Thursday, September 27, 2012

More Hallway Behavior!

After working really hard for a week on walking the CATS way down the hallway, the teachers at our school discovered a problem with our hallway behavior - although we were doing a great job of WALKING down the hallway the CATS way, we were not doing the best job of WAITING in the hallway the CATS way! Waiting in the hallway is a much more difficult skill than walking in the hallway we have found.

So . . . we came back to the hallway for another lesson!! First the teachers demonstrated for us both the CATS way to wait in the hallway, and what it looks like when we do not wait the CATS way. We talked about why it is important to have good CATS behavior in the hallway - so everyone can do their jobs of learning and teaching, and so everyone can stay safe at school!

Then it was the student's turn to practice waiting in the hallway the CATS way. When our students wait in the hallway the CATS way, they wait facing forward, with hands at their sides, respecting the space of those around them, and use a quiet whisper voice. Each class practiced waiting in the hallway the CATS way!! We even used some hula hoops to get a better idea of how much personal space we need to give others when we are waiting in line.

Throughout the rest of the week, we will be doing mini-lessons as refreshers on this lesson on how to wait in the hallway the CATS way! As each class practiced waiting in the hallway the CATS way, the students gave each other feedback by giving a thumbs up if they thought the class used CATS behavior, or a thumbs down if they thought the class needed to try it again. The teachers will continue to give feedback to their students throughout the week by giving the class a small football each time they wait in the hallway the CATS way. If our school earns enough small footballs to fill our big football by the office, we will get to have a tailgate party. Can't wait to see if we can fill up that big football!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hallway Behavior Lesson

Today we had an assembly in the hallway at Mease to learn about appropriate hallway behavior!! The preschool, prep, and kindergarten classes all came out into the hallway, and we began the assembly by teaching the expected behaviors for students in the hallway. Then I had some "actors" model the "naughty" way to walk down the hallway. They pretended they were coming in from recess, and threw balls, yelled, banged on lockers, etc. Then my hallway actors modeled the approrpiate way to walk down the hallway - walking feet, hands at sides, facing foward, on the right, with a quiet whisper voice.

After our actors showed us how to walk down the hallway, each class practiced walking up and down the hallway. We gave them silent feedback with a thumbs up or thumbs down to show them if they were walking down the hallway the Cats way or not. We then reviewed the CATS poster, and talked about how weare being good CATS when we walk down the hallway the appropriate way.

This month at our school we are trying really hard to work on having good hallway behavior. After each trip to the hallway, the classroom teachers give their students feedback on how they behaved in the hallway. If they walked down the hallway the CATS way, their class will earn a small football. Once a class earns 6 footballs, they turn it in for a helmet that is added to the large football outside of the office. Whent the large football is filled with helmets, we will celebrate by having a tailgate party!! All of the classrooms at our school are cheering each other on and reminding each other to do their best so that we can have our tailgate party, hopefully by the end of the month :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

CATS Assembly

Today we had an assembly at the Early Childhood Center to kick off our PBIS behavior expectations. We introduced the CATS posters, and did a cheer to help remember the letters of CATS. The 1-4 graders at the elementary school had this assembly about a month ago, but at the elementary school we wanted to take things even slower.

At the assembly we talked about the Purple Hands Pledge, and how students can be good CATS by following the Purple Hands Pledge. We kept the assembly short and sweet so they could digest that information first before moving forward!! We will continue working on being good CATS at school and everywhere we go.

Our PBIS behavior expectations spell out the word CATS - Care about self and others, Act responsibly, Try your best, and Stay positive. All month we are going to work on being CATS so we can earn another celebration by the end of the month! To end the assembly we did a cheer spelling CATS with our arms - it was so much fun!!

Friday, August 31, 2012

S'more Good Behavior!!

Today we had a PBIS celebration for students who have shown good behavior these first three weeks of school. We made s'mores for the students for s'more good behavior!! We just kicked off PBIS at Taft Elementary a couple of weeks ago, and the students have been working hard to show good behavior in the cafeteria and follow the Purple Hands Pledge. Today all the students who have been practicing good behavior were recgonized with a s'more celebration!!

Our custodian wheeled out the grill and warmed it up for us right before lunch time. Our PTA committee came and helped us start toasting the marshmallows and assembling the s'mores. To make the s'mores, we took two fudge striped cookies and put a marshmallow in the middle. Tastes just like a s'more, but a little less complicated!!

