Category Archives: Social Skills

Bucket Filling from A to Z Bulletin Board

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Wow, it has been a year since I have written a post! I guess the school year really did get the best of me!

I decided to stick with the “Bucket Filling” theme for this school year and created a “Bucket Filling from A to Z” bulletin board. I bought cut out buckets at the Parent Teacher Store and wrote one way that we can be bucket fillers on the buckets for each letter of the alphabet. Some of them are a bit of a stretch – I’d love to hear your ideas for the more challenging letters! Here is how it turned out as well as the list of words that I used! Happy Bucket Filling! 🙂

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A: Assist

B: Boost

C: Care

D: Donate

E: Encourage

F: Fix

G: Give

H: Help

I: Invite

J: Join

K: Know

L: Listen

M: Mentor

N: Nurture

O: Offer

P: Participate

Q: Question

R: Respect

S: Smile

T: Teach

U: Unity

V: Volunteer

W: Welcome

X: eXcite

Y: Yearn

Z: Zoom

Whoo Can Help You With…

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Most of you have probably already seen this on School Counselor Blog, but I did want to share my version as I am very proud of it, haha! As many of you know I am by NO means an artist, but I take immense pride in my cutting and gluing skills, haha. I LOVED the idea of having a poster in the hallway leading to my office that explains what a School Counselor does. We all know that there is immense confusion about our role amongst students, teachers, parents, and administrators, so a poster like this definitely cannot hurt!

Here is School Counselor Blog’s version…

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And here is my version! (Don’t mind the buckets surrounding it – I used them for extra hallway decoration!)

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Bucket Filling Lesson and Bulletin Board

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At the end of last year I asked my principal for a bulletin board that I could use to display student work, information about upcoming events, etc. My principal came through and got me a beautiful, and HUGE, board! I am thrilled to use it and think it will be a great PR tool for me!

For my first bulletin board, I really wanted to post the gorgeous and adorable buckets that my 1st and 2nd grade students created last year. We read the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud (a counselor ESSENTIAL – if you haven’t checked it out yet, please do!). To sum it up in a couple of sentences, bucket fillers are people who do and say kind and respectful things for others. The story gives a GREAT, easy to understand visual and teaches students to be bucket fillers rather than bucket dippers (dippers “dip” from the buckets of others by using mean and disrespectful words.) For added effect, I decorated this big blue bucket and brought it around with me to my classes.

Image To help my students better understand what a bucket filler is, we sang a chant together in a circle. We all chanted, “Bucket fillers, bucket fillers, what do they do? Bucket fillers like to…” and then the students took turns, according to the order of their circle, stating something that a bucket filler likes to do. Responses ranged from helping mom cook dinner to telling my sister I love her to helping my teacher collect homework. I encouraged each student to share a DIFFERENT thing that bucket fillers do so that we had a wide variety of examples. Then, we went back to our desks and filled out these bucket filler pages.

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The children wrote beautiful descriptions of when they are bucket fillers, decorated them so nicely with their crayons, and cut them out.

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I was dying to display these around school at the time, but didn’t have a bulletin board. Luckily, now I do! I used sparkly scrapbook paper from Michael’s, sparkly garland, and lots of butcher paper to create this bulletin board. I free-handed the bucket based on an image I found online and am extremely pleased with how it turned out! Seeing how well this turned out really filled my bucket! 😉

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I also displayed even more of the students’ beautiful buckets in the hallway leading to my office.

ImageHappy Bucket Filling! 🙂

New School Year Flyer!

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Happy New School Year, y’all!

Long time, no post…I know, I know! Things got so busy last year that unfortunately my blog had to take the back burner, but I hope to post several of my ideas and projects here in the coming weeks! We start school very early here in Tennessee – the students’ first day was August 1st! So, I’m very jealous of all of you that are still enjoying the summer sun. 

I wanted to share this flyer with you all that I created to give to parents at Open House. I thought it was a great PR tool to help parents understand my role and how I can support them and their child. I wrote an English and Spanish copy and left them in the hallway with a, “Parents, take me!” sign. I also posted this document to my school website so that it can easily be accessed online (although most of our parents do not have computers or an internet connection!) I placed the leftover flyers in the front entrance of our school for parents to grab as they come in/out during the hectic first week of school. 

