my Thursday

I decided this morning that I needed to take a trip to Barnes and Noble for more books for the lesson book readings. I like to be able to actually read them before buying them and envision how they could come to life. Here are my finds from today.


Oh and my favorite pic from the lesson at Glenwood Elementary today during the Big Shoes game….I chuckle every time I look at it 🙂


I have gotten some feedback about my grant applications. 3 nos, but 1 interested enough to ask me to fill out the proposal on their forms. Fingers crossed. All I need is one yes!


the most fun….ever!

Dang…what a fun way to wrap up our month on solving problems. We read one of my favorite books, Knuffle Bunny, made “talking pocket friends,” and played a hilarious game called Big Shoes.

The talking pocket friend is a tool for girls to use when they have a problem but no one around to talk to them about it. She can be clipped right on a book bag, shirt, etc so that she is always ready.

Big Shoes was a super, fun way for the girls to work together to solve a problem. Lots of chuckles during this game, so I am sure it will be back again soon.

A mom posted on Facebook last night that her daughter said that this week’s lesson was the most fun she has ever had at Girls TALK….made my day! Here are some pics of our fun –

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new ideas

I have been brainstorming more art activities since we are in the colder months of the year (and at Willow Oak we do not have a good indoor game area without disturbing teachers and other staff). I wanted to come up with a variation of the worry doll for our last lesson on problem solving. The idea was something/someone girls could talk to about their problems even if they wanted to keep the problem to themselves. Think: a talking diary.

My daughter came up with the idea of a clothes pin doll. We named her the “talking pocket friend.”  Check out our prototypes….


I cannot wait to see what the girls come up with this week!


more on problem solving

We continued our discussion about problem solving this week. Problems are when what you want to happen doesn’t match what actually happens. Solutions are what you do to fix a problem. The book reading was Don’t Slam The Door. One action can lead to A LOT of problems, which is why is so important to “think it through” before you say or do anything. It was fun to hear the girls give examples of experiences they have had when one action caused even more problems.

More fun with our problem solving game Brain Blast, and what can I say… Red Light/Green Light is always a hit 🙂

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One more week of problem solving, then we will shift focus to learning what TALK actually stands for!


talkin’ talkin’ talkin’

So one of my Glenwood girls (don’t you love that nickname? I do!) loves to talk. Bahahaha. She has a lot to share, but sometimes her contributions are not exactly on topic. I decided we needed a strategy more than me trying to fit a word in when she took a breath mid-story 🙂

I chose the thumbs up/middle/down strategy. When she contributes, I put my thumb in the neutral position. If her contribution is on topic, I turn it to thumbs up. If it is not on topic, I turn it to thumbs down which means she stops talking and we can talk about it at the end of the lesson. I think it is important to allow some time to talk (even if it is off topic).

The thumb….such a powerful intervention!




grant proposals….here we go!

I finally have a complete grant proposal (with an official budget!) and 3 foundations identified as good matches. These proposals went out Tuesday morning.

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Feeling very determined, I signed up for the Foundation Directory online database service. You pay $19/mo and have access to hundreds of thousands of organizations that give out grant funding.

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You can search for geographic area covered, keyword, etc. With this search, I narrowed a list of 148 organizations that give in NC to 11 good matches. Surely with these 11 and the other 3, I can get someone to cover my scholarship funds. Fingers crossed with red eyes from staring at my lap top for way too long this week…..


Solving problems

This month we are going to be talking about problem solving. The book reading this week was Chicken Little. Boy did Chicken Little have a big reaction to his problem (the sky was falling!) Problems come in all sizes, as do our reactions to problems. The goal is to keep your reaction to the problem the same as the size of the actual problem. More on this topic throughout the month.

We stayed inside because of the cold temps and played charades and other fun games. Super fun! I cannot wait to explore more about problem solving with the girls this month. Here are some pics of our fun at Willow Oak and Glenwood Elementary.

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surprise Christmas gift and big news!

One of my Willow Oak Jr Counselors stopped by the house last week with this gift for me.


I love it! I have it framed on my desk in my home office.

And the big news….. Girls TALK will be featured in the Chatham Record newspaper later this week. I did an interview before the holiday break. I cannot wait to share it with the girls. I have missed them all over the break.

Planning starts tomorrow….ready to get back at it!