Saturday, September 28, 2013
At our school book fair last year, I bought a great book called The Interrupting Chicken. It's become a favorite of several of my students, so I'm always looking for more activities I can use when we read it! So imagine my excitement as I perused the boards at Pinterest and found a free activity pack!
It contains activity pages as well as some colored chicken cards that can be used to remind students not to blurt out during class. I'm thinking something like, put 3 chickens up on the board at the beginning of the day and if there's at least one left at the end of the day, you'll play a class favorite song or let them do a fun activity? Something along those lines!
*Note* Photos in this post are from Happy Teacher Happy Kids. They are not my own!
Monday, September 23, 2013
Even though social workers and counselors aren't required by most schools to use common core in their individual and group counseling sessions, there has been a huge push in the educational community for states to adopt Social Emotional Learning standards instead.
According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), SEL has been shown to promote students' academic success, health, and well-being, while also preventing problems such as alcohol and drug use, violence, truancy, and bullying. It also reduces emotional distress and conduct problems.
So far, Illinois is the only state to officially comprehensive, free-standing standards , but many other states such as Washington, Idaho, Nebraska, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New York, and Vermont are in the process of creating their own or using variations on the Illinois standards, while all others have some goals or benchmarks integrated into state academic standards. For more information, check out the CASEL website!
This download includes 339 4 x 6 cards from the warm set, cool set, and printer-friendly set depicting “I can” statements for the following Illinois social-emotional learning standards. However, they are presented in Microsoft Word format so the text can be easily changed to fit other states' standards or to adjust the wording for your students.
They are designed to be used to help students know exactly what types of skills and knowledge they are expected to learn, or can be used as a reference for you as you develop social-emotional IEP goals or intervention plans.
There is 1 card listing each goal (3 total per set):
1 card listing each standard (9 total per set):
and several (101 per set) for each performance indicator under each standard (early elementary, late elementary, middle/jr. high, early high school, and late high school). Skills are presented in age-appropriate language depending on the performance indicator level.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
I'm really excited to announce the arrival of my new Fall Social-Emotional Activity Pack! I already have Holiday and Spring Social-Emotional Packs in my store, so I knew I wanted to add a Fall pack too. This one was specifically designed with kindergarten through second grade students in mind, but may be appropriate for older students too who are working at a lower level.
It contains several social skills, anger management, and social emotional activities that are sure to get your students excited about the cooler weather! It contains the following:
- 24 Fall-Themed Conversation Cards*
- 24 Friendship Scenario Cards*
- Angry Monster Coping Skills Activity
- “Banish the Boos” Positive Thinking Activity (and answer key)
- “Debug” Problem-Solving Activity
- Halloween Behavior Punch Cards (2, 4, 6, 9, or 16 per page)
- Listening Poster (4 different genders/races used)
- Pumpkin Emotion Cards for matching, role-playing, or other games
- Pumpkin Friendship Glyph*
- Thankfulness Turkey Activity
- Thanksgiving Behavior Punch Cards (2, 4, 6, 9, or 16 per page)
- Trick or Treat Behavior Sort Activity
Saturday, September 14, 2013
One of the things my school has done each year is read "Have You Filled A Bucket Today," by Carol McCloud to the younger grades. "Filling a Bucket," not being a "Bucket Dipper," and such are now common language across the grade levels and it has definitely helped kids to be able to separate friendly from unfriendly actions.
Which is why I was really excited to find a Bucket Filler vs. Bucket Dippers headers by 3rd Grade Thoughts and word sort by 1st Grade Fanatics on Pinterest. Often, I have students list examples of "Bucket Fillers" and "Bucket Dippers," but having words to choose from would really help some of the younger students get started.
The best part of both these products? They're FREE!! So go grab them while you can!
*Note* Photos in this post are from 3rd Grade Thoughts and 1st Grade Fanatics. They are not my own!
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Some of the most common topics I see social workers and counselors teach is feeling identification and regulation. And it makes sense! Almost every student in need of counseling services could benefit ways to identify emotions in themselves or others, or learn ways to cope those feelings!
As a result, I put together this activity bundle which contains several of my most popular items and many new ones as well! It includes several different activities you can use to help teach emotional regulation and empathy skills to students who many be diagnosed with Autism, Mood Disorders, or other difficulties. It includes:
- Social Skills Feeling Pack (my most popular freebie!)
- Feelings Bingo Game
- Feelings Matching and Game Cards
- Feelings Crossword Puzzle (& answer key)
- Feelings Word Search (& answer key)
- Feelings DeBrief Sheet
- Feelings Journal
*Designates editable items
Friday, September 6, 2013
This summer, I've written a blog series focusing on several different disorders that affect children at school: ADHD, Autism, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, and ODD. Each entry describes the disorder, gives practical strategies for improving success at school, and also provides a few social-emotional goals and accommodations that might be appropriate for students with special education services!
