Saturday, July 26, 2014

The School Counselor Space Store is OPEN!

Click the Store Sign above to enter the Store

It took me a while to figure it all out, but I finally put together a small store, through Amazon, which offers resources that I am using, or have used throughout my school counseling journey.

All items purchased will come through the Amazon website, not School Counselor Space.

Please take some time to browse through the products and pick up an item or two that may help you reach your program goals this year.

If you have any questions about how I have used the products, please let me know--or search my blog for a post, I usually write about the resources I am using.

Enjoy shopping, I hope you will find something that takes your practice to the next level.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Get 10% Back on School Supplies at Walmart July 25-31

Image courtesy of
We all like to save money on school supplies and here is a great opportunity to do just that.

Save some money to use for school shopping next week. Walmart has announced a great Teacher Appreciation week deal. Save 10% by following 3 easy steps.

Visit this link for more details:

What do you plan to buy this year for classroom lessons and groups this year?

Share your shopping list and ideas below.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Reaching Higher: Professionally & for my Students

After #ASCA14 it's tough not to be inspired to #ReachHigher professionally and inspire my students to do the same, and work towards developing a better leadership mindset.

My mind was buzzing after hearing about the First Lady's Reach Higher initiative, and even more so after hearing her speech in person and reading the letter from Arne Duncan.

I am so elated that people who have a lot more exposure than we do are taking an interest in the work we have been doing for so many years. I feel like a miracle has happened and more are sure to come.

I am in the process of working with my principal to write our SMART goals and Annual Agreement for the school year. I enjoyed using the newest edition of ASCA's publication, Making Data Work, to facilitate the process, and definitely kept the #ReachHigher initiative in mind throughout our discussion last week.

Professional Growth

I completed the ASCA Bully Prevention Specialist coursework and now I'm just waiting to hear back on my Action Plan-- I've heard that this takes a while (like 2 months at least) so if you submitted yours a while back and haven't heard anything yet, don't fret. I was lucky enough to get the School Counseling Data Specialist course for free while at ASCA14 and I also completed that coursework this month. I can get involved with the FREE Data, Data, Data course by the great Trish Hatch which is anticipated to be available in early August.

If you plan to complete the ASCA Data Specialist course I highly suggest you read Hatching Results first (And if you have the time, take the FREE Data, Data, Data course--it will only be free for a limited time).

About the Students

As far as the students, below is one goal I am able to share today; I usually have at least 5 program smart goals.

I am excited to join SCOPE in the #ReachHigher photo project, and we hope you will too! Read all of the details here and submit your photo by July 25.

I took a trip to the banks of the Mississippi River in Ellis Grove to the Pierre Menard House to take my photo for the project. I chose this spot because it is a registered National Landmark and has rich political. and historical context, and to depict the "reach" of the First Lady's initiative.

Here are some more photos from my trip: 

Summer Kitchen and garden 

Read more about the Pierre Menard Home here
I am also planning to:

-update my lessons this year to reflect the new ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors,
-change the timelines on some lessons (so I can hopefully achieve all of my SMART goals this year), and 
-try to incorporate a new lesson focus on grit and taught through in conjunction with the math department into my plans.

I will share more as the beginning of do the school year draws closer.

I hope you too have big plans to reach higher professionally this year and look forward to inspiring your students to #ReachHigher as well.

School Counselor Space would like to take the SCOPE photo project one step further by asking everyone involved to change their Twitter and/or Facebook profile photo to their #ReachHigher photo on July 28 only-the day of the Reach Higher White House Summit at Harvard. The First Lady has shown us a lot of love, let's SHOW her some love back!

Don't have your goals ready yet? No problem! Just snap a picture with a piece of paper that says:

"I am a School Counselor and I support #ReachHigher."

And make it your profile picture.

Read my blog post outlining 5 ways to support the initiative here.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Five Ways to Support the #ReachHigher Initiative

The Reach Higher initiative is the First Lady's effort to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university. (The White House).

