Counseling Craftivities

Confident Conversations

Conversations: How Do You Make Restorative Justice Meaningful and Effective?

Restorative justice is the kind of approach that school counselors should be advocating for in their districts. When implemented well, it has the ability to shift the focus from punishment to repairing and learning from mistakes. How do you get your administrators and teachers on board with this paradigm shift? Even more important, how do you make it a meaningful and effective experience for students?

Restorative Questions are Key

The Sunny Sunshine Student Support StoreRestorative justice practices emphasize the importance of positive relationships and restoring these relationships when harm has occurred. Restorative justice practices decrease behavior issues, discipline referrals and bullying, while increasing in instructional time, school climate, and positive relationships between staff and students. Read More »

Behavior, Monthly CCC Tips, School Culture

5 School Counseling Activities with a Plain Sheet of Paper

5 ways to use plain paper in school counseling activities

Let’s face it, kids are used to having worksheets and templates and preprinted note pages, but sometimes I don’t have time to gather those fancy materials. In my office, I always have plain copy paper and it is an integral part of my counseling program.

 

Here are 5 school counseling activities where I turn that plain sheet of paper into a counselor’s best friend.

 

1, 2, 3 Blast Away Anxiety

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Craftivities, Group Counseling

Self Control Strategies for the Classroom

As a school counselor, teachers frequently come to me for advice on classroom management. Almost always, they are looking for self control strategies for students struggling in their classrooms. They have students in their classes that are blurting out, having anger outbursts, or constantly getting out of their seats. I also have had these same struggles in my own classroom lessons. So what could I tell these teachers and what could I use myself when students just couldn’t seem to control themselves? 

Secret Code Word

This is one of my favorite interventions for students who don’t realize when their bodies or voices are out of control. If they don’t know they are out of control, it is difficult for them to do anything to fix it. For this strategy, the teacher and the student develop a secret code word to remind the student. It can be anything. I have had students use words like “donuts,” “popcorn,” or “vroom vroom.” The code word helps students become aware of their behaviors. Read More »

Behavior, Classroom Management

10 Minute Kindness Activities for the Classroom and Counseling

Kindness activities for the classroom or counseling

Creating a positive school culture is such an important step in engaging students in learning. Consistent and frequent kindness activities help build empathy, let students feel comfortable taking risks and create an accepting class community.

 

Research shows that when students view their teacher as caring and kind, they have better attendance, better grades, and are more engaged in the classroom. Find the spare moments in the day, whether it is morning work or after recess, to integrate simple kindness activities that pack that punch. Read More »

Kindness, School Culture

School Counselor’s Gratitude Journal

A school counselor's gratitude journal. Dear Diary, I'm thankful for interventions that work and pumpkin spice muffins.

Dear Diary,

In honor of Thanksgiving, I am going to be writing a gratitude journal. I am so thankful for today, especially the coffee that I spilled, the milk that was spoiled, the kid that spit on me in 3rd period. But I digress. I am honored and grateful to be a school counselor and these are a few of my favorite things (picture me spinning on a hilltop). Read More »

School Culture

Conversations: Confidentiality in School Counseling

What do you share with parents, teachers or your administration about a student’s progress or participation in school counseling services? Is your confidentiality policy considerate of student trust as well as student growth?

 

All or Nothing Confidentiality Policies Limit Progress

Social Emotional WorkshopConfidentiality is there to build trust and rapport while working towards goals. Students, elementary through high school, benefit from wrap-around services to make meaningful progress. They need multiple adults helping them practice skills and reinforcing their efforts. If we do not share information with relevant adults, I think we limit the progress they could make. Read More »

Individual Counseling, Monthly CCC Tips

Strategies for Managing Negative Attention Seeking

STOP, DROP, ROLL and CONNECT

I want to share a few helpful strategies I have found useful in managing negative attention seeking children. These are the children that push our buttons. They do what they can to sabotage yours or the group’s focus, and it’s frustrating. I am talking about the kids that whine, tattle tell, make obnoxious jokes, exaggerate, lie, question your materials, avoid assignments, and even the children that overly offer help at the most inappropriate times. Read More »

Behavior, Classroom Management

Conversations: Phone Calls from an Angry Parent

How Do You Handle a Phone Call from an Angry Parent?

It may be one of the worst parts of the job and seems to happen at 3:05 on a Friday afternoon. Those calls are tough to manage and tough to not take personally. Take a deep breath and check out our colleagues’ great tips for turning that call around into a productive problem-solving relationship. You will see that listening is a common theme. 😉 Read More »

Monthly CCC Tips, Parents