Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ASCA14 Highlights - Professional Learnings - Day 2

My Day 2 was packed with more "good stuff." Below you will find my notes from the sessions I attended and a link to the speaker's handouts. I was typing like crazy, so please check out the Handout Links I posted - just to make sure I got all the information correct! The highlight of Day 2 was being in the same room as First Lady Michelle Obama! After Stedman Graham's fantastic keynote and Mrs. Obama gave a spot-on speech about the trials and tribulations of school counselors and validated all we do. She got it!

Day 2: Professional Learnings

1. Tier Two RtI Behavior Interventions (Lisa Maloney)
  • Name to Know: Jeff Sprague - Pattan
  • Is it that the students "can't do it" or "won't do it"
  • Behavior and academic success are intimately connected
  • We assume kids "learn a lesson" when they get OSS (Out-of-School Suspension) and ISS (In-School Suspension)
    • This was not in this session, but something I teach to my graduate students - a consequences/rewards need to be meaningful to the student if it is going to be effective. If consequences/rewards are done purely out of convenience of the adult or because the adult "thinks" the student will enjoy a particular reward...the adults are missing the mark. Do a survey of reinforcers to find out what is meaningful -- otherwise, you may be wasting your time and the student's time!
  • We need to teach kids about behavior
  • On the Tiers:
    • Bottom level - is meant to get to everyone - school-wide, proactive
    • Middle level - 15% ish -- if more, need to think about what is happening at the Tier 1
  • Norms in a class can be problematic. Observe. Are kids walking all over the place and rules are not clear?
    • Observation is key. I feel that seeing the behavior for yourself within an ecological perspective is very, very beneficial.
  • CHAMPS Program - Randy Sprick - Safe and Civil Schools Tier 1 - Very Clear - Conversation, Help, Activity, Movement, Participation, Success
  • RtII - PA
  • Universal Proactive Screening - ALL students - no longer rely on referrals!!!
  • Progress Monitoring
  • Data-based decision making - need to fade if doing well - ***very, very important to remember
  • Use evidence-based/scientifically validated interventions
    • Treatment Integrity
    • Multiple tiers of behavior support
    • Problem Solving
    • Check-In/Check-Out - check -in, daily progress report, check out
  • Perfect Quote/Sign: Keep Calm There's a Paradigm Shift Going On - From a deficit model to a risk model
  • SWPBIS - 
    • School-Wide Rules and Consequence - Use Stations - to teach the rules, model the rules, model and practice - refresher in January - ReTeach Form - if break a rule; Quiet Room - reteach the rules that are broken - 2 of 3 teachers at recess and 1 re--teaching
    • School-Wide Themes
    • Olweus Bullying Prevention
    • Peer mediation
    • RtI Behavior Tier I Team - principal, school counselor, intervention coordinator, school psychologist, classroom teachers, specialists, parents, nay-sayers and some in the middle
    • Reinforcement for pro-social behavior is 4:1 - 4 positive statements to 1 critical statement
    • DATA: SET used to evaluate yourself at Tier 1 - FREE
  • Internalizing Behaviors are Problematic behaviors
  • Universal Screening - office referrals shouldn't be the only data you use -- need to use the other data from the classroom SWPBIS; Office Referrals only catch the externalizers
    • Also, I think office referral data is too late. We need to use our color-chart data or daily classroom data to catch those students who are struggling to help PREVENT the office referrals
    • DATA: SSBD - Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders - FREE - Golden Standard
    • DATA: First Level of Screening in School - Teacher Ranking Form - Rank every kiddo - Take top 3-5 on each side; can't be the same kiddo (if same kiddo shows up on both lists on the top; end of September and April
    • WSI -- Walker Survey Instrument - Teacher Rating Scale only done on those top kiddos that are ranked
    • Kathleen Lane - if you screen you must intervene!!; A lot of work to go through the process and need to follow through with buy-in
    • IEP/ED kids are included if without a PBSP - but those kiddos are not in the top 3
  • Explanation to Parents -
    • School handbook
    • Website
  • Data-
    • attendance
    • nurse visits
    • office disciplinary referrals
    • others - classroom color chart
    • Data After Intervention -
    • Pre/post intervention
    • re-teach forms
    • self-assessment data Tier 2 Level - Team
  • Look at all kids that come up indicated - observations of all those kids, time on task and social observation - train the team to observe
  • meet once a month to review data - mentor
  • BEP - The Behavior Education Program - very evidence based - 
    • This CHART looks exactly like the rating scales I have made for student behavior charts - taken home daily - signed by parents and reviewed each morning by the counselor
    • My experience with these is to do a progression: 1. teachers rate students first and review with student after each class period 2. student rates self and then teacher rates students and reviewed after each class period  - the point is to teach students how to self-monitor their own behavior. Rewards are based on 5 goal but extra reward for teacher-student rating matches 3. student rates self
    • Goal- 80% is considered a success; then fade and move to self-monitor
    • Goal charts - when reflecting weekly
  • Strong Kids - Small group counseling curriculum - 12 lessons and scripted
    • Small groups need to be researched based - Strong Kids, Skill Streaming, Second Step
  • Handouts

