Thursday, July 06, 2017

School Counseling Card Organization

This circled green container was my nemesis each and every school day morning for my 19 year career. It contained all of my "cards" I used for games, discussions, class lessons, group sessions, etc. Thrown in the box, the cards were either bundled up with rubber bands, separated in Ziploc baggies, or clipped together. Everyday, as I was gathering my materials for that days' activities or the next days' events, I had to practically empty out this container to FIND the cards I was looking for. Not only was it frustrating to search for what I needed, it was such a huge waste of my time. For a few years I've been thinking about a better system of organizing all of these cards -- there HAD to be a better way! I needed something to make this daily chore easier and quicker for me!

Then I came across a post from Lucky Little Learners - in which she talked about organizing her infamous Brag Tags. She introduced me to these Iris Extra Large 4x6 Photo Keepers and it was like an "Ah-Ha" moment for me. I am not kidding you, I was so happy to see this product...these containers were going to organize all of my CARDS!!!! Gone with the dreaded card container, gone with the daily searching and frustration! 

I set-out to find the containers. If you click on the photos, you will find them at They are a bit pricey - so shop around. They can also be found at Michael's and at JoAnn's Fabric and Craft Store. The multi-colored ones are super fun, but the clear containers are just as nice. I find the Iris containers sturdy and stack beautifully. Inside the large container are smaller 4x6 containers which will hold each set of your precious school counseling cards. Make sure you figure out how many card sets you have first....when organizing, I had so many more card sets than I thought in that green box. Some were tossed and some were saved to be used again. But, I filled up these containers quickly!

As I was organizing all of the cards, I found that I had some cards that were too large to fit in these smaller 4x6 containers. Iris has some other options for your bigger materials. There is a container that holds 5x7 boxes inside and there is also a greeting card organizer. Both of these would be perfect for organizing the larger sized school counseling cards you have in your closet! Again, I find them sturdy and perfect for doing the job they were meant to do!

Finally, I purchased some removable file folder labels to clearly label which cards are inside each little container. This is a job I will be doing when I return to school in the August. I decided on removable so that I could easily change out the labels in the event that I decide to retire some cards. 

Looking to get yourself a little bit more organized this school year? Treat yourself to these Iris Photo Keepers - you won't be sorry!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Summer 2017 Reading List

Summer just officially began for me - my last day of school was just last week! I am in the midst of my annual beginning of summer clean-up and clean-out at home!! I got to my bookshelf and found some must reads I wanted to pass along to you. 

All of these are easy, super QUICK reads packed with loads of relevant and useful information. These books get you thinking and give ideas you can put into place right at the start of the next school year! 

When you click on the Amazon links, do some exploring to find the best price for these gems. Some of them were written some time ago and prices can fluctuate greatly for new and used books - there are some great deals out there! Don't worry, the amazing information found inside these books,  very much, still holds true today!

Barbara Gruener knocked it out of the ballpark with this amazing book What's Under Your Cape? Superheroes of the Character Kind. Click on the link to find it at Amazon. Not only did it bring back memories of my childhood, I wrote notes all over the pages inside - to help me remember how to translate the ideas into my everyday school counseling life. A must read!

 This was another one of those books in which I took notes and flagged the pages like crazy. Schools Where Everyone Belongs by Stan Davis will really help you to think through your entire school environment. This book will give you helpful information in how to create a caring environment while giving students boundaries. LOVE this book!

I am in the midst of reading this book, Fostering Resilient Learners by Kristin Souers with Pete Hall, but boy does it pack-a-punch right off the bat. Being trauma-informed  and trauma-sensitive is a hot topic right now and rightfully so. As educators and helper folks, we need to understand all we can about the effects of trauma on our students AND on ourselves. This book will help you do just that!

I read this book some time ago and it really helped to remind me of the power of working with the bystanders in a bullying situation. Find Empowering Bystanders in Bullying Prevention by Stan Davis and Julia Davis by clicking here and visiting Amazon. The bystanders being the largest group in these types of situations, and also affected along with those who are bullied, also need attention. Take some time to read this book to help you effectively plan your interventions.

Happy Summer and Happy Reading!

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Today is a Great Day! YOU CAN...Message Cards and Signs

I am happy to share with you a supplemental product to go with my most recent bulletin board set - Today is a Great Day! YOU CAN.....I'm thrilled that this set has been a hit with so many of Entirely Elementary...School Counseling's readers! I hope it made your back to school preparation a bit easier!! If you haven't purchased yours yet, click on the photo to purchase and download.

After hanging up my bulletin board, I decided to create something for my Open House table to get parents involved. I created YOU CAN....Message Cards and Signs for table top (or for wherever). 
These message cards and signs can be used throughout the school year. The signs can be placed in a clear plastic tabletop picture holder or hung up on any door, wall or bulletin board. The message cards are designed to be printed back-to-back. Print out the YOU CAN side and then choose which design you want to copy on the reverse. 

I used them at Open House for parents to write encouraging messages to their children. The messages were then delivered.

I added to the original file and included the following pages in the document:
  • 3 color signs (one with directions to parents writing messages to their children, one with directions to staff members writing messages to their students, and one with directions to staff members writing messages to other staff members)
  • black and white YOU CAN message cards with choice of 3 flip-side options

You can download these HERE and print them out at your home or school or at a local printer. The cost of download is $2.25. These are designed to be printed on 8.5 x 11 paper.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Today is a GREAT day! YOU CAN...Bulletin Board

It's that time of year again - back-to-school-time - complete with getting our school spaces ready to live with for the next school year! I'm a bit behind on my usual beginning of the year theme, but I do have a new bulletin board ready to go and a book chosen to read to my students! Let me share!

Bulletin Board

Here it is, this year's new bulletin board titled: Today is a GREAT day! YOU CAN.... This bulletin board is made for a small-ish bulletin boards (just like last year's YOU ARE bulletin board). The files include: 2 - 11x14 signs (Today is a GREAT DAY! and YOU CAN...) and 25 colorful and fun "You Can" statements. While you will be able to print this out on a personal color printer on 8.5x11 sized paper, it would be even better to email the files to a local printer and print as described in the description when purchasing. That is my secret....I've found a local printer who does a great job for a great price! I get things printed out in bigger sizes, in color and on glossy cardstock so it is all ready to cut-out and hang-up! 
Click HERE or on the picture to purchase and download!

Bulletin Board Update!
This is what it looks like on a bulletin board!!! Fun, brightly colored. Purchase and download here!! Remember, I recommend finding a local printer who will print this all in color for you on glossy cardstock!

Beginning of the Year Book

I ordered What do you do with a problem? by Kobi Yamada sight unseen. I was hoping it would be perfect to read to all of my students in September. It arrived today and didn't disappoint. Few words and great growth-mindset message! Not a real fan of the illustrations, but the written word makes up for that - big time. Way worth the purchase. I will keep you updated with my lesson plan when it's ready to go. You can find that book by clicking HERE or on the photo.