Saturday, October 31, 2015

To Careers Week and Beyond!

As I get ready to present at the Missouri School Counselor Conference next week and as my school gears up for a month of careers lessons and an amazing Careers Week I thought I'd put all of my resources in one location to help out my fellow counselors looking for more ideas!

Resources for Teaching Careers
Compiled by: Tosha Todd


Mahalia Mouse Goes to College – John Lithgow

What Shoes Will You Wear – Julia Cook

Careers for Kids – How to Help Your Kids Choose A Career – Robert Shewchurck

When I Grow Up – Weird Al Yankovic

I Can Be Anything – Jerry Spinelli

Someday – Eileen Spinelli

Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do – Heling, Hembrook, Davies

Dream It, Do It- Careers Quiz Book – American Girl

Career Discovery Encyclopedia
8 Volumes
7th Edition

The Berenstain Bears on the Job - Stan and Jan Berenstain

Curious George Takes a Job - H.A. Rey

Young Person’s Occupational Outlook Handbook

Career Day (picture book) - Anne Rockwell

When I Grow Up (picture book) - Tina Louise

Whose Gloves Are These? – Laura Purdie Salas

Whose Shoes Are These? - Laura Purdie Salas

Whose Hat is This? - Sharon Katz Cooper

Whose Vehicle is This? - Sharon Katz Cooper

Whose Tools Are these?  - Sharon Katz Cooper
First Facts Community Helpers at Work Series – Heather Adamson
A Day in the Life of a…
Series includes: dentist, farmer, fire fighter, garbage collector, librarian, nurse, police officer, teacher, zookeeper

Awesome Activities
Compiled by Arden Martenz
Unit on career awareness

Puzzle Pieces
Gwen Sitsch & Diane Senn
Unit on School to Work – career awareness activities

Teachers Pay Teachers

Career Fun – 14 Games to Interest & Educate Elementary Students – Marianne Vandawalker

Journey to Jobs – Debra Wosnik


www.scholastic.comFour Ways to Teach Kids about College

You Tube videos About Careers:

STEM Video

Sesame Street: Sonia Sotomayor and Abby – Career – explaining what a career is

Florida  Gulf Coast University video – about 30 minutes – kids interviewing scientists in careers specific to FL

Biz Kids: A closer look at careers (about 30 minutes) – 22 short videos (2-4 minutes each) explaining a variety of different careers

NEDS career day clip – about 5 minutes – about a professional dancer

NEDS career day clip – about 5 minutes – about a business owner who opened an ice cream shop

NEDS career day clip – about 5 minutes – about a graphic artist who works with video games

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

MSCA Fall Conference Live Binder

So, I am a self-taught techie. I have had no formal training. I learn from others and "borrow" others ideas and still don't know as much as I'd like and really feel like I know nothing...however...I am getting there.

When asked to serve on the program committee for the 2013 MSCA Fall Conference, one of the chair positions I was given was to chair "bring and sling." This is a "seasoned" event that has taken place for years at MSCA. Ten years ago when I first started attending conference, counselors would photocopy 150 copies of their lesson plans, we'd go into a big room, and if we contributed, we'd pick up one of everyone else's plans too. It was pretty interesting and a good way to get lesson ideas. However, now that we are in the digital age, our technology chair and I racked our brains and consulted several tech gurus (Julia Taylor and others) to figure out the best way we could bring this project paperless and within our budget. Julia suggested Live Binder so that's what we did. I'm not going to lie, I had been afraid of Live Binder and was hesitant. However, once I tackled the beast, I was able to figure it out fairly easily.

So, that was a long explanation all for this...Our MSCA Fall Conference 2013 Live Binder is AWESOME!!! Here's the link. Instead of doing lots of explaining, I'll just let you look at it. Without the help of Becky (our tech queen), our VP's, and people who contributed lesson plans, and presenters who contributed handouts and their presentations, this wouldn't have happened! it is...our binder!

I hope it can be a useful resource for you. It is definitely a work in progress! Obviously the blog tab is not exhaustive. If you know of other good blogs, let me know. I am particularly interested in secondary resources as I feel that is one of the weaker areas in the binder. Thanks!!!

MSCA Fall Conference 2013 Live Binder 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Confessions of a Bad Blogger

I have no excuse for my poor blogging other than is nuts! I am one counselor for 500 students, I have three children, a husband who is a Mayor and two dogs (one of which is chewing through a roll of toilet paper right now). In my spare time, I am the volunteers chair for the MSCA fall conference (in a few weeks), I am helping to develop and present on our new Live Binder that is going to be awesome (for conference), I re-purpose furniture for our side antique business, and I am now an Origami Owl Independent Designer (we have some cool products...Tosha Todd, Origami Owl Independent Designer)...whew!! I love all of these things but they keep me hopping!!

So, that being said, I wanted to share these cool new resources I ran across this past week. Empathy is a skill that I believe is quickly being lost in today's children.

This is a You Tube channel called Empathy Heroes. This is one of their videos. They have several.
Empathy Heroes - More than Autism

Then, there is a cool website - Start Empathy

Both are great tools to use when teaching empathy in schools.

That's all for now. Hopefully, I'll have more to share soon.

