Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Making my top 5 summer list has kept me HONEST this summer, and I like that! I am almost done with my office decorating projects, and I already submitted a county grant with my principal's approval.  It is focused on getting some technology equipment I would like to use for character education and leadership projects with students (but more on that in another post!).  I'm going to submit a similar grant to another education foundation in hopes that I can get ONE of them, and I also have a Donor's Choose project request that I am going to submit.  So, I have been tackling my to-do list in between pool visits, beach trips, and general hanging with my kiddos.

However, item #4- Guidance Essential Standards- was kind of hanging over my head until last week. I was really excited about hosting a summer PLC with some elementary counselors in my county, and I wanted to finally put the ideas I have been thinking about onto paper in preparation for our meeting. So, I got out my trusty ASCA National Model handbook and got to work.  Here's what I did:

1.  Matched the ASCA National Model competencies I use for K-5 to the Guidance Essential Standards (GES).  There were lots that DID NOT match so I put them to the side.

2.  Created a crosswalk for the GES to show which standards I would use in each K-5 grade level. I know the GES are part of a developmental model so I used knowledge of my students to choose the average developmental level in each grade and can differentiate up or down depending on the lesson topic.  This process is somewhat subjective depending on your students so there could be tweaking based on your student population. 

3.  Created a list for each grade level of the GES I assigned and added supplemental ASCA competencies that weren't aligned to the GES but were important to me to include for that grade level.

I ended up with a document that has a lot going on but helps me feel organized when I am thinking about all the different standards and competencies. I can now make sure my annual calendar includes classroom guidance lessons, small group topics, and school-wide initiatives that cover all the standards/competencies for each grade level. 

As an aside, I searched online extensively before I created this document because I was hoping to find something similar to save me time and not re-invent the wheel. If this document would be helpful to you, check it out at my Life on the Fly Store.
Happy Counseling!  

Thursday, July 18, 2013


It is simple, I love technology.   And, I especially love technology when I can use it in a purposeful way to make my life easier or do something exciting with my students.  Here are a few tech tools/websites I have been exploring lately:

1.  Symbaloo - Symbaloo is a visual bookmark page (almost like a visual Livebinder) where you can organize the websites you visit most.  They call the finished projects "webmixes" and you can search for keywords to find webmixes that might interest you.  The student applications for this website are numerous for teachers and school counselors.  I am already thinking of career lessons I present where students do their own research or go on webquests.  How convenient would it be for a Symbaloo to be the homepage during that activity?!  Here is an elementary school counseling Symbaloo I made with some of the websites I visit most- career resources, social media, blogs, literacy resources, anti-bullying sites, and technology-based programs that I use for student projects.  You can find it live by searching ES Counseling Tools.

2.  Tech Tip of the Week  - This website by Tammy Worcester has 100+ short and sweet tech tips.  You can sign up for her email newsletter and have each tip sent to your inbox to stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest tech tools.  Her tips on QR Codes and the app, Croak.It, are some of my faves.


 I love this website because it deals with being tech-savvy and tech-safe. There are tons of resources for educators, parents, and students.  In particular, their "Best in Learning" section ROCKS!  One of my goals this year is to help parents feel more comfortable with and aware of the tech tools their kids are using, and I will certainly be using this resource a lot!

Happy Counseling!  ~ Angela

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Design on a Dime

I have been tackling my "Top 5" summer list and am having a great time with #1....working on ideas for decorating my office. I'm not going to lie, I have some obstacles:  a small space, strict fire marshall rules, and cinder block walls. However, I am determined to add some warmth and style to my daily work space.

At the end of the school year, I decided I wanted to surround myself and my students with words that would inspire and motivate us to be our best selves. I added the pictured quote, "do something amazing", above my door after I saw something similar on Pinterest.  It is just subtle enough that people will catch it out of the corner of their eye as they are leaving, and I feel like it's such a powerful message.  I also added the quote below, "You are defined by the choices you make.  Choose wisely each day." to my main wall.  I am going to have to change the word "wisely" from yellow to green because it is too light against the cinder block wall, but overall it is a nice addition to my office space.  You can get the "Amazing" quote here.

On each side of this quote, I am going to make turquoise open picture frames like these examples I pinned on Pinterest (shocked?!).  I want to proudly display all the cute cards and pictures that students make for me, and I think this idea will look MUCH better than my current practice of taping them on my testing cabinet.

I am going to use leftover baseboard and molding that is in my garage right now to construct the frames because I want to get rid of it, but clearly an old or cheap picture frame would be ideal.  After I spray paint it turquoise, I will staple wire in rows across the middle or use the chicken wire.  I'm not sure which way I am leaning yet!  I am also going to use these adorable bird clips that I bought from World Market for attaching the artwork. So cute!! I wanted to show you the front and the back of the clips so you could gauge the size, colors, etc.

I also found this AWESOME feelings wheel on Pinterest that I would LOVE to make, but I'm not positive I have a good space for it.  I'm going to keep thinking about possibilities.  If YOU already have the perfect space, visit the Lil Blu Boo website for their tutorial.

So, that's my HGTV post for now. I'll share my finished frame pictures when I am done! As always, I would love to hear ideas about how you make your offices cozy or see actual pics of your work spaces.   
Happy Counseling! ~Angela

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