Hope this is helpful as you begin your new school year planning!

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Social Skills WANTED Posters

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I got this GREAT idea from one of our 2nd grade teachers who makes these every year with her students and turns them into a cute friendship book. I made these with my 1st grade boys social skills group and they did SO well with it! They really understood the idea of a WANTED poster (looking for bad guys!) but how our WANTED posters are helping us look for a true friend! First, we drew a picture of what our true friend might look like. Their true friend could be a boy or girl of any color, shape, size, ect. Then, we talked about what qualities our true friend would have and wrote them on the bottom half of the paper. We talked about everything from loyalty to silliness to generosity! I’d definitely recommend this activity with any K-4 students – they did a wonderful job with it and had a lot of fun!

Kindergarten Listening Skills Lesson

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After finishing my rotation of the “Meet Your School Counselor” lessons, I thought that listening skills would make a great topic for my second classroom guidance lesson. We all know that elementary school students struggle BIG TIME with being good listeners – they often interrupt each other and the teacher, and expect attention to be on them 24/7. My friend Sally and I brainstormed to create this lesson together based on this GREAT poster that we found on pinterest.

Based on this poster, I created 8 listening “puppets” that help students remember the 8 ways that they can use their whole bodies to be good listeners.

At the beginning of the lesson, I introduce the “Whole Body Listening” poster to students. I call the boy on the poster “Listening Larry.” As a class, we go through and discuss each of the 8 listening “puppets.” I hold up each “puppet” individually and ask students to explain 1) What it is and 2) How it helps us be a good listener. As we go through all 8, we continuously review the past “puppets” to keep them fresh in students’ memories. I also like using gestures (I’m a huge fan of TPR!) to help students remember the ways to be a good listener. For example, for the “brain” I have students point to their brains and say, “Think about what the person is saying.” For the “eye,” I have students point to their eyes and say, “Look at the person who is talking.”

After reviewing each of the 8 tips on the “Whole Body Listening” poster, we make “Listening Ears” hats as a class. Sally and I found this idea on pinterest as well. Here are the supplies needed to make “Listening Ears”…

  • My Listening Ears worksheet (created by Sally)
  • 1 piece of construction paper per student
  • Stapler
  • Markers
  • 1 glue stick per student

Before the lesson begins, I cut construction paper strips that make the band part of the “Listening Ears” hat. I cut the construction paper in half and stapled two pieces together. They turned out like this…

I also pre-cut each of the listening ears for my K students. The teachers told me that their students are working on how to cut straight lines, but that they would struggle too much with curved lines this early in the school year. My pre-cut listening ears look like this…

And here is my sample “Listening Ears…” I like to wear it as we make the ears – as a model and just for laughs! 🙂

So, to make the “Listening Ears”, I start by giving each student a “MY LISTENING EARS” strip of paper, two pre-cut listening ears, crayons, and a pair of scissors. I ask students to cut along the dotted lines and when they finish cutting, to hold up their strip of paper. Some K students needed help cutting out their strips, but others were able to do it independently. After students have cut out their “MY LISTENING EARS” strips, I model for them how to glue it onto the center of their construction paper band.

Since it is so early in the school year, the teacher and myself worked together to glue the listening ears on for the students. As we came around and glued on their ears, the students decorated their hats with crayons. After all of the ears were glued on, the teacher and I came around and stapled the construction paper bands together so that the students could wear their “Listening Ear” hats.

Students absolutely LOVED their hats and teachers thought they were the funniest and cutest thing. It has been hilarious to see little Kindergartners  walking around school and getting into their cars at dismissal wearing their hats! The exceptional education teacher stopped by my office to tell me that this activity was a “huge hit” and that she saw students still wearing their hats days later!

I highly recommend this activity to any counselor, but keep in mind that it does require a lot of supervision and individualized help to the students. Having a teacher present in the classroom is crucial – I was SO thankful to have such helpful and supportive teachers for this lesson! Also, this lesson took longer than the scheduled time – I had 30 minutes to work with K, but it took us about 45 minutes to finish. Again, the teachers were so flexible and loved the activity so much, that they didn’t mind it lasting longer than the scheduled time!