Saturday, March 29, 2014

Bulletin Boards: A Blast from the past!

Hi everyone!

I hope that you all are enjoying the weekend!! I sure am :) I was actually going through some pics of old bulletin boards that I've done...and decided to share them with you all! :) During my undergrad, I worked as an RPM-Resident Peer Mentor in my residence hall (we were available to assist students with academic support and worked alongside the RA's) which I loved!! My bulletin boards catered to academic and college information! Since these boards were posted in for college students, but I have also included ways to adapt these to different age levels.. I apologize that my pictures aren't clear..they were taken from a distance and many are somewhat blurry..but the titles are clear enough to read and I have included descriptions:

Bulletin Board Title: College Life

For this board, I included a path to inform students on what they can be doing during each year of their college path-the road to their future career. I have included a start and finish to the path, and tips for students for each year For example, during freshman year students can work to learn and get familiar with the campus, and getting involved. If they are unsure of a major, they can take a few classes on things that interest them, and see if a future career can spark from that. Also, deciding if they want to look for a career after graduation or continue their education are things to think about during junior year. This board can be applied to High School Students by listing things to do during each year of high school as they prepare for college/career!Or even at the middle school level on what they can do to prepare for high school life! This is byfar one of my favorite boards from undergrad :) In the cut-out suns, I included tips on how they can be productive over the summer (internship opportunities, prepare and take exams if they need to)

Bulletin Board Title: Get Schooled! On Grad School
I created this board when I was a senior in undergrad, and taking the next step to move on to graduate school. I included information on what master's programs are offered at the school where I attended for undergrad (if they wish to stay) tests they may need to take, etc. This is a great theme for a college information board and even including financial aid information, SAT/ACT information, etc I included a link and QR code for students to access the Petersons online college guide which you can find here. Including career options is an awesome idea too! Getting students college and career ready!

 Bulletin Board Title: The Sweet Taste of Success
I created this as a candy/valentine's day theme board! I have included all sorts of yummy treats, and successful academic study tips for students! I included this board to have assist students with academic success!! I love this one because the theme can be adapted to many age levels!

 Bulletin Board Titles: Give Yourself a Pat on the Back & Treat Yourself
I decided to group these two together since they are based on the same topic. These boards discuss rewarding yourself and taking a break after a job well done! For the "Pat on the back" board, I included paper hands as the border and ways to reward yourself. The "Treat Yourself" board includes ways to reward yourself and to take time to relax and each cookie/cupcake. This board is great for students and staff as well. With staff, it can provide tips to help prevent burnout for teachers, counselors and all members of the school!!

This was alot of fun taking a walk down memory lane on the bulletin boards that I created :) I hope that these  ideas will be useful to you in the future! What bulletin board ideas have you used in your schools? Did any of your bulletin boards reflect school-wide themes? I would love to hear them!

I hope that everyone enjoys their upcoming week!

Until next time...


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kindle Fire for Counseling and spring freebie week!

Hello all!

I hope that everyone is enjoying the weekend! Spring break has begun for me and I am excited to rest and relax! :) With this rest and relaxation time, I will be starting my Spring Freebie Week tomorrow through friday with 5 freebies! I have decided to reveal the surprise freebies today! They can be downloaded in my TeachersPayTeachers store!- Click on the widget on the right to access my store :)

Monday: Blank 12-month calendar: Perfect for planning your cirriculum, classroom guidance lessons, small groups, meetings and more!
Tuesday: Small Group Debreifing Chart- Great way to plan small groups with group name, session, activity, and space to include how the activity went!
Wednesday: "I am unique!" Self-Esteem Activity
Thursday: Ice Breaker Activity
Friday: Quote printable: Great to frame and place in the counseling office!

