BCHS Art Trading Cards: Mental Health Awareness Week 2017


Today marked our the final art therapy based project, sponsored by my Spectrum club’s DEHR grant, for the 2016-2017 school year. For information on past projects please check out the following links:

Heart of A Community: BCHS Students Fill Their Hearts

ART THERAPY: We All Wear a Mask

For this final exercise we decided to try an art trading card technique. Art trading cards, are similar to hockey cards, or pokemon cards. The image on the front represents something about a person. The back of the card provides a name and a few details about the person it represents.

Based on our success with past project, we chose to make this a multimedia task with minimal instruction so that our students had plenty of opportunities for personal reflection.


Students were then asked to complete 3 cards.

  1. To keep
  2. To trade
  3. A final card to contribute to the BCHS commemorative collage.

*although we allowed complete freedom for the first two cards we asked the students to base their third card on what it means to be a member of the Bishop Carroll community


With Spotify “tunes for the coffee bar” channel streaming in the background. We provided our students with two hours to work on their projects.

The results were amazing.

We are waiting for the last few cards to come in and then we are planning to mat the cards in a single frame in order to create a legacy piece to remember not only Bishop Carroll’s 45th anniversary, but also the year we were able to collaborate between art and counselling thanks to our amazing DEHR grant.


Thank you ATA.


Mrs. Luong


Digital Dualism and School Counselling

The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) is a searchable online registry used to promote research-based practice. According to the NREPP the connection a child or adolescent feels to their counsellor is imperative to the success the student experiences in counselling. http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/Norcross.aspx.

Many students live in a space of “digital dualism” http://bit.ly/MW4NvU. Their lives are an interplay of both online and offline relationships.

As a high school counsellor, my goal is not to teach students what they MUST do to be successful, but rather encourage them to reflect on their strengths and what would work for them. One of the ways that I have found to successfully connect with many of my students is through the incorporation of technology.

 Students are empowered to self reflect when they develop projects, assignments and strategies using tools such as Youtube, Livebinders, Haiku Deck, Pinterest, Instragram, Twitter and more.  Asking for the student’s ideas and opinions also demonstrates that what they were doing is valuable and worth recognizing

The following are just a few of the projects and or resources I’ve seen that
were developed or recommended by students:

HAIKU DECK: Collaborative: Letting Go of Negative Thoughtsanxiety


I would love to hear how others are integrating technology into their offices and/or classrooms as a response to digital dualism.

Using Technology to Build a Counselling Bridge Between Myself and My Students.


It hurts me to admit that Self- Injury is on the rise in our student population. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, Self- Injury is :

  1. Done to oneself and by oneself. If someone else does it to you, it’s not self-injury.1
  2. Physically violent. Abusing oneself emotionally is not good, and it’s something that many self-injurers do, but by itself, it’s not self-injury.
  3. Intentional, or done on purpose. If it’s an accident—whether clumsiness, a mistake, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time—if you didn’t mean to do it, it’s not self-injury.
  4. Not suicidal. Although self-injurious acts may look like a suicide attempt, there is a clear-cut difference between the two. Suicide is done to die; self-injury is done to cope with life, to live.2

These acts can take many forms. Cutting, burning, and hitting are the most common, but self-injurers use all kinds of other methods as well. Tracy Alderman http://www.self-injury.org/siinfo.html


Research on self- injury suggests that SI is often a cyclical process for coping with stressful situations, therefore by teaching our students how to me more mindful of their situation and more aware of their triggers we can help them learn to break their cycles.


One of the primary ways to help a student break a cycle is to teach them how to DISTRACT themselves during their uncomfortable feeling phase, so that they move through the feeling of pain and panic and are able to move on.

As a counsellor in my office, my goal is not to teach students what they MUST do to be successful, but rather encourage them to reflect on their strengths and what would work for them. 

Once I met with a student who came to me, we chatted for a bit and she showed me a notebook where she was recording her favorite quotes.

“Where did that one come from”… I inquired….


“Oh that one is from PINTEREST” she replied.

“And that one?”


“Neat I replied, “I love scrolling through PINTEREST looking for gorgeous images and quotes”

“Me too!” (with a big smile on her face).

Then she turned to me and said. “Can I show you something?” and let me see her wrist. Suddenly it was clear what the TRUE PURPOSE of her visit with me would be.

We chatted for a bit and I showed her the Cycle of Self Injury and asked her if she could related to it. She said that it really described her and wanted to know how to break the cycle.

I mentioned that some students I had worked with had used distraction techniques when they felt the urge to cut. I asked her what she thought might work. She started out listing all the stereotypical techniques you would hear in a doctor’s office…. And then she looked at me and said

“Do you think it would be ok if I went on PINTEREST or INSTAGRAM to find happy thoughts when I’m feeling down?”


Of course I said with a smile. What a fantastic coping mechanism.


Taking a Chance Through Open Education – I’m All In

Throughout #etmooc I have been influenced by many people. Although these are not my only influences over the last few months, at this time I’d like to acknowledge:

Susan Spellman Cann- my mentor, friend, colleague, haiku guru and the one who asked me if I wanted to try something new this year…..

Sam Boswell– Aussie connection, inspirtation, and first person I ever connected with during #etmchat

Susan van Gelder for starting the no-lurkers pack with me in week 2.

Alec Couros my moderator, the first person who invited me to speak in a blackboard collaborate session, and the man who jumped into my first google hang out.

Rhonda Jessen for showing me the Alberta connection.

Christina Hendricks for being willing to share the post secondary perspective with me.

Ben Wilkoff for showing me the power of the vlog- and the fellowship of the ning.

Dave Cormie for teaching me that every movement starts with a transplant of an idea… then it takes off. Also, guided me to improve my presentation technique.

Doug Belshaw for showing me that even I had a certain degree of digital literacy.

Karen Young– informed me that I could continue my passion around anthropology through coursera

Tina Photakis my Aussie connection

Lee Graham for producing her paper-Li

Paul Signorelli My non-academic connection

JudyArzt and Amy Burvall who invite me to explore my creativity

Lisa Noble my kindered filing cabinet.

Sherry Hegstrom – sparked the conversation which inspired the Etmooc wiki.

I hope that I’m able to maintain these connections as well as many others as my #etmooc adventure moves into the next realm. The converstation is definitly not stopping here. Check out my animoto for a preview of where my journey is taking me.

Taking a Chance Through Open Education – I'm All In.


Sharing: Unlocking the Key to My Filing Cabinet and Keeping it Open … HOPE

Susan Spellman Cann has started our Hope file. I am reblogging this to share with you… and also to use as a model for sharing. Stay tuned as I can see a potential future for my blog. As well, if you have any ideas that you want to share please drop me a line and let me know.

Sharing: Unlocking the Key to My Filing Cabinet and Keeping it Open … HOPE.

Embracing My Inner Blue Whale

As I was flipping through You-tube this afternoon I came across the following video which really touched my spirit.

This sparked my curiosity and I found myself playing around, flipping through videos. My son then reminded me that it was time to practice his home reading. He saw what I was checking out on the screen and chose his book accordingly.

As I played I began to reflect on what was drawing me to this majestic creature. Do I admire their ability to go to great depths, tremendous stamina, pacing, breathing, or communicating at great distances. According to my son’s Childcraft Encyclopedia, Roger Payne and Douglas Webb (from the 1970’s) predicted that the loudest whale sounds might be transmitted across an entire ocean (Yes, I am constantly acquiring knowledge from a variety of sources).

As my son and I continued to practice his home reading I discovered that whales are very family orientated and defend and protect one another and their young (sounds familiar). Females will travel in groups and encircle the calves in the herd to keep them safe while their mothers dive deep to hunt for food. Whale calves cannot go too deep into the ocean until they have matured enough to handle the pressure of the water. – Perhaps nature’s first guidance counsellors. They are very intelligent animals and are sensitive to a multitude of emotions from happiness to anger, and they respond to these emotions in various ways. Whales have been shown to morn the loss of a partner, child, or friend.

Canadian aboriginal cultures believe that the whale totem possesses the following virtues:
Deeper consciousness, ancient energy and vibrations, family values, happiness and harmony, beauty, balance, social skills, cooperation, increased powers of communication, affection, energy, grace, charm, charisma, and intelligence.

To watch a Whale, or spot one in its natural habitat is a truly inspirational experience in grace, beauty and magnetism. They are quite awe inspiring and their size is truly intimidating. Travel, friendship, devotion to family, nobility and grace are all key qualities found in whales. I hope that eventually I will be able to honor the majesty of the whale in my own online environment.