4 Tactics for Collecting Classroom Data

I really dove into the importance of collecting meaningful data in new, creative ways as our department endeavored applying for RAMP this past year. This semester, I've been in my Class of 2018's English classes 3 times (a feat! actually bit off more than I can chew with 14 classes each of those 3 times).

Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers professional development presentation on using "Technology for Classroom Lessons."

Using technology to collect data in the classroom is a FUN way to engage students and stay ASCA standards driven. Let's talk about the couple of very practical tools I used in this long post ahead:


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How To Look 2 Months Ahead with a Master Calendar: Part 2

Two years ago, we created a white board master calendar, so we could see two months out what our days as a department would look like. (See the old blog post on it here.)

Flash forward: the washi tape was getting gross, our walls got repainted, and I needed to show you the new and improved look we've got going on! Click below to see more... the pictures!


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How to Advocate for Your School Counseling Department Using a Data Wall

The first bulletin board I made in our lobby went viral on Pinterest 5 years ago and was really the reason I created a blog-- somewhere to link back to the pictures I was uploading. The images were fading and peeling off the wall, and we figured it was time for another bulletin board face lift. 

Some of our feedback from our end-of-the-year Advisory Council meeting came in the form of "I didn't know all of the great things you were doing!" especially from parents and teachers. 
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2 Habits of High School Workers

Outside of work, I'm fighting not to be lumped into that millennial crowd; you know... the ones who don't work hard and live expectantly for the world to serve us. Inside the workplace, I'm in a weird in-between-generations age gap. I don't catch the millennial stigma here. Sometimes parents ask if I'm "old enough to be doing this job" (yes, thank you), and students see me as a safe zone who is closer to their age (built in relational credibility, thank you).

I "parent" 421 teenagers on the reg. This TED Talk is for parents, students, teachers, educators, or basically anyone who cares about raising up the next generation. A former Dean of Freshmen students at Stanford University speaks on raising teenagers, parenting from the nearest helicopter, and taking self-efficacy to the next level from the underrated character trait that it is.

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What No One Tells You About Digitalizing Your Sign In System


We were kickin' it old school with a paper notebook sign in to our school counseling office until October of this past school year. We thought... what an easy opportunity to collect some data! We teamed up with our school's tech dude to set up a Chrome book with a sign in page (created on Google Forms). We also would bookmark things we had going on that week, so parents and students could access more readily: ASVAB sign ups, small group sign ups, our main school counseling webpage, transcript request page.

Here are screenshots of our sign in form:




Seeing the results to our data collection was my favorite part. The most eye opening piece of information was the 81% of people who did NOT have an appointment when they came in. What does this mean for counselors? It means our time shifts heavily to responsive services. We drop what we're doing to handle students from the most minute concern to the utmost crisis.

Check out the rest of our data collection in this Piktochart I made!

Do you have a digital sign in system? What questions do you ask? Has your data revealed anything that has special implications to your counselors?



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5 Tips for the ASCA First Timer

This summer I had my very first opportunity to attend ASCA, the national school counseling conference, which was held in New Orleans this year. I had the greatest time and left with a brain exploding with ideas and notes.

Here are my TOP 5 TIPS FOR ASCA FIRST TIMER:


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What No One Tells You About the Big, Bad Data Monster

We are feverishly validating our skills and services as school counselors with data, data, data.

As I've moved past the initial that's super scary and I want nothing to do with this monster and made the whole thing more simple,  I've definitely embraced the ambiguity and uncertainty of not knowing WHAT I will even use said data for; I've decided NO DATA IS BAD DATA.

As a millenial, I'm more technology driven than my baby boomer teammates (read a great article from ASCA Magazine on that here). I'm all about efficiency and effectiveness. I want to reach people where they are and know what they're thinking.

We surveyed parents, students, administrators, and teachers using 8 questions: 6 were 4 point likert scale ratings, and two were open ended questions. These were far and above my favorite part to read. We closed our eyes, opened our hands up wide, and invited positive feedback and constructive criticism. How will you get better if you don't ask for feedback? We left the Google Form survey open for 2 weeks and PR'ed the heck out of it on Twitter, Facebook, phone blast, website, cafeteria bulletin, Remind, and Naviance. We had 434 responses! (I'm going to lend that outrageous amount of responses to the fact that we offered a $10 gift card raffle opportunity for anyone who responded and left their name.)

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TGIF (A Monday Edition)

There are days that come out of nowhere to remind you that it’s worth it. Yesterday didn’t feel like one of those days, but I’m confident today is.

I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel although they are celebrating. Because, unlike the seniors, I am still kickin' it at school through the summer. There’s no end in sight, and today’s dreary weather just adds to the grind that is the end-of-the year blues. Blues because Monday through Friday feels like a hamster wheel, and I’m ready for a change of pace.

Cue: Friday.

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Jumpstart Your PR with Piktochart: A Tech Tool

As school counselors, part of our competencies include career planning and development for every student.

We not only use career assessments, but also we help students further make connections between their career interests and their abilities. As a state, we hold Individualized Graduation Plan (IGP) meetings with each student individually. This is a way we ensure each student and parent has an opportunity to talk through their individual planning process and life after high school. From here, students really learn to monitor and direct their own learning and personal/social and career development.

This year, our school started using Naviance, which is another post for another day.

I wanted to show you all a great, free software called Piktochart which makes free info-graphics! 
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How to Easily Celebrate National School Counseling Week | Part 2

Part 2 of our National School Counseling Week celebration...

We let all teachers know that they should come and TREATYOSELF and EDUCATEYOSELF
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School Counselors Can Do It! Bulletin Board

We kicked off our National School Counseling Week with a new, very visible bulletin board!

It's fun how creative you can get when your whole department sits down and brainstorms together.

We used some behaviors and mindsets from ASCA to focus on how
counselors can empower students to be the best version of themselves! You really could paste a picture on any sort of celebrity or noteable face and make it work for you or your theme.

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