Posted in School Counseling Program


I wanted to share a few free counseling referral options with you all since this has proved to be the easiest way for me to know which students need to see me.

First, I have an online referral for parents and teachers to use to refer students to me. Of course they also refer via phone calls, emails, etc., but this is an efficient way to gain a variety of information on a student. I used Google Form (SO EASY) to make the referral and then made a QR code.

Here is a copy of my Google Form:

To make the QR code, go to the following website:

Then enter your google form URL in the website, click create QR code, then download or save your code for you to share and add to documents.

In order for students to self-refer, it’s nice to have forms out in a popular hallway so that students can grab one and turn it in. There are many perks to having students fill out these forms, one of the biggest being that it allows you to easily count how much students you saw via self-referral and the note acts as a reminder for you to meet with them. My favorite way to have them turned in is to have a small box (the counselor I interned under used a painted/decorated old cigar box that she attached to the wall using command strips) with a slit in the top for students to stick their notes and a way for you to retrieve the notes each day. You can also have students give the note to their teacher to turn in, but this may deter students who don’t feel comfortable with their teacher.

Here are a few free referral forms that you may use!

Posted in Classroom Guidance Lessons

Career Exploration – Jobs in Pawland and My Next Move

It seems that elementary levels never get to focus enough on careers, despite the fact that this is when kids are so creative in their career dreams! I hope that this lesson can set a healthy foundation for career planning and that it gets students excited for all of the opportunities to come for them. There are so many avenues to explore when it comes to careers – please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

Lesson Title: Career Exploration – Jobs in Pawland and My Next Move Lesson Plan

Grade(s): K-5

ASCA Standards:

  • A:B2.2 Use assessment results in educational planning
  • A:B2.7 Identify post-secondary options consistent with interests, achievement, aptitude and abilities
  • C:A1.3. Develop an awareness of personal abilities, skills, interests and Motivations
  • C:B1.5 Use research and information resources to obtain career information
  • C:B1.6 Learn to use the Internet to access career-planning information

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will be able to identify interests and relevant career options from assessment results
  • Students can explore career options and describe information relevant to several careers (education needed, salaries, etc.)



Introduce the activity by sharing the following information:

Today we are going to discuss career and education opportunities you will face after you graduate high school. After high school, you will choose between the following three options: finding a job, joining the military, and college. You can be successful doing any of these options! If you want to start working immediately after high school, you can find an entry level job (meaning it doesn’t require any college or experience). You may also choose to be an entrepreneur, meaning you start your own business. Some businesses you may want to start may require money in order to buy the supplies needed for your business (example: a lawncare business requires you to buy a lawn mower, a truck to transport your lawnmower, and other tools), so you may have to work an entry level job to save money before you can start your business. Another option for after you finish college is to join the military. The military pays you for your time serving our country and also provides you the opportunity to receive a free education (college) if you’d like. Another option is to go to college. You may choose to go to a trade school (1-2 years) or a 4 year university (bachelors degree). It is important that you decide which option is best based on the career you want. It’s also important to note that it often costs money to attend college. If you or your parents don’t save money to pay for college, you can apply for financial aid (a way that you can borrow money, but you have to pay it all back with interest – more money than you borrowed). Some people decide to work for a year or two before college so that they can pay for it. There are also scholarships people can apply for (sometimes you earn a scholarship for being good at sports, good grades, community service, etc.). Going to school for longer periods of time sometime result in higher pay, such as if you receive your bachelors degree in a high paying job, or if you go on to receive your masters degree, doctorate degree, or PHD. However, sometimes going to school for a longer period of time does not result in more pay than certain trade school jobs or being an entrepreneur. For example, HVAC careers (people who work with air conditioning and heat) require between 6 months – 2 years of college and average a salary of $50,000 a year. Meanwhile, someone who studies psychology at a 4 year college average a salary of $49,000. Therefore, these two careers differ in schooling required, but pay around the same.


Students will explore different careers using the following website:


Have students begin by taking the following test to explore their interests. Explain that exploring your interests (what you like) helps you to find a career that they might one day be interested in pursuing. Explain that student’s interests will change over time, and that learning one’s skills (what you’re good at) may also be helpful in determining a career:

Once students finish the test, have them record their answer (top interests and career categories) using the following worksheet:

Next, go over the worksheet. This will instruct them to explore careers using one of the websites listed below. They will use the information they find (such as years of education required) to fill out their worksheet:


Posted in Classroom Guidance Lessons

The Bad Seed

I hear a lot of my students talk about “bad” kids or “bad” people. I hate to think that any of my students think that they are “bad” if they make bad choices or have bad behavior. This is a great lesson to discuss the topic of good and bad choices and how it can affect who you are as a person. I emphasized that you can decide to turn your day/week/year around and start making good choices. I also wanted to explore the idea that people are mostly “good” to foster hope. I hope this helps your students make the transition to talking about good people and bad choices!

