|Ms. Ruhland- School Counselor||
After Holiday Break, we had two days back to school. And then a four-day weekend due to EXTREMELY cold weather... As much as I enjoyed having a few extra days to sleep in and take naps, I was really missing my kiddos. On top of that, I had an all-day seminar in Middleton on the day that we finally returned to school.
The seminar that I attended was titled 'Wired Differently' and focused on a variety of disorders, including ADHD, anxiety, bipolar, OCD, PTSD, ODD, BPD, RAD, and anger. I enjoyed the seminar and took away some great ideas. However, I agreed with my table of Middleton/Cross Plains' school psychs and counselors that it would have been more beneficial if they had separate seminars for classroom teachers and pupil services. All of us at our table saw a lot of the information as review, because we had classes in graduate school on the topic. But I started the day sitting awkwardly at a table of women who clearly already knew each other, and ended the day saying, "hope to see you all again soon!" It is such a different experience being in the Madison area than it was during my internship up in Spring Valley. Whenever there was a networking opportunity in the North Woods, you would always see a familiar face (or all familiar faces).
After my successful networking opportunity in Middleton, I decided to swing by The Learning Shop in Madison to check out a new thing I just heard about- Kinetic Sand! I was introduced to this AWESOME creation over break and I instantly feel in love with it. We were watching the Packer game and I sat there rolling the sand between my fingers and letting the sand drop as I held it above the container. Now this is not ordinary sand. Ok, it is 98% ordinary sand. But it also has a bonding agent that keeps the sand from separating into tiny particles. It doesn't stick to your hands (or between your fingers) and is super easy to clean up off the table (if it jumps out of the container HA). It is amazing. Did I say that already?
I can't even explain the texture. It is like wet sand and clay, but yet not like them at all. I went to The Learning Shop with the intention of getting a 2.2 lb box of sand for 12.99. And instead I left with an 11 lb box for 45.99. They were out of the smaller box, but still. Now I have enough sand to last me, well for forever. I am even going to share with my lovely School Psych. It is just too awesome not to share. Which is why I'm blogging about it, obviously! I already had a student check it out with me this morning, and they loved it. It helped keep my student calm when we were talking about some emotional things. I do need some 'tools' to keep in the box, but it has already found it's way to the center of my table. And that is where it shall remain!
2013 has ended, and I feel like I've barely blinked. December was full of lesson plans, girl drama, and bell ringing with my Junior Ambassadors. I still can't believe how much has changed in a year.
During one of our December meetings, the WIS Junior Ambassadors decided they wanted their December activities to be caroling and bell ringing for the Salvation Army. (They had many more ideas, but we were slightly time-constrained.)
In order to simplify things, I asked them if it would be okay to sing carols while ringing bells. Of course they unanimously agreed that it was a great idea! I made a few phone calls and did some scheduling research, and McFarland's Pick 'n Save graciously said they would allow us to sing in the store while ringing bells. I signed our group up for two 2-hour time slots the week before Christmas. I didn't know what kind of turnout to expect, and I was even prepared to beg coworkers to ring bells with me in case the kids didn't show up. But not only did they show up- they blew me away!
Our first group (above) showed up Monday evening in the middle of a snow storm. I left a school meeting early in order to get to the store in time, and I was so nervous that no one was going to join me. I had four packets of (school-appropriate) carols and didn't think I would need any more than that. Instead, I ended up having to make 3x that for the second evening! -->
We had multiple staff members come visit us and even stay for a few songs. (I decided that an hour was the perfect length for carols, because by 1.25 they kids were getting a little silly. Unfortunately, this was when many staff members stopped by.)
The kids did an AMAZING job both evenings, and I have to say that the kettle was SO full after their 2-hour caroling sessions. How awesome is that experience?