Monday, December 18, 2017

Therapy Dough/Putty

I just went into a first grade classroom to consult with a teacher and she had therapy dough sitting on her desk.  I have never heard of it so I asked her a million questions!  She swears by this stuff and says it was worth the money so I just put in an order.  She had the beach scent and it smelled so good and kind of looked like sand.  I bought the beach scent for my mother-in-law and then I bought spice and ocean for my counseling room. 

There are also some kids versions:
Scented Putty: Lavender Fragrance for Calming Therapy and Play

Fun and Function Regulation Putty for Expressing Emotions & Strengthening Hands

Mindset Monday: A Perfectly Messed-Up Story (Perseverance, Mindset, Perfectionism)

A Perfectly Messed Up Story is about a boy named Louie whose story keeps getting ruined.  Louie feels like giving up but by the end of the story he is hopeful again.  I haven't used this book yet but plan to use it to teach students the impact of self-talk, both positive and negative.  I also think it will be good for discussions on attitude affecting behavior.  I'm thinking this book is best for early elementary students.  I always love when books come with a free educator's guide so I've linked that down below!
Description from Amazon:  Little Louie's story keeps getting messed up, and he's not happy about it!  What's the point of telling his tale if he can't tell it perfectly?  But when he stop and takes a deep breath, he realizes that everything is actually just fine, and his story is a good one--imperfections and all.

Product Details

You can purchase A Perfectly Messed Up Story HERE.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

I Can Handle it! (emotions/problem solving)

I Can Handle It! by laurie Wright is a book that I plan to use for elementary students (pre-k-2nd grade).  I am going to use this book with my first grade students as a supplement to our second step lessons.  The book lists strong emotions, the problem that caused the emotion, and a list of ways to solve the problem.  Some of the solutions are "nonsense" solutions but there are many good solutions as well.  For example, one of the feelings is frustrated.  The situation that causes frustration is adults not listening.  Solutions listed include; I can say, "excuse me", I can write a letter, I can tell someone else.  I think this is a great introduction to problem solving and this book will encourage students to think of ways that they can handle situations that may cause strong emotions.  Also, this book uses a mantra (automatic thought) that can be used to think clearly about the situation and come up with strategies to solve it.  I have not introduced mantras to students in the past but after reading more about how they can be used to help students I plan to try it out.  The mantra used in this story is "I can handle it!".
Product Details
You can purchase I Can Handle It! HERE.


If you don't use Second Step this would be a good lesson to use with this book:

I Can Handle It by Laurie Wright (FREE)
I Can Handle It

I Can Handle It - Song

How I Handled My Emotions Chart

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mindset Monday-Bubble Gum Brain

I recently ordered Bubble Gum Brain, by Julia Cook, and absolutely love this book!  My students are loving it as well (it may help that I let them chew gum while we read it).  You can also purchase an activity guide to go along with this book.  I did not purchase the activity guide so I can't say much about it.  Unfortunately, I don't think it was available when I purchased the book and I am out of funds for the school year (major bummer).  
Product DetailsProduct Details
Book Description:  Meet Bubble Gum Brain and Brick Brain:  two kids with two VERY different mindsets.  Bubble Gum Brain likes to have fun adventures, learn new things, and doesn't worry about making great mistakes.  Brick Brain is convinced that things are just fine the way they are and there's not much he can do to change them, so why try?  When Bubble Gum Brain shows Brick Brain how to peel off his wrapper, Brick Brain begins to realize just how much more fun school...and life..can be!  

You can purchase Bubble Gum Brain HERE.
You can purchase the activity guide HERE.

This is a newer book so there are not a ton of resources to link to.  I imagine that as more people purchase this book we will see more lesson ideas out there.  For now I am going to post connections I have found on TPT:

Book Buddy for Bubble Gum Brain by Technology Tidbits (FREE)
Book Buddy for Bubble Gum Brain by Julia Cook

***I purchased this one and would highly recommend
Growth Mindset Bubble Gum Brain Lesson Plans and Activities

***I purchased this one and love it! ($3.00)
Growth Mindset Flipbook/Craft for the book Bubble Gum Brain by Julia Cook

Julia Cook's BUBBLE GUM BRAIN: School Counseling Growth Mindset Lesson by Whole Hearted Counseling $3.00.  (I have not purchased YET...I plan to get this one though).
Julia Cook's BUBBLE GUM BRAIN: School Counseling Growth Mindset Lesson

Bubble Gum Brain Literature Activities by Kristen's Kaboodle ($4.00)
Bubble Gum Brain Literature Activities

Bubble Gum Brain Resources- Growth Mindset by Structured Play ($3.00)
Bubble Gum Brain Resources- Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset Writing Activity by Primary Scouts ($3.00)
Growth Mindset Writing Activity

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Freebies (Winter)

Friday Freebies:
*Note:  I did not create these freebies.  Please be sure to leave feedback and visit seller stores on TPT.

Compliment-Presents by Michael Friermood
Compliment Presents: A Holiday Gift FOR Students, FROM Students!

