Friday, March 30, 2012

Another work week comes to an end. I got to read My Mouth is a Volcano to several classes this week and enjoyed it equally every time. I hope to get to use some the activities to go with it soon. I'm partically in charge of eight grade graduation and we had a class meeting to begin the process this week. Two girls came and 'auditioned' in my office to sing. They're doing a duet and they sang beautifully! Two other girls came in to audition a poem they had written about their eighth grade year. It was a great poem (such talent in all those kids). I prepared the first couple of lessons for the kindergarten class. I'll be using Hunter and His Amazing Remote Control. I hope it is as amazing as everyone has said. I am tweaking it just a bit for the younger group. Since I'll be working with the entire grade I won't be seeing the individual student each week that I normally see. We received a new junior girl this week though we are into our last quarter of the year! Thursday I had a check up at the doctor so I was out of pocket. It was a great day because I had a few minutes ahead of the appointment to take care of a few things in one place and after the appointment I had some time to take care of others in another location. I still managed to get home ahead of time and throw some laundry in the washer (yep, ahead of the weekend)! Today I played catch up at work from being gone. A couple of parents had called and left messages for on Wed. which I didn't have time to return. Before I could get to them this afternoon one of them called very upset. I can only get to so much in one day as everyone knows and I really feel I have to work in order of things received unless it's an emergency. She left a message for the principal instead of me this time, letting the front office know I didn't like to return her calls. Since she decided to take it up with the principal I left it alone. I did go ahead and meet with my boys' group today. We didn't get very far into the lesson as I was a bit late. I didn't get to my girls' group at all. Hopefully I can see them on Monday to make two in one week for them. I don't have a lot of plans for the weekend. I'm decorating our classroom at church for a month long promotion we're having - Operation April Advance - military style. Sunday there is an award for the best decorated classroom. Next week we start our spring testing sessions for elementary and middle school. Busy, busy, busy!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Break comes to an end

Spring Break is coming to an end and I've come to the conclusion that I NEED ANOTHER WEEK! Why is it that no matter how much we love our job and all we get to do with it and no matter how much time we have off, it's never enough? I've been quite sick during my week off but, I've tried pushed through. I rested on the couch quite a lot in my pj's while sick, I did some shopping with a friend and to see her first (and only) grandbaby another day while giving an individual cake decorating lesson, I completed some spring cleaning (though I need to do more), and prepared some lessons for my new Level Four Cake Decorating class. I still need to do more cleaning, more visiting with friends, more reading (for pleasure and work) and get back to doing some routine things around the house. Oh well, I suppose those things will wait until summer. Right before I left for the break I ordered My Mouth is a Volcano.
I also got the activity book to go with it. It is such a cute book. Funny thing is I started reading it to my friend and kept thinking, "I feel the SAME way." We laughed and laughed! I also ordered Hunter and His Amazing Remote Control. However, it was sent to the wrong address and is being resent. I found one of the Katie Couric books for $2 at an antique/junk flea market/booth type place (score). I also bought a couple books at a half price book store. I found another knock off Jenga game and have it labeled and ready but I didn't get any questions ready for it. I think there are some changes in the future so I'm holding off getting any more books for my office. It's truly an exciting time! I now have a bucket decorated for summer and a summer bucket list inside. I have actually written some things down on it! Tomorrow is another Career Cafe. I'm excited because one of our female weekend news anchors is coming as a guest!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Day of Groups

