Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mean Stinks

Came across this site -, we have been using some of the daily ideas, such as "what would you do Wednesday? and the "share a smile" ideas.  Check out the website and "friend" on Facebook to get daily ideas, videos and more . . .!/meanstinks!/meanstinks?sk=videos

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Advisory December 23

We are meeting today for a final time before the holiday break.  The kids decided to decorate cookies and set their New Year's Resolutions.  Here are some ideas for New Year's Resolutions for kids.  

Here are some ideas for setting healthy eating resolutions as well.

Happy New Year! 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

12/5 Learning Styles

Today we talked about our "learning styles"  It is amazing to me how much kids really know about themselves but are often reluctant to share with adults.  We really need to work with them to encourage self advocacy - certainly a skill needed as an adult.  Look to these resources to help identify learning styles -

  • Linguistic intelligence ("word smart")
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence ("number/reasoning smart")
  • Spatial intelligence ("picture smart")
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence ("body smart")
  • Musical intelligence ("music smart")
  • Interpersonal intelligence ("people smart")
  • Intrapersonal intelligence ("self smart")
  • Naturalist intelligence ("nature smart")
For self advocacy information,  while most resources deal with assisting students with disabilities, there is useful information for all students and families -  A good article from the Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE)  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Advisory 11/4

Today we talked about the recent weather events in our area of the Northeast and the impact the early Halloween snowstorm had on our families - snow, loss of electricity for days, falling braches on houses, cars, closing of school, etc.  Many families were impacted and students shared their adventures. 

I will be presenting the work that we have done with the implementation of our Advisory program at the annual cconference for the  Association of Middle Level Education this week in Louisville, KY.  I am anxious to share with others the wonderful things that we have done with our adolescents. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Advisory 10/26

Today's Advisory is an Academic Session
Using PowerSchool (our student management system grades Quick Lookup), individually review advisory students’ grades. Advisors will conference individually with each student to review quarterly grades and goals. 
            NOTE:  Next session is a student selected activity.  Prompt students to develop their activity

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October 7

It is all about goal setting.  Love this "ladder" graphic.  Take a look . . .
Goal Setting
Continue activities and discussions from last meeting.  Some helpful worksheets can be found at:    and   

Thursday, September 29, 2011

September 29 - Goal Setting

Advisory 7:40-8:15   Goal Setting
Watch a video on setting and achieving goals played for the whole school.  See the follow-up activities at:            -or-
A ten minute YouTube Video follows a runner through his goal.
Relate “How to Set Goals” and “Discussion Questions” to this video from web address
The Treasure Chest, page 107 has an activity for explaining goal setting with a worksheet on page 109.  Also, on page 188 our resource contains the Interpersonal Management Plan that contains a worksheet to guide students to positive interpersonal behavior which also can be considered a goal for adolesents.

Here are some printables as well -

Friday, September 9, 2011

9/13 - First Day of Advisory for the 2011-12 School Year

This is our first day of Advisory for the school year.  
We welcome our 6th graders to our group with some activities -

Advisory introduction and icebreakers to introduce advisory to incoming 6th graders, preview the article at the following web address for background information.

Icebreakers:  A list of 12 can be found at the web address below.

Try any icebreakers from the Treasure Chest.  See pages 19, 97, or 179.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Advisory 6/3

"Attitude is the mind's paintbrush.  It can color any situation." - Unknown
Read the situation below.  With your group, consider how the different attitudes would "color" the situation.  For each attitude listed, tell what color would be on the "paintbrush".  Then briefly explain why the group chose that color. 
The math teacher asks students to create a rap song to teach a math concept.  Danielle has a brilliant idea for a rap, which she proudly shares with her friend Todd.  But Todd takes Danielle's idea, writes a rap, and rushes to preform it.  Todd gets a lot of praise and attention for his song – a a good grade. 

Attitude Color  Why you chose the color? (How does this attitude color the situation)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Advisory - May

Review of summer plans, including reading lists
"A person who stands behind a wall can see nothing else."  Korean Proverb
Discuss the meaning of the proverb.
List 10 different kinds of  "walls" behind which someone could stand.  Why would one stand behind that "wall".  How could they be coaxed out from behind the "wall"?
Draw a cartoon of what someone might see if s/he "looks over" a wall?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Advisory 5/9

“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others.  Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’” - B. Tracy
As a group, make a list of 3 people you consider successful.
Choose one person from the list and tell how s/he has helped others.
Think of a time when you helped someone and it made you feel successful.  Briefly describe the experience.
With your group, brainstorm 3 ways you could help others in your school or community.  Share..........

Friday, April 15, 2011

Advisory, April 18

"A friend who leads one astray is an enemy." Greek Proverb
Describe a time when someone you thought was your friend tried to lead you astray (Do not use the person's real name).
Did that person remain a friend?  Why or why not?
As a group, write your own proverb about what a true friend is.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Advisory, April 18

"A friend who leads one astray is an enemy." Greek Proverb

Describe a time when someone you thought was your friend tried to lead you astray (Do not use the person's real name).
Did that person remain a friend?  Why or why not?

