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Monday, February 25, 2013

New Product :: Problem Solving Lesson Pack

Problem Solving Lesson Pack

I don't know about you, but many of my students have NO idea how to be assertive. They either receive discipline referrals for screaming, swearing, punching, or throwing things, or are constantly victims of bullying and have a hard time standing up for themselves.

Students that receive frequent discipline referrals or are involved in constant conflict with their peers often use aggressive communication styles – they are confrontational, accusatory, and hostile. However, while teaching problem-solving skills to these students, we have to be careful not focus solely on passive strategies like ignoring or walking away, but also include assertiveness skills like “talking friendly” or “talking firmly.” Teaching these skills are also crucial for students that are frequent victims of bullying, who tend to be more passive communicators.

Because I was frustrated at the cost or unapproachability of activities out there to teach assertiveness skills, I made my own :) This pack contains several posters to help students learn the 4 main communication styles: passive, passive-aggressive, aggressive, and assertive. It also has activities to help them evaluate their own communication style and learn healthier, more assertive ways of interacting with others and solving problems. It contains:

- Teaching Communication Styles 2-page teacher guide
- Description Posters (Assertive Passive, Passive-Aggressive and Aggressive)

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- Visual Poster (images of each type)

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- “What Does It Look Like?” 4-box graphic organizer

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- Voice Tone Chart
- Name the Style Question Cards (36 cards and decorative card backs)

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- Act out the Style Scenario Cards (24 cards and decorative card backs)

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- My Communication Style Reflection SheetScreen Shot 2013-02-25 at 8.14.16 PM

Friday, February 22, 2013

Quote :: Self-Esteem

"Self-esteem comes from being able to define the world in your own terms and refusing to abide by the judgments of others."

- Oprah Winfrey

Why I Do It...

Young Boy Learning

Something really cool happened today. I've worked with a student for as long as I've been at my school. You know how you have some kids who grab your heartstrings and stick with you long after they're gone? This is going to be that kid for me.

He's one of those kids that I see parts of myself in -
the kind of kid that pushes boundaries,
that doesn't accept the answers that everyone else gives them,
who cares more about what people think than he lets on.

He's also the kind of kid that doesn't really fit the school mold -
who only needs 1 example before being able to teach the class,
what I like to call a tipping point kid:
the kind with amazing potential to radically change the world around him for better or for worse.

He's the kind of kid that his teachers will never forget,
and the kind of kid that that makes my job as a school social worker so incredibly difficult -
yet so amazingly worth it.

He hates school. I'm going to say "hates" because I know he still does hate the traditional definition - the routines, the expectations, the boundaries, all of it. But this week was the start of something different for him. Here are some of the things that changed:

- ability to go to higher grade levels during certain times of the day to learn more advanced material
- doing projects to show knowledge, rather than worksheets, repetition, and readings,
- allowing him to choose what information is learned and how his knowledge is presented

A lot of the strategies we've implemented this week are common knowledge to gifted educators and well-read parents of gifted students, but with the current assessment-based focus in the American education system, gifted students often get left to fend for themselves. But that's another topic for another time.

While visiting with him at the end of the day today, he looked at me and asked if he could use his reward points to come down to my room with his project partner to work on it because their group was behind. I'm sure I looked absolutely ridiculous when I asked him if he was serious. He just smiled at me and said, "Can I just come down during lunch? I don't want to miss class!" That about did it for me. It's a good thing I was sitting in a kindergarten chair because I probably would have fallen out of anything taller!

Today was one of those days that I went home with a feeling that can't be fully understood except by those who have experienced it. It's the moment where I (almost!) wish I didn't have to wait 2 days to go back to work. Today was the day that he took education for himself and felt he could make it his own, that he realized that school doesn't have to be what he always thought it was, that he realized that looking like a "traditional student" was less important than just being a learner.

I've never really understood why people always tell me, "Oh my...I could never do your job!  How on earth can you be a school social worker? You're going straight to heaven!" Because for me, it's less about the difficulties of it and more about the fact that I cannot imagine myself existing and doing anything else. It's a completeness and an indescribable feeling of joy I get when I see smiles, "lightbulb moments," and astonishment in the faces of my students. Sure I have days I want to turn off the lights, lock my office door, and curl up in the corner, but how can I possibly find anything else more rewarding and fulfilling than this!?

Why do YOU do it?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sale :: Facebook Free For a Day


Hey everyone!  As you've probably noticed, this blog is relatively young (only a couple months old!). I opened my TpT Store on September 29, 2012 and so far I've been amazed (no...astonished) at the number of people looking for high-quality social work, special education, and counseling products.

So, I also recently started a Facebook page and Pinterest as well! To help even more people find out about One-Stop Counseling shop, I have a challenge for you:

If I can get 50 likes on Facebook by the end of the month, I will offer one of my products on TpT for free for 24 hours!  So here's how you can help:

- Head over to my brand newish Facebook page and hit the like button.