2. General Session: Keynote Address - Stedman Graham and Special Guest: First Lady Michelle Obama

We all waited in a gigantic line, went through the metal detectors, walked into the ballroom and had to sit seat-by-seat (no seats could be left empty), had only our phones/cameras with no wi-fi, and then we waited!! Unfortunately, I couldn't take in my IPad into the speeches (we were told cameras and phones only). They both said such great stuff that I found myself wanting to take notes.. 

Stedman was inspirational...really made me think about where I'm headed, what I want to be known for, and how I'm helping to grow/develop the identity of the students I work with. He reminded me how monotonous the job as a school counselor can become - but we need to stay fresh, on our game, and of course, figure out how to take care of ourselves so we can take care of others.

Next up, the First Lady - Michelle Obama! Wow! It was so thrilling and exciting to be in the same room as her. I also found the secret-service at each door fascinating as well...dressed in black suites with red ties!! She began speaking and almost immediately I knew that she and her speech writers did their homework on the role of the school counselor. Everything she said was right on target. Never in my professional career did I feel so validated and appreciated for all I do for kids and for my school. I just kept thinking - "YES - that is what we deal with, go through, and experience." The truth of the matter is, I'm not so sure many folks truly understand our job as school counselors, what we do each day, and the how we are working our tails off, too, to help our students succeed. I hope our local leaders and administrators watch the video - she highlights the new initiatives for school counseling, but she also highlights the our role and the challenges we face everyday.  Heck, it didn't take long for the tears to flow (yes, I laughed and smiled too)! I'm such a sap...




3. The Connection Between Boys' Social Status, Gaming and Conflict (Ashley Burch and Rosalind Wiseman)

  • Happiness is: meaning beyond oneself, hope of success,, social connection, satisfying work
    • Also the criterion for successful game - a good game satisfies these 4 things
  • What is the purpose of learning about games? Point of entry to understand youth culture and opportunity to increase rapport and build relationships with students
  • Ashley Burch - well known in gaming community/world; voice actor, written for games, and social advocate
  • Ashley - This world is really important to your your students
  • Ashley - recognizes that the gaming industry is a flawed industry - women representation in games can be very violent, white straight men as protagonists, sexuality choices no existent
  • Rosalind - Screen time and violent contact are the main issues that folks think about. We need to learn how to talk about gaming in a credible way with students about something that is meaningful to them. 
  • Rosalind - Need to be careful about the assumptions we make about kids who are gaming for hours
  • What console? - XBox vs. Playstation - like Mac vs. PC; some games are specific to a particular console; games come out earlier on consoles; PC over console - can make it a better gaming PC and better graphics cards on PC; can always upgrade your PC
  • Computer games - Steam; can be Mod'd - "add ons to games" 
    • for example, to make the dragon fly. Creates a new environment for people and games and made by players
  • Game Genres
    • Mobile Games - designed for mobile devices and use touch controls
    • Micro-transactions - exchange of money in order to move to other parts of the game or to buy more to make characters do more, etc. Can be dangerous - amount of money being spent. Clash of Clans - allows someone create a clan in real life and a great way to talk about exclusion; pushes with kids to interact with the game, have to have access to money - teaches them that money buys them success (don't have to work very hard)
    • Action - emphasizes physical challenges, hand-eye coordination and reaction time
      • FPS - First Person Shooter - kills are not perceived as kills - but to gain points; 
        • Call of Duty - "COD" - Single player mode - one static player 5+ hours; 
        • Team Death Match - care about their ration - amount of kills they get as compared to how may deaths they get; no dying because they regenerate - COD and ratio will hear kids talking about this
        • Rosalind - if we say that they don't respect life vs. death - kids will shut you off.
        • COD is the standard; outdated kind-of at this point; they grew-up with this
    • Adventure Games - 
      • Zelda - third person game; more cartoony; Nintendo
      • RPG - Role-Playing Games
        • gives players a choice to direct their story; can make characters to look exactly how they want.
    • Sandbox - ex. Mindcraft; creativity of it - playing with Lego's and building
    • Action - combat - ex. Grand Theft Auto; very cinematic; realistic looking; language; sexist; horrifying product
      • Massively Multiplayer 
      • World WarCraft - it is about happiness, social connectednesss, guild will suffer if I don't join in at 1 a.m.; I have to be online for these people or I won't win
    • Sports
      • Madden, NBA2K14; FIFA14
    • Real-Time Strategy: multiplayer online battle Arena (MOBA)
      • League of Legends - extremely popular among kids and adults; tournaments (huge)
    • Other types on handouts
  • Invisible Cultural Influence - children have strong relationships with it; very personal representation of who they are when they talk about what game they like
  • Boy World - example - shoes tend to be an issue
  • Masculinity -- 
    • Halo - Master Hicks - scene to talk about masculinity with boys 
    • Girl World - Pretty Cure 3 Women have highly sexualized body parts, but highly skilled fighters
  • SEAL - 
    • Stop: Breathe, listen, and think when and where, now or later
    • Explain: What happened that you don't like and what you want
    • Affirm: Affirm the push-back and acknowledge anything I did to contribute to this problem
    • Lock: in the friendship, take a vacation or lock it out (as a last resort)
  • No matter what we as adults say or how we as adults talk about conflict resolution is "cheesy"
    • Say - I get this stuff is super cheesy - so, if we are getting ready to go into battle in our video game - what do you do?? I get my weapons, where's my dragon, my map - 
    • You are preparing and speaking your truth the most meaningful way possible
  • Handouts

