Monday, December 8, 2014

Calming Tool

I feel like my mind never shuts off to what may help my students. So, while shopping at Home Depot, I spotted these bendy looking things. My kids and I all grabbed them and began twisting and bending. These little things are awesome! My next thought was how I could use them in my counseling program. I bought 4 at $1.00ish a piece to give them a try at school. Needless to say, I just went back and bought a 12 pack for $19.99. The kiddos at school love them and they really do the trick when someone is upset. They fit into a pocket so you can always have one on hand. The pack that I bought has various sizes. I highly recommend these cheap little calming tools!

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Anti-Coloring Books

I recently purchased The Anti-Coloring Book and The Third Anti-Coloring Book (they came in a pack so I'm not sure why I didn't get the 2nd one). I was flipping through them and they have some really good writing and drawing prompts. I think this will be a great way to get my students talking more.

I have one problem...there is no table of contents to know what the prompts are on each page. I don't know about you, but I have limited no time to flip through and read each prompt to find the one that works for a particular student.

I typed a table of contents for each one to glue into the front of my books. I figured that some of you may be in the same boat so I thought I would share.  Enjoy!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Integrate Technology into your Lessons!

I love having technology at my fingertips and I am so blessed to be at a school that is technologically rich. Our PTO is amazing and has allowed us to purchase a wide range of tech devices. I am lucky enough to have a SMART board in my office as well as several iPads and Chromebooks. I use technology frequently when in counseling sessions with individuals and groups and for data collection.

My newest venture was to use student devices during a counseling lesson. I wanted to gauge how well my students understood the concept I was teaching (the differences between bullying, teasing, mean, and rude). I used a website called Socrative. I was able to set up a "quiz" to check for understanding. Every student had a galaxy tablet (reserved from our Library Media Center). I set the quiz to teacher paced so I could stop at each question and have a discussion. I also disabled student names because I had it displayed on the SMART Board. I could have a quiz with student names and not have it displayed so I could use it more as an assessment rather than discussion. Reports are available to view/print/email).

The students LOVED being able to use the tablets and it was a fun way to get them all engaged. Of course there are always glitches when using technology so we also had a teachable moment to "just roll with it"........2 lessons in one! If you have a tech lab, you could easily take a class there for a lesson.

If you are looking for a new twist on pre and post tests or just a way to do a quick check of understanding, I highly recommend using this site. If you try it out, please post below and let us know how you used it!

PS. I am sorry since it has been so long since I have posted...I will try to be better!

Monday, August 25, 2014


As you all know, attendance is always a concern in a school. The curriculum moves so fast, these days, that students can miss key information and get behind very quickly. I have tried various things throughout the years to promote attendance with some of our higher absentee kiddos. I have abandoned the traditional group approach with these students. They are already missing instruction when they are absent that it made no sense to me to pull them from instruction to talk to them about being absent (and missing instruction). Last year, I would attempt to do minute meetings with them once per week to graph their attendance. I got pulled frequently for other crises that I often missed seeing them.

This year I am going to try something new. I have borrowed a form from my 5th grade daughter's binder and adapted it for my use. The students I see for attendance drop in my room on their way from the bus to class. They color in their attendance from the day before (so we know they didn't leave early). We set a monthly goal as well as a quarterly goal so we can celebrate more frequently. My hope is that since they will see me daily, maybe they will be more "aware" of how often they are absent. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Electronic Notes

I am forever trying to find ways to organize for FREE!!! I have used and researched sites that you can keep your notes and track your time for Direct and Indirect counseling services. I will fully admit that I am cheap. I took the ideas I liked from each site (I did not copy or plagiarize so don't turn me in to the copyright police). I put the things that I thought I would need for recording notes as well as keeping track of my time.  Here is what I have come up with.  

Direct and Indirect Notes are on separate Google Drive forms. I thought separating them would be the easiest way to be able to manipulate the data. I may change my mind later and combine them. For now, this is what I am playing with. I have a running total on the spreadsheets to know what my total time is, and I can manipulate the columns to get more specific.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Wow! 102, 623 page views!  When I started this blog, I thought that maybe a few people (mainly my friends and family) would read my blog. I am overwhelmed by the support my little old blog has received! I have gotten some very kind posts and emails from people who have used my ideas or have shared ideas of their own. I am excited to see what the future holds for hanselorthecounselor!


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Follow up on Google Drive

I posted a couple of weeks ago about doing an inventory of all my counseling resources (using Google Drive) so I could find the things I need more easily.  Well, I finished said inventory at approximately 290 resources that included: games, lesson books and story books.  It took a week or so to enter everything in but it is SO WORTH IT!

As you can see below, I can now arrange the columns many different ways to search quickly for needed resources.  In the picture, I have it arranged by the "Area/Subject" column. I have a feeling I will arrange it this way most often.  I can quickly find everything I have regarding a topic, such as, "Anger." I can quickly find the resources around my office and have them readily available for planning.

I cannot tell you how excited this makes me!!!  I know I am a nerd about this kind of thing but this is just AWESOME!!!

If you don't mind putting a little time in at the front end, I HIGHLY recommend doing this type of inventory. What a time saver it will be when planning for the endless individuals, groups and class lessons!

If you have anything similar, please comment below and share your creation!


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Google Drive Strikes Again!

I don't know about anyone else, but I have so many resources that I have forgotten half of what I have. I do not fully utilize the awesome materials in my room. I was looking for a way to inventory everything so I could quickly find materials when planning for class lessons, groups and individual counseling.

My favorite resource is Google Drive which I use for so many things. I decided to use it, yet again, to develop a spreadsheet of counseling materials.  With this spreadsheet, I can locate resources at the click of a button.  If I am looking for a book about anger, I can arrange the Area/Subject column to quickly locate available materials. If I am looking for a particular book title, I can arrange the Title column in alphabetical order.

It only took my 4 years to figure this out!

It is going to take me awhile to get through all of my materials but it will be so worth it in the end! I am excited to use some of the materials and resources that have been collecting dust!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Resources: Creative Small Groups & The Ungame

One of the hardest things I had to do when I started my first year of counseling (4 years ago), was to start my resource library. Where to start? There are so many resources out there and it is difficult to weed through to find quality things to use. I am going to spend the next several blog posts sharing the resources I find the most helpful and useful. I will try to put a book and a game on each post.

Creative Small Groups
Product Details

Creative Small Groups is a great resource for small groups. I have even used the lessons for individual sessions. There are 8 units and they are broken down into lessons for K-1, 2-3, 4-5. I love that it is broken down so much because it can sometimes be daunting to recreate lessons for different grade levels. The topics include: Anger Management, Behavior, Cancer Support, Friendship, Grief and Loss, Self-Esteem, and Study Skills. It also includes a until on Lunch Bunches, which is great! The activities are fun and engaging. Of all my small group books, I use this one the most.  Highly recommended!

The Ungame
Product Details

The Ungame is a game where everyone wins. I use this game as the first session of many of my small groups. It is a non-threatening way to get to know one another. There are questions that range from fun surface type questions to some slightly deeper. This was one of the first games I purchased and one of the best.  I love it!

I hope these reviews will help you with building your resource library.  If you have any resources that you love, please share below!