Thursday, November 21, 2013


                        HAPPY MOVEMBER! 
Our students raised money for Men's Prostate Cancer by donating money and receiving painted on mustaches during recess time! We also had a competition between our male teachers to see who had the "Best Mustache", "Least Amount of Hair Mustache" and "Most Improved". During our MOVEMBER Assembly, the Winner of the "Best Mustache" shaved the "LAHM" in front of the audience. I can confidently say there is very few things in this world that are cuter than Vietnamese children with painted on mustaches!
Our Staff really got into it! This is our Librarian! 
Our Manly Men waiting for the results...

Least Amount of Hair (Post-shave in front of the crowd!)
                                                               Mr. Scott (Our PE Teacher)

Most Improved Mustache! 
                                                            Mr. Tim (2nd Grade Teacher)
Best Overall Mustache! 
Mr. Alex (5th Grade Teacher and crowd favorite!)

End-Of-Group Treasure Hunt (1st-4th Grade)

"ARRRGGGHH MATEYS! It is Captain Counselor here! You are about to set off on a magical adventure filled with tests, tricks, and treasure! You must use the friendship skills you learned in our Friendship Group (over the past 8 weeks) to guide you to the hidden "Treasure of Friendship!" 

This was how I was starting my group sessions every day for the past week. I found this idea online (I will try to find the link to give credit where it is due!). I adjusted it to fit the needs of my students and their English level. I was amazed at how engaged they were. They talked like pirates, acted like pirates, and were really excited to find the treasure. I made different "stops" along the way for my students (I did this for my 1st-4th grade groups and an advanced one for my 5th graders). At each different stop they had to complete a "Friendship" task to get the clue for their next stop on the map. 

These were placed at each different stop with a task written in each envelope! 

I kept the map very vague so I could use it again in the future with different groups!

When they finally finished all of the tasks, they ended up back in my room. I had an "X" hidden in my sand-tray that said "Look Behind the Blue Shelf!". With the treasure, I had gold chocolate coins that they were to share.

The final treasure! (Hidden in my room behind a shelf!) 

Pirate Pup 
I found this to be a huge success and will definitely use it again in the future! What activities have you found successful in terminating your groups?

Positive Mistakes!

The school I am currently at uses the Character Counts! Program for our Character Education program. I found some excellent lesson ideas from the site and one of my favorites is used to teach the Responsibility Pillar (Our Pillar of the Month for November).

I used this lesson under "Positive Mistakes (4-6)" with my second graders in a Classroom Guidance lesson and I feel they really enjoyed it! It was appropriate for their level and we were really able to extend the lesson into some valuable discussions. I was very impressed with how engaged and creative they were!

With the lesson comes a free worksheet. The worksheet is pretty much a plain sheet of paper with a big black mark in the middle (to represent a mistake). Students then turn the mistake into something beautiful. We focus on the importance of fixing our mistakes and being responsible for our actions. I followed the lesson plan for the most part except I used the book, "Harriet and the Garden" By Nancy Carlson .

I gave the students a lot of freedom and allowed them to turn their paper around and be creative! Here are some of their results!

"Red Pear" 

"Pirate Ship"



I was super impressed! What are some lessons you have used to teacher Responsibility?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Elementary School Counselor's Blog: What's the best part of an M&M?

Found this excellent idea for a classroom guidance lesson from another fellow blogger: CHECK IT OUT!

Elementary School Counselor's Blog: What's the best part of an M&M?: The best part of an M&M is the inside!  I've done this lesson for the past 4 years and it is one of my favorite ones to present!  Th...