Last and not least is Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Some believe that as many as 11% of males and 9% of females will meet the criteria for ODD at some point in their lives. If left untreated, children with ODD may exhibit more severe behavior as they age and may be diagnosed with Conduct Disorder or Antisocial Personality Disorder as adults. Both are characterized by a persistent pattern of behavior that violates the basic rights of others. Symptoms may include vandalism, injuring animals or others, problems with drugs or alcohol, frequent criminal activity, general lack of empathy, and violation of basic societal norms.
- Refuses to comply with requests or rules of an authority figure
- Does things purposefully to annoy others
- Angry and resentful of others
- Argues often
- Blames others for his or her own mistakes
- Often loses temper
- Spiteful or seeks revenge
- Touchy or easily annoyed
- Frequent temper tantrums or angry outbursts
Generally these behaviors occur across settings and not just with one particular person or authority figure, such as at home AND at school or in the community.
- Contact the child's doctor if medication is to be given at school to make sure you have up-to-date dosage and administration instructions. However, don't tell a parent "your child needs to be on medication." You can encourage them to talk about concerns they may have with their child's doctor, but put your school in a vulnerable position if you start doling out medical advice!
- Behavioral therapy techniques can often be helpful with treating ODD. Doing a Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plan can help the team determine why a certain behavior is occurring (what is the student getting from it?) and establish other more appropriate ways to gain that same thing.
- Avoid placing students with ODD or Conduct Disorder in therapy or intervention groups together. If students spend a lot of time around other students who have a disregard for authority and expectations, it "normalizes" the behavior and teaches them that it's acceptable to act in certain ways.
- Teach anger management skills to help students increase their frustration tolerance and learn to handle anger and frustration in safe ways.
- Provide choices as often as possible to the student to give them as much control as possible over their environment and minimize their feeling of having to "fight" for control.
- Involve students in service-learning or volunteer opportunities to help teach empathy skills. Writing apology letters when they wrong someone can also be a good way to help them begin thinking about how their actions affect others.
- Establish routines, which will help students know what to expect and feel as though they have more control over what happens to them during a day.
- Use positive reinforcement strategies such as allowing a student to earn free time, the opportunity to be the class "tech support" during computer time, be the line leader, etc. You can use tangible items, activity reinforcers, or social reinforcers, but use what the student desires - not just what you THINK will work for them! I've written another post about rewards and behavior management too!
- Avoid "nit picking." It creates a further dynamic of "me vs. them" and generally leads to more noncompliance. Discipline privately and help students to feel like you're working WITH them rather than against them.
- Check out my previous post about working with strong-willed students!
- Sometimes, externalizing (acting out) behaviors like those seen with ODD are an exclusionary factor for qualifying a student for special education services under Emotional Disability (assuming they don't exhibit depression, anxiety, somatization or other internalizing behaviors). In some states where BD/ED is a category, this is not the case, so familiarize yourself with the criteria! The rationale is that it is a way to keep students who may tend to be aggressors (externalizing kids) away from students who tend to be victims (kids with learning or physical disabilities who may also struggle with assertiveness skills).
However, they may be eligible for special education services under other areas if they have co-existing disorders. See the other posts in this series for goal ideas to use in those situations: ADHD, Autism, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety Disorder
- Give breaks or extended time if you can tell the student is having a particularly difficult day
- Provide choices for demonstrating knowledge (presentation vs. paper vs. diorama, etc.)
If you're looking for activities for your students, check out my Behavior Punch Cards, Dealing with Anger Activity Pack, Escape from Anger Volcano Game, and Student Behavior Package! You can also check out my Pinterest Boards for Behavior and Anger Management for even more ideas!
Thanks to Wikipedia for contributing to this article!
Monday, September 2, 2013
So I've noticed a trend lately in the types of questions people are asking at my TpT store. When it first opened, I got a lot of questions and statements such as:
"Will this be appropriate for X, Y, or Z student?"
"I have a great suggestion of books you could use with this product!"
"What program do you use to make your stuff!?
Now, they generally consist of:
"I can't download."
"File won't unzip."
"I can't print this!"
etc. etc. etc.
So, in an effort to prevent lots of frustration on behalf of people buying things on TpT, and to help sellers not have to repeatedly explain how to download or print a product, I'm assembling a (not completely exhaustive) post explaining how to get around many of the common difficulties experienced with downloaded products! Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments! Also, TpT has a great summary here, but based on the questions I'm receiving, I'm guessing a lot of people aren't finding it!
PROBLEM #1: DIDN'T RECEIVE MY PRODUCT
So, I had no idea that this question was even a thing until I talked with a few other sellers, but apparently, people are buying products on TpT and expecting to receive a colored, already cut out, laminated, and ready to go product in the mail.
All right, so, while maybe 1% of the products on TpT are hard goods, 99.99999% (I'm guessing - don't quote me) and DOWNLOAD ONLY products. During checkout, if you don't enter a shipping address, nothing will arrive at your door...sorry!
