Here I will post news and resources for families and teachers from a school counselor's perspective.
...Snowbuster! Snowbuster was submitted by Karen Cingiser's 1st and 2nd grade class. Congratulations! The other finalists include:
Towards the beginning of the year, I like to connect with every student. This typically takes place through a "lunch bunch" group. I meet with groups of students during lunch, we chat and sometimes play a game. The sole purpose of these groups is to reconnect after the summer, or meet for the first time! I work with the classroom teachers to create these groups. Sometimes we meet during snack time, a "snack bunch" (definitely a less catchy name!).
In wellness we read Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall. In it, the young Jabari works up the courage to take a big, important leap - jumping off the diving board! He feels ready. He has finished his swim lessons and passed the swim test. But when his dad squeezes his hand, he squeezes back. Jabari Jumps is a great story about being brave, overcoming our fears and that it's okay to be scared of something new. Below is a link to a read aloud of the book and some discussion questions.
Students at Moretown Elementary School will have a chance to name one of the many snow plows that crisscross our state during the winter months. In wellness, each class will choose one name to for consideration. Then students will vote on a final name to submit to the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans). If our name is chosen, VTrans will come our school with the plow displaying the plow name and our school. Pretty cool, right?!? Can you think of a good name for a snow plow? If so, leave it in the comments. For more information, check out:
One way to help kids be more resilient, to be able to bounce back and recover from setbacks, is to ensure that they are getting plenty of sleep. The amount of sleep children need varies depending a variety of factors, including their age. The following are some guidelines:
How Much Sleep Do Children Need? (Grow by WebMD)
No matter how you go about it, talking with your kids about their art is important. Building connections through art making is natural. Connecting with your kids and talking with them about their creativity is the perfect way to show you care! For strategies, including guiding questions, check out:
The first of the growth mindset stances that we covered is resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back and recover from setbacks and failures. When you have trouble, you bounce back and try again. Imagine a ball floating in a pool. No matter how far down you push it, it will always come back to the surface. This is resilience. It is what allows us to persist, and without it learning something new is next to impossible.
Next we will learn how to build our resistance, including doing things that bring us joy, getting plenty of sleep, eating a balanced diet, staying active and practicing gratitude. For other ways to help kids build resilience, check out:
In their book, A Mindset for Learning, Mraz and Hertz describe what they refer to as a constellation of stances, or habits of mind, that make up a growth mindset. They are:
In wellness, we explored kindness and caring for others by reading How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids. We learned how everyone has an "invisible bucket." When our bucket is full, we feel great. When our bucket is empty, we feel awful. We learned how our actions can make us bucket fillers or bucket dippers and how being kind, being a bucket filler, fills our bucket, too; that the way we treat others can make them happy and can change how good we feel about ourselves.
We will continue to brainstorm ways to be bucket fillers at school and home. For more information, check out:
School Counselor - Avid Hiker - Reader - Lego Enthusiast