New School Year, New Goals!

Sunday, August 21, 2016
Tomorrow is the first school day for students in our school district. Every year, I like to set goals for myself so I figured this would be the day to do it. This year my school is implementing "The Leader in Me" process, which utilizes the 7 habits of highly effective people. Goal setting is what the habit "Begin with the end in mind" is all about. Here are my goals for this school year:

1. Spend more time working with students. 
Sometimes the deadlines and paperwork take up so much of my time that I leave work feeling like I did not touch the lives of any students that day. Surprise! I was told a few days ago that I am teaching a special this year which at first really freaked me out because its very time consuming. But once I really thought about it, I realized this is the perfect way to meet my goal of spending more time with students.

2. Lead a healthier lifestyle. 
This past pre-planning week I did not strive to meet this goal. I made no time to eat lunch and was so hungry that by the time I got home I scarfed down the first thing I could, which was not a healthy item. I made no time for the gym or exercise because I was too tired. I fully believe in work life balance and this is one area I am determined to improve for my own well being. For tomorrow, I packed my healthy lunch and breakfast smoothie so I am hoping to start off right.

3. Learn to say "no" more.
I am a people pleaser, like most people in this profession and unfortunately, that can be taken advantage of. I will do all that I can to help students and parents but sometimes I have to learn to say no. Especially if it involves me working long hours that burn me out. No one benefits from having a burnt out counselor, least of all the kids.

Those are my 3 goals for the school year. Have you set any goals this school year? How will you achieve them? Make sure to make time in your day for YOU. Alright new school year, here we go!

Calm Down Bottles (attempt #2)

Friday, August 12, 2016
My second attempt at making Calm Down Bottles, this time the GLITTER edition. I definitely like this one the best but it took more ingredients and time. 
I got this idea from: MsKCpotter's blog 
1. Buy all the ingredients: 
Voss 800 Ml /27oz Glass Water Bottle
Elmer's Liquid Clear School Glue
Glitter Assorted Colors (I used 3 different sized glitter)
Elmer's Liquid Glitter Glue
1 cup of Corn Syrup  
2 cups of hot tap water. 
2. Dump all the glitter into the empty VOSS water bottle.
3. In a mixing bowl, mix the glitter glue, hot water, and corn syrup. 
4. Carefully dump the mixing bowl into the VOSS water bottle to the top. 
5. Glue the lid shut.

Sensory Calm Down Bottles

Thursday, August 11, 2016
Since I still have a few more days left of summer I decided to try to make a Sensory calm down bottle I have seen all over Pinterest (this is my first attempt, I am going to try a different one tomorrow). My office is known for being a little distracting, so this will add to that lol
This idea was found on: Fun at Home with Kids Blog
Here are the steps:
1. Buy the ingredients: 1 bottle of Clear dishwashing soap, 3 bottles of Clear SoftSoap (Dollar Tree sells this), Glue (the stronger the better), Pony Beads (make sure they are not painted because the paint will come off), VOSS water bottle.
2.  Put Pony beads in the empty VOSS water bottle.
3. Put all 3 bottles of Clear Soft Soap in, and the rest fill up with the dishwashing soap. The more dishwashing soap you put, the faster the beads fall. 
4. Glue the top of the bottle shut so no little friends open it accidentally (or on purpose). 


#Positive Words

During No Name Calling Week this past school year, I was sick of telling kids what NOT to say. We covered that during Anti-bullying week, and I wanted something that would teach them what they should say. So I came up with #Positive words, a simple activity to boost self esteem within the student and for them to learn positive words to describe others. Our words can be used to lift others up, which also lifts us up as well. 

The activity is found on my TPT store here: #Positive Words Activity

It comes with 27 cards with different positive words and 3 blank ones in case you want to make your own. Assign each of your students one of the words, then have them stand and share the word you assigned them with the description. You can elaborate by telling them why you chose that word and/or an example. You could also have students assign each other positive words. A self reflection writing assignment or journal could be used afterwards to reflect on how the activity made them feel.


Make your own Stress Balls

Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Every new school year I spend money on stress balls to give to students. This year I attempted to be creative and try to make my own. I found this awesome idea on: Somewhat Simple Blog.I decided to use star wars themed balloons because I thought the kids would really like it and also they were at the Dollar Tree for $1 (love that place). The steps are simple:
1. Roll Play-doh into very thin pieces, the thinner the better, and keep them short.
2. Hold balloon open, much easier if someone helps you with this part.
3. Drop thin pieces of rolled play-doh into balloon. 
4. Jiggle balloon around till the piece is out of the balloon entry way.
5. Squish playdoh to be at the bottom of balloon and flat. (Be very careful not to get any playdoh stuck in the entryway of the balloon, it will make it impossible to put any more in there). 
6. Once you have enough playdoh in there, tie the balloon closed.
And there you go, your own squishy stress ball for your students or for you (especially since its back to school time). 

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