Today was the last day of the week. Everyone was excited because next week we are out for Spring Break. There were quite a few teachers out throughout our district this week for various reasons. The flu is still going around. We managed to squeeze in three storm drills to wrap up the quarter. Friday is my busiest day of the week for groups and individual sessions. I've been using Classroom Guidance Games with my group of 5th and 6th grade boys.
I have found many activities in this book that really work for this group of boys. Today we worked on emotions. We learned and discussed various emotions, some they didn't even know existed or what they were (distraught). We also worked on various levels of emotions (agitated, mad, angry, enraged) and how some emotions were good at different times and other emotions we needed to try and keep in check or work out with some help. I wrote out a list of emotions as suggested, but color coded them red, blue and green to help the boys visualize them. I used A Smart Girl's Guide to Friendship Trouble with the 5th and 6th grade girls. Like the previous book, I've been using this with great success with this group of girls.
Today we worked on the respect lesson and not only could I see some wheels turning inside the girls' heads but, they also had some great input. The successes in these two groups were a great way to end the week! I've been doing a lot of research to find lessons on impulse control for a kindergarten class. I'd been reading so much about Hunter and His Amazing Remote Control that I finally decided to order it. Now I can't wait to get it. The teacher for whose class this is will be great to work with and maintain some of the language in it! I also ordered a couple more books.
I've had great success using books to have guidance lessons with students and still not take up much of the teachers' class time. We are on the threshhold of testing season so I know they appreciate this! I read The Paperbag Princess today to third graders just for fun. I joked the the boys that they were going to have to step it up after I read this book because the girls were not going to let anything they say get past them. We had some great laughs with this book! This week, while on spring break, I hope to get many projects accomplished around the house. It desperately needs me (there is a thick layer of dust on some of my curtains!) I also plan on having some fun by running around and shopping with a friend a couple of days, going to play with her first and only grandbaby and conducting a private cake decorating lesson. I hope everyone has a fun and productive week, too!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Homemade Penny Stones

I had such a successful and productive weekend, in spite of my husband and daughter being sick with the flu and very strict instructions to not be around anyone w/out a paper mask! I don't normally share pictures and stories of things unrelated to my counseling journey. Today I am making that exception. I worked several days on a wedding cake and it turned out perfectly!
The flowers and topper/letters were provided by the bride. My husband was such a trooper over the weekend. He went with me to the delivery and guided me in stacking tiers. This weekend we also celebrated our daughter's 22nd birthday. She asked for a cake with the sandal on it. This is pretty much exactly like the cake she chose just in different colors.
I got some questions printed out for a new Jenga (type) game. This gives me two. I need another for younger students with three colors though, so I'll be on the search for one soon. I made my own version of Penny Stones over the weekend, too. I'd seen three versions in a store, Bridal, Religious and Home (?). I didn't like all the questions on the home version and each bag was $16! I went to Dollar Tree and bought a bag of the clear glass rocks. I found a package of clear contact paper in 8 x 11 sheets at Michael's for $2.70. I printed my own questions on a sheet of velum (free, I had it in my scrapbooking supply), cut them out and matched them up with a stone.
Then I set them on the sticky side of the contact paper, traced around the glass rock and then trimmed each one. The whole set cost me less than $4.00. I had several students in my office for first one thing then another, all unrelated to a session, all curious about the stones which I'd placed in a small basket on my desk. I can't wait to use these in a session. I left some stones w/out questions just for some variety! I did make it to both services at church, but other than that, I didn't get far from the house since I was playing nurse to my family.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday, Friday, Friday! I am glad the end of the work week is finally here. I love my job, but I go '90 to nothing' all day, every day. Come Friday, I am wiped out! I went with administration to a meeting on CCSS. When I got back to the office I worked on scholarship information. Our alumni scholarship application was due today. Of course, most everyone waited until today to bring their application by (kids). There was information needed by me for each application, which took a large part of the day. I managed to read to some of the elementary classes. One of the books was Just The Way You Are.
After reading the book I spoke to the kids about how they are all different, with different physical traits and yet, they all called themselves someone's friend and admitted they all had friends. I reminded them of how sad the animals spoke when comparing themselves to another animal, which we also do sometimes. It was a great book! I love that it comes full circle with the lion. Kids repeated the phrase, "I like you just the way you are." all through the book making it a lot of fun! I also read The Giving Tree to a couple of classes this week.
One of the students is on to what I'm doing. She asked me what the lesson was in this book. :) After school I attended a brief meeting for a student before dashing home to work on a wedding cake. My last cake (wedding or otherwise) for a while. Too little time and too many orders lately. I also received a phone call from my husband who has not been at work since Tuesday. He went to the doctor and learned he has the flu, Influenza A to be exact. The doctor told him he was highly contagious and he should wear a mask at home if others are in the house! He came home with three prescriptions one of which was over $100 for a five day supply. Tomorrow I'm delivering the wedding cake, attending another wedding and working on my daughter's birthday cake. I hope to make another Jenga game this week. I printed off tags earlier in the week, I just haven't had time to glue them onto the blocks. One of the kindergarteners I work with asked to play Jenga. I plan on making yet another with just colored dots and written questions as seen on another blog.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kids, kids and kids!