4. Enhancing Your School Climate and Nurture a Sense of Belonging (Nicki Neumann, Beth Lindsey, Fran Hensley)
  • Intentional ways we work all year to enhance our school climates
  • Mission statement importance
  • School Improvement Team - be on it
  • Engaging Parents:
    • Transitions - to middle school - important to engage parents before they go to the "big bad middle school"
    • Activities/Information in the spring
    • Activities/Information in the fall
    • The more times you get the kids in the building the better - sports pass, visits, etc.
    • Printed material goes home
    • Meet your teacher day
    • Weekly Telegrams, school website, phone messaging, advisory council, PTO Newsletter, encourage committee involvement
    • Love and Logic Workshops 
  • Engaging Teachers:
    • Activities to bring staff together - games with staff; write something down on a card that others may not know about them and then staff needs to figure out "who did it"
    • Counseling commercial - film clip of what counselors do and don't do
    • Monthly SWPBIS Teacher Recognition - nominate a colleague monthly to recognize a colleague for the work for SWPBIS - PTA donated gift cards for the winners (car wash, Starbucks, etc.) - all nominees are announced and randomly one is picked; bulletin board with the comments everyone wrote
    • Bring ice cream truck to school as a treat for staff
    • Candy for staff members in mailboxes
    • Entry form for door prizes - Why I love my job? My best reasons for coming to school each morning
    • Whine and Cheese Party - breakfast during testing week
    • Random Acts of Kindness 
  • Engaging Students:
    • Expectation signs hanging all over the school
    • Green bracelets (paper ones like given at amusement park) - awarded for positive reinforcement - special recognition - teacher writes student name written on the bracelet, given free seating at lunch, help teachers with errands, get to leave class at the end of the day 5 minutes early, bracelets go into a box at and of the day and random drawing at end of week
    • AAA cards - Academics, Attendance, Attitude
    • Peer helpers to support Special Olympics
    • Storm Chaser Pledge and no name calling week
    • Service Learning Club
    • Pay It Forward Club and Projects
    • Student videos -- tips for how to resolve conflicts for example - rumors, peer pressure 
  • Data:
    • Pre and Post School Climate Survey - students; interventions for the 3% who didn't feel safe at their school
    • Google Docs - pie charts/data links in Power Point 
  • Handouts

Monday, July 14, 2014

Review & Discussion: What's Under Your Cape?

I was so thrilled when I learned that Barbara Gruener from The Corner on Character wrote her first book! Her blog posts are always so inspirational, heartfelt and positive that I looked forward to reading her book this summer.

