Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Constitution Day

We ended last week with some projects by our history and social studies classes. They were given the task of decorating our hallways with posters and pictures of things they thought represented the United States and it's history. I didn't get a picture of all of them, but the ones I did, I included here.
Our kids are so creative. Every year the pictures are different than the year before and always unique, one from another.

This week, though it's only Wednesday, I've had students wanting to drop career tech. classes. We're over 1/2 through the quarter, this isn't doable at this point without loss of major credits. We've had mean girl stuff going on and I had a student misunderstand something I said in the class counseling lesson, got very upset and that resulted in a visit from his parents. It's all good. It turned out fine. There was and is no upset, which I'm glad. Though I didn't need to, according to parents, I apologized to the student for not being more clear. I don't want him to be uncomfortable during my sessions, nor do I want any awkward feelings with him. Everyone messes up. Whether it was on my end or his is irrelevant. I just want to make it right. On Friday, I'm off to one of our state universities for a counselors' day. Though I've been to several such events at others universities, I've never been to this one. I have, however, been to this university many times, LOL. Funny how that has worked out. I'm looking forward to a work day away, learning about admission requirements and processes at this university, taking a tour and the wonderful lunch that is in store. Make it a good one everyone!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What a busy time it has been! I finally got to start classroom lessons in the elementary! For the lower 3 grades I used Mrs. Potatohead to introduce me and my role. I think that is my favorite lesson.

For sixth grade I used a connect four lesson I found online. Those kids have seen my intro. lesson several times and probably have everything memorized, though they were good sports. The grades in between I used a power point that I also found online. It included a Kid President video and a movie clip. IT WAS GREAT! Between going to all the elementary classes I managed to get out a letter to senior parents. With the FAFSA deadline changing to October, I felt compelled to make sure parents were aware of the importance of getting this completed by the deadline. I have also been scheduling meetings, workshops, college reps. and trivia weeks. I have found some great material on TPT. I was out of curriculum. Last year I bought my own (!). The two principals offered to purchase material this year, for which I was so glad. We're on the threshold of so many things! Make it great!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

We are off and running here! All of our teachers are full time. This year we have quite a few new students between our JH/HS grades. I also just heard yesterday that one of our students who graduated last year will be playing football at OU! He got his uniform yesterday! Of course, he won't get any playing time this year, but that gives him a whole year to grow and improve. Look out next year! We're not OU fans at our house, but I'm so proud of this student and his potential. We're a very small school, so news like this is huge! It's been an exciting start! I'm getting new curriculum for my elementary lessons this year. I can't wait to start using it. I found some great bundles on TPT. Since testing is so different this year I'll have more time to spend in that building. I'm hoping for a longer, more consistent schedule. The kids have already been asking when I get to start lessons in their classrooms. I will also get to start having lessons with the 7th/8th graders. I've never had time for these two grades, so that it also exciting to me. We're going to be doing some career exploration to start.

The temperatures are cooler already here, which makes me sad. I think we're going to close the pool this week. That is the final sign summer is over. I love the pool. It's my favorite thing to do in the summer - float and read. The pool and I have a date nearly every day. I return to school August 1st each year and work quite a ways from home. That means my pool time is restricted to Saturdays if I'm home. Since the weather has been cooler, I haven't been in it on those days in a while. The forecast for the next couple of weeks is the same so, we made the decision to close it. Therefore, I'm sad, really sad, to see summer go. But, new things come with the new season.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Wow! It is been a very long time since I've blogged! I have been encouraged by some counselors on my Instagram feed to get back in the game. Today is my first official day back. The administrative team and secretaries are back today, teachers next Monday and students a few days later. Where did the summer go? I have been doing lots of reading and thinking about ways to improve my service to the students. I am going to try and start a class lesson weekly or bi-weekly with the junior high students. I am still thinking of a way to get information to the high school students. They don't come in much and they need to for scholarship info. and career goals. Today has mostly been going through the incoming senior transcripts to make sure credits are what they're supposed to be and then wrapping up things that happened over the summer. I had a great summer with family and friends. Hopefully you all did as well. It's going to be a great year.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