Lesson Title: Bad Seed

Grade(s): K-5

ASCA Standards:

  • PS:A1.1 Develop positive attitudes toward self as a unique and worthy person
  • A:A1.5 Identify attitudes and behaviors that lead to successful learning

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will be able to explain that there is no such thing as a bad person, only people who make poor choices
  • Students will be able to provide at least one example of how some bad things can also serve a good purpose or turn into something positive



Consider drawing a picture or showing a picture of a healthy plant and an unhealthy plant. Opening Discussion:

  • What does it take for a plant to be healthy?
    • Water, sunshine, nutrients (fertilizer)

“That’s right! So this unhealthy, sad looking plant here is lacking all of those things. This is very similar to people too! Happy, healthy people need certain things too, like kindness, encouragement, love, family, friendships, and more! When they don’t have those things, their inside looks kind of like this unhealthy plant here. We are going to read a book that explores the life of a seed who had some tough stuff happen to him and made him look pretty unhealthy and sad on the inside.”

Read or play the book The Bad Seed


  • What was the seed like at the beginning of the book?
  • What bad things happened to the seed to make him “bad”?
  • Was the bad seed really “bad”?
  • Do you think there is such a thing as a bad person or just good people who make bad/poor choices?

Split students up into groups. Introduce the next activity: “Now we are going to do a fun activity. Start by drawing a line down the middle of your whiteboard. Now, I am going to give each group 3 minutes to make a list of bad things to go on one side of the line. For example, on my board I included thunderstorms, tests, bullies, and bees on this side of the line. Leave the other side of the line blank for now. Ready, set, go!”

After several minutes explain: “Now I am going to switch up your boards so you are now using another group’s board. On the other side of the line, you are going to try to find something that is good or something positive that could happen because of this “bad” thing. For example, on the others side of thunderstorms, I wrote that the rain that comes from these storms waters plants. The good thing about tests is that it helps measure how much we know and what we can work on learning. A good thing that could come from bullying is that kids learn to stand up for themselves, it gives other kids the chance to stand up for their classmates, and the bully might learn a lesson about kindness. The good thing about bees is that it helps pollinate our plants! See if you can find something good about each bad thing. Ready, set, go!”

At the end of class, allow each group to share a couple of the bad things and the good that they found in the bad things. Explain that no matter how bad something is, something positive can always come from it!

Posted in Classroom Guidance Lessons

Integrity – Facebook Profile

Finding lesson plans for our older students can definitely be difficult, but this was definitely a favorite for them! They loved using their artistic talents and comparing the likes and posts they made on their “social media”. The younger students also related since many of them have seen their parents on social media and liked being able to make a profile for themselves.

As far as the book goes, many of us have books laying around from counselors before us that talk about integrity. This lesson can be used to accompany any of those books that you might have! I am using this with the Cloud 9 World curriculum that my school has, but I left a Youtube video of a book that you can use if you don’t have anything else that might work for this.

Lesson Title: Cloud 9 World – Integrity Lesson Plan

Grade(s): K-5

ASCA Standards:

  • C:A2.8 Understand the importance of responsibility, dependability, punctuality, integrity and effort in the workplace

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will be able to define integrity and provide an example of using integrity
  • Students will be able to explain how one can show integrity online



For this lesson, I used a book that my school has as a part of the Cloud 9 World character development curriculum. Since many schools do not have this, consider using another book that you may have laying around that could be used to teach a lesson on Integrity. Another book that I thought looked great is the Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf by Judy Sierra. If you’re on a budget, consider checking this book out at the library or use this free read aloud:

After reading your book, discuss the main points with your class and discuss the topic of integrity.


  • What is integrity?
    • the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. Morals are doing what is right (some people have different morals, but there are many morals all people share, such as not stealing or harming others).
  • What kind of behaviors show that a person has integrity?
    • Honesty
    • Make good choices, even when others aren’t looking
    • Make things right when they make a mistake
    • Stands up for others
    • Post kind things online
    • Don’t write or say anything that is mean or untrue
  • Why is it important that we surround ourselves with friends who have integrity?
    • So that they have a good influence on us and don’t encourage us to do things we shouldn’t
    • So that they can be a good friend to us (we would be sad if our friends lied to us)
    • We are more likely to be successful if we surround ourselves with those kinds of friends
    • So that we can trust them

Explain the following: “People with integrity are all around us and we can learn a lot from how they conduct themselves each day in what they do. One popular activity that many people engage in is social media. I want you to consider what kinds of things people with integrity post online. Integrity online is very important because not only do your friends and family see what you post, but your future employers do as well! Most employers check out the profiles of all people that they hire. What kind of stuff would you want those people seeing on your page? Consider the kinds of things you would not want them to see. Those are the kinds of things you shouldn’t post. Now let’s see how much you know about integrity! I am going to give each of you a paper with places to put some of the information that we might put on our social media accounts. We are going to use this to develop a Facebook profile for someone who has great integrity. You are welcome to use yourself and include aspects about you that show integrity. You can also make someone up. For example, where do you live, what are your interests, what kinds of post might you share if you have integrity? Include those!

If time allows, allow students to share some of what they included in their profile.

The facebook handout can be found here:

Posted in Individual Counseling Resources

Sprinkle Your Thoughts Worksheet

I found the cutest, free worksheet that is so good for helping students to discuss their feelings and to focus on positive coping skills to help them during a difficult time. I think that it aligns well with Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and student’s almost always ask if they can bring it home (and I let them)! I also like to send them home with a coping skills worksheet (see the Individual Counseling: Coping Skills post) to accompany this worksheet. Personally, I like to encourage them to practice these coping skills and promise them a prize from my prize box if they complete all 100 coping skills! Most of them are pretty easy, and they can put a smiley or frown face next to each skill to show whether the coping skill was helpful to them or not.

Posted in Classroom Guidance Lessons

Team Work – Mine Field

This is a lesson that I love to do near testing time as it allows students to move around and take a brain break during a time of stress and pressure. Students definitely love this game and I hope that it helps our students to rely on one another and improve their group work skills.

Lesson Title: Team work – Mine Field

Grade(s): K-5

ASCA Standards:

  • PS:A1.9 Demonstrate cooperative behavior in groups
  • PS:A2.6 Use effective communications skills

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will be able to identify positive teamwork/group work skills
  • Students will be able to participate as a productive team member


  • Objects to use in minefield game – cones, balls, etc.
  • Several blindfolds


Before class, place objects (you can borrow balls or cones from P.E.) throughout a designated area. Place the items so that it will be a bit difficult for students to navigate around with their eyes close.

Introduce the activity: Today we will be playing a game called mine field. In this game, we will break into teams. Each team will be attempting to beat the other teams in a race. Teammates will be taking turns walking through this area without knocking into the items placed here. The tricky part will be that you are navigating this area with your eyes closed! The first person on your team will be on the other end of the area and will be helping you find your way through the obstacle course. The person guiding the next member on their team cannot touch them to guide them but can use words. For example: take a step forwards, walk to the right, stop, walk the opposite way. If the person runs into something, they go back and go to the end of the line. Once someone on you team makes it across, they become the new leader who guides the next classmate in line. The first person who lead but didn’t get to walk will go to the end of the line. The rest of the people who cross will stay on the other side and wait for the rest of their team to make it across successfully.

After each member of a team completes this obstacle course successfully, announce that they won! You may allow other teams to complete their obstacle course, so everyone has a turn.


  • What skills did you need to help your team win this game?
    • Patience
    • Teamwork
    • Positive attitude (not to get frustrated by teammates)
  • What happened if your team didn’t have good teamwork skills when you were trying to cross the course?
    • We would run into things and have to start over
    • We would lose
  • What are qualities of good teamwork?
    • Listening and respect the ideas of others
    • Speaking kindly to others
    • Encouraging others
    • Flexibility
    • Reliable, responsible, committed (don’t give up, you’ll let the team down)
  • What are some behaviors or attitudes that hurt teamwork?
    • When someone tries to do it all by themselves
    • When we don’t listen to the ideas of others
    • When we put down others, dismiss their ideas, or exclude them
    • When someone doesn’t participate
  • Some people prefer to work as a group, while others prefer to work independently? What are some of the pros and cons of group work?
    • Pros: You can get more work done faster, the project may be better because it has had the input of multiple people, you may enjoy the time you had working with others more, etc.
    • Cons: You may get in disagreements, you may not agree with what the group decided to do, you may think better alone, etc.
  • What are some other times that we need good teamwork?
    • At school (completing work)
    • At work (we may someday work on teams with people)
    • At home (completing chores as a family)
    • In our communities (to complete projects, clean up our community, raise funds, etc.)

If time permits, you can allow students to share times they have demonstrated good teamwork or people that they look up to because of their good teamworking skills.