Friday, September 21, 2012

7 Habits Poster

Over the summer, I made this poster for my office to refer to the habits with my students!  I am so excited to be teaching these important skills to my students.

Be Proactive!

It's official, I am PUMPED about teaching the 7 Habits at my school.  I think in the past 3 weeks I have used the word "proactive" at least a thousand times.  To me, if our students can learn, practice and do this first habit, then they are limitless in what they are able to accomplish!  I've taught it to all grade levels differently, but everyone has heard my definition of Be Proactive: Being proactive means that you take control of things in your life rather than letting things in your life take control of you.

I used the example of someone hating the rain and deciding to just stay home and not do anything they had planned because of the rain.  What is in control in that example?  THE RAIN!  Instead, what could that person bring or do so that they are in control?  An umbrella! :)  We also talked about the difference in being proactive (like a water bottle) and reactive (like a soda bottle). The kids really got it, and I continued to provide them examples in each lesson.

My favorite lessons were with the upper grades.  I used the circle of control to talk about how we should spend our time and energy focused on things that we actually can control and make better rather than spending time complaining, feeling bad about ourselves, or giving other people the power to ruin our days.  Then, in 5th grade, I got a wonderful idea from another counselor in my district.  Each student created a Personal Proactive Plan for ways that they were going to be proactive at home, at school and outside of home and school.  They folded a piece of paper into thirds and came up with ideas that they could do to be proactive in those three areas.  I shared my own PPP to help get them started thinking of ideas.  We talked about how it was like a contract with themselves to practice being proactive all year.

I've caught so many students being proactive since our lesson, and I love complimenting them on it!  How have you been proactive this school year?

Friday, September 14, 2012

The 7 Habits of Happy Kids

This summer, I got together with my fabulous former internship supervisor and another counselor friend of hers in our district and we planned lessons for the 7 Habits of Happy Kids.  I am so excited that the lessons have started!  Below is the bulletin board that is across of the cafeteria.  I like the idea of a tree, but we used that last year at our school for something different and I wanted something that I could use and add to as the year goes on.  There are 7 habits and 7 colors of the rainbow so, viola!  Each month, I will teach a habit to all grade levels.  After the lesson, I will have kids write down on the "gold" an idea they have for practicing that habit and display it so that others can have ideas for how to practice the habits.  Stay tuned for more to come about the individual lessons and some freebies of things I've created for the program :)

Individual, Individual, Individual!

True Life: It is Hard to Blog During the Week!  But finally, I can steal a couple of minutes to sit down at my computer and write about the week.  I have been busy seeing individual students because of my new mailbox.  I brought it with me during the first counselor introduction lesson and kids have been filling it up!  I've found that it's pretty easy to weed through the notes to find the "emergencies" versus the "small stuff" but I know that even the small stuff is a big deal to those students.

Most of the student referrals have been about getting along with people in their class.  When I meet with them, I try to give them some tools that they can use to solve their problem themselves.  We discuss Heart Talk and The Feedback Game [When someone gives you feedback about yourself- good or bad- ask yourself these questions: 1) Does this match what I know about myself? 2) Did the person who gave me this feedback have my best interest at heart? 3) Will this help me become a better person?  If NO is the answer, you reject the feedback with positive self talk!]

Some of my friends have needed to talk about things going on in their family, and I have been keeping a little list for students to add to a group when they get started.  Also, I've gotten to help some friends learn to self-monitor their behavior in class!  It's been lots of fun to get letters from students who want to talk with me about things going on in their life.  One sweet little 2nd grade filled my bucket by leaving me this note: "Dear Mrs. Kendrick I love you and you are a good guidance counselor."  :)  Do you have a system for letting kids self-refer themselves to you?  I'd love to hear about it!