September news

August has passed and now, September is about to follow suit. It was a great month. I started my elementary lessons the week after Grandparents' Day, which is the week we celebrate that day with different elementary grades inviting grandparents to eat on different days and everyone doing special projects to decorate our cafeteria. Our school also hosts a book fair during that week. I thought I'd add to it by starting lessons, too! :D The first lesson is always a meet the counselor type lesson. The early elementary grades get to see Mrs. Potatohead as me. The older grades get to see various pictures and play a game. I realized mid-lesson that I really need to update my pictures! This year the game was a jeopardy style game on the smartboard reviewing some of the things I mentioned, plus some extra school related questions. The kids loved it. Last week was also celebrated Constitution Day. The JH/HS history and social studies classes made some great posters to decorate our hallways along with what was done in class.
I love the bill of rights for our school that students came up with. There is a place for everyone to sign, which was cut off in the picture. My next lessons in the elementary I will be using "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day' and "The Rainbow Fish". My book club for 7th gr. girls is rocking right along and I'm starting one for boys as soon as the books come in. We have been in school just over a month now and our first College Week of the year is going on this week. Kids have been answering trivia questions daily and getting prizes. At the end of the week the college representative from that school will be here. I already have two Career Cafes scheduled for October and plan on getting more together soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Starting the new year!

It has been a great start to the new year. We have lost some students to other schools, yet gained others that are going to fit in very well. I am looking at getting some new curriculum for my PK-6 lessons. I used my favorite last year with every grade. I'll be starting my book club with seventh grade girls soon and the first lunch bunch is about a week away. I wanted to share pictures of my beginning of the year bulletin boards. the elementary board is from Pinterest. One of our MS students helped me with it and I think it turned out great. The MS/HS board is from a book I have called, "Counseling on the Walls". There are many bulletin board themes in it and varying grade levels. It comes with a CD to print things out. I have only used it a couple of times, but so far I found it to be a great resource! I hope everyone has (or had) a great start to the 2015-16 school year. Just remember we're only a few weeks away from Labor Day (break).

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Testing Season That Never Ends

This has been the longest testing season ever! It's the last week of online testing. We already had our regular testing schedule and this week was saved for any students absent on those regular testing days. Well, little did I know that some of those absent during regular days would also be absent during the 'make up' days. Tonight is 8th grade graduation. I managed to finish the morning testing session in time to be a part of the rehearsal. Friday is our senior graduation. I hope to not still be testing by then so that I can go over for rehearsal for that, too. I don't have a huge part of either ceremony. For the 8th grade I figure out the valedictorian and salutatorian, figure out the 7th grade escorts, order diploma covers, get the names for the diplomas and proof the speeches all ahead of time. Then during the ceremony I read the names off so the principal can hand diplomas out, shake their hands and pose for a picture. Senior graduation is very similar. This year I am reading off the scholarship information because the superintendent is not going to be in attendance. The principal asked if I wanted to be on stage or off. I chose off. However, there are steps and I can see myself tripping while going up or down them. I may rethink that. I am 45 minutes away from school, so tonight and senior graduation night will be long nights since I don't go home in between. Next week for awards assembly, it will be the same. Even though we have less than two weeks left, I made bulletin boards for both buildings.
I love how both of them turned out. I am so proud of our elementary staff. They won a $40,000 technology grant that will put six iPads in every classroom and provide a new buzzer system for the academic team. That building received an award in Washington, D.C. last year as a Blue Ribbon Certified School (or something like that). Their accomplishments are nothing of my doing or contribution, I am so proud of them and to say I work here and with them. Soon it will be summer break and flip flop season. I have several books to read this summer, most for school. I won a gift card to Half Price Books recently. I can't wait to use it to find more. I forget how excited I get about books until I go to the bookstore and see them all. I hope everyone has a restful summer break.