I love the simple things in life. Specifically, I love lessons that are fun to teach and really leave an impact. Today, I started lessons in Kindergarten- they are so much fun! The teachers have asked me to focus on friendships and tattling versus telling. I will be teaching these students once a week for four weeks. This schedule is what I will actually be using for K-5 for the rest of the year. I will spend four straight weeks in each grade. However, I have heard of other school counselors who do a lesson once a month in every class and grade. I like this idea but did not plan for that format coming into this year and I wonder how it works out... both have their pros and cons. What kind of classroom lesson schedule do you have?? I would love to hear what you do!
Anyways, to teach friendship to my young kiddos, I decided to read the book, "How to Be a Friend." I didn't read the entire book just sections on ways to BE a friend and the ways NOT to be a friend. Then, I donned my homemade chef's hat and told my students that we were going to be making a recipe for friendship.We talked about what kind of ingredients go into a chocolate chip cookie. Then, I asked the kiddos if putting pickles into a cookie recipe was a good idea...of course, they all said, "YUCK!" The point I made was that just like in a recipe, friendships are made from good choices and bad choices. We don't want to put pickles into our friendship recipe! We then went through several different actions and I had the students tell me if they were fit for our recipe. (Lesson came from ASCA scene with a little of my own personal tweaks!)
The kids loved it (and the teachers did too)! What really made me love this lesson was the classes ability to use their imaginations. I started smelling the bowl and pretended something really delicious was inside. Of course, I couldn't leave the room until every student got the chance to smell it.
Pulling forth the rest of my domestic diva, I made the decision this last week to move my office around. I know I mentioned it here. But can I tell you how much of a difference it has made?! It has been absolutely incredible how many more teachers, students, and staff have stopped in my office to just chat with me. I took away the impression that I was a big serious honcho and created one that says, "Hey, I am just like you...come talk with me.." (because, helloooo, I am!) I encourage you to take a look at your own counseling space. What is it saying to your students and to the rest of the school? Is it welcoming? Is it calming? All of this makes a difference in not just the work we produce, but also the progress our students make too.