Snowflake stages of grief by Little Miss Counselor
Snowflake Stages of Grief Poster and Coloring Sheet

Snowman-Conversations by Speech Paths
Snowman Conversation

Christmas Tree with Snowman Emotion Matching Puzzle Game or Center Activity

Positive Reinforcement/Reward Charts: Winter Themed - Free

Social Skills Christmas: Expected and Unexpected Behaviors

Gingerbread Game Board and Emotion Situation Cards

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas gifts on a counselor's budget (under $10.00)

Last Christmas I shared an idea for a Christmas gift that was cheap, easy to put together and cute!  You can see that post HERE.  I wanted to do something similar this year since I have so many people to buy for.  My oldest child switches classes already as a fourth grader so we have several teachers to buy for as well as the school secretary, principal, gymnastic's teachers and dance teachers. This year I decided to do "manicures in a jar".  This would also be a great gift for coworkers or family members.  Here is what you need: 

Mason Jars:  Pack of 12 HERE.
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Cotton Balls (to put at the bottom of the jar):  bag of 500 HERE.
Perfect Stix Cotton Balls M-500ct Medium Sized Cotton Balls (Pack of 500)

Nail Polish (I like the Essie brand best):Essie Nail Polish pack of 4 ($12.99)
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Nail file:  Here is a pack of 5 for under $5.00  with a Christmas Theme:  Nail Files
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or you can do a pack of 12 mini ones for under $6.00 HERE
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Hand lotion:  You can get a 4 pack of Udderly Smooth for under $9.00
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or this pack of 12 for about $35.00
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Cutical pusher:  You can get this set of 4 for under $4.00
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You can do 12 "manicures in a jar" for under $10.00!  If you want to do a smaller amount you may need to find a 4 pack of mason jars and you wouldn't need as many cotton balls.  You could also do a pedicure in a jar as you see on this blog:  She has printable tags that would be a cute addition:
This mason jar pedicure kit is the perfect teacher appreciation gift!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Mindset Monday-The OK Book

the OK book is another good book for teaching Mindset.   the OK book  teaches students that it is ok to try new things and that you don't have to be great at everything you do.  It is okay to be just ok.  In facct, exploring can lead you to finding out what your talents and strengths are. You can purchase the OK Book HERE.

Product Details

Class book free download:

Activities on the Author's Website:

The OK Book

the OK book by Hip Debster ($1.20)
the OK book
by Chuda's Counseling and Character Corner
It's OK to just be OK: celebrate your own skills and talents

Friday Freebies: Perseverance

Perseverance - Freebie

Lesson on Perseverance, Mindset, and Goal Setting

Perseverance Kite Project

Captain Perseverance to the Rescue
Perseverance Bingo
Character Education Skit PERSEVERANCE 

Character Education: Sammie Sled-Dog Learns to Persevere
Perseverance Activity Classroom Guidance Lesson for Elementary School Counseling

Perseverance Lesson Plans:  

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Anything Is Possible (Perseverance)

Anything Is Possible
I've been having a hard time keeping up with this blog!  I'm finally getting around to posting some new materials that I found at the beginning of the school year.  I spent so much time looking for books and lesson plans to accompany them and had so much fun opening all of the Amazon boxes that were arriving daily at the school and then I just left it all sitting in a pile.  I have a good excuse though!  I haven't gotten around to using all of the books yet as I just recently returned to work after taking 11 weeks off for maternity leave.  I'm hoping to get back to posting lessons as it helps to keep me organized...wish me luck!  

Anyway, I love finding fun videos on YouTube to teach perseverance but I needed some books for my younger students.  I found Anything Is Possible by Giulia Belloni and Marco Trevisan and it is exactly what I was looking for.  
Product Details

Anything Is Possible is about a determined sheep and a skeptical wolf who are trying to build a flying machine.  This book could also be used to teach teamwork, persistence, and mindset. 

*note:  I did not create the following resources.  I have provided links to resources that I have found while searching the internet.  Be sure to visit the seller's pages on Teacher's Pay Teachers and leave feedback on items!

Perseverance - Freebie by Growing Firsties (Free)
Perseverance - Freebie

Character Education Skit PERSEVERANCE by the Charismatic Counselor (Free)
Character Education Skit PERSEVERANCE

Perseverance Activity by Counselor Keri (Free)  -Includes a Pre-test!
Perseverance Activity Classroom Guidance Lesson for Elementary School Counseling

**Counseling Connections is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Mindset Monday-Someday

 I recently purchased the book Someday by Eileen Spinelli.  Someday is a cute story about a girl who dreams about becoming something great.  I like this story because it starts with the girl telling about her goals for the future and follows up with something that she is doing now that is related to that goal.  This would also be a good book for discussions about careers, goal setting, dreams, etc...   I plan to use the book to teach students to use a growth mindset and found several great connections:

Growth-Mindset-lesson-using-book-Someday-by-Eileen-Spinelli (FREE)

Someday, writing to accompany Eileen Spinelli's amazing book!

Teaching Elements of Fiction Using Mentor Text "Someday" + Icebreaker Activity by Amy Mezni ($3.00)
2 great activities for counseling:  making a someday book and writing down goals/dreams.
Teaching Elements of Fiction Using Mentor Text "Someday" + Icebreaker Activity

Hopes-and-Dreams by Teaching-With-Jackie ($1.20)
love this one!  It is great for matching the present action with the long-term goal
Hopes and Dreams for the Beginning of the School Year