PROBLEM #2: PRODUCT DIDN'T DOWNLOAD
Unfortunately, there may be several reasons why a product you purchased on TpT isn't downloading. First, it might have actually downloaded and you didn't know because it happened so quickly! Make sure to check your downloads folder, desktop, or other places your computer usually puts downloaded files. Or, it's possible you're using a super ancient internet browser. I personally use Google Chrome and love it, but TpT should be compatible with others such as Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer as well. TpT states that you should close your browser, reopen it, and try downloading again - especially if it's during a busy time on the site.
Finally, know that TpT sellers have NO control over download issues. Once they upload a product to TpT, that's it! So as much as you may be frustrated at them or want to leave them negative feedback, it won't matter (plus TpT specifically says on the feedback page not to do so). E-mail TpT support by scrolling to the bottom of TpT and clicking "contact us." Their technical support is fantastic and will be able to help you out.
*Another note: I've had a few buyers in the past send me a question in the Q & A section asking me to e-mail them a product they purchased. Most of the time, my products are between 10-50 MB, so e-mailing really isn't an option. If it's a free item and is 1 or 2 pages, it might be able to be done, but it's WAY easier and faster to just contact TpT, so I'd go that route if I were you!
PROBLEM #3: I CAN'T UNZIP MY PRODUCT
As a seller, if I product has more than 1 file (such as a collection of lesson plans or cards), I have to upload it to TpT as a .ZIP file. This basically means that I make a folder, and tell the computer to zip it all together into one file that I can then upload. So, when you download a file from TpT, often it will be in this "ZIP" format. On a Mac, all you do is double click the .ZIP file and it'll magically create a new folder with all the items inside. Your original .ZIP file will still be there, but you'll also have the folder with all the good stuff as well. After it unzips, you can delete the .ZIP if you'd like!
For a PC, you just drag the file to the desktop. Then, right click it and select "extract all." It'll create a new folder with all the items inside on your desktop. Your original .ZIP file will still be there, but you'll also have the folder with all the good stuff as well. After it unzips, you can delete the .ZIP if you'd like!
For more help on unzipping files, just Google it. There's a million videos and descriptions of how to do it!
PROBLEM #4: ONLY SOME OF THE GRAPHIC IS PRINTING ON THIS PAGE!
I recently had a buyer send me the following photo of an incomplete print job:
For the record, there should be 18 stars on the left page and a black image inside each colored box on the right. This was definitely the first time I'd ever seen anything like this! We solved this issue by having her select "print as image" option under the "advanced" tab within Adobe Reader. My guess is that since I make my products in such a way that they have a lot of "parts," sometimes printers get confused and don't recognize all of them and in an effort to print quickly, just send the page through half processed.
This "print as image" option has also fixed a wide variety of other print issues and error messages, so give it a try and see what happens!
Also, try printing a product on a friend's computer or printer. That's a great way to figure out if it's a problem with your stuff or the product!
PROBLEM #5: I CAN'T PRINT MULTIPLE CARDS PER PAGE!
On my behavior card products, I advertise that you can select as many punch cards per page as you'd like when printing. This way, you can pick the size. In the products, I include printing instructions, but I'll share them here as well because I seem to get a lot of questions about it!
- Open the punch card PDF file in the Mac program, Preview.
- Select “file” and “print” from the top menu.
- Under “pages” select “from” and type in the page number of the card you would like to print. For example, “3 to 3.”
- Under “copies per page,” select the number of punch cards you would like to print on one page when the print dialog box opens.
- Click “print.”
- You can also generally follow the directions below for Adobe Reader (a few of the steps are called something different on the Mac version), but it’s more complicated, so I highly recommend using Preview!
- Open the punch card PDF file in Adobe Reader.
- Select “file” and “print” from the top menu.
- Under “pages,” type in the page number of the card you would like to print the number of times you would like it. For example, if you want the punch card on page 3 to print 9 times per page, you’d type 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3.
- Under “page scaling,” select “multiple pages per sheet.”
- Under “pages per sheet,” select the number of punch cards you would like to print on one page. In our example, it would be 9.
- Click “print.”
* Optional: If you would like to print multiple pages of punch cards, you can select the number of copies you’d like to print. For example, if you’d like to print 4 pages of our 9 per page card, you’d type 4 in the copies box at the top of the print dialog box.
PROBLEM #6: MY PRINTER CUTS OFF PART OF THE PDF WHEN I PRINT IT!
I actually get this feedback quite often. The good news is that it's easy to fix. Just change the scale when you print it! The reason many products go all the way to the edges of the paper is so that it can work on any printer, including borderless ones. If you're using Mac Preview to print your PDF files, just click "scale to fit" to in the print dialog box. In Adobe Reader, change the scale from 100% to 95% or whatever will work on your printer. Presto!
PROBLEM #7: MY PROBLEM ISN'T LISTED HERE
Generally when I get a question from a buyer and have no idea what to do, I Google it! Seriously, type in the error message or issue you're having and see what other people have done. You'd be surprise how often you'll end up on Adobe Reader's Help page or a message board and will be able to solve the issue yourself!
And if all else fails, ask TpT's magical tech support. Seriously, they are amazing!!