Monday, September 7, 2015

Study Skills and School Success

School Success is a big part of what we one of our core standards...Academic Achievement!! Typically, I focus on Study Skills during the month of September...I can usually get 2 good lessons in with each grade level on this topic!  Marco Products has a ready-made curriculum called The Nature of Study Skills for grades K-3!!

They had a set for 4th and 5th grade as well, but I'm not sure if they still sell it with the kit! Not expensive at all ($24.95, Puppets might be sold separately)! This program still uses puppets in their lessons and the students still get a kick out of seeing the puppets come into the classroom!! There is a CD that comes with the lessons so you don't even have to talk for the puppet...just manipulate the mouth as the CD plays! It has reproducible activities and everything!! 

Some of the lessons included are:
  •  Listening 
  • Paying Attention
  • Working Quietly
  • Staying on Task
  • Following Directions  
  • Being Prepared
  • Goal Setting
  • Prioritizing
  • Organization

   As I previously stated, the curriculum uses puppets so you would have to be pretty comfortable taking them into the classroom!!  They may seem "Old School" but with everything technology in the classroom, the kids still get excited when I bring my "friends" in to teach lessons!!! The lessons use work habits of animals to show how those same work habits can be used by students to be successful.  Each puppet is named after a famous person in American history to show how work habits of specific animals have helped them reach success.  

   For example...Kindergarten uses an Owl, named after Amelia Earhart, to explain the work habits of owls.  Over the course of 6 lessons, they will take these work habits, and compare them to good work habits for students. With the listening lesson, the CD will explain how owls are great listeners and why listening is so important to their survival.  You then, compare and discuss how being a good listener is a great work habit for students and why its so important.  Following the discussion there is a hands on listening activity to illustrate and practice good listening!

   I would love to share some of the lessons specifically, but due to copyright laws, I can't!  I don't get to use all 6 lessons in my school because I'm in my classes 2x per month, but I pick out the ones that seem the most beneficial for my population.  I would even suggest asking the teachers what they see as the biggest issue and focus the lessons on those...

  Hope this helps some of you!!! Enjoy!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Upper Elementary Intro Lessons

Seems like at the beginning of the year we are always scrambling (maybe not scrambling so much as just looking) for new and exciting ways to introduce ourselves!  I've written 2 other post regarding beginning of the year lessons and I thought I'd do one more for upper elementary!! It’s a really cute idea and fun game that can be used on the Smart Board!!!(Its internet based)!

I use it with upper elementary grades 3-5!!  I mentioned in an earlier blog that for my 3-5 grade students I created a PowerPoint that I take into my lessons!!! I will add that PPT to my TeachersPayTeachers page and you can use it if you want feel free to modify it to fit your needs!  Included in the PowerPoint is information about my School Counseling Program! Following the PowerPoint the students would complete a brief survey so I could assess their needs and formulate my plan for small groups then we would play "People Bingo"!  Well to "spruce" up the lessonI decided to play a quick game called "Who is Your School Counselor"! I created this game on Kahoot.It!  If you've never heard of Kahoot.It, you don't know what you are missing!  The students really have a good time with it and it’s a great resource to share with your teachers to use as a review tool!!

I created a series of questions about School Counselors for the students to answer!  They will be divided into groups and each group will get a Chrome book. (Ipads work best but my school has chrome booksthey can also use regular computers)  The groups will log in on the site and enter a Kahoot.It Pin to login to my gamethey can pick a team name and enter to play.  The questions will come up randomly, but the trick is, they have to pay attention to both the Smart Board and the Chrome Book because the answers are listed as shapesyou have to check it out to get my drift!  The team who not only answers the questions correctly, but quickly gets the most points!! After the first few questions, they get the hang of it and have a ball with it!  If time permits, I throw People Bingo in there but Kahoot.It generally takes up the most time!  

Simply go to and sign up for your FREE account!  They do not e-mail you ridiculous e-mails about products and upgradesit is simply for your login information!  Once you set up your account, click on the tab across the top labeled "Public Kahoots" in the search box, type in my name (shandra.hall) and my Kahoots will come up!! You can play it or duplicate it! Duplicating allows you to add, delete, or modify the questions to fit your needs then add it on your board!!  In order for your students to play, they have to type in in the URL box while you as the facilitator have to log in at!  

I hope this helps!!