Creating Career Smarts

Screen Shot 2012-07-26 at 6.08.26 PMOne of the things I am most proud of from last school year is CareerSmarts, a new unit I developed for fourth grade, which I’d love to share with you.  CareerSmarts is a student-driven, technology-based unit in which students learn about and connect their multiple intelligences and interests with future education and career possibilities. There’s even a fun gamification aspect – students challenge themselves to move to different levels by exploring multiple careers. While on the CareerSmarts journey, students learn about their own “smarts,” and explore and analyze a variety of careers by (more…)

Avatars at the Virtual Career Fair

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 6.44.14 PMWhere will YOU be in 2033? I will most likely be enjoying retirement, but my current 4th graders will be very busy professionals. As the culmination of our CareerSmarts unit, each 4th grader imagined  him/herself in a future career, wrote a script, and created an avatar who talked about his/her job. They did amazing work! You can read more about the CareerSmarts unit at Creating CareerSmarts, My Multiple Intelligences: The First Stop on the CareerSmarts Journey, CareerSmarts Task 2: Web-Based Career Exploration, Coordinating Career Day, and Kid-Created Career Trading Cards.

There were a few requirements for the project. First, the students had to choose a job that required at least a bachelor’s degree. In their scripts, they had to relate their career choice to (more…)

Preparing for Lockdown Practice

Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 2.51.42 PMLockdown practices have always been anxiety provoking, and are even more so since the Sandy Hook shooting brought the issue of potential in-school violence so close to home for students and staff. It doesn’t matter how many times you try to draw parallels between lockdown drills and fire drills – they are different and kids know it. In fire drills you are preparing to get away from danger; you take action to get yourself to safety and the “danger” only lasts as long as you’re in the building. In lockdown drills you prepare to hide from danger; your response is inaction, and there is no knowing how long the “danger” (even if it is only administrators checking for compliance) will last.  Clear, simply stated discussions in advance of lockdown drills help, and now there’s a great resource to use when having these discussions with kids.  (more…)

Second Grade Lessons for Sexual Abuse Prevention

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 11.17.42 AMMy sexual abuse prevention unit for second grade consists of three lessons, which revisit and build upon the skills and concepts covered in first grade. For these lessons you will need the books Scoop by Julia Cook and I Said No! A Kid to Kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private by Zack and Kimberly King, as well as scenarios from Teaching Kids How to Tell About Sexual Abuse and some coloring pages (linked below.) It will be helpful for you to familiarize yourself with the foundational information about how to teach sexual abuse prevention by reading the posts Teaching Kids How to Tell About Sexual Abuse and Teaching Kids to Recognize Grooming before you teach the lessons. You can link to all my posts about sexual abuse prevention lessons and resources by visiting A Collection of Sexual Abuse Prevention Resources. The objectives and ASCA National Standards addressed in this unit are listed at the end of the post.


Stand: The Anti-Bullying Anthem

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 11.05.38 AMIt’s finally out – the crowd-sourced music video of Stand! The singer, Charleigh Gere is a middle school student in our district, who decided to take a stand herself and do something to help other kids stop bullying. The video is comprised of clips of students from all over the world singing, dancing, acting, writing, and signing, united to end bullying. My counseling partner Amy worked with some of her 3rd and 5th grade groups to create clips, which they submitted for the video (some of them even made the cut!). Amy and I use the song (available in iTunes) in our bullying prevention units  and the kids LOVE it! And now here’s the video, which will be a great addition to any lesson about bullying! (more…)

Goodbye Bully Machine, Hello Integrated Learning!

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 3.57.15 PMI’m always tweaking and working to improve my lessons and units – I want to make sure that they’re meaningful and engaging, and that kids are learning and applying what they’ve learned in real-life settings. Also, I am addicted to just love figuring out how to incorporate new ideas and techniques! (Which may have something to do with why my to-do list is completely ridiculous.)  Most recently, I set my sights on my fourth grade bullying prevention unit. Even though this unit has been impactful and well-received, I wanted to: (1) experiment with how integrating technology and art might expand kids’ understanding about bullying; (2) see how this could help me assess student learning; and (3) increase my knowledge about how best to address the Common Core standards within the counseling curriculum. It was a LOT of work, but the outcome has been amazing! (more…)

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