I used the I Help App board in a couple different ways. One way was just to show the board to the students and review each app with them, asking them what would a school counselor be able to do for you regarding this app? The students were easily able to answer that question! (Many thanks to our elementary school counselors for explaining the role of a school counselor so well that by 5th grade they all seemed to think they could BE the school counselor!)
The other way I used the I Help App board was to get students into groups and assign them an app to talk about. They shared why I had it on my app board, what a school counselor would actually do to help them with that problem, and then create their own apps for the school counselor I Help App Board. This approach was best used as an extension to the lesson with the GIEP classes, I have determined. I say that because all the students seemed to want to talk about ALL of the apps on the board because it was, well, an App board!
Then I showed the video tour of my office. I really liked using my Ipad to take the video which I edited in Windows Movie Maker Live because I could not figure out Movie Maker on my Ipad. It worked well. I added my favorite song, some captions that indicated information about me, and so forth. What I liked was that I could save my voice by sharing the video, and the kids all got the same information. I have found that some classes are chatty, some are quiet, and I tend to forget what I want to say or get off topic. This video was great in allowing for consistency across the board. I will be video taping my lessons from here on out and using that in conjunction with counselor led activities on the topic. What a way to go! When you have 17 classes on the SAME topic to teach, this is a life saver!
In addition to classroom lessons, I got busy creating surveys on Google Docs. I created a small group interest survey for my 5th graders (that is my class this year). The two fabulous computer tech teachers will give the survey link to my students when they are in their computer labs to take. It is one question, so it should not take more than 2 minutes. I will get the results in real time and be able to sign up kids to come talk to me more about their small group interests, and then be able to send home permission slips and create small group rosters. I am thinking of a google doc for parents as a permission slip for small group sign ups now.
Another google doc survey I completed was a needs assessment for parents of 5th grade students. What I learned was that I do not have a way to email all the 5th grade parents with email in the system. People have to to sign up to receive E Alerts from teachers, . Well, I do not have access to these sign ups, and as a counselor if someone did sign up for an E Alert from the counselor, they remain on my list unless they themselves take themselves off the list. So,when my class changes, my list of emails may not. I do not have any way of knowing who is signed up for E Alerts from the counselor and I do not have access to that list to pick out who I want to send to.
SO I enlisted the help of the home and school association to send out an E Alert for me with the link to my survey, and in the subject line they will be putting FOR 5TH GRADE PARENTS ONLY . All my survey questions begin with the phrase "Thinking about your 5th grader...." so that should be clear. We'll see how this goes.
As a school counselor, how do YOU manage emailing a designated set of parents?
And finally, I created my teacher needs assessment on google docs and will be sending them a link next week with their counseling newsletter via email. Three questions, easy. Click, Click. and Click.
Finally, I began making my contacts for folks I would like to bring in to school for Career Café lunch talks. We will have Career Cafes 2x a month. I reached out on facebook to ask for volunteers and go a lot! Some will Skype in, some will send videos of themselves talking about what they do to, and others will come in. I am really excited! This is the first time I have done Career Café and love Danielle Schulz for sharing this idea! We begin in October.
Before I forget, this week I also sat down with my principal and shared with her all of my new ideas for the year and all my new "props" and "tools". This was the first time I have tooted my own horn, and am glad I did. It was a great conversation, and above all, I don't feel like I am "out there on my own" anymore.
All in all, a good week!