Saturday, December 20, 2014

Where in the world . . . ?

Circle up and hand each student a sticky note. Ask them, “If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?” Students write down the specific location on their sticky note. Have a projector set and ready to go with a laptop or tablet connected and Google Earth available. Each student gets a turn at coming to the computer and punching in where they want to go. When students are done presenting, they receive another sticky note, and write down, “I want to go to this location because ______.” Following this activity, circle up and facilitate a discussion about having students plan a trip to their location. See if students are able to take their second sticky note and then develop a driving question for why they want to go where they want to go.
Here is a link to a where in the world quiz . . . good luck!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Mix It Up

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Parent/Teacher/Team Conferences

Here is an article to assist with Parent/Teacher/Team Conferences.  Also, consider asking your child to attend.  This is a powerful strategy in assisting with child accountability!
Parent/Teacher/Team Conferences

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Red Ribbon Week

School Counselor Blog: Red Ribbon Week IdeasThanks to our counselors for setting up ideas!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pipe Cleaner Structures!

Ice Breaker - Pipe Cleaner Structures! Provide each student with three pipe cleaners. Give students about five minutes to use the pipe cleaners to create a structure or symbol that represents something about themselves. At the end of the five minutes, set up a sequence of 60-second "speed dates" during which each student tells the other what their symbol is and why they made it. (Sound a bell to indicate when they should switch chairs.)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014


I was recently interviewed by someone about "bullying" in schools.  It made me start to reflect on the nature and definition of the word, not to mention what we share with children.  Here are some ideas -

"Bullying is when you keep picking on someone because you think you’re cooler, smarter, stronger or better than them.” 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Just starting an Advisory . . .?

Here are some BIG ideas to get you started on themes . . .
Goal Setting
Expectations and “Nuts and Bolts”
Team building & Ice breakers
Academic Integrity
Respect for others/Bullying awareness
Stress relief
Academic motivation
Organizational skills
Fun games and activities!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Welcome to the 2014-15 School Year!

First Advisory is on Thursday!  We are so anxious and excited to meet everyone and say hello to returning friends.  We have lot of new students this year already, as we look forward to welcoming them.
 Image result for pictures of puzzle piecesImage result for pictures of puzzle piecesImage result for pictures of puzzle pieces

An idea to get everyone started - PIECE OF THE PUZZLE: Facilitator should cut a puzzle out of poster paper ahead of time.  (There should be one piece for each member of the group.)  Have participants decorate their piece to represent who they are and what they feel they can contribute to the group.  Once participants are done, have them share what they have on their piece.  Participants should them assemble the puzzle.  Facilitator should initiate a discussion on the power of everyone coming together, how much more of an impact a put together puzzle can have, than separate pieces, and how a final product could not be reached without a contribution from every piece of the puzzle.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Zoom and Re-Zoom by Banyai, I.
Zoom Kit
I love these books for groups activities.  Copy the pages in color, laminate, cut out and have your kiddos try to order them.  A great conversation . . .

Zoom Kit

Friday, July 18, 2014

Good article - Spice and Surprise for Advisory by: Judith Baenen

Making Connections with Advisory 

An advisory program is a key element for any middle school. Advisory provides that sense of belonging that 10- to 15-year-olds crave. It also offers teachers a chance to discuss with students issues that simply don't arise in the course of a regular class.
Sometimes teachers are looking for new ways to address difficult topics without putting students on the defensive. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to read to students. Middle schoolers might believe that they are too old to have storybooks read to them, but they love it anyway. I have quite a collection of books that are great to read to students, but recently I have been introduced to a few more. The first couple of books are from celebrities. Whoopi's Big Book of Manners (Whoopi Goldberg, illustrated by Olo). Heaven knows middle grades students need to be reminded about manners, and Whoopi's book gets right to the point while entertaining readers and listeners. Cell phone manners, rudeness at movies, and even insights into manners in foreign countries are among the many cautions that get the comedy treatment while still letting the reader know what behavior is expected. Reading this aloud to students is sure to spark interesting conversations about manners and behaviors that young adolescents (and adults) ought to consider.
Mr. Peabody's Apples (Madonna, illustrated by Loren Long). This is a much more serious picture book that addresses the issue of rumorsanother everyday occurence among young adolescents. Reading this delightful and simple book aloud will definitely get students thinking and talking about a topic they all know about but don't want to approach.
The Golden Rule (Ilene Cooper, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska). It's quite likely that many of your students, like the boy in this book, have never heard of the "Golden Rule." The boy's grandfather presents the "Do unto others … " phrase as it appears in Islam, Hinduism, and several other faith traditions. This offers you the chance to discuss this essential concept while honoring students' varying backgrounds. Most 10- to 15-year-olds are naturally inclined to do good to others on a broad scale but not so much in their own peer group. Reading and discussing this book might help them make the leap.
The Honest-to-Goodness Truth (Patricia McKissack, illustrated by Giselle Potter). Young adolescents are fairly adept at telling half-truths, fibs, and lies. In this story a young girl who has trouble being truthful also struggles to tell the truth in a way that doesn't offend others. Reading this book to your advisory group would prompt days of discussion about honesty.
These and many other wonderful books are available in your district's elementary school libraries, at your public library, or online. Reading a storybook each month or so adds spice and surprise to your advisory and gets students talking. Since your advisees are commenting on the characters in the story and not on themselves or their peers, they often find it easier to be open.

Originally published January 2009
Judith Baenen, a former classroom teacher, speaks and writes about middle grades students and the issues that affect them. She is author of the Association for Middle Level Education resources HELP, More HELP, and HELP for Teachers.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wordles . . .

Wordle Logo
Must try this idea!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Middle School: Ultimate Showdown! BY James Patterson & Julia Bergen

Middle School: Ultimate Showdown!

Love these books! Readers get a chance to participate in James Patterson's wildly successful Middle School series in this interactive book featuring more than 80 hilarious anecdotes from dueling siblings Rafe and Georgia Khatchadorian--plus dozens of fun-filled activities!

The Khatchadorian kids are an opinionated duo, and as readers of the Middle School stories know, they don't exactly see eye to eye. But when wild-card Rafe and mostly-straight-laced Georgia go at it, the only thing more fun than their ranting is getting to join in! Their back-and-forth banter on a range of topics--from bullying to cafeteria food to school dress codes--introduces more than 40 writing and drawing prompts and other games, along with room for readers to share their own points of view. (Includes over 200 illustrations.)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Advisory Resources

Activators Cover The Advisory Guide: Designing and Implementing Effective Advisory Programs in Secondary Schools (ADVISO)  The Advisory Library (ADVLIB)

and middle level resources

If you are struggling with how to implement Advisory - here are some resources and clips to get you started or rejuvenate your meetings and philosophies.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Heroes and Heroines

If your middle school students think that pop culture celebrities and tabloid cover kings and queens are people to look up to, teach them a thing or two about true historical or global role models during a heroes and heroines activity. According to the National Council for the Social Studies, teachers in middle school should help their students to develop a global perspective through group projects, experiential hands-on learning and interdisciplinary instruction.

How many do your students know?
Girls Who Rocked the World: Heroines From Joan of Arc to Mother TeresaBoys Who Rocked the World: Heroes from King Tut to Bruce LeeEveryday HeroesFinding Courage