Thursday, July 11, 2013

Locks, locks, and more locks!!

I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer! I have taken a break from all things school related, but now it is time to start getting back in the swing of things! I am excited to get back to blogging and preparing for a wonderful new school year!

I want to take some time to tell you about my wonderful experience with my local Target store in Charlottesville, Virginia! When you ask any fifth grader about their feelings on the transition to middle school most of them will say "lockers!" I have been wanting to to get locks for them to practice on and build confidence but they are pretty expensive when you want to have a class size selection. At the end of the last school year I wrote a letter to Jenny at my local Target requesting a lock donation. I asked for fifty, hoping that if I asked for more they would at least offer me a class set, and THEY DID! I walked away with 30 locks for my students to practice on. My fifth graders last year told me how much they would love locks to practice on and I wasn't able to get them in time, but I am so excited to offer them to fifth graders from here on out! I plan to write the combination on them with Sharpie and use them for a lesson or two during my transition unit in the spring! I am so thankful for Target's generosity and their support of local schools!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Empathy: Stand In My Shoes

In first grade we have been talking about kindness and how when we do kind things for others, we leave "heartprints" behind. In continuing with these lessons we started to about empathy. Empathy is such an important character trait that allows us to help others. We started by reading "Stand in My Shoes" by Bob Sorenson. In this book we met Emily, a young girl that is learning about empathy. Throughout her day she tries to "put herself in other people's shoes". She learns that this means to think of how that person might feel and then think about what she can do to help. After that we looked at 3 pairs of shoes and we learned about what the people that are wearing them are experiencing. Here are the three people that that the students learned about:

Jill- A second grader that gets bullied on the bus for what she wears, and she always sits alone.

Mrs. Jones-A teacher that has to move her supplies to another classroom each day to teach and her hands are always fill and she is in a rush.

Joey- A first grader who never gets picked for soccer and always swings by himself during recess.

After we talked about these three scenarios the students then picked one and made an empathy comic strip. They decided how that person was feeling, what they could do to help, and how they would feel after having empathy for someone in need.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

CRES News Now!

After a long anticipated wait the Crozet News Studio is up and running and we are live on-air every morning! Our fifth graders have been patiently waiting all year for this opportunity.  As the faculty representative for our news studio I am so excited to share about our recent visit from Kristin Twiford, a reporter from NBC29 News.

Kristin talking with students about her experiences as a reporter
Kristin shared her experiences and some of her stories. She also answered so many questions from our students. She talked to them about what it's like being live on-air, what happens when you make mistakes, how she picks her stories, and much more! The kids also got to show Kristin how everything in our studio works. They went over all of the equipment they use for the broadcast every morning. After spending some time with our students she offered to do a news story on them! Not only were our students on-air at Crozet Elementary, but they got to be on NBC29 News. To say they were excited would be an understatement! Kristin came by the next morning and filmed the students carrying out the morning news like they do every day and they did a fabulous job! See the news story here!! A big thank you to Kristin Twiford and NBC 29 News for their support and encouragement! This is a memory our students will never forget!

Silly Faces in the studio ;)

Friday, May 3, 2013

3rd Grade Test Prep!

This week I have been visiting third grade classrooms to do lessons on strategies for success on the SOLs. Third grade students will be taking the SOLs for the first time starting May 13th. Some of them shared that they are feeling scared, nervous, worried, excited, etc. The goal of this lesson is to build their confidence and give them strategies to help them do their best. The lesson is titled "You're In Control". We started by watching this video:

Next, we moved on to identifying strategies that can help students be successful on the tests. There are many things students can do before, and the day of the test to help them do their best. We talked about being in control of our success. We used the buttons on a remote control as examples for things we can do to stