Wednesday, June 1, 2016

It's The Most ... Wonderful Time ... of the Year

The end of another school year is upon us ... but not before we get through state testing!  Parents, teachers, and even students often ask me about tips when getting ready to take the end-of-grade tests in elementary school.  I've compiled a list of tips and strategies that you my find helpful.

  • When you are stressed or sleepy try these:
        1. Think of a #sunnythought (like I can handle this, I got this, or I’ll keep trying my best)
        2. Set pencil down, close eyes and silently count to 10
        3. Visualize doing well on the test and letting your worries float away
        4. Breathe silently and deeply through the nose.  Exhale through the mouth.
        5. Roll shoulders and head to relax.
        6. Stretch arms or flex fingers quietly in your seat
        7. Watch the clock for 5 seconds and then return to work
  • Have a good breakfast on each test day.  
  • Get here in plenty of time so you don’t feel rushed.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.
  • Read Everything!
  • Don’t give up on test day.  Keep going to the end of the test.  Questions at the beginning of the test count the same as questions at the end of a test.  ONE question can make a difference between passing and not passing.  DO NOT LEAVE ANY QUESTION BLANK.
  • If other students finish before you do, ignore them.  Actually students who finish first DO NOT tend to get the best scores.
  • Look for key words (in math these might be words such as estimate, about, except, best, most and least in the test questions).  They will help point you to what your answer needs to be.
  • Mark through answer choices that are “way off base”.
  • If you get stuck, skip it and come back later.
  • Work out every problem on the test.
  • Draw pictures, diagrams or charts to represent the problem.
  • Read every word in the selection FIRST and then scan for your answer using keywords from the question. Many answers are combinations of information from several paragraphs.
  • Read the italics and TITLE for each selection.  They will help tell you the main idea for that particular passage.  There are “main idea” questions on the test…usually at least one for each passage!  
    • Main idea question choices often have one answer that is too broad- a larger subject, one too narrow-a detail, one that is clearly unreasonable and the RIGHT ONE
  • When answering vocabulary questions, do the following:
a. Re-read the sentences around where the word is used,
b. Eliminate answers that don’t make sense in the passage,
c. Look for word parts in the word that you already know to form a meaning,
d. Substitute answer choices until one makes sense.
  • If you are stuck between 2 answers, do the following:
    1. Re-read the question to make sure you haven’t missed an important clue word.
    2. Re- read the sections of the passage where your answer comes from
    3. Choose the answer that makes the most sense with the main idea of the passage

Friday, November 15, 2013

Crafty Anger Management Chart

I'm am so excited to share this new madness strategy chart I created for a kiddo at my school.  A "cool-down" kit had too many options and the student ended up tearing up the kit and throwing it at others.  To help the student have a little more structure I created a chart, with approved strategies from his teacher, that he can choose from.  A couple of the strategies are super desirable, so to ensure the student wasn't getting mad just to avoid work we made a system where once he has used a strategy for the day he should choose a different one later if he is needing it. 

Essentially I created a social story that is hands on.  I purchased scrapbook pages and put "When I get Mad I can ..."  Then I attached the little clear command hooks on the bottom (I was afraid they would be too heavy and tug on the plastic cover of the page, but that wasn't the case).  Then on the hooks there are 5 strategies (visual and written) that the student can choose from.  I'm so excited how it turned out :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

I Stand Corrected :)

Wow!  This is so cool. I do an empathy lesson where I have the students literally stand in someone's shoes. This game is going to be more interactive for the class and just as good, if not better, illustration when we are working on empathy. SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!  Oh ya. And this app is only .99 too!

Best. App. Ever!

I just found an awesome app. It's for upstanders (my new change this year from bystander). The best part- its a game. I know some of my upstanders will love it. I would love to figure out if I can get it up on the SmartBoard for my upstanders lesson. Kids would love it (and this app was only .99). Woo-hoo. Score Ms. Bruce. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

And just like that ... A brand new year!

I clearly need a course in blogging so that I don't drop off of the face of the planet when (ahem) testing begins. Incidentally I would like to give props to the state of NC. If you at all turned on your television this summer you probably heard the state of North Carolina mentioned every time they talked about education. Amongst the many things they did wrong, the one thing they finally got right was removing test coordination from School Counselors!  Hallelujah! So hopefully I will be better at blogging this year.  I am also happy to say that this year I am fully implementing the ASCA National Model at my school. Our district doesn't require it, so of course my first two years I was just trying to hold my head above water (while still implementing parts). This year it's on!  I can't wait to report back to you. Hope you're having a great start to your year!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Try 3 Then Me

Banners - Medium by Vistaprint

In an effort to encourage our students to try some strategies to solve friendship issues during recess my AP and I came up with an idea to display a banner on the fence of our playground.  I can't wait to report back and share how it goes :)

Finally ... Made Some Calming Jars

I've decided to be a bit quicker about making my counseling crafts when I discover them.  It started with these calming jars.  I started with one, got a little glitter happy, and ended up with three.  It turns out if you add a ton of glitter to one, it might just be too much :)  So a little back and forth, some hot water, and voila!  Can't wait to bring these to school on Tuesday (yay President's Day).

If you have some cool counseling craft ideas I would love to hear about them!