{Back to School Favorite Lesson 2}

From Barnes & Noble
Swimmy is a happy black fish who lives in a school of red fish until a big tuna eats all of his brothers and sisters. Lonely and sad, Swimmy searches the sea and finally finds another school of red fish. These fish are too frightened to swim in the ocean, so Swimmy comes up with a plan: all the red fish swim close together in the shape of one giant fish, and black Swimmy is the eye!

I use Swimmy to help the class understand that we
are all ONE!

First, we read the book

We first discuss their classroom rules:
What are they?
Why do we have rules?

Then, we discuss individuality.
What does it mean to be an individual?
Is it okay to be ourselves?

Being a group:
How can we be an individual in a group setting?
Why should we stick together?

Then, I tell them that I or the teacher of their class
is the EYE!
We lead you, guide you, teach you,
and help you grow.

In order to grow as a class, we have to work together.

Students then all work together to create a classroom pledge.
Depending on the age, you will need to guide them through this process.

Typically, you can help them come up with something similar to this:
Our class pledges to work together, respect one another, stand up for one another against bullies,
follow the rules to keep us safe, and help each other grow this year.

After we write our pledge on butcher paper.
I like to cut one like a big FISH!

Every student gets a red fish.
They can sign their name to the fish
{taking the pledge}
and we create a large fish!

Now, there is one black fish for the eye
to represent YOU!

 Check out my Pinterest Board for a picture of this Bulletin Board.

{just keep swimming}

The Kissing Hand

Back to School
{Favorite Lesson 1}

One of my all time favorite lessons to do with students is:
The Kissing Hand

Let me start by saying that when I originally had the idea to start a back to school series, I envisioned myself pulling out all of files and recreating my documents to share....

&&& then...

I thought teachers BEG, BORROW, and STEAL!
So, I pulled out my files and made a list of my favorite lessons.

None of these are my original ideas, so where can you quickly find your favorite lessons in one easy spot?????
{because I promise your lessons have been used before}

Pinterest of course!

So, I am going to put together Pinterest Boards for you guys to quickly find anything you need on these favorite lessons.


Back to Kissing Hand

I use this lesson to discuss feelings.
How do you feel the first day of school?

Are you anxious, nervous, scared, shy, happy, excited, sad?

We read the book and then we begin my favorite part.
What are feelings?
It is okay to have different feelings!

This link takes you directly to many ideas I have used for years
and a few new ones I can't wait to try out!

More Back to School Lessons to come!
I hope you enjoy using these to create your own lessons
and reach many lil hearts this year!

{Counseling Hearts}

Back to School Series

I am going to begin a series of Back to School Lessons.
These are my favorite lessons to get the year going.
They are great for teachers and counselors!

One thing I encourage you to keep in mind is....
If you do not own -or- your local school library does not own
a book I recommend, then dig through your stash and find one that you can incorporate!

Check back this week for some GREAT free lessons!!!

I'm Back

There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger!
Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.
"Alice in Wonderland"

I am back from Vaca and ready to go.
We had a wonderful time on the west coast.
The weather was amazing....
So much better than this HOT Texas weather!

I have managed to unpack, get laundry put up, and step back into my office.
I have begun to put things back together and get organized for the upcoming year.
It will be here before we know it!

Thank you to all the new followers!
I am so excited!!!

Being Different

Every year I use books when discussing
we are all unique and different.

I teach students that it is OKAY to be different
we are all DIFFERENT!

I tie this into bullying and respecting one another.

I am always on the hunt for great books.

I am a children's book JuNkIE!!!

click on the book for a direct link

{Barnes & Noble Book Overview}

Velvet is odd. Instead of dolls that talk and cry, Velvet brings a milkweed pod for show and tell. She wins the class art contest using only an eight-pack of crayons. She likes to collect rocks. Even her name is strange-Velvet! But as the school year unfolds, the things Velvet does and the things that Velvet says slowly begin to make sense. And, in the end, Velvet's classmates discover that being different is what makes Velvet so much fun.
Although she dresses differently from the other girls and does things which are unusual, Velvet eventually teaches her classmates that even an outsider has something to offer.

Isn't Velvet a cutie tootie!?!?
I am thinking we can create little Velvet to display in the hall!

I think this book will come in handy with little girls being mean also.
{We all need a good book for that!}

Recess Queen

A great book to add to your counseling or/or teacher resources!

Where is the number one place on your campus
where bullying occurs the most???

Recess is probably number 1 or a close 2nd!!!

{BOOK overview from Barnes & Noble}


A fresh & original twist on the common issue of bullying. Kids will relate, & parents & teachers will appreciate the story's deft handling of conflict resolution (which happens w/o adult intervention)
Mean Jean was Recess Queen and nobody said any different.
Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung.
Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked.
Nobody bounced until Mean Jean bounced.
If kids ever crossed her, she'd push 'em and smoosh 'em lollapaloosh 'em, hammer 'em, slammer 'em kitz and kajammer 'em.
Until a new kid came to school!
With her irrepressible spirit, the new girl dethrones the reigning recess bully by becoming her friend in this infectious playground romp.
Super Excited about this book!  Can't believe I have never seen it before!?!?!?
My mind is spinning with cute guidance lessons to create.


Needing some bullying resources to file away
and pull out on a rainy day???

I am always searching for new ideas to implement
in the school.

These sites offer some great resources...
even if you don't have the money
in your budget to buy the program.

&&& who doesn't love free videos???

{counselor 2 counselor}


Vacation is getting closer!
The countdown has begun at our house!

The past few summers we have hit the
Florida Coast and our favorite spot, Disney World!

But this summer we are venturing to the West Coast!
We will spend a few days at Disney Land, a day at Legoland,
Hollywood, and a couple of days at the beach!

“The Second Star To The Right”

"You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly!"
So the time I worry about the most… Flying for the long hours with the kids!
I have a lot of new little things (aka JUNK) ready to bust out!
I also made the kids books for the plane ride.
It has pictures of what we are doing each day!
(also an itinerary for my husband- Ha!)

My-oh-my-oh what a wonderful day!
Plenty of sunshine headin’ our way!
Since we have spent the past few summers in the Hot Florida Sun.
We are not going to know what to do with 60-80 degree weather.
It will fell like heaven!!!

"The Bare Necessities" (that’s a lot of necessities)
Yes, I am a crazy planner and I have started our packing

"Heigh Ho Heigh Ho”
It’s off to buy a stroller we go…
Stroller Number 5 &&&& 6!!!
We bought another set of strollers. We have had the double front and back, double side by side, umbrella strollers, and now 2 more individual strollers!!! 
(I offer free stroller advice for all new moms – HA!)

"Hakuna Matata"
no worries… Isn’t that the best part of vacation! Getting away!

The above pics were from Vaca's of the past!
Here are more current pics....
Perfect for our arrival in LA!

Hollywood Watch Out!!!

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” –Walt Disney

Teacher Appreciation

Danielle had a really cute idea at www.schcounselor.com
about a Birthday wreath for teachers.

It made me start thinking about ways to create a 
POSITIVE and collaborative school environment
for our teachers.

So, of course I turned to Pinterest to begin my search 
for new creative ideas to keep the morale going
on our campus!

School Counselor has a great article called:
Taking Your School's Temperature
and how school climate affects students and staff.

Simple thank yous and small gifts can help you build a relationship
with your staff, and make the environment more conducive to learning.
Everyone needs a Thank You and a Pat on the Back!

How do you contribute to your school's temperature?
Do you reach out to teachers to help them and say, "job well done?"
Are you working collaboratively with your Administration Team?
Are you creating new energetic lessons to incorporate in this High Stakes Testing Error?


Every year, when February rolls around, I do a unit on Kindness!  It is one of my favorite lessons.  I am stretched Kinder-7th grade with guidance lessons, so this is one topic I use for every grade level.  Taking a general topic like Kindness can be tweaked to reach various age levels.
Valentine’s is one of my favorite holidays!
{I know, I know, I know…. Romantic at heart!}

The core of the lesson!
For every grade level we discuss:
What is Kindness?
How do we show Kindness?
When and where can we be Kind?

With my little bitties, we discuss and I write either on butcher paper or the board.
With my older students, I have each student or group write something for each topic and we discuss.
{Writing variations: Hand out Sticky Notes, different colored HeArTs, let each group create a chart on butcher paper, etc.}
Originally I started Kindness during February because Random Acts of Kindness typically falls during that month.  I have had the Principal read Kindness Quotes each day during announcements.  I have had Random Acts of Kindness stickers that we have handed out.  Check out the site for great ideas:

Create a School Wide Kindness Environment!

Create a tree and when a child is caught doing an act of Kindness they can add a leaf to the tree!  I am thinking of doing a Heart Tree this year!
Then, each grade level creates a Valentine Craft!
Why? Because isn’t kindness --- LOVE???
I have learned that when my students come to me for a guidance lesson, the topic sticks when they have visuals or create!
Then, we take every craft and place in the library hall.
Every grade level completes something different!

Kinder: Caterpillar
1st grade: Ladybug
2nd grade: Frogs
3rd grade: Butterfly
4th grade: Crabs
5th grade: Monkey
6th grade: Create a heart collage.  They take old magazines and cut out pictures of Kindness.  We glue them on butcher paper and I cut it out in the shape of a VERY large heart!
7th grade: Crayon Hearts

I tape all the critters on the ceiling!

The kids love it!

{Counselor 2 Counselor}


{click below for some free notecards}

{school counselor}


Zig Note Cards

Need some cute zig zag note cards...

Well, click below!

{Enjoy a Freebie}

A note from the teacher...

A note from the counselor...