As a group, write your own proverb about what a true friend is.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Advisory March 31

“LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP”  American Proverb
“Look TWICE before your leap.” Charlotte Bronte
Explain the meaning of the first proverb.

Why do you think Charlotte Bronte altered the proverb as she did?

Talk to a partner to think about the advice in these proverbs.  Work together to generate ideas for completing these proverbs.

_______________ before you _____________________

_______________ before you _____________________

___________________twice before you _______________________

___________________ twice before you ______________________

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Advisory, March 22 Never Quit!

“You are not finished when you lose. You are finished when you quit.”
“I do not know the word ‘quit’.  Either I never did or I have abolished it.”
Susan Butcher

Chose one time when you quit something and regretted it later.  Share
Think about a time when you wanted to quit, but did not.  Share your experiences and how it made you feel.
Why might someone say “You are finished when you quit?”
Are there situations when it is appropriate to quit?
What is one thing you should never quit?

Friday, March 11, 2011

March 11, State Testing Motivation Strategies

Here are some ideas that we have shared to assist students in preparing for these high stakes tests -
Reminders for Students
•    Keep positive and relaxed throughout the test
•    Take your time
•    Read all directions, passages, and questions thoroughly and ask for clarification if needed (teacher may or may not be able to help, but it doesn’t hurt to ask)
•    Write legibly
•    If you don’t know an answer, skip it and come back later.  Other parts of the test may help to jog your memory.  DON’T forget to come back and make sure you are marking the correct bubbles.
•    Don’t worry about what others in the classroom are doing.  Not all tests are the same.
•    When you are done, double and triple check that you have answered all questions, check for careless mistakes and proofread your work

Reading Reminders
•    Read every answer choice for every question; sometimes you are choosing the best answer, and you’ll miss it if you don’t read all options
•    Use process of elimination: in your booklet (not your answer sheet!), cross off answers you know are incorrect to help you find the correct choice
•    Use highlighters to note important sections of the passage, and to better understand the question
•    Remember: antonym means opposite, synonym means the same.  If you see either of these terms in a question, write “opposite” above antonym and “same” above synonym

Math Reminders
•    Grades 7 & 8 – Use your FORMULA SHEET
•    Estimate reasonableness of your answers (Does it make sense?)
•    Check your work by hand with a calculator & your calculator work with work by hand
•    Show all your work and do not erase work on open ended questions
•    Double check for decimals, copying numbers correctly, negative signs, etc.
o    Multiple entry points – just because you don’t know part A, doesn’t mean you can’t complete parts B & C
o    Graders will not infer from your work, you must do what is asked (if it says lists the possibilities, you must list the possibilities, not say there are 6 possibilities)
o    If it says “show work,” show work, if it says “explain,” explain
o    If the question asks you to explain why you did something, you must explain why, not just what you did.  (Ex. Wrong – I multiplied 2 times $8 and got $16.  Right – I multiplied 2 times $8 to find the total amount spent on two shirts and got $16).
Guess and Check is an acceptable method, but you must show 2 incorrect guesses for full credit

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Advisory, February 23, 2011, The Art of Listening

Today we talked about this quote - “The reason we have two ears and only one mouth, is that we may listen more and speak less.” Zeno

We then talked about - What is a paradox?
How is this statement a paradox? Join with a partner to reach an agreement to answer and be ready to share.
Which of these are paradoxes? Decide with your partner ..........
A page on a test has the heading, “This page is intentionally left blank.”
I know that I know nothing at all.
There is infinity of stars in the black night sky.
I’m tempted by temptation.
The statement below is false.
The statement above is true.

Great discussions and comments from some GREAT kids!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Advisory, February 11

“Help your brother's boat across and your own will reach the shore”.  Hindu Proverb
        Whose “boat” have you helped lately?
        What was the reaction of the person you helped?
        How did this action also help you?

We watched a good video as well and talked about the message.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Advisory, January 14, 2011

"Most us us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed." Dale Carnegie

We have been talking at length about being advocates for yourself and others - having the  courage to NOT be a bystander.  We showed this video today and discussed at length how we can be present, helpful and assist others.  We had a great conversation!  Check it out!

"The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." Albert Einstein

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Advisory January 6, 2011

Well, GREAT discussion today about the difference between "bullying" and "teasing".  We also chatted with the kids about whether or not "bullying" is a one-way street.  They had great insight and thoughts.  This discussion let us to talk about being advocates for yourself and others.   Check out .............. for some titles of adolescent literature.
Please Stop Laughing at Me: One Woman's Inspirational Story
Author: Jodee Blanco
While other kids were daydreaming about dances, first kisses, and college, Jodee Blanco was just trying to figure out how to get from homeroom to study hall without being taunted or spit upon as she walked through the halls. This powerful, unforgettable memoir chronicles how one child was shunned—and sometimes physically abused—by her classmates from elementary school through high school. It is an unflinching look at what it means to be the outcast, how even the most loving parents can get it all wrong, why schools are often unable to prevent disaster, and how bullying has been misunderstood and mishandled by the mental health community. You will be shocked, moved, and ultimately inspired by this harrowing tale of survival against insurmountable odds. This vivid story will open your eyes to the harsh realities and long-term consequences of bullying—and how all of us can make a difference in the lives of teens today.