Last fall, as a birthday gift to myself I purchased the 7" Kindle Fire HD (only about $139 on amazon!) I love it because it has web, apps, and books as well. With technology in counseling becoming more popular, I have decided to find ways to use this in counseling as well. The Kindle Fire has many different apps from the iPad since it is an andrioid device, and I have listed some pretty awesome ones that I have come across:
  • My Binder: The "My Binder" app is FREE, and you can store anything notes that you would like! (Be careful what notes you store in case you lose it). You can store & name up to 4 binders, with 5 tabs each! You can organize many things on here. For example, I have created a binder for small group ideas for specific grade levels and topics! I love that I can write and organize ideas in a paperless way! 
  • Super Duper Publications: Super Duper Publications has many apps that are $1.99 each. These include the "How would you feel if..." , "What would you do at school if..." with particular situations, and students can discuss what they would do or how they would feel :) This can work for group lessons on empathy and/or social skills. You can also choose which scenarios that you can use for each activity! 
  • Dr. Suess Books: Dr. Suess books are some of my favorites, and many work great for counseling! "Oh, the places you'll go!", "The Sneetches and other stories", "Oh the thinks you can think!"are pretty amazing! Each are $3.99 and can be downloaded instantly and right at your fingertips (literally, lol)! 
  • "Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the courage to be who you are" by Maria Dismondy: I found this on the Kindle Fire for $1.99 download! I am so excited for this. This can be great a book for individuals and small groups on bullying, and "being yourself"! 
  • Finger Paint FREE: This app is great for working with individuals...You can have the students draw freely about something or having them draw what makes them happy, angry, etc. The opportunities are endless with this one! 
  • Sesame Street Divorce: Another FREE app! It is also a great one for helping those little ones cope with divorce in their family. It has coloring, question, and great stuff for parents too! 
  • Sesame Street "The Big Moving Adventure: This app is also FREE, and good for helping the little ones with moving and adjusting to being in a new place :) Great for little ones (K-1) 
For the 7" Kindle Fire HD, the screen is perfect or individuals and groups, I wouldn't recommend it for large classroom guidance lessons. There is an an 8.9" kindle that costs a little more :) But I hope that those with a Kindle Fire have found this post useful.

I hope that everyone enjoys their week! For those of you on spring break, enjoy your week off!

Until next time...


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Freebie Week!

Hello again!

Tomorrow marks the first day of spring!! I know that I have said this over and over, but I am just so super excited! I even have a fun week planned for you all: My Spring Freebie week!! Monday through Friday of next week (March 24-28) there will be a surprise freebie for you to download! Just visit the Cheerful Counseling Blog each day, and download the freebie posted for that day! I cannot wait for my week of relaxation and spring freebie week! :)

In addition, the Cheerful Counseling facebook page is now available! :) The next 5 people that like my facebook page will recieve an additional freebie next week! If you are one of the lucky people to like the page, I will inbox you giving you a choice of which additional freebie you would like!! You can like the page here:

Here is my FREE empathy activity! You can download this for FREE in my TeachersPayTeachers store! This product comes with 6 scenarios with 3 on each page! I cut them out and laminated them to make long lasting scenario cards since this lesson can be done over and over! A worksheet is included as well so students can write and/or draw about what they would do in a particular situation and how they can use empathy. Dividing the students into groups of 6 and giving each group a scenario can make a great classroom guidance lesson! You can download this freebie here.

 I also recommend the book "Stand in my Shoes: Teaching Kids about Empathy" by Bob Sornson! It's only about $6 on amazon and compliments this activity well!

Enjoy the rest of your week all!

Until next time...


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring is upon us!

Hello all!

First day of spring is near, and I am pretty excited :) It has been a pretty awful winter here in the midwest, and I am hoping for sunshine and clear skies. With Spring Break coming up next , my hope is that the snow days are finally behind us!

Lately, I have found the time to post a few new products in my TeachersPayTeachers Store! One of these new products is my Printable Journal Book for students that you can purchase for only $1.50!! I love the idea of journal writing in counseling, and I created these blank so that students can draw, color and/or write in their journal. This can be adapted to all age levels! These pages are great because you can print as many or as few as you would like, and can be used again and again with different kiddos! You can purchase this product here.

