Monday, March 31, 2014

Girls Group Week 2

This week the girls continued with their book of mental hugs and we also discussed who their heroes are and why. Girls wrote in their journals about their heroes and why this was a person they looked up to. I had many answers. The obvious answers like parents and grandparents and also some out left field answers. Kurt Cobain?

The girls then made super hero capes. This was super easy. I took poster paper and cut a hole out for the head. Each girl had a marker and wrote on the other super hero capes. At the end the girls presented their capes to the group. Here are a few pictures. The discussion while working on their mental hugs book is priceless. As a counselor I really get a sense of how they are doing and what is on their mind. It is a smooth transition to talk about what is really bothering them not another adult asking 20 questions. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bullying Lesson Plan

Middle School Classroom Counseling Lesson

I have used these Dateline videos the past few years with my 7th and 8th grade students. Hosted by Rosalind Wiseman teenage boys and girls are put in bullying situations and video taped as their parents watched. It is great for students to see what the kids in the videos do and there are many discussion points.  I have worked alongside my buildings health teachers to complete this lesson.

Dateline video link - My kid would never bully

Dateline Video – My Kid Would Never Bully

Discussion Points
o   Bystanders?
o   Is ignoring the right thing to do?
o   What would you do?  Would your parents be proud of you?
o   How is bullying different with boys and girls?
o   Mean Girls Movie - How does this relate?
o   What do you think after watching this video?
Video Questions & Discussion Points
            For Boys Video
·         Review negative comments (you suck, running like a girl, sissy, anti-gay slurs)
·         Getting on the floor as a distraction
·         How do you think Brandon felt when he found out his Mom was watching?        
·         What would you do if you were Isaiah?
For Girls Video
o   Do you know a Veronica? NO NAMES
o   How would your Mom feel if you were laughing?  How would you feel knowing your Mom saw your laughing?
o   Do you know a Lilly?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

8th Grade Girls Group

I recently began a small group for 8th grade girls in need of some positive affirmation.  The girls all have had a rough school year and consist of girls new to the school, girls suffering from severe cyberbullying, girls with eating disorders, and girls with mental health issues.  Over the next few weeks I will post the group activities.

Week #1 - Get to know you
Materials -  Notebook - I spend a lot of time at Target where you can get them for only a $1.00
                   Inspirational quotes - Pinterest is great for this

  • Small Ice breaker 
  • Group Rules 
  • Mental Hug Book

  The idea is simple girls take their inspirational quotes that I had printed out and cut out and glue the meaningful quotes in their notebook.  No rules here.  One on a page or a collage.  Use this time to chit chat with the girls and begin building rapport.  After awhile ask the girls to write down why the quote is meaningful.  I plan on the girls adding to their mental hug book every week.  At the end of group they will have a book to take home, and hopefully bring a smile to their face.

Here are a couple of mine - from Pinterest of course.


I don't know what it is about this time of year but it never fails. Middle school girls start going CRAZY! Maybe they are sick of being trapped inside. Maybe they are burnt out from school and need a break before spring break.  It seems like the past few weeks have been a string of she rolled her eyes at me, she won't let me be friends with so and so, she is leaving me out, and so on and so on. It is during these times I'm thankful I will never have to be a middle school girl again. It is also during these times I dread the thought of my own daughters walking the halls of middle school. 

There is a great activity called he said she said I like to play with my students to reinforce how quickly rumors can be spread and how information changes. Select 3/4 students to be volunteers (don't tell them why). One student stays in the room and you read the story below. One by one each student repeats the story to the next student. Tell students in the class they may not say anything to help the volunteers and can only observe. Most likely by the end the story will be missing a lot of detail. 

Ask students what message this activity is about. Discuss what to do when they hear a rumor and how to stop rumors. After a class discussion I follow up with a game of telephone which is always a big hit with the kids. 

He Said/She Said

This is an idea to help students learn how rumors begin and spread and how the information changes from one person to the next.  
Ask the class for 3 volunteers and ask them to go in the hall.  Ask for one more volunteer from the class and have them come to the front.  Read a detailed description of a person to the student.  Then invite one person from the hall to come in.  Ask the student who just heard the description to repeat it to the student from the hall.  Repeat this process with the next 2 students.  

Conclude by asking students to share their observations and ask them how they will handle the situation the next time they hear a rumor.  Below is an example but feel free to make up your own.  

Susan is 12 years old.  She is wearing blue jeans and an orange shirt.  She has sneakers on her feet.  Her hair is brown and her eyes are blue. She is wearing a Boston Red Sox baseball cap, turned around backwards and her hair is in a ponytail.  In her hands are a lunch bag and 2 books. She is also carrying a black book bag with white polka dots.  

Sweet Tweets


I have been talking a lot about cyber bullying this week with my fifth graders. Yesterday we made Sweet Tweets which the kids will update each day when they come into class.  I found out this year many students actually have a Twitter account of their own and are very familiar with twitter and hashtag's.

Materials - strips of paper, markers, dry erase markers, magnets

Day 1 - Discuss definition of cyberbullying (bullying using technology) and different ways cyberbullying can occur. This may include texts, emails, Facebook, video games, and Instagram to name a few. I also do an informal poll of how many students have a Facebook account to twitter account. Pass out strips of paper and have students write their names any way they would like. Explain to them the idea of a sweet tweet. Basically they can write down anything that does not hurt or offend another person, including themselves.

Laminate the students strips of papers.

Day 2 - talk about sweet tweets again. No put downs. Can say hi, say something nice to another person, make it positive. Pass out wet / dry erase markers for students to write their sweet tweets. Share the tweets with the class. The next day when students come to class they erase the previous days sweet tweet and make a new one.
*** stress that online tweets can never be 100% deleted ( the same with texts, Facebook posts, ect). Once the student posts a message online it is there forever.

Have fun!

My kids are having a lot of with their messages.

New Kids = New Goals

After spring break I will be getting a fresh batch of kids and it will be the start of the 4th quarter.  I can't believe how fast this year has gone by.   I plan of having my students complete the following activity as a kick off to the class.

Materials - colored paper, markers, crayons

  • I discussed responsibility with the class and brainstorm ideas of what responsibility means (areas of discussion could include school, home, with friends, teams, or clubs)
  • Divide paper into 4 sections. Students will write what they are responsible for doing in each section.
Possible discussion questions:
What would happen if you did not follow through with your responsibilities?
What would your parents think? Friends? Coaches? You?
Are there any consequences for not completing your responsibilities?
This lesson could be adapted to many topics including trust, respect, ect.

Classroom Guidance

Classroom guidance

One of my go to favorites for classroom guidance. Classroom guidance from A-Z is a great resource for all sorts of lessons. From bullying to study skills to anxiety this book has a little bit of everything. In fact, I just ordered my second copy this week. It seems I lost my original copy and I just couldn't live without my Classroom guidance from A-Z.  I would recommend this book for middle school students.