The Best School Counseling Apps

I am always searching for new apps to use at my school. All of our students have iPads and we are a paperless school – which is super exciting but different! Here is a list of my favorites:

1. Feel Electric – this app lets you create users/players for an interactive feeling game. In the “moodisphere” students have to identify their moods. The program saves your history and allows for students to also learn what the feeling words mean by clicking on the words. For example when you click on the word “panicked” you will see (and hear) the definition “when you’re suddenly really scared of what may happen”. This can be a great conversation starter for you and your students. There are other games students can play – I haven’t had time to experience those games just yet however, since my kids can download this app themselves, i’d love to see them use it in their free time!

I love how interactive this is – take a look!

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2. Haiku Deck – such an innovative and fun idea for education and counseling! Students can choose from a variety of (really great) stock photos, designs and fonts to create a text photo. Here is an example, I made this to show students my happy place:

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3. Pinterest – seriously, need I say more?

4. Google drive – I am IN LOVE with google forms. I use them for everything…student notes, referrals from teachers and parent contacts. All of the responses go straight in to a spreadsheet and keep my information so organized. So easy!

5. Flashcard – this is a great tool for students that want to study for tests. I constantly have students coming in my office with test anxiety – this is a great tool that is fun to use, students can share their cards and you can play games!

I’ll continue updating this often so check back again soon!

Ready for a Change!

Well I’m back. Its been wayyyyy too long. Since my last post I have a new house, new husband, new name and new job. I am happy to say that I’m in the best place of my entire life. With that being said, I’m ready to get back to updating and sharing about my Urban Education Experience! Currently I am a 5th – 8th grade school counselor at a school in Center City Philadelphia. With over 700 students, I’m pretty busy but I am inspired everyday. Check out my new office:

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To get to know all of my new students, I did a small presentation at our Welcome Assembly and also created a video for students to watch during advisory – turned out to be a very quick way to hit everyone! My day’s are filling up fast with drop in students, referrals and meetings. Check back soon for updates about my favorite apps (all of our kids have iPads), new books, videos and accessories I use in my office.

Principals 200 Club

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Welcome to the start of the new school year! I would write more but this is my 3rd post of the day, the previous 2 were mysteriously deleted!  Feel free to check out my pictures and use my “Office Staff Roles” in principals 200 to help you implement this at your school.  More info to come – promise!Image

Guidance Suite Day 1

Guidance Suite

First off, I apologize for the lack of updates this year.  Some major life changes (did I mentioned I’m engaged?? he put a ring on it!) and also a career change (guidance counselor, woopwoop!) have taken a toll on my free time.  My goal is one post every two weeks, so please check back often for updates!

Today is day one of decorating my guidance suite for the 2013-2014 school year and I couldn’t be more trilled!  I work at a Charter School in Philadelphia  (same one that I worked as a special education teacher) with grades kindergarten, 1st, 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th grade.  There will be approximately 450 students across these six grades.  School starts September 9th and I’m working on decorating (obviously…its the best part!) and putting my schedule together (HELP!).  I will also be researching the topics for this coming school year.  Does your school have a monthly character trait? If so, tell me more!

Positive Behavior Intervention & Support (PBIS) is in FULL SWING this coming school year!  “School Culture” is very important to us, so we’ve changed the title of PBIS to The School Culture Team.  We are working on our “big 8” systems and modeling/role playing with the staff during orientation.  We spent a lot of time this summer with our School Culture Team and designed these school-wide and in-class systems such as arrival, dismissal, hallway transitions, getting supplies in the classroom, etc.  Our staff will hear all about of these proposed systems during the next few weeks and work within grade teams to choose what works well for them.  These systems are written as scripts and seem so silly to write but even sillier to act out (and super entertaining, I must say).  When you act out your plan (literally pretend your staff is your students) you realize what works and what is too wordy.  It can be as small as saying “collect materials” instead of “put your materials away”.  Practicing through role play has also been effective in showing teachers exactly what we mean – when we say repeat, we mean it.  When you do it the way it is written, it will be more effective (especially since we spent so much time tweaking it!).  Have you had any experience writing “scripts”? if so, how did it go over with your staff?

One more small change we are making this year is that students are allowed to be in zone 2 (quiet) in the hallways and during transitions instead of zone 1 (silent).  The reason for this is we are modeling REAL LIFE.  Have you ever had to be silent in a mall hallway? how about an office building?  We want to show our students how to act in the real world.  I’m hoping teachers find this as a blessing and that this maximizes learning time.  Do students have to be silent in your hallways during transitions? How does that work for you?

Best of luck with your school year!  I have a feeling this will be the BEST ONE YET!  enjoy!

Remember, your students & school are a reflection of YOU!  (quoted by my amazing Principal) 🙂