Sunday, June 29, 2014

Kindle Fire for Counseling, Part 2 :)

Hello everyone!!

I know that many of you are at #ASCA14 this week, and I hope that you are having a great time and I wish I could be there! :) A few months ago, I did a post on using the Kindle Fire for counseling which you can read HERE. Recently, I have discovered more things that the Kindle has to offer, and I wanted to share them with you all! These apps are great for working with students, and staying organized!

  • College Seeker: This is a FREE app available that allows you to search for colleges using various criteria. There is even space to enter SAT scores, location, public or private, and number of students! You can even filter your search by state, which I love, and can work out great for High school counselors and students!
  • My Notebooks: This app has definitely changed the way that I jot things down. This app is also FREE, and I love it!! With this app, you can keep a notebook for just about anything, and choose from different covers! I have created a digital notebook for food recipe ideas, crafting, and my blog. I also plan to add a notebook for future small groups, bulletin boards. The app also has TONS of space to add many notebooks! Did I mention that you can attach documents and photos in your notebooks? Yes, and pages can also be exported into a PDF and emailed to yourself! This is a great way to keep those ideas organized! In addition to writing, you can also use the drawing and painting tool! This can be applied to counseling and many other areas, and keeping those ideas organized!
  • Simple List FREE: This is great to digitally keep track of the many tasks that you have on your plate. You can have multiple lists, giving each a title :) For example, I like to organize things that need to be done for each task. For my ASCA Bullying Prevention Specialist Training, I created a specific to-do list for all of the tasks :)
  • Whiteboard: This FREE app is great for kids, where they can draw, create shapes, and add text! 
  • Palette Painter: This is also FREE, and similar to Whiteboard, as kids can draw and express themselves digitally! 
  • Scholly: Scholarship Search: This app is 99 cents, and allows students to search for scholarships that they qualify for by gender, grade, GPA, state, race/ethnicity. This app can be great for having specific scholarship information available for high school seniors!  :)
  • Jorte Calendar & Organizer: If you love to keep track of things on a digital planner, this FREE app is perfect for you! It can help you keep track of personal responsibilities, classroom guidance lessons, small groups, meetings, etc. 
Are you interested in purchasing a Kindle Fire? I purchased the Kindle Fire HD 7" for $139 on amazon. When I first purchased it, they offered me a FREE one month trial of amazon prime for FREE! 

I am always on the look out for Amazon kindle resources for counseling, and I will be sure to always share them! 

Books that I have on my Kindle Fire:

The School Counselors' Book of Lists by Dorothy J. Blum and Tamara E. Davis: This book is excellent! It provides great information on all aspects of the school counseling program (e.g. working with parents, small group sessions, working with students, and more!) I recommend this! 

Cyber Kids, Cyber Bullying, Cyber Balance by Barbara C. Troll and Constance Hanel: I read this book for the ASCA Bullying Prevention Specialist Training and I love it! This is a great resource to have on the issue of cyberbullying!

Dr. Seuss Books

Joy Berry Classics: These cover a number of topics for the little ones! 

My TpT Summer Sale starts tomorrow!! Everything in my store will be 20% off until Thursday! Click on the widget to your right to check out my store! :)

Enjoy the rest of your summer, and be sure to RELAX!! 

Take care, 


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tips for running small groups!

Hi There!!

This is a follow-up to my Small Group Counseling Post :) I came up with a few tips to keep in mind when running small groups which have been helpful for me!

1. Document what worked and what didn't: In practicum, I wrote down which activities worked for group sessions, and it was very helpful! It can help you plan the remaining sessions for your group and reactions of the group members to the activity. Whether you write it down, use or use an excel spreadsheet, having a system for documenting and debriefing sessions can really go a long way! Also, if you happen to run the same type of group later, you can even refer to what has worked in the past for guidance and future planning!

This is a printable that I created to help me track what worked and what didn't for particular groups and sessions! It is available for FREE in my TeachersPayTeachers store! You can download it HERE.

2. Evaluations for Groups: This is an awesome way to get feedback from your students! I personally like the Likert scale when creating group evaluations :) Depending on the age group, feelings faces can also work well :) I've always learned that it is important to make an evaluation both at the start of the group and at the end of the group! Groups: Planning and Leadership Skills is a great resource to refer to when running groups :) This was a textbook for one of my courses and it has great examples on evaluations, brainstorming, sequencing, and so much more!! I recommend it :)

3. Switch things up & get creative! I love the idea of providing variety in groups and getting to see students interact in different ways! Discussions are great, but it also great to have a variety of games, movement activities, and more! Students can sometimes get used to the same thing, and providing different opportunities to learn about themselves and group members through other means is helpful as well :)

4. Drawing out members: Participation is key :) It is important for group members to get as much out of the experience as possible. Similar to the last step, various group activities can allow members to contribute and learn from others in the small group counseling experience. Giving each member opportunity to share is a great way to give each member the floor! Teaching group members to not only participate, but give others the opportunity to do so as well!

5. Go with the flow! In teaching, there is always a possibility that the lesson plan may not go exactly as written...and that also applies to small group as well. It is always possible that you may need to tweak your goals, objectives, and plans to fit the needs of the group. The key to this is flexibility, and going where your group goes, and letting the students contribute to the group goals, objectives, and plans :)

6. Have a Plan B: If something is not going as planned in the moment, you can try to switch to Plan B to see if that goes well. If you are trying something new that you are unsure of, having a plan B in this case can be extremely helpful :) Speaking of planning, over plan! I always find it helpful to plan more than you think you should! I also use my small group planning schedule that I created to plan what materials I need, in case I don't forget anything beforehand!