Today, our administrators were all gone to a workshop. That meant I was in charge, PreK-12th. Last week when the HS principal was gone a fight broke out. The elementary principal was on campus so she handled the situation while I was there for support, clarification and leg work as needed. Today, a student got disrespectful to two staff members while they were trying to discuss a previous incident with him. I had to put him in ISS and call home. Another staff member had to take their daughter to the hospital. I helped arrange a substitute bus driver and called maintenance to get them to 'chip in' a little extra work/time for that person who was out of pocket due to that. My office was full of high school girls today. By full I mean 2-3 at a time, most of the day. I didn't get any reading done with the elementary! We discovered two students have been skipping out on one of their classes. I took care of one student and left the other for the principal when he returns tomorrow. He will also have to make a couple of phone calls to homes with students having a problem with attendance. Tomorrow I have a third career cafe scheduled and am supposed to be gone to a meeting for a couple of hours. I tried to do something different today that failed miserably. I got some windshield paint and thought I'd write a different positive quote/message each week on the bathroom mirrors. Today I chose: "Be the person you'd like to meet." I had someone posted as guard while I went in the boys bathroom to make sure no one was in there and no one came in until I finished writing. Some (or one) of the girls scratched up their message and then smeared it horribly all over the mirror. The boys wrote an addition to the message with marker. I had to go in and clean them both up. I decided it wasn't worth trying any more. So much for spreading positivity! I'll have to try another way (perseverence). On a better note, it is our daughter's birthday today. My husband stayed home sick so they were able to spend the day together (she's now 22 years old). Though he was sick I think he enjoyed the time with her. Hopefully I will be able to make up story time tomorrow for those classes I missed today. I also received four boxes of testing materials that needs to be gone through and organized.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fun & Games

This week was crazy busy. Monday I worked on testing data. When I wasn't working on that I was run out of my office some by visitors in our school who needed a private place to meet with a student or two. Tuesday I worked with a little boy on impulse control and decision making using a picture card game that were action/consequence themed. We practiced using complete sentences: If I ....then I will (or no one or my parents or others). I searched the ASCA site and other internet sites for impulse control lessons. I found some great things that I plan to use soon! Wednesday various students and teachers stopped by my office to share problems/situations/concerns. We are giving some practice tests to our 7-12th grade students next week and that needed to be scheduled and worked out. Thursday I worked on our 7-12th eligibility for the week. It was quite long. I had several story time sessions throughout the week with elementary students. This time has worked so well, I'm thinking about cancelling my minute meeting sessions. Students now come to me unafraid to talk and share their problems. Today, I was running a few minutes late. I don't know why, it was just one of those days, though to help prevent that I completed several a.m. tasks last night plus I didn't have breakfast or pack my lunch. I ran out w/out jewelry or a watch on. On the way my principal sent me a text to tell me his daughters were both sick and he needed to stay home with them. Once at school my building secretary told me she had to leave at 9:30 for a doctor's appointment. I took care of some scheduling issues and getting early morning info. to other staff. I completed a quick session with one elementary student using Jenga and then I made my way to the office to take over at 9:30, left at 10:20 to have a session with 5th/6th grade boys, went back to the front office and there I stayed until nearly 3! There was a fight in the middle school and I helped take care of that, chased work down for students who were absent, passed out testing info. to teachers so everyone would be ready for Monday morning. I didn't have time for lunch, something to drink or even a restroom break! At 3 I started calling another office to wrap up something I've had on my desk for two weeks (it's due Thursday). I finally checked my email for the first time. I didn't have any story time today since it was Dr. Seuss's birthday and the librarian wanted to read and work on some fun activities with them. It's a good thing since the day wore on like it did. I plan on making another Jenga game this weekend. One that is for a younger student with star stickers and questions. It's funny, Mondays are usually crazy and things don't always go as planned due to that. Fridays are becoming more and more like Mondays. :)