There are two different pages that can be used! One has a blank face for students to draw how they are feeling! The other has just space for drawing and/or writing, whatever works best for who you are working with! This product includes a cover page as well :)

Also, I know how time consuming bulletin boards can be, so I created this time saver that you can purchase! I have created ladybug themed bulletin board materials titled "What's bugging you?" and coming to see the School Counselor and what we are there for! Just print materials, cut out letters and staple onto the board and you are all set! Don't forget your background paper and border first (Background paper & border not included in this product).

This product comes with red letters that spell out "What's Bugging You?" and chevron ladybug themed printables that you can just staple onto your board! This item can be purchased for $3.00 here

Get Excited Counselors and Counselors-to-be: With spring break fast approaching, I will have some very exciting freebies soon! I will have a new downloadable freebie for Monday-Friday of next week! A total of  5 freebies! Details to follow in the upcoming week! Don't forget to subscribe to the blog and follow Cheerful Counseling on Facebook! Click here to like! Facebook button coming soon!

I hope everyone is enjoying their week! Spring break is coming up and I am just so super excited! 

Until Next Time...


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Turning Dollar Store finds into Counseling Treasures!

Hi There!!

Hopefully everyone had a fantastic week! It is currently raining where I am, which made it the perfect time to make a plate of my favorite snack (pretzel crisps & carrots dipped in hummus) and catch up with my blog! 

I frequent the dollar store, and sometimes I even visit there to see what they have, and what great counseling ideas I can come up with for individuals and groups! I came up with a list of 5 things that I have purchased for my counseling treasure box that I use and plan to use again and again :)

1. Poster Board: I love to use poster board because the opportunities with this item are endless!! For a self-esteem group, having the members write their name in the center (they can also draw themselves or bring a picture in for a personal touch) and write personal attributes about themselves. You can even pass the boards around and have each group member write something nice about the other. Poster Board can be used in so many ways and for many topics including: 
  • Memory Poster as a Grief Activity for Students 
  • Getting to know you activity: a favorite things poster (Favorite food, favorite tv shows, and things that they are good at) 
Again, the list goes on and on! The best part is that a white poster board is 0.50 cents and around 70 cents for colored poster! These are a pretty decent size, you can always cut them in half or even fourths depending on the activity. The poster also gives the students something tangible to keep from the experience, which I love :) (Note: With the grief group, it is important to keep in mind the students that you are working with, and if the poster activity would be appropriate for that group of students)

2. Foam Dice: Comes with 2 in a pack! This was an awesome find, and in fact, I have included a picture below of the one I created :) Dice games can be created for just about anything! These can be found in the toy section, if you have paper or card stock this makes for an easy activity! Simply cut the paper or card stock into squares (6 squares if you are using 1 die and 12 if you plan to use both) Write questions or statement on each square and tape to dice! Have the students take turns rolling :) The best part is, you can simply remove the squares and use this again for another activity! I have also used the dice as is and each number corresponded to a question (classic dice game in counseling).

Here is an example of the Self-Esteem Questions that I added to my die :)

3. Balloons: Oh how I love balloons, and kiddos love them too! After reading "The Secret Olivia Told Me" by N.Joy (a book that is on my wishlist) for secrets and spreading rumors. I got the idea from this book, and first you start by blowing a balloon for the students (you can get a pack of 15 for $1 at the dollar store!) and also giving students sticky notes)...First the students will blow the balloon up as much as they would like, (but not too much so it doesn't pop). The point is, the bigger the secret or rumor, the bigger the balloon gets. Then the students can take turns writing on sticky notes ways to stop the balloon from getting bigger (the rumor from spreading :) Once all the students have given great ideas (you can even break them into groups for brainstorming different ideas) and the balloon can be popped. Having students remember these things to stop rumors and secrets from getting so big! 
In addition, Anger Management can be practiced by taking deep breaths in a balloon, or even the classic stressball recipe! which can be found here :) 
In eliminating negative self talk, have students write on balloons negative statements ("I can't do it, "I'm not smart enough) and popping them!

