Friday, April 25, 2014

Counseling Activities using paper & writing utensils!

Good Morning all!

Happy Friday!! I hope that we all plan to relax this weekend, and have some fun!! The weather will be nice here in the midwest, and I plan to take advantage of it! I wanted to write a post for everyone sharing some quick & easy counseling activities if you have paper and pencils on hand! If you would like, crayons, markers, and/or colored pencils are a great addition to these activities depending on the age group!

1. Letter to myself: This is still a great activity to use! In a self-esteem group, a letter writing activity can be great for students! Giving the students an opportunity to write positive thoughts to themselves is quite a rewarding activity!! Journal writing is a great idea too and can be made with just paper

2. Three Column Activity "How I Feel": This is a great solution-focused activity where you have the students fold their paper into 3 columns. In the first column, students can draw or write about how they currently feel about something. In the second column, students can draw or write how they want to feel about something. Lastly, the third c
olumn they can discuss possible ways to get to their desired feeling. For instance, they can draw or write about people who support them, or things that they can do to feel better :)

3.  All about me-Self-Esteem Activity: This activity is a another great way for students to focus on the positives about themselves. They can even draw a picture of themselves in the middle or bring in a picture of their own! Around the drawing or picture, they can include special and unique things about themselves, because everyone is special and unique! I also have a free printable in my TeachersPayTeachers store that you can download HERE.

4. Choice Making Activity: This activity is great in helping the little ones decide on choice making! The students can fold their paper into 3 columns....In the first column, have the students list 3 or more possible choices for a certain topic. In the second column, the students can explore each choice and consider consequences. In the third column, they can write their final choice. If they wish, they can discuss why this was the best choice!
 I also have a printable and worksheet on choice making that you can purchase HERE for $1.50 if you wish!

5. Memory Book: Memory books are a great activity, and can be done using just paper and pencil! This can be good for students experiencing divorce, or grief and loss. For each group session, students can add something new to their book, they can draw pictures or color, and even write about memories that they want to cherish. When the group concludes, this is something tangible that they can take with them if they wish to. So you may need a stapler in addition to the paper for this activity to keep the books together but that's about all!

I used marker and crayons for these activities, which is good for the little ones! This works out great for quick group activities if you have paper on hand! I hope that you have found these to be useful to you!! Also, I am now on Facebook and Twitter, so don't forget to follow me!! You can also subscribe to the blog above to get updates via e-mail when I have uploaded new posts!!

Enjoy the weekend fellow counselors and future counselors!!


Saturday, April 12, 2014

My Internship Kit

Hi Everyone!

It's been a few weeks since I've blogged and its always nice to get back on here :) It's saturday and a beautiful day outside and this has put me in the blogging mood!

With Internship fast approaching, I am so excited!! In practicum, I was super organized with everything and I plan to do the same for internship. For an organized person like me, I like to have it all in one place. I wanted to share my Internship Resource/Organization Kit with everyone and I have included: what I bring, how I pack, and how I keep it all organized!

  For starters, I love my Thirty One Organizing Utility Tote! I use this tote because of how roomy it is in the inside, the many pockets on the outside, and its flat bottom for easy access and organization of items! This is my tote of choice, but feel free to use any tote that you like and what works for you :) You can locate a thirty one representative in your area HERE. I include the following in my internship kit (I will discuss each in further detail)
1. School Counseling Internship Binder (Where I keep many resources and materials)
2. Counseling Notebook
3. Small art supply case
4. Counseling go-to resource book
5. Quick icebreaker and activity ideas

1. My School Counseling Internship Binder: This binder starts off pretty empty in the beginning, but I include a divider for each domain (Academic, College/Career & Personal/Social) and include resources that I accumulate during my experience! When you're done, you've got some school counseling resources available in your binder and you are good to go! I'm using a 1 1/2 inch binder (from target) which has plenty of room and fits perfectly in my organizing tote! In addition to building resources, I learned from The Helpful Counselor  that it is good to keep emergency information and resources in your binder (suicide resources, child abuse & neglect, etc.) Which I have decided to do too!
For the little ones in particular, having blank paper in your binder can be a good idea as well, and there are tons of activities that can be done with simply paper, pencil, crayons/colored pencils, etc. I have included links to other awesome printables that I have included in my binder as well that you can download for free!!

