Thursday, February 28, 2013

Getting Organized: Part 1

I have been working on organizing my room, lessons, group work, and everything else.  I had to switch rooms in October and below is how I have arranged and organized my room. Stay tuned for Part 2 to see how I have organized the paperwork side of the job.

I give out newsletters after each lesson so parents know what was taught.  I post them in the hallway outside my room so everyone can see what we do in the Hanselor's room.

Here is my "Where is Mrs. Hansen" board so everyone knows where I am (unless I forget to move it).

The mailbox outside my door is for my little friends to leave me notes if I am out of my room.  
~I may have a slight polka dot obsession.~

Another look of right outside my door.

This sign hangs over my door handle so when my door closes everyone knows that I am working with students so they should just leave a note and I will get back to them. 
(Did I mention my obsession with polka dots?)

Right inside my door is a small table for my little bittie friend.  I also have quiet music playing all day and that is where I keep my CD player.

These bins are great for keeping all of the little things I use throughout the day with kids.  There are sensory materials in the top row, art supplies in the second row, and miscellaneous items in the bottom row.

This is my "Quiet Area" for kids (or adults) to come in and take a break.  The kids love to curl up in the big comfy chair.  I have a bucket of stuffed animals right next to the chair for anyone who needs a lovey for a minute.  This is my favorite area because it is so peaceful and cozy.

This is my whole class area.  I am lucky that my room is big enough to hold classroom guidance lessons.  I have my objectives posted in this area along with class name sticks and folders for every grade level that contains all the copies I need for lessons.

I have name sticks for every class to help with class management.

I keep all grade level materials for lessons on the left side of this shelving unit.  The right side is where I keep all of my group materials for the week.  I try to plan lessons and groups a week ahead of time so all materials are ready to go, but sometimes I get a little busy and it gets done the morning of the lesson or group.

This is my desk area that is always a dumping ground.  My goal is to have it cleaned up every evening but of course that doesn't always happen.  Life gets in the way!

My bookshelf with all of my counseling materials and binders.  This is a work in progress!

I use this area when working with the bigger kids.

I have my picture books organized in different categories for quick and easy access.

I house all the extra school supplies for students in need.  Teachers can come right in a grab what they need.

Small Group area.  Kids love beanbag funny!

Counseling games

So that is a tour of my room and how I have organized all of my materials.  I am constantly looking for better ways to set up and organize so this will probably change a dozen times!

I hope you have enjoyed our little tour!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snow Day!

My kids are so excited about the snow day today! I have to admit that I am equally excited!  I was thinking of all the things I could get done for school today.  But what I have decided instead is just to be a mom and snuggle with my kiddos!  Have a wonderful day and stay warm!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Guided Relaxation and Tension Reduction for Kids

I reposting this because I found a better way to upload the video.  This is a relaxation and tension reduction video for KIDS.  The kiddos I work with have really done well with it.  Use it at school or at home with your own kiddos.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 8, 2013


This was a week of mixed emotions for me.  I have really been trying to reflect on my counseling program and how I can improve my work with students and staff.  In my quest for improvement, I sent out surveys to staff members and students.  I know, as everyone else, that I am not perfect and have a TON of room for improvement!  With that being said, it is never easy to get constructive (or sometimes not so constructive) criticism.

As I am reflecting on all of the surveys, I am learning that I have many things to feel good about and few things to work on.  I will be working very hard the rest of the year to improve the following things:
  • How quickly I respond when I am contacted by staff members.
  • Following up quickly and often after a referral has been made.
  • Tracking how effective my services are (Have students' made positive growth because of our work together?)
I have to admit that it was pretty scary putting myself "out there" for everyone to rate.  I also have to admit that I have taken the (not so great) comments hard.  However, one cannot grow without evaluating every now and again.  

Even though it was hard to hear some negative feedback, I am glad my collegues respect me enough to be honest.  I am also glad that I have colleagues who are constantly building me up and supporting me because they know that being the only counselor in a school is challenging (you all know who you are...thank you!)  

Whew....self-reflecting is hard!

Now for some smiles from the student surveys.  Kids are HILARIOUS!  Every single survey had something about bullying.  I teach four bullying lessons per year so I guess that is what sticks in their heads.  I have often been referred to as "the bully teacher."

My absolute favorites were the last question on the survey.  I have listed them below...enjoy!

  ~What would you like to learn from your school counselor?

  ~How to catch a snake. (Ummm....not gonna happen!)
  ~How to drink caffeine. (I can handle this one!)
  ~How to play football. (This was my own son.)
  ~How to make a cake. (I like cake.)
  ~How to do a back flip. (Again....not gonna happen!)
  ~Learn about fleeing. (I'm hoping they meant feelings!)
  ~To tell us not to eat ice cream. (It's not a food group?)
  ~I already know all I need from her she is awesome! (This one made me feel good.)

Ok, time to get busy and make my counseling program rock!