- Then, leave a comment on this post or on my Facebook page telling me which product you'd like to see offerred for free. The winner at 10:00 pm (CST) on February 29th will be free on 3/3 (because it's easy to remember) for a whole 24 hours!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sale :: (after) Presidents' Day Sale!

Presidents Day Sale

We all love 3-day weekends, but generally that makes going back to school on Tuesday even worse!  To help cure your blues, hop on over to my TpT store on Tuesday to get 10% off everything!! No code needed - just add items to your cart and the discount will be applied when you check out :)

Enjoy your extra day off!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pinterest Find :: Free Printable Monograms

Pinterest Find :: Free Printable Monograms

I am SO SO SO SO excited about this website I just came across! It offers 3 different monogram designs in several different color options for FREE!

I had a few glitches on a Mac when I first tried to make mine, but then I noticed in the comments that people recommended using Adobe Acrobat instead of Preview on a Mac. This solved my problem and POOF, I now have a super cute monogram cover for one of my binders at school.

Happy Sunday, indeed!

Friday, February 15, 2013

New Product :: Social Emotional IEP Goal Writing Guide


It's true...IEP season is nearly upon us. And with that comes lots of meetings and LOTS of paperwork. It probably won't surprise you to know, but the thing I hate most about IEP's is writing goals. Sure, I've been taught probably 10 different times how to write measurable, strong IEP goals, but for some reason it never stuck.

So, I took matters into my own hands, read a few articles, and made myself a "cheat book." This is the result!  I learned so much in the process and I hope that this can also help you as well.

Social and emotional skills goals can be difficult – we’re not measuring words per minute, correct speech sounds, or math facts. Human behavior as a whole tends to be more subjective than many other skills students learn in school. However, it is possible to write great social emotional goals for students.

This guide contains the following:
- 5 tips to help you write more measurable, observable, legally strong goals to help your students
- description and examples of the 2 major social-emotional goal types
- formula with blanks which you can fill in to painlessly create customized goals for a variety of student needs
- lots of examples to save you time and sanity!

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pinterest Find :: Silly Sludge

Pinterest Find: Silly Sludge

Holy cow...I found this recipe on Pinterest today and COULDN'T resist posting it. If I had everything in my house I needed, I'd be making it right now....yes...on a Sunday night! I'm pretty sure my mom used to make this with me as a child. If I remember correctly, it can kinda smell a bit strange (I mean, it's basically glue!), so maybe add a drop of an essential oil or vanilla extract or something and see if it smells better?

This is going to be awesome for my kids that use putty to calm down or for some of my kiddos with sensory needs. A tiny silly putty egg just is NOT enough for them!

Recipe Update: it calls for 1/4 cup of water several times. I've used about a 3/4 full 1/4 cup measure and that worked much better!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

New Product :: Positive Behavior Punch Cards - Designer Pack

Incentive Punch Cards

I just posed some cute new punch cards that you can use to reward positive behavior! Great for teachers (and parents!)

Visual reinforcement is always best and these punch cards are a fun, easy way to encourage your students to do their best! Some ideas for use include homework completion, attendance, appropriate behavior during the day, reading logs – the possibilities are endless!

Incentive Punch Cards

Incentive Punch Cards

Incentive Punch Cards


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pinterest Find :: Discipline Without Shame

little boy cryingI love Pinterest for the creative, crafty, organizational things, but I also love it because it gives me the chance to stumble across interesting blogs and articles I wouldn't normally get to read.  I was really excited when I found this blog post - it highlights so many of the points I try to make to teachers when we're brainstorming how best to help a tricky kid. I especially love the "not taking things personally." As a teacher (or parent), the moment a child "loses it" or starts to challenge us, it is REALLY hard not to! Even though this post was written originally for toddlers, I think school staff could take a lot from it!

I would summarize it for you, but it probably wouldn't do the original justice, so head on over there and give it a read!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sale :: Super Sunday!

Sale :: Super Sunday!

Whether you're cheering for the Ravens or the 49ers, everyone wins!

Visit my TeacherspayTeachers store today and enter the code "SUPER" to save 28% on everything!

Discount code good through midnight Hawaii time.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fun Freebie :: Social Skills Conversation Hearts

Conversation Hearts Cover

Happy February, Everyone! If you're looking for a cute Valentine's Day activity for your kids with social or pragmatic language difficulties, hop on over to my TpT store and pick this one up (it is free, after all!)

It contains 32 different cards (with decorative card backs) that have a conversation starter. Then, it's up to your kids to figure out what would come next in an appropriate situation. The cards can be laminated and written on with dry erase marker, or you could play a game and make it a contest to see who can get the most correct.

If you're looking for more fun spring social emotional activities, check out my Spring Holiday Social Emotional Activity Pack for for more good stuff!