Saturday, September 28, 2013

Perseverance: Keep On Keeping On!

I switched around my monthly character traits this year to match my school counseling annual calendar and complement the units I had planned for each month.  Perseverance ended up being my first character trait as I talked about goal setting for the year. I am in the specialist rotation for Kindergarten so I handle their lessons a little differently, but I created Perseverance lessons for 1st/2nd, 3rd, and 4th/5th grades.

My general classroom guidance framework for character trait lessons is:
  •  Introduce the Objective of the Lesson
  • Collection of Pre-test Data 
  • Icebreaker/Hook
  • Video or Book to model the character trait
  • Comprehension check with my students
  • Application of knowledge in an activity
The collection of data has been a work in progress over the last several years as I have focused on simplifying and streamlining my process. I used to collect WAY TOO MUCH DATA and then would never do anything with it because it was too overwhelming and took too much time to analyze.

Now, I typically use a quick multiple choice question as a pre/post test. I ask  students to vote on the definition they think fits best with the character trait word.  Younger students have three multiple choice answers and older students have four multiple choice answers.  You'll see the Perseverance example I used with first and second graders. I add variety by having the students do different activities to share their answers.  Depending on the grade level, students will stand up for the answer they think is correct, go to the corner of the room that matches the letter they are choosing, place sticky notes next to the answer they like best, or simply put their heads down and raise their hands for their choice. After our lesson, I repeat the activity and note the change in numbers.  It is a fast, effective way to document data for each of my classroom guidance lessons.

Here's a brief summary of a couple of my Perseverance lessons:

First and Second Grades 

I read Winners Never Quit by Mia Hamm. 
Then, I introduced a kinesthetic activity to get the students moving.  I brought my glitter soccer ball (a big hit with the kids!) and we formed a large circle. I started by asking the students what skills may be hard to learn in first and second grades. We rolled the ball among us as students brainstormed.   Then, I asked students what they wanted to be great at by the end of the year using the same process.  After brainstorming, the students worked on creating a "Reaching My Goal" booklet.  They drew illustrations for the pre-written pages (will add picture soon).

Third Grade

After getting pre-test data in third grade, my co-counselor began with a rhythm activity. She started out with a simple clapping rhythm that the kids mimicked.  Then, she added complexity to the rhythm with new patterns.  (I was able to get an action shot for you!)  By the end, it was almost impossible for the students to follow along.  She related the increased difficulty to Perseverance in third grade.  We showed this video from  It used the  word "Persistence" instead of Perseverance, but we explained the similarities.  The kids loved and understood the drumming analogy since we had just completed our rhythm activity.  Finally, the students brainstormed skills that could be difficult in third grade, and they completed a Goal Setting sheet (see below).
I loved teaching these lessons, and will share my 4th/5th grade lessons next.  Happy Counseling! ~ Angela

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Christmas in September!

I had to show this picture because I was so excited about getting part of my Donor's Choose book shipment yesterday (my son took the picture so excuse the composition).  These are some of the books I mentioned on the "book club" page I just added to my blog.  I hope you will enjoy the book suggestions and book club tips and be able to use them at your own school!

Also, I wanted to share the presentation I gave at the NC School Counselor's Association last year on book clubs (you may not be able to see it on the mobile view).  I am going to try and figure out how to embed it so anyone can see it, but you will have to request to have it shared on Google Docs for now.  I will also put it on the new tab as a resource.

Finally, I wanted to share a fun idea I found on Pinterest that I used during my book clubs last year.  I took pictures of my students and printed them on a regular copier. Then, I cut them out and pasted them on a thicker cardstock paper.  I laminated them,  punched a hole in the lamination, and added a piece of yarn at the end.  The kids loved it and got to keep it as a reminder of our group.  I will definitely do it again this year!
Happy Counseling! ~ Angela
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...