The initiative is focused on expanding opportunity for all of today's youth. 
According the the White House, the Reach Higher initiative will help make sure all students understand what they need to complete their education, including:
  • Exposing students to college and career opportunities
  • Understanding financial aid eligibility that can make college affordability a reality
  • Encouraging academic planning and summer learning opportunities
  • Supporting high school counselors who can help more kids get into college
So how can you support this initiative?
  1. Join the SCOPE #ReachHigher Photo Project. Snap a picture with your SMART goal pertaining to the initiative and share it-more details here. Your photo and goal could make the final cut for the video project to be shared at the next #ReachHigher event. All photos are due by July 20. All participants will be entered in to a drawing for a free, signed copy of 101 Solutions for School Counselors and Leaders in Challenging Times! If you don't already have #101Solutions, a book every school counselor should have, this is a great way to possibly earn it for FREE!
  2. On July 28 change your Twitter and/or Facebook profile photo to reflect a #ReachHigher photo to mark the date of the College Access event at Harvard in conjunction with The White House. You can make it your photo from #1 above, or just a photo of your goal--make it whatever you want, just use the hashtag #ReachHigher somewhere in the photo and share it across all of your social media accounts.
  3. Snap a photo in your college t-shirt or at your Alma Mater and share it on social media with the hashtag #ReachHigher
  4. Plan to work with your students, no matter what age group, to open their minds to the possibility of college and career opportunities. NOSCA has great FREE resources to guide your way. (Elementary Toolkit, Middle School Toolkit, High School Toolkit).
  5. Share this Guide and this letter from Arne Duncan with your Principal, Superintendent and Regional Superintendent to give them ideas on how to work with you. Include cookies, a cake or something sweet to heighten the positive outcome.
How do you plan to support the #ReachHigher Initiative? Share your plans below in the comments section.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Turning Dreams into Reality with SMART Goals & Vision Boards

One of my favorite sessions at #ASCA14 was A Creative Goal-Setting Intervention for Students presented by Lisa Burton. She taught us about Vision Boards. I made my own Vision Board during the session and I can honestly say I feel like it has changed who I am since I returned from #ASCA14.

My husband even noticed that I am not tied to my iPhone, iPad or a book quite as much! Part of my Vision Board was to be more present in every moment--especially family moments. Check out all of my notes (complete with links and additional ideas for using Vision Boards) from the session here.

I also remembered back to my college days when I created a Vision Box, my sorority sisters filled it with notes written to me about their wishes, dreams and hopes for me--I still have it!

Last year I initiated a lessons through our advisory homeroom that prompted every student to set a SMART goal. Every teacher didn't buy into it, therefore every student didn't buy into it, so I was destined to improve it for this school year.

After this session at #ASCA14 I knew the Vision Boards would be the answer. To set the stage I created this Prezi.
The students will also get handouts on SMART Goals and Vision Boards, and a worksheet where they will actually write out a SMART Goal, but the Vision Board will be what they eventually take home to display for their own motivation.

I will open the lesson with a Think-Pair-Share and then talk to them a little bit about memories of learning to ride a bike. I want them to remember how bad they wanted to learn to ride, how they dreamed about it, who helped them, how many times they fell (and maybe even got hurt), but in the end what success felt like.

I integrated the new ASCA Mindsets into the lesson, injected a little humor to keep the students interested, and used lots of quotes for motivation. After the lesson we will create Vision Boards and write SMART goals. I may try to work out a follow up lesson through English where they write a Common Core Narrative to reflect back on the process. We are really trying the infuse the concept of Grit into our curriculum in every class this year so I think this will be a great way to connect my curriculum to the mainstream and illustrate grit.

How do you plan to work with your students to encourage the new ASCA Mindsets? How do you weave the Common Core Standards into your lessons?

Share your tips for working with students to set goals in the comments section below.

Here's a previous posts about how I use Prezi:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The First Lady & Arne Duncan are spreading the word about school Counselors!

Today the First Lady will address the attendees at #ASCA14, how amazing is that!

Even if you're #NotatASCA14, you can be here for her speech! Read about the live link here:

Also, check out this letter to state school leaders from Arne Duncan and take a moment to announce both to your building and district leaders to do a little local advocacy for our profession!

Thanks for stopping by!

#ASCA14 The School Counselor as a Leader for Improving School Climate

First off this morning I will be visiting the incredible vendors that have set up in the Exhibit Hall--did you know you could get a chair massage at #ASCA14? This experience is really unmatched! I will never miss an ASCA conference ever again! If you're #notatASCA and reading this, start saving your pennies, dimes & quarters now for #ASCA15, I promise, you won't be disappointed!