Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bone Soup- Classroom Lesson on Cooperation

Bone Soup is a Halloween twist on the classic book Stone Soup.  I LOVE books that are unique and clever.  The author, Cambria Evans is quite interesting.  She and her husband celebrate Halloween every day of the year.  Seriously, how FUN is that??  I usually do this lesson in my 3rd-6th grade classes.  I've found older students have usually read the book Stone Soup and they grasp the meaning of this book a little better than younger students.

A quick summary of the book is... Finnigin, "The Eater," finds himself in a new town on Halloween.  He is hungry, penniless and has no food to his name.  He uses his smarts and a special ingredient...a MAGIC BONE to entice the townscreatures into helping make a Halloween feast for everyone to enjoy! This book teaches an important lesson of being able to accomplish great things when you work together. 

After reading the book, I play The Bone Soup Game with my classes.  This book includes several unusual ingredients only Halloween creatures would love.  Ingredients like bat wings, stewed eyeballs, toe nail clippings etc.  So, I collected as many silly, disgusting items I could find to include in my Bone Soup Game.  The Dollar Store during October is a great time to find many items that would be PERFECT ingredients for the soup.  Here's how the game works...
The Bone Soup Game
  1. Put bone stickers on 6 ingredients.  Put a number sticker on all remaining ingredients. I only use numbers 1 through 4 to make scoring easier. (See last pic for example)
  2. Put ingredients in cauldron with a cover on top so students can't look inside.
  3. Divide the class into 2 teams.
  4. Have one student from EACH team come up at at time.
  5. Have students wear a glove so when they reach into the cauldron, they can't feel what the item is.  Also....gloves are great for dramatic effect!
  6. Each student pulls out one item from the cauldron.
  7. Record score from number sticker on each item pulled.
  8. If a student pulls an item with a bone sticker on it,  they get to answer a question.  If they answer the question correctly, they receive 5 points for their team.
  9. After each student has a turn, the team with the most points wins the game.
Here are some examples of the ingredients I found for my Bone Soup. Make sure to have enough ingredients for everyone in the class to pick one.  

Here is what the ingredients look like in the cauldron with the number and bone stickers on them.

My students have LOVED this game.  I HAM it up when students pull items out saying things like...."Oh look it's Grandpa Fred's false teeth!"  Or, "WOW! Menthol cough drops adds the best flavor!" 

What fun things do you like to do for Halloween at your school? 

Click here for a FREE downloadable Bone Soup Cauldron Label and game questions.  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

School Anxiety

School Anxiety has kept me busy this year.  My school is on a year round schedule and we've been in session for two months.  Since that time, I've had a HUGE increase in referrals of students suffering from school anxiety.  I've had more referrals in these past two months when compared to the entire last school year.  Since this has been such an issue, I created a Worry Buster Tear Sheet Activity to help students take an active role in reducing their anxiety.
This is a color copy version with six worry reducing strategy ideas already printed.  Students can choose and tear off a worry buster strategy and complete the action listed.
I keep items in my office for students to complete these activities. Some examples of things I keep on hand are jump ropes, mini bags of pretzels, small water bottles, games, and inexpensive journals.
I like to use blank or black & white versions of this activity in my individual and group counseling sessions.  Students can write or draw their own worry reducing strategy ideas.  It's a good physical reminder of things they can do when they feel anxious.  

This Worry Buster Tear Sheet Activity is FREE in my TPT store.  You can click on the link here:
to download a copy.  Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, September 7, 2015

First Blog Post

Hello!  Thanks for stopping by!  Let me introduce myself..

My name is Jodi Mills and I’m an elementary school counselor in Utah. I have been a school counselor for nine years and I LOVE my job.  I chose “The School Counselor Is IN” as my blog name because even when I’m NOT at school, I’m always on the lookout for new ideas for lessons to teach.

I decided to start this blog for two reasons.  The first reason is my basement has become the BLACK HOLE!  I have years worth of lessons down there that I foolishly thought having presented the same lesson in 35 classrooms, I would have NO trouble remembering them.  Sadly, I can look at many of the activities and games I’ve made and some of them don’t even look familiar!  It’s like being Dory from Finding Nemo!  So, I’m hoping this blog with pictures and instructions will help me stay on top of things a little better!

The second reason I started this blog is to connect with other school counselors.  Over the years, I have been inspired by so many educational blogs!  I’ve become a better school counselor from ideas and lesson plans I’ve gotten from blogs and Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT).  I have a lot of ideas to share including classroom lesson plans, activities for group and individual counseling, and a lot more! Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Check back often to see what’s new.