Google+ Elementary School Counselor blog, by Scott Ertl, Elementary School Counselor: March 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top 5 Questions Bloggers Want To Ask Their Readers

Top 5 Questions 

Bloggers Want to Ask 

Their Readers:

Just so you know, this information is based on a 100% scientific, double-blind study with a control group and extensive interview of over 3,500 bloggers. Okay, I admit it, this is just what I think every blogger secretly wishes. (I certainly do!)

1. Do you like my post and/or is it helpful? Why don't you like it when it only takes a second?

2. What ideas could you add to the conversation so everyone can benefit even more?

3. Will you share a link to my post on your Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, blog, or email list?

4. Why don't you ever comment? Just a quick "Thanks!" is great. Fewer than 1% of readers ever comment. (This is another factoid.)

5. What would you like to read about? We love suggestions, tips, ideas, and collaborating.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Need some humor therapy? Here are 10 funny jokes guaranteed to bring a smile.

10 Funny Jokes
to bring a smile!

(or at least a groan)

These are not original by Scott Ertl.
Authors are unknown.

1. Why did the cookie go to the school counselor? 
         -Because it was feeling crummy.

2. Why can't you hand be 12 inches from your pinky to your thumb?
         -Because then it would be a foot.

3. What does Frosty the Snowman eat for breakfast?

4. Knock  Knock.
        -Who's there?
   Cows go.
        -Cows go who?
   No, Cows go mooooooooo!

5. Why do cows wear bells?
        -Because their horns don't work.

6. Why was the cross-eyed teacher fired? 
        -She couldn't control her pupils. 

7. What is the shortest month?
        -May. It only has 3 letters.

8. What kind of car does Mickey Mouse's wife drive?
        -A minnie van!

9. What did the water say to the boat?
        -Nothing, it just waved.

10. A man walks up to the librarian and says, “I’ll have a cheeseburger and fries, please.”         -Librarian responds, “Sir, you know you’re in a library, right?”
     Guy says, “Oh, sorry. [in a whisper] I’ll have a cheeseburger and fries, please.

Telling jokes can have pros and cons.
  • Counselors can show that they can take a joke and tell a joke while retaining their sense of respect.
  • Laughter can create a sense of safety, play, creativity, fun, and joy.
  • Counselors can help students learn a joke to share with friends or on the school announcements to get attention in a positive manner.
  • Counselor can be viewed as a "talker" instead of a "listener."
  • Jokes can become sarcastic and hurt others' feelings without the counselor meaning or knowing it.
  • Some counselors joke too much and they lose others' trust and rapport.
  • Jokes can become inappropriate, vulgar or mean-spirited.

In the comments below, please share one of your favorite jokes or how you use humor with classroom guidance or counseling.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

3 free Franklin classroom guidance lessons to use with Activ/Inspire and Promethean boards

Use Franklin to teach overcoming fears, starting school, and sportsmanship!
I created 3 free classroom guidance lessons -- perfect for K-3 elementary school counselors teaching socio-emotional and cognitive objectives! You can easily save the lessons to a thumb drive or download to your school's shared drive to access the files when you present your classroom guidance lesson on the Promethean Board in the classrooms. This is a great way to use technology with students! Like Adobe Reader, you can download the free Read-Only version of ActivInspire software here.

Most counselors already have these Franklin books in their collections. If you don't already have them, check your school library. If not, the paperback books can be purchased for $5-6 each. All 3 lessons also have links to the 10-12 min. movies on YouTube.

Elementary school counselors use Franklin to teach about fears and how to overcome them.
Franklin and the Thunderstorm (ActivInspire lesson: 15 slides)
  • K-3 lesson on identifying different types of fears and what you can do to overcome them. Compare and contrast the book with the movie.
  • Story line: Franklin is afraid of thunderstorms. When a storm approaches while he is playing at Fox's house, a flash of lightning sends Franklin into his shell. He refuses to come out -- even for snacks -- until his friends make him laugh with their tall tales about what causes storms. And when Beaver explains what really causes thunder and lightning, Franklin begins to feel much safer.
Elementary school counselors use Franklin to teach students how to get over their first day of school jitters.
Franklin Goes to School (ActivInspire lesson: 10 slides)
  • K-3 lesson on starting school. Compare and contrast the book with the movie. Students share about feeling nervous starting school, making friends, and getting used to a different place for the first time.
  • Story line: With his new pencil case packed with a ruler, eraser and 12 colored pencils, Franklin is ready for his first day of school -- until it's time to board the bus. Franklin faces the excitement and fear of starting school.

Elementary school counselors use Franklin to teach students how to have good sportsmanship.

Franklin Plays The Game (ActivInspire lesson: 14 slides)
  • K-3 lesson on sportsmanship. Compare and contrast the book with the movie. Students share about being a good sport, cooperation and teamwork.
  • Story line: Franklin can count forwards and backwards. He can zip zippers and button buttons. He can slide down a riverbank by himself. He can even sleep alone is his small, dark shell. And he's trying very hard to be the best player on his soccer team. 

NOTE: If you aren't already a member of TeacherPayTeachers (TpT), it's definitely worth the time to sign-up so you can download LOTS of great resources for free (and for a fee) from working counselors and teachers! Even though it's designed for teachers, there is a School Counseling section.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Use this powerful visual to transform anyone's attitude!

Feel like you are missing something?

Ever think that life would be better if only... 

Always looking for something, but never truly satisfied?

Counselors have a special gift to help others feel grateful
for what they have instead of what they don't.


Simply take a moment to focus on what IS working well in your life instead of what isn't.

For example, when a student complains about not having friends, getting bad grades, or not seeing their father on the weekends, find something positive to think about instead. 

What is there to be grateful for in his/her life? 
  • health?
  • speech?
  • brain?
  • memory?
  • family?
  • hobbies?
  • pets?
  • future?
  • grades?
  • friends?
  • interests?
  • freedom?
  • abilities?
  • dreams?
  • body?
  • sight?
When you feel like there is a hole inside, take your life back by paying attention to what is IN your life instead of what is NOT in your life.

Sometimes being around others who are don't have a fully-functioning body can help us appreciate what we do have. Being around someone with difficulty breathing or speaking can help us appreciate how much we take advantage of our health. We can't change others, but we can change how we perceive our own life and what we focus on each day. 

Feel free to use this handout for students to write down the parts of their life that are working well. Endure the typical "Nothing" response. Consider looking at pictures of others who are missing what we so frequently forget.

For some people, their spirituality is very important. For them, using the red triangle to represent God can be a visual example of what is leading their life. When it is the point of their life and driving their thoughts, words and actions, they don't feel anything missing. When anything else is driving their life, it's easy to feel like it's never good enough, never real, or impossible to attain.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Free DVD for kids to explain about recovering from childhood leukemia

Request a free DVD from the Leukemia Lymphoma Society to use with your students to educate them about recovering from leukemia.

You can also call (800) 955-4572 to request the free DVD (20 min). This is an excellent video to use with classroom guidance to talk about compassion, illness, sticking-up for others, perseverance and caring.

In the comments section below, please feel free to add other videos/DVDs that you recommend for other counselors to use.

Even though the Leukemia Lymphoma Society no longer prints the 64-page book, "Why, Charlie Brown, Why?," you can do a quick Amazon search and find them available for less than $5, including shipping!

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