4. Gift Bags: Gift Bags are my go-to at the dollar store! In counseling, they can be quite therapeutic. I love Liana Lowenstein Books, and in "Creative Interventions for Children of Divorce", one of her interventions is the "Feel Better Bag" for children. You can always alter the contents of the bag for the kiddos that you are working with. Giving them something for their bag to help them feel better can give them something to look when they need to feel better. Again, this is a great tangible item for students! Kiddos can even decide if they have things of their own that they would like to put in their bag (maybe a favorite stuffed animal, picture, or drawing). Opportunities are endless with this item as well!

5. Cooking and Baking Tins: This may seem silly...but hear me can be pretty amazing! In teaching students a certain topic, (I-Messages, deep breaths, bullying)- Making it into a recipe can be both fun and entertaining for students. For example, recipe for not bullying! Students can write and include statements for the baking tin To stop bullying, students can create a recipe list of telling an adult, use kind words, etc. I have included an example of the "Stop Bullying Cake" Below :) I cut squares of paper, but food shapes are great for this also!

This pan is a bit rusty because I've used it for cooking, but you can purchase an alumninum pan for $1 :)

I hope that you all have enjoyed this post, and have found this to be useful in counseling on a budget! 

Also, Cheerful Counseling is now on Facebook! Yes...You heard right!! I will be adding a facebook button soon but for now you can click the link to like Cheerful Counseling on facebook here! There are more opportunities for sharing ideas in addition to the blog, and there will be a freebie for facebook fans coming soon! :)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend...hoping for warm weather!!


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Happy March & Happy Organization!

Happy March Everyone!

This week was the week of I'm sure many of you can relate or have been through the stress that midterm week entails :) Even with the stress of midterms, I still made some time to take advantage of the "3 Million Teachers Strong Sale" on TeachersPayTeachers, and I hope that you all did too! I got some pretty awesome stuff that I cannot wait to use with students, and hang up in my future office!!

Lately, I've been thinking of ways to stay organized...and having fun while doing it... from looking at other school counseling blogs, many have pretty fantastic ways to stay organized also...Right now, I am obsessed with having a binder cover for every binder and customizing everything...It just makes everything look so pretty :) In creating my School Counseling Internship Binder, I also enjoy having dividers that make my binder POP and fun to carry around :)

Last week, I uploaded my School Counselor Organization Pack! I am very proud of this product, and organizing things is a hobby of mine (its a silly hobby compared to others, but it makes me happy, haha lol) This is great for keeping any School Counselor and School Counseling Intern organized with everything that there is to do :) You can purchase this product on my TeachersPayTeachers store by Clicking on the right thumbnail or the link here:

As you can see this pack comes with a number of awesome things for only $2.50! It comes with the following:
  • Counseling Notebook Binder Cover Page (In both color & grayscale)
  • Binder dividers (Meeting Notes, Notes, Small Groups, Counseling Logs, Schedules, and Calendars)
  • Small Group Planning and Documentation Form
  • Parent Contact Log
  • Meeting Notes Sheet (For taking notes at those meetings)
The binder dividers can be used for binder covers also, and inexpensive sticky tabs look great on the side :) I am in the process of putting my binder together and I will post the completed product in a future post!

This blank calendar can be downloaded for free also, and is a great addition to a Counseling Binder...I plan to use this myself and it will serve many purposes from scheduling and planning small groups, school wide events, and classroom guidance. It also works as a communication calendar with teachers. For instance, you can have the calendar posted in the office, teachers lounge, etc (a place where teachers frequent) and they can sign up for times that work for the school counselor to visit their classroom (so instruction time is not interrupted)! The best thing about it is that teachers can sign up at their own time!

 This calendar can be downloaded for free!! Check it out :)

This post may have been a bit wordy...but I just had so much to say and share!! What resources do you have to stay organized? I would LOVE to hear them...feel free to post any comments, questions, and ideas below!!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone! I'm sure that many of us will be staying warm!!


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