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George P. Mullen Elementary (2018)

Manassas, VA

Small Group Responsive Services

The school counseling program chooses groups based on teacher, parent, and student requests well as goals and the Mindsets and Behaviors. Just like the core curriculum, not all of our groups are specific to a department goal, however they all are grounded in the ASCA domains and are specific to our school population. Most groups have on average 6 sessions. Sometimes we have found it difficult to extend groups for six consecutive weeks due to absences from one week to the next. To circumvent inconsistency, some groups were held daily and called “intense groups”. The Students have a much higher success rate when they put strategies learned into practice and recall their efforts and experiences from day to day. Some groups are lunch bunches, these groups are better suited for the older students who can eat independently and allow more time spent in group to be utilized for activities.



We chose to facilitate Separated Families because this impacted many students who have separated families’ due to divorce, imprisonment, deportation, and death. Parents request this group every year. Another yearly group is Stress Busters which helps with coping skills. Ms. Cottle-Makhene provides a core curriculum lesson for testing anxiety, and the perception data is students self-report of anxiety symptoms. Students are recommended by self and teacher report. We used to provide an anger management group, however had difficulty getting returned permission slips. After discussions with identified group members and their parents they didn’t feel as though there was an anger problem. The group name was changed to “impulse control” and we have had remarkable success with having permission granted. Each group runs at least two times throughout the school year to address students’ needs.



Based upon teacher and parent request, Ms. Freybler facilitated Super Student School Success Group to improve Work Habits marks on report cards and to decrease behavior referrals. Research shows that when students are not on task this is often the time when poor behavior choices are made. Teachers provided input regarding students who showed difficulty with skills needed to be successful. Perception data was gathered by giving teachers a pre/post-test to rate the students’ school success skills. Student perception data was collected by an instrument that examined understanding of these same concepts. Some questions were designed to assess if students knew how skills could benefit them (e.g, why it is important to listen in class) others were whether they knew how to perform that skill (e.g., what to say to a friend who keeps talking to you, making it difficult for you to listen in class). Outcome data was derived from comparing Work Habits marks on the quarterly report card pre-group vs. post-group. Lesson plan contents were selected and/or created to align with the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors and to address the skill deficits which were impeding students’ classroom success.



While Work Habits marks increased only slightly and student pre/post-test scores increased by a 7% margin, there was a 15% increase in teacher pre/post-test scores. After reviewing the data, it was noticed that one student went from a 1 to a 0 in her Work Habits mark pre/post-group. Shortly after the group concluded, this student was moved to a different classroom which resulted in improved Work Habits. This illustrates the importance of matching student needs to the teaching style of the teacher. For instance, the student needed a teacher with structure to control her behaviors. Therefore, student Work Habits appear to be directly impacted by the teacher’s classroom management approach, at least for some students.



Often this was not possible to administer the posttest within a week of completing the group due to Ms. Freybler’s schedule between two schools and lack of student availability due to inconsistent classroom schedules. The gap of time between the end of the group and the administration of the post-test was likely a factor in the minimal increase in student pre/post-test scores.



After facilitating this group, we recognize changes that should be made. Asking students to name a strategy or skill that will be covered in the group would likely result in a greater margin of difference between pre/post-test scores. Also, including incentives may boost student motivation. For example, when students returned to group each week, asking them to name two things they did in the past week to demonstrate the skill learned in the prior session could earn them a point. The student with the most points accumulated would get to choose the beverage for the final "celebration" session.

