Monday, September 30, 2013

Where is the School Counselor and How in the World do I Find Her???

Being a School Counselor can be rather busy to say the least. Everyday I travel between two buildings on the same campus and another school 18 miles away every other week (on very rare occasions I have meetings in a third building on our campus). Between three schools, over 400 students, and numerous school staff, and a dedicated office space in one building it can be difficult to find me!

I have found a very helpful tool to let students and school staff know where Mrs. Ziegelmann is. Posted on my door is the Where is Mrs. Ziegelmann sign. I adjust the arrow to accommodate my whereabouts. This communicates to others can see where I am if they need to find me AND the sign is a way to show that school counselors have a variety of places they go!

Making your own is very easy using Microsoft Word, a scissors, and a laminator, however I saw that Vanessa at 's was selling her version on Savvy School Counselor TPT Store and purchased one instead.

Another component to the Where is Mrs. Ziegelmann is the drop box outside my school counseling office in the middle school and outside of the elementary school office. This box serves a variety of purposes; option to report bullying anonymously, self-referrals, leaving messages. Not all students feel comfortable approaching teachers or leaving me a note with the school secretary. I am hopeful this will give students more opportunities to visit with me if they need or like.

Friday, September 20, 2013


September Lessons


Sharing is a very important social skill at the basis for many interactions with others. At the beginning of Kindergarten, some children haven't had the opportunities to learn and practice this skill while others are quite fluent with the concept.

I begin the lesson with a story of Marley eating all of the candy he got while Macy got a sad look on her face and went into the other room. Most of the students understand and infer that Macy was sad because Marley didn't share! We discuss why sharing with friends is important; its nice, makes friends feel happy, makes ourselves feel happy, etch. We also discuss there are many items that are not safe to share with others (I do make exceptions for example sharing an ice cream cone with mom or dad which a few kids said they do).

We read and discuss It's Mine by Leo Lionni. Then I use colored versions of the pictures from the worksheet below for a large group discussions of thing to share or things not safe to share.

The lesson was adapted from Puzzle Pieces; Classroom Guidance Connection by Gwen M. Sitsch & Diane S. Senn and Small Group Counseling for Children, Grades K-2, by Diane S. Senn.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

School Counseling Program Components

My Plush Sidekicks!
The following are some of the ideas I use to stay organized and keep students engaged.

Macy & Marley
These two curious creatures are what brings me FAME among Kindergartners! Marley visits the K-2 Classrooms with me and sometimes brings his cousin Macy with. The puppets are wonderful tools for students to become familiar with who I am at the school. Mrs. Ziegelmann is a tough name for Kindergarteners at the beginning of the year, for some reason Marley is very easy for 5 and 6 years olds to remember!

These two of them have a variety of friendship and school-related problems the students help to solve. It never fails, at the beginning of the school year, Marley has forgotten almost everything the students helped teach him the previous year! Thankfully the 1st & 2nd graders are very willing to help reteach Marley.

These monkeys are also very useful for classroom management strategies. Marley is very shy and when a class gets too noisy Marley will hide in the bag I brought him to the class in. All it takes is for one student to point out (and they notice very quickly what these monkeys do) "Hey! Marley is gone!" and the students will redirect themselves and others to quiet down.