Each student who had demonstrated good behavior earned a ticket for a s'more. We served the s'mores during the lunch recesses for the students. The activity did not cost a lot and did not take a lot of  our time! Our wonderful custodian even grilled some hamburgers for the staff and volunteers, and our prinicpal opened up the soda machine so that everyone could have something cold to drink. I'm hoping for s'more good behavior next month so we can have another fun celebration!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

At Risk Data

The past few days at school I have been putting together my at-risk data for the elementary. Nothing too exciting, but part of my job! Part of my salary is paid with at-risk dollars, so each year I have to demonstrate how much time I have spent working with students who are identified as at-risk. I'm sure that a lot of you are involved with identifying who is at risk, so I'm am posting the spreadsheet in case it will be helpful to anyone else!!

At Risk Spreadsheet

Throughout the year each time I see a student for counseling, I have them fill out a piece of paper regarding what they would like to talk about (or I fill it out for them if they cannot write yet). I then put in the spreadsheet how many times the student and I met, and what we did (as far as individual counseling, small group, parent conference, etc.) I do not go into great detail, since our at risk coordinator looks at the data as well. I do this for each student I see, whether or not I think they will be at risk. Then at the end of the year (or beginning of the following year!), I print off a list of students who had a D or F in math or reading, and a list of absences for all students. I enter this data into the spreadsheet for all students that I saw the previous year.

I also mark if they are disconnected to the school, which is just a judgement call for me. If they have expressed that they do not like school, or frequently fight with other teachers/students and are not involved in any school activities, I will mark disconnected to school. I also add if a they see an outside counselor or have a DHS worker. After doing all this, I go back and delete students from the spreadsheet that I did not mark yes to meet any of the absence, grade, or school disconnect data. If I marked yes for one of those areas, I will count them as at-risk.

I know each school probably has different criteria for determining who is at-risk, but this way works for me!! Doing paperwork is one of my least favorite things to do as a counselor, so it is nice to have a way to do it quickly and get it done :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Preschool Purple Hands Assembly

Today we had assemblies at the preschool and kindergarten to learn the Purple Hands Pledge for the very first time. The Purple Hands Pledge is "I will not use my hands or my words for hurting myself or others". This is the most important rule we have here at our school!

At the assembly we talked about how a pledge is a promise, and a promise is a very serious thing!! Every time the students say the pledge, they are making a promise not to use their hands or words to hurt. This is our third year using the Purple Hands Pledge at our school, and it has helped us by providing a simple and common language to address student behavior and the way that we treat each other. Each student in our school says the Purple Hands Pledge right after the Pledge of Allegiance every day, as well as the CATS pledge (our PBIS behavior expectations). Everyone who has a relationship with our school, from teachers and students to parents and community members knows the pledge, and can easily reference this behavior expectaiton by using the common language introduced in the pledge.

Another important part of the program is the symbol of the Purple Hand with a red heart in the middle. This symbol is easily recognizable to the students, and is a visual reminder of what the pledge means, especially to those not reading yet.We have the symbol displayed in several areas of our school as a reminder to students to follow the purple hands pledge. The purple hands pledge is also on several of our PBIS behavior rubrics as a behavior expecation across several settings.

A 1st grade teacher at our school came up with some motions to help our little kiddos learn the pledge, even if they don't have it memorized yet. The words and motions are:

I will not use (Shake finger)
My hands or my words (Hold up hands, point to mouth)
For hurting myself (Hug arms around self)
Or others (Arms stretched, palms up)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

CATS Pledge

Last week at school we kicked off our school year with re-introducing our School Wide PBIS Behavior Expectations. The behavior expectations at our school spell out the word CATS, which is our school mascot. Our expectations are - Care about others and yourself, Act responsibly, Try your best, and Stay positive.

This year, our students are going to learn the behavior expectations by saying the CATS pledge every day after the pledge of allegiance. The CATS pledge will be - I will Care about myself and others, I will act responsibly, I will try my best, and I will stay positive!! We are hoping that by starting off each day by saying the CATS pledge, the students will begin to remember what the expectations are. Last year we slowly began to implement some of the features of school wide PBIS, but this year will be our first full year of really collecting the data and teaching the expectations and lessons.

Above is a powerpoint slide that I made for the teachers to put on their smart board for the students to read off of while they say the pledge each day. Putting the pledge on the smartboard could be helpful for any pledge you might be trying to teach!! I am hoping that by the end of the year we'll be able to ask any student what the CATS pledge is and means, and they will be able to tell us (and hopefully show us!!).