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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Friendship Bugs

I tend to do a "bug" unit every year with my younger students; especially the boys ~ they love it! For this lesson I first read the book How to Lose All Your Friends by Nancy Carlson with the students. We discuss all the different things that the children did such as not sharing, throwing tantrums, etc and how that would affect your friendships.

I then begin a lesson called "Friendship Bugs" that I adapted from a lesson in Creative Small Groups For Grades K-5 by Marco (by they way they have the BEST customer service! Love them!) I scatter some plastic bugs  and pencils with bugs on them from the Dollar Tree Store on the table to sort of set the mood. :) I found a bunch of different bug cutouts online that I photocopied on to construction paper that I also lay out on the table. I then instruct the students to select 2 different bugs that they would like to work with and have them begin cutting them out.
My "What's Bugging You" Jar that I keep the plastic bugs in.
Assorted plastic bugs from the Dollar Tree Store.
As the students are cutting out their bugs I begin to explain the rest of the lesson. We talk about different things that others do that "bug" or bother us. For example: tattling, being bossy, teasing, laughing at others mistakes, name calling, being a copycat, breaking promises, whining, and so on. I write all of the ideas that the students come up with on the white board so they can easily refer back to them later. Now I have the students write at least 5 things that "bug" them on the bug they recently cut out. The students then paste their bugs on a piece of construction paper and I print on the top "Things that BUG me."

The next time I meet with the students we work on the next half of the lesson. I print ahead of time on the backside of their construction paper "Things I do that might BUG someone". I review what we did last week when we brainstormed all the different things that "bug" them and begin to talk about how we also do things that may "bug" or bother others. I start the conversation by expressing how even I do things that would bothers others and then give a suggestion. This generally starts the conversation going and I begin writing their ideas on the whiteboard. For some students I definitely need to lead the conversation a bit while they are brainstorming because they are unable to self-reflective. I have students write at least 3 things that they may do that "bug" others (as this is a more difficult skill to self reflect I only require 3 ideas instead of the previous 5). The students then paste their bug on the construction paper labeled "Things I do that might BUG someone else".

We then have a nice conversation about how we can apply what we just worked on in their everyday lives at school. Such as trying to be a little more aware of how their actions can impact others. I usually do this lesson with students in grades 1-3 however I have also done this with some upper elementary school students that are on the spectrum.
This is my lesson plan for the Friendship Bugs lesson.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

School Counseling Linky Party 2013

Marissa Rex at is hosting a School Counseling Linky Party for School Counselor bloggers to share their great ideas, inspirations and blogs with everyone! What an amazing idea! Thank you

As I am still fairly new to blogging (just started in September 2012) I don't have too many features on my blog yet. I hope to add some different sections/tabs in 2013. Although, one of my favorite aspects of my blog thus far is the step by step descriptions with pictures I have been able to write about in many of my posts with the hopes of helping other School Counselors.

It is very hard for me to select a favorite post on my blog but I probably have to go with my Bucket Filling post because this is something that I have been doing since I became a School Adjustment Counselor right out of grad school . I have been updating, tweaking and adjusting my school-wide program as I go throughout the years and will be making a major shift to my classroom guidance lesson this spring when I teach the concept to my 5th and 6th graders. I feel that the Bucket Filling concept is a great way to recognize students within my school for positive acts of kindness towards one an another!

By far my most popular blog post has been my Worry Stone post. I believe this post was repinned many times on Pinterest which lead to its popularity. This is also one of the posts that I created step-by-step directions with pictures about how to many the worry stones which I hope the readers found helpful. Worry stones have really taken off this year at my school, the kids think they are 'cool' and I have kids stopping by all the time to pick out a couple worry stones to keep. I even have 5th and 6th grade students come by to make them at lunch because they think it is fun!

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