2. Counseling Notebook: I absolutely love this! I used a Five Star Notebinder to make this which is an idea from the amazing school counseling blog JYJCounselor! I used some ideas from the post to create my own! This Five Star Notebinder is amazing! It comes with lined paper, graph paper, and dividers! I ordered my notebinder with customizable cover on amazon HERE.
I have the following divider sections that I use for this notebinder:
*Small Groups
*Schedules & Calendars
*Meeting Notes
*Counseling Logs (I keep my to-do lists here as well)

I used my School Counselor Organization Pack for this notebook that you can purchase in my TeachersPayTeachers store for only $2.50! It comes complete with log sheets/forms, dividers, and binder covers to help making organization a breeze!! Purchase it here!

Other items that I used for my Counseling Notebook (You can download them for free!)
  • My Small Group Planning Materials: Download them HERE
  • My School Counselor To-Do List Printable: Download it here!
  • "A Year of Many Firsts" Chevron Binder Covers and Monogram it for free HERE!
  • My Blank 12-month calendar freebie (Monday-Friday)- They are blank and can be printed and used year after year! Download for free!
  • My Small Group Debriefing Chart

3. Small Art Supply Case: I love to keep this case in my Internship Kit, they are only about $1 at the dollar store or walmart! It fits perfectly in my kit, and I keep 24-pack crayons, glue sticks, scissors, colored pencils, and 10-pack of markers, which are all inexpensive!

4. Counseling go-to resource book: My book of choice for my kit is "Grab Bag Guidance: And other Small-Group Counseling Topics for Middle School Students" by Becky Kirby!! Her books are amazing, especially for middle school counselors. With me being at the middle school for internship, her books are awesome!! "Grab Bag Guidance" includes energizers and wonderful activities that cover so many topics including grief & loss, divorce, success skills, self-esteem, etc. Excellent for classroom and group activities! I will be doing a future blog post on my favorite counseling books and resources soon, featuring books by Becky Kirby! This book is about $30 but totally worth it! You can purchase it HERE and get free shipping! Feel free to choose your book of choice for your kit!!

5. Quick Ice Breaker and Activity Ideas: This bag can be great to have whenever you are in need of a quick ice breaker or individual/group activity. I got my first Thumball as a christmas present, and I cannot wait to use this with students! Great way to get to know students as well, and they are about $10 on amazon! I also have included blank index cards as they can serve many purposes! These can serve as quick converstation starters activity by writing down questions that pertain to your group topic, or have group members write their own questions to share! They can even be cut and taped on to large foam dice, which I have also included. The dice game can be a great interactive game for any group, and you can always remove the squares and place new questions for a different group! I purchased my foam dice for only $1, and you can check out my blog post on foam dice and other dollar store counseling finds HERE!

The best part about it is....everything fits in one place! All in my organizing tote! I even have space for my Vera Bradley Lunch Bunch Tote!
Pardon my! There are a number of pockets on the outside in case I need them, which I love..there's even space for a small water bottle in one of the pockets! I have actually use one pocket for post-it notes and pen in case I need to jot down something quickly! In additon, a small notebook/notepad can be great for your intership kit! 

I hope that you all have enjoyed this post and have found it useful! Also, feel free to adjust your kit for your age group as well!! I hope that you all enjoy your week!! Also, don't forget to like Cheerful Counseling on Facebook! Facebook fan freebie coming soon!! 

I would also like to hear from you!! What ways have or did you stay organized in internship?? If you are a practicing school counselor, how do you stay organized now? What advice do you have for interns or those just entering the profession? Feel free to post in the comments!! 


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