7. Resources: There are MANY resources and lesson ideas available to you! With pinterest boards, TeachersPayTeachers, counseling blogs, and much more! I try to organize my pinterest boards by topic so I can reference them in a flash when I'm looking for ideas! With all of the many resources for ideas, this can also help with variety in session. You can never have enough ideas for icebreakers and small group sessions!

My Small Group Planning Materials (Planning and Documentation Form) are also available for free by clicking  HERE

What ideas do you have for small groups? What has worked for you and your groups in the past? Again, I would love to hear them!!

 I hope that you have found these tips and free printables useful :) I know that I have been on a blogging kick lately, ideas have been popping in my head to share with everyone! My vacation starts tomorrow, so I will be practicing self-care!

Take care & enjoy the summer,


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Girls Group Resources

Hi Everyone!!

I know that I have been commenting on summer in the last few blog posts....but I am really excited about it. In my last post, I talked about small group counseling and how vital it is to school counseling programs and for students!! In practicum, I had the pleasure of running a girls group with my supervisor and I loved it!! I loved it so much that I began to get resources together to use in the future. There are many books and websites out there that have many resources when helping girls with particular issues and in small groups! I have also included products in my TeachersPayTeachers store (some are available for FREE!)

Websites I recommend: 

The Ophelia Project: The Ophelia Project has a number of amazing resources for bullying support with girls! I frequent this website very often, and it has much information in for relational aggression in both boys and girls! There is information for schools, parents, and lessons and activities that you can use for individual and group lessons! This site is one of my favorites, and the resources cover relational aggression, cyberbullying, elementary/middle school friendship units, and more! You can check out their website HERE.

Girls, Inc: I love this website also!! This website inspires girls to be the best that they can be! There is information for parents on particular issues, and Girls Inc. programs designed to help other girls such as Friendly PEERsausian :) You can check out what this website has to offer HERE. The Website also includes a Girls Bill of Rights, which is awesome to use for group!

Books I Love! 

Bullying in the Girls World by Diane S. Senn: This book covers a number of topics pertinent to girls in school, and many individual, group, and resources for teachers and parents on the issue of relational/aggression and bullying! This book is about $28 on amazon, and a great investment!

The Girls Guide to Loving Yourself by Diane Jensen: I came across this one on amazon and got it for a GREAT price, (used for $5) and it has many great lessons for ways to deal with emotions, dating, friendship, and just being comfortable with yourself. Many of the topics in this book can be lessons by themselves!! 

I have also listed a few books that are on my wishlist:
  • G.I.R.L.S In Real Life Situations by Julia V. Taylor and Shannon Trice-Black 
  • Guiding Girls Toward Greatness by Melanie Martin 
  • I Hate Wendy Club: Lessons & Activities on Relational Aggression, grades 2-5
  • The Sandwich Swap

These are some of the resources that I own and plan to get in the near future! Many of the activities are great, and can be used over and over!! I have also created a few products that are available in my TeachersPayTeachers store!

The first one is my Self-Esteem Dice Game, that you can download for free HERE. This game includes a cut-and-fold dice with questions and statements in relation to self-esteem :)

My Girls Group Activity Pack  is also available for purchase and it includes activities on self-esteem, friendship, cyberbullying, gossip and rumors, popularity, and relating to others (a last session activity) by writing what you like about the other members! The I Like Myself Freebie is also available!!

The Relational Aggression Bingo Game is available as well as my "I am Special and Unique" Self-Esteem Freebie- Check them Out in my Store!!

I hope that this post was of use to you in building your resources!! I hope that everyone is enjoying the summer!! If the school year isn't quite over for you, you are almost there!!

Until Next Time,


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Small Group Counseling :)

Hi Everyone,

Is everyone excited for summer yet? I am excited that the semester is over, and that has given me time to blog and create new ideas!!
In this post, I wanted to talk about counseling in small groups :) I personally love all things counseling, but I want to briefly discuss small groups. I love the idea of small groups and how students learning and hearing from one another is quite therapeutic. In my graduate coursework, I took a group work class and I fell in love with counseling small groups even more! In my practicum, I had experiences running small groups, and I absolutely loved counseling students in the form of a group lesson. Most of all, it is like having a group chat,  in such a fun way! I think that, small groups are great to have in schools, and also helps students learn from others and interact!
Lately, I have been creating a few activity packs for my TeachersPayTeachers Store, which are perfect for running small groups and individual sessions also. One is my Anger Management Pack that includes 5 activities to help students manage their anger :) The next pack that I recently created is my Girls Group Activity Pack that you can purchase!! My Girls Group Pack includes activities that pertain to topics including popularity, friendship, cyberbullying, gossip/rumors, self-esteem, and relating to others :) Third, I also have posted my Success Skills Activity Pack that focuses on goal setting, being a good student, test taking, organization skills, setting priorities, and keeping track of assignments :)

 In my spare time, I have also been up to creating my internship planner for next year which I will share in an upcoming blog post. On the other hand, my personal planner is complete which brings me to my Cheerful Counseling Crafty Moment :) I will begin to do an occassional "crafty moment" in my blog post, where I post a creative DIY idea!! For this post, it is my DIY Personal Planner, which can be for work or for organizing your personal life and School Counseling Program!!
I used some printables from etsy, but I created all of the printables that you see here....Be on the lookout for more crafty moments and my DIY Planner Post coming next month!! 

Do you also love small groups? If so, what awesome ideas have you done that have worked well? I would love to hear them!! 

Summer is right around the corner fellow counselors!!

~Nicole :)
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