a grade level so it generally took me 2 months or so get through all the classes.

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    2. It is important to look at th school calendar ahead of time to make sure that any weeks that are shorter or have half days you take into consideration when planning out your weeks ahead.

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    3. I would make sure I have some quick and easy games on hand in case the group was on the quiet side to help ease the conversation and help pass the time. I used a jenga game that I featured in another blog post a lot this year and the kids really loved it.

      (Sorry for the multiple posts, I am using my iPad and its getting a little quirky with the replies!)

      Good luck next year, I am sure you are going to do great!
      - Cheryl

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  3. HI! I love this lunch pass, I have been looking for something similar to give to my lunch bunch kids as a pass. Would you be able to share the file with me? please email me, I appreciate it! soniavmg@gmail.com.
    Your blog is great!!

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    1. Hi Sonia - Unfortunately I cannot share the PDF because it is part of the book Creative Small Groups by Marco, so I think there is copy-write issues if I send you the file. The book is $37.95 and I have used it so many times for groups, it is a wonderful resource to your office. There is a CD included with the book with all the documents which is great as well.
      Thank you for following my blog!
      - Cheryl

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