Group Name: Super Student School Success

Goal: Students' overall work habits scores will increase by one point by participating in the Super Student Group

Target Group: 2nd Grade

Data Used to Identify Students: Intervention Team: Teacher and administration request

School Counselor(s): P. Freybler

ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s): Academic Mindsets 2- Self-confidence in ability to succeed. 3- Sense of belonging in the school environment. 6- Positive attitude toward work and learning. Behavior: Learning Strategies 1- Demonstrate critical-thinking skills to make informed decisions. 2- Demonstrate creativity. 3- Use time-management, organizational, and study skills. 4- Apply self-motivation and self-direction to learning. 6- Set high standards of quality. Behavior: Self-Management Skills 1- Demonstrate ability to assume responsibility. 2- Demonstrate self-discipline and self-control. 4- Demonstrate perseverance to achieve long- and short-term goals. 6- Demonstrate effective coping skills when faced with a problem. 9- Demonstrate ability to manage transitions and ability to adapt to changing situations and responsibilities. Behavior: Social Skills 1- Use effective oral and written communication skills and listening skills. 2- Create positive and supportive relationships with other students. 3- Create relationships with adults that support success. 6- Use effective collaboration and cooperation skills. 7- Use leadership and teamwork skills to work effectively in diverse teams. 8- Demonstrate advocacy skills and ability to assert self, when necessary. 9- Demonstrate social maturity and behaviors appropriate to the situation and environment.

Outline of Group Sessions Delivered: Session 1- Group introduction, group rules, pre-test, and "Learning to Listen" and "Following Directions the First Time" (based on lessons from www.missouricareereducation.org). Materials- Pre-test (given prior to first session); a boy or girl puppet; Rules of a Good Listener Sign; Following Directions Activity Sheet and Answer Key; privacy folders; pencils; large dry erase board and markers Session 2- "Complete or Incomplete - That is the Question" (based on a lesson from www.missouricareereducation.org). Materials- Two mock assignments, one that is complete and with directions followed and one that is identical but crumpled with no name, missing answers, etc.; several copies of same assignment with each containing different errors and exhibiting poor work completion/ work habits; colored pencils; large dry erase board and markers Session 3- "Organization." Materials- A mock desk (a large box lid filled in a messy fashion with folders, notebooks, crumpled papers, pencils, crayons, scissors, glue sticks, books, etc.); a boy or girl puppet; Tips for Becoming More Organized Handout; My Organization Plan Worksheet; Disorganized/Organized Worksheet; large dry erase board and markers Session 4- "Teamwork." Materials- A sentence- building activity to include 4-5 different sentences with the words written on separate index cards or separate strips of paper; large dry erase board with markers Session 5- Review, post-test, and celebration. Materials- Pre-test (to be used during final group session for review purposes); Post-test (to be completed on an individual basis with students within one week of group completion); Rules of a Good Listener Sign; Following Directions Activity Sheet Answer Key; mock desk with materials from Lesson 3; Tips for Becoming More Organized Handout; My Organization Plan Worksheet; sentence-building activity from Lesson 4; large dry erase board and markers; candy or other treats/ rewards (optional); celebration activities such as games and drawing paper with markers/colored pencils/ crayons (optional); music (optional)

Process Data (Number of students affected): Eleven 2nd graders, split into 3 groups (Note: One students was unable to complete the post-test, so his scores were not included.)

Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used): Teacher Pre-test Score: 2.0/3.0 = 67% Teacher Post-test Score: 2.46/3.0 = 82% Student Pre-test Score: 65% Student Post-test Score: 77%

Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data): Work Habits marks on Quarterly Report card, comparing the mark given for Quarter immediately preceding group to the mark given for Quarter after group ended. Quantified Report Card marks as follows: S+ = 3 S = 2 S- = 1 N = 0 Average Work Habits mark preceding group participation: 1.55/3 Average Work Habits mark preceding group participation: 1.73/3

Implications: While Work Habits marks increased only slightly and Student pre/post-test scores increased by a 7% margin, there was a 15% difference in Teacher pre/post-test scores. After running this group, it is apparent some changes are in order. First, students seemed to be able to successfully answer most of the pre-test questions which were primarily in a multiple-choice format, resulting in only a small increase in the post-test scores. Therefore, asking them to name a strategy or skill that will be covered in the group sessions would likely result in a greater margin of difference between pre/post-test scores. Secondly, including incentives may boost student motivation. For example, when students returned to group each week, asking them to name 2 things they did in the past week to demonstrate the skill learned in the prior session could earn them a point. The student with the most points would get to choose the beverage for the final "celebration" session.

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