Until then,


Monday, July 29, 2013

Apps for Teaching Careers to Kids

It's been a while since I've updated my blog. I really don't have a good excuse other than life! Three kids keep me hopping. I head back to work tomorrow so I'm getting back in the groove.

My mom recently downloaded a Dr. Panda app for my 3 year old daughter and she loved it! So, I started researching them and found that there is a series of these apps that are all careers related.

Dr. Panda Apps

There is Art Class with Dr. Panda, Dr. Panda's Handyman, Dr. Panda's Beauty Salon, Dr. Panda's Supermarket, Dr. Panda's Veggie garden, Dr. Panda's Daycare, Dr. Panda's Restaurant, Dr. Panda's Hospital, and Dr. Panda's garage.

Another set of career type apps I have found are the Tocca Apps. Here's the link to those.

Toca Apps


Here are a few others:
 Playtime Adventures: Careers
Barbie I Can Be app
Dress Up: Professions
Monkey Preschool When I Grow Up
See Rainbow Careers!

I'm sure there are many others. Does anyone else have an app to teach careers that they recommend? How would you utilize these apps in your classroom counseling lessons?


Monday, April 8, 2013

Cool Jobs!

Royal Ontario Museum scientist Oliver Haddrath must wear protective clothing when working with ancient DNA. This ensures his DNA doesn’t get mixed up with the genetic material he is analyzing. Credit: Royal Ontario Museum

I found this link today as I was hunting for articles for my son's science current event project. I thought I'd pass it along. It has some cool STEM careers!

Science News for Kids - Cool Jobs!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sandtray in School Counseling

As part of my play therapy training, I had a sandtray class. As a school counselor, I have adapted many of the techniques and things that I learned to be more conducive to a school environment. I use sandtrays in a briefer manner than if used in a therapeutic setting and I tend to not dig as deeper with processing through the sand tray as I would in a non-school environment. I use sandtrays quite a bit individually with students. Sand tray is a great way for students to process through their feelings without having to use words. I have students that will come in, go directly to the sandtray, work for a few minutes, show me their picture, and leave. They feel better, they've processed their issue, and they are ready to go back to class.

I also love to use sandtrays in group counseling. This is something I've experimented with off and on over the last year and I'll be honest, sometimes it works better than others. You have to know your audience. I did a sandtray group last week with a group of 3rd and 4th grade girls that have been in group together for about six weeks. I just asked them to create a picture of their world in the sand using the miniatures that I have available. I turn soft music on and let them work for about 30 minutes. After they have completed their picture, I give them a post-it and have the title their picture. Then as a group, we look at each tray individually. If the student wants to share their "story", I let them. Sometimes they don't want to and that is okay. If other students have a question, I let them ask. Students will become very engaged and interested in what others did and often times the questioning becomes a very bonding experience for the group when they open up and start sharing with each other about their trays.

Sandtray is a great resource for school counselors to use individually with students or in groups. If you are interested in learning more about sand tray, I encourage you to seek out training. It is something you need to have background knowledge about to use effectively.

Here are a few pictures of my girls doing their sandtrays last week.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Career Day Fun!

We had our elementary career day on Friday at my school. It was a super fun day! I was very disappointed that I couldn't be there, but, my daughter had a procedure that prevented me from being there. Here's a run down of some of the fun things we did in our building. Hopefully, you can get some ideas for your career day from us!

Guest speakers - most of our grade levels recruited guest speakers to come in and visit with their students about their careers. Some grade levels spent the afternoon listening to many different speakers and our younger grades focused on just one or two speakers. We had a great variety of people from various clusters.

Dress up day - students were given the opportunity to dress up like what they wanted to be when they grow up.

Parent questionnaire - students were given a questionnaire to take home and interview a parent or family member about their career. These were used in various ways in classrooms during the week of career day.

Snowmen on parade - students were given a template of a snowman. They were to decorate it like a career they'd like to someday have.

Bulletin boards -
I worked with teachers to create two bulletin boards for the students to enjoy before, during, and after career day. One highlighted our educators in the careers they would have if they could not be educators. I titled this board "Career Day - I Could Be A..." The kids and teachers loved this board. It is outside our gym/lunchroom and has been enjoyed by many! Some of our grade levels decided to do these little guys with their kids also.

And lastly, I polled teachers to see what colleges/universities they had attended. I compiled this information and put it in a "bar graph" on the wall. This proved more challenging than I thought because we really don't have bulletin boards. This was done on the wall and on roll paper and then duct taped up to the wall (I know...pretty fancy, huh!)

Kids loved this as well and this was a wonderful opportunity for teachers to share with their students what it is like to go to college, why they went to more than one college, and incorporate some math skills as well while comparing and contrasting teachers and looking at this information in bar graph form. I'm planning to tie this board in to National Counselor Week as well by having a "College and Career Day" this coming week and having staff wear their "college gear" one day during the week.

 This is our college board...We took pictures of the staff (the same ones we used for the board above) and taped them to the paper...Then I used google images to make the college logos that are along the bottom of the graph. I backed these on black paper and laminated them so I could use them again. Then we just found some logos and clipart and added them to the rest to fill it in!

Here's a close up of the logos...

That's a quick summary of just some of the things we did for career day. In addition to all of this, our teachers planned fun activities for their grade levels to do throughout the day. This day would NOT have been successful without the hard work of the career day planning team and all of our teachers who did many things to make it a hit!