Making Study Skills (Learning Skills) Lessons Fun

Tuesday, December 26, 2017
The only real consensus our 2nd grade team had on the needs assessment was that they thought their students needed lessons on...well...how to be better students. People often call this "study skills" but I try to use the term "learning skills" or "learner skills" because I think it better captures what we mean when we're talking about elementary age kids.

Faced with a boring topic and a tricky grade level, my co-counselor and I decided we needed to make these lessons super, extra, engaging. Our students actually have very little screen time during the day (we don't have much technology in our building), so we thought animated and interactive PowerPoints would be fun for them. We wanted to provide as much continuity between the lessons as we could as well (see this post on how we do our core curriculum for more on this) so even though there is some overlap between the skills, we added in a theme as well: Super Students. I give some credit here to my fantastic co-counselor who went to Ron Clark Academy last spring and really convinced me to up our game in "setting the stage to engage."

School Counseling Needs Assessment

Thursday, December 21, 2017
This is the second in a series of posts all on how I map and plan my core curriculum; the first was on my vision for curriculum mapping.

I posted a quick pic on my instastories about my needs assessment this year and got a few requests for more info after. Questions about my needs assessment were also the number one thing I got emails for after I presented at a local conference. I cannot claim to be an expert with them but I am happy to share more about how I create mine, what's on it, what's worked, and what hasn't.
school counseling needs assessment

While I'll use google forms for my pre/post surveys regarding less effectiveness, I needed my needs assessment to be hard copy. I was creating it a little last minute this year and could only conceptualize it on paper. Some fast facts about my needs assessment:

Whose Job Is It? Responsibility Lesson Plan

Monday, December 11, 2017
Next up for 4th grade's responsibility unit (part one was choices and consequences) was helping them understand what responsibilities are theirs versus their teachers' versus their parents'. Our teachers had noticed students saying things like "My mom forgot to put my homework in my backpack!" and "You didn't remind me!" It was time to review with them what they were in charge of taking care of!

responsibility lesson plan
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