Sunday, September 18, 2016

Welcome Friends!

10 years ago I thought I worked at a school that had a transient population. Now, I just think that all of society is a transient population with ever-changing jobs, interests, and life.  It is common for kids to attend 2 or 3 schools, just in elementary school! At my current school, new students pour in all year long even up to the last weeks of school when we are taking End of Grade tests. I have become accustomed to welcoming all students, including new students, during my Introduction to the School Counselor lessons. I also like to spend at least one lunch period with all new students in my grade levels, second grade and up, in a New Student Group.
In previous years, we have played New Student Bingo as a "getting to know you" activity and then we discuss how new students are transitioning to the school, emphasizing friendship skills.  This year, I am trying a few new things with a Skittles icebreaker and question cards to structure the discussion a little more.  Here are a few examples of my question cards........

I also updated my welcome certificates for new students.  At the end of last year, our Leadership Club decorated the certificates and added sweet message for new students to give them a more personal feel. I loved handing them out to new students in the spring and had some left over for the beginning of this year; now I have to replenish!  I use the welcome certificates to close the group and encourage the students to hang them on their wall at home to remind them how excited we are to have them at our school now.  
If you want a ready-made New Student Group Pack, check out my new addition at the Life on the Fly TPT store. It will be 20% off for the next 24 hours!  
Happy Almost-Fall and Enjoy! ~ Angela

Friday, September 9, 2016

Color me HAPPY!

*Image from

Have you caught the fever of the adult coloring craze?!! I bought the above book for my 5 year old daughter last Christmas because it caught her eye in a bookstore, and I thought we could color it together even if it was too hard for her alone. Kids and adults alike are LOVING coloring intricate designs.  You may remember my 2015 ASCA conference post when I learned about mandalas and started using them as an icebreaker and relaxation exercise during individual counseling.  It has continued to be a great activity for students of all ages, and I love it!

So, you can imagine my enthusiasm when I saw these AWESOME bulletin boards that our fantastic art teacher, Kim Pound, created for the start of school.

She did them freehand (YES!!!) to creative interactive boards where students could add pattern and color during Open House or other times during the day. I was so impressed that it got me thinking about how I could incorporate interactive coloring into my school counseling program.

I am still wrapping my mind around a few "new student group" ideas, but I did add the coloring sheets below when I taught my Kindergarten and second grade Intro to the School Counselor Lessons (My avatar sheet was added at the end of the campfire lesson but is not in the bundle).  They serve a dual purpose of informing parents that I am the school counselor and spoke to their child's class AND helps kids remember how I can support them at school. Students will fill in the boxes around my avatar with ways I can help them this school year AFTER we have completed the lesson as a quick comprehension check;  it's kind of like my formative assessment to ensure no one missed the main points of the school counselor's role during the lesson.  This fantastic avatar line drawing is the beautiful work of Surfer Clips on TPT. I highly recommend him!

And if coloring doesn't make you happy, I hope this next news will!!! I finally reached 350 followers at my Life on the Fly TPT Store and am celebrating by putting my ENTIRE STORE ON SALE until Monday...yes, everything! 
Act quickly, enjoy, and Happy Counseling! ~ Angela
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