Counseling Craftivities

Confident Conversations

Teaching Study Skills as Part of Your Counseling Curriculum

Teaching study skills as part of your counseling curriculum

As school counselors, it’s easy to talk to students about things that are bugging them, help with problems they are having, and be their champion when they need one. It’s much more difficult to teach skills that provide documented data-driven results. When student progress is hindered by their lack of study skills, it is our job to help them learn the skills necessary to make improvements that will help them find academic success. But how can we teach these study skills and know that students made a meaningful improvement? It takes time, patience, practice opportunities, and good data recording.

Here’s what I have done in my own program to help teach study skills. Read More »

Study Skills

Conversations: Addressing Cutting and Self-Harm

Addressing Cutting Behaviors

Cutting and other non-suicidal self-harm behaviors are signs of situations in need of immediate attention. School counselors are often among the first to become aware of these behaviors and have an opportunity to respond quickly and effectively. Robyn from Mental Fills, Laura from Social Emotional Workshop, and Carol Miller, The Middle School Counselor share some tips from their experiences. Please check out the links at the bottom of this post for additional best practices. Read More »

Crisis, Suicide

Conversations: Tips and Tricks for Behavior Plans

What are your tips and tricks for behavior plans?

 

Data Driven Behavior Plans

The Sunny Sunshine Student Support StoreBehavior plans should be developed with a team who knows the students best (e.g., school staff, parents, and even the student!). The first step to an effective behavior plan is a thorough Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA). This determines the antecedents, target behavior definition and the consequences of the behavior. A great FBA will include information about the settings, frequency, times of day, intensity, duration, the hypothesis as to why the behavior occurs, and an assessment of the student’s preferences for reinforcement. Read More »

Behavior, Monthly CCC Tips

How to Plan a Successful Mix it Up at Lunch Day

Mix it Up at Lunch Day challenges students to get out of their comfort zone and engage with others, helping to create a more inclusive school. Begun by the organization, Teaching Tolerance, it is held on the last Tuesday of October. Students sit in a different seat in the cafeteria and interact with peers during their lunchtime. Preparation, activities, and follow-up are important to consider in hosting a Mix it Up at Lunch Day.

 

 

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School Culture

6 Tips for Making Recess Inclusive

6 tips to make recess inclusive so that it is a positive experience that helps foster social skills and friendships.

 

Recess can be the best part of a kid’s day or it can be a major source of stress and anxiety. For some kids, this is when they are finally able to run free and let off some steam. They love the carefree wiggle time where they can focus on being a kid and enjoy playing with their friends.

 

Other students aren’t as lucky and do not love recess. There is a multitude of reasons why a child may not enjoy this unstructured free time. For many, their dislike stems from their lack of friendships or the necessary social skills needed to join in with others. With a little bit of help to be comfortable and one person willing to be a friend, they would love this time as well.

 

Here are six tips for making recess inclusive for all students as they learn the social skills to develop and maintain friendships. Read More »

Back to School, Bullying

Positivity Works: Stepping Out of Negativity

In my third year of my school counseling career, a student asked me “What’s wrong with you Mrs. Atkins? You used to smile.” Wow, out of the mouths of babes, right? The daily grind of our work can start to grind down the positivity that brought us into this helping career in the first place. I know that not only had my attitude suffered but so did my relationships with students. Read More »

Career Stress

10 Free Bullying Prevention Resources

10 free resources for bullying prevention lessons. Teach students about bullying awareness with these free videos, websites, books, and more.

October is Bullying Prevention Month, which means many counselors will be searching for resources to help bring awareness to bullying. It can be a challenge to find bullying resources that are not only helpful but also FREE! Listed below are 10 free bullying prevention resources that can be used for classroom lessons and school-wide programming in elementary and middle schools.

Free Bullying Prevention Resources for Lower Elementary

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Book Suggestions, Bullying

Conversations: Favorite Book to Use in Counseling

We all have a favorite book to use in counseling with students. Children’s literature can be a great, engaging way to open up conversations, address issues, and help students connect with a character who is experiencing the same issues as them. Three Confident Counselors have some great suggestions and companion resources to help you use these favorite books.  Read More »

Bibliotherapy

Connect with Staff as a School Counselor

Connect with staff as a school counselor

Being a school counselor or school psychologist can feel a little like you’re on your own island. You’re not a teacher, you’re not part of administrative staff; it can often seem like you don’t quite belong. To make things more difficult, many school counselors or psychologists often split their time between campuses, and are only at a certain building a few days a week. It can be challenging to connect with staff as a school counselor.

 

Starting out as a school-based counselor, I was at my school 2-3 days a week, my office was in the basement, and I was hired by an outside mental health agency, which meant that I didn’t even have a school e-mail. I think people I worked with often forgot I existed. Read More »

Advocacy, School Culture

Make Your Student Observations Comprehensive

As a school psychologist, student observations were regularly a part of my day. For special education evaluations, I observed students in multiple settings with multiple adults doing multiple tasks. I came to know that student in depth and felt ready to suggest supports that could make a difference.

 

I soon realized that these student observations could be an invaluable part of referrals for counseling or behavior support. Much more than special education evaluation referrals, I was stopped regularly with concerns about friendship drama, classroom management, explosive behaviors, suddenly anxious students, among others on a long list. Usually in the hallway without any paper on me.  Read More »

Behavior, Individual Counseling