Yesterday, on my deck with an iced tea, I read the whole book in a few short hours. It was an easy read and met all the expectations I had for it. I'm glad I had my pen out there with me because I was underlining and writing in the margins. Stars went by the ideas that I thought would be really fun to try and of course, my creative juices started flowing. It was, truly, a feel good book...one that was perfect for a summer afternoon.


What did I love about What's Under Your Cape?
  1. I had an immediate connection...Barbara talked about 4-H in the first few pages and I was a 4-H member too! I repeated that pledge in my head before I even turned the page - "I pledge my head to greater thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world!" After all these years, I remembered it. While Barbara's 4-H experiences match with growing up on a farm, our 4-H experiences were cooking, sewing, crocheting, and raising many Seeing Eye Puppies. We entered the things we made in the local 4-H Roundup and in our local fair. Raising the Seeing Eye Puppies brought us the greatest joy -- we had a sense of purpose...to raise happy, loyal, and obedient puppies who will the be companions of someone who will rely on them someday. It was a tough job....but a worthy job. And, who doesn't love puppies!!!
  2. The Chapter Titles - each first letter put together to spell out "Superheroes." At first, I thought she was going to say that the "superheroes" were school counselors (ha ha - is it so wrong that I think of myself in this way sometimes - I sometimes feel like I need to be a superhero to accomplish all I need to). But, I quickly found out that "superheroes" are our students. But then I got to thinking, these young "superheroes" grow up. Today's "young superheroes" are around us everywhere and the "young superheroes" from back-in-the-day have become our friends and family around us, our colleagues, teachers and school counselors. In an instant, we can see if an adult (somewhere and at sometime) fostered the strengths and superpowers of today's "young superheroes" and the now "seasoned superheroes."
  3. I loved the examples of how each character word was used at Barbara's school. These examples were just enough to show me (the reader) how these skills were taught and in return got my creative mind going! Some ideas were simple, yet powerful and some required more work. I tend to go big...but I was reminded that "bigger isn't always better!" Simple and powerful -- hmmmm -- like that for a go-to phrase for this school year!
  4. As I continued to read the book, I kept thinking how Barbara's family members, friends, and colleagues who were mentioned in the book must be feeling. Barbara's genuineness made this book come across as one giant "thank-you note" to those folks who have been the superheroes for others. Reading all the personal stories made this book really come to life.
  5. I was so thankful for all of the children's literature recommendations to use for each character word! I love children's literature and use it very, very often. Kids love being read to and my students know that I will be bringing them great books with meaningful messages to my core core curriculum lessons. While I have many of the books found in WUYU?, I had to add a whole bunch of Barbara's recommendations to my "wish list." 
  6. The list of characters (one for each chapter) is comprehensive and describe those "soft-skills" that we want our students to learn in order to be college and career ready. Then I think of what our school environments would look like if each and everyone of these were fostered in our kiddos. This book was a gentle reminder of how to weave in these concepts throughout the school day.
  7. Finally, within the midst of all the frameworks and programs we do at school (SWPBIS, Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, PATHS, school counseling core curriculum, etc.) there are many more ways to weave in character education. When I think about it, my students actually showed this to me first hand this past school year. Two of our SWPBIS incentives involved "SERVICE." Students worked hard for a whole month to earn the incentive of making a bracelet and writing a heartfelt note for a Meals on Wheels recipient. Also, they made a bracelet to give to a classmate. In another month, my students worked hard to be ready to learn, a role model and a super student in order to earn the incentive of beautifying our school grounds. Kids weeded, spread mulch, made bird houses, painted birdbaths, made bird feeders, made stepping stones, planted grass, and picked up trash. They LOVED both of these events and they were willing to make good behavioral choices in order to earn the privilege. They were telling me, through their response, that they are ready for MORE of this sort of thing. ALL students (whether earned or not) need to have these simple and powerful superhero experiences!!

I highly recommend this book to school counselors and other educators. It's a book that will make you smile, but also make you do all sorts of brainstorming in your head. 

Thank you, Barbara....can't wait for Book #2!!

                                                           


Friday, July 11, 2014

ASCA14 Highlights - Fun Find - New Books & Games

Another reason to love ASCA14's Exhibit Hall - the opportunity to page through children's literature to make sure I'm buying just what I want. Too often, over the years, I've purchased books that I thought would be a good fit for the topic I wanted to present to my students...but ended up being disappointed. 

Here are some new books and card games I found during ASCA14. I haven't even begun to think of what my lessons using these books will look like, but I do look forward to using them this coming school year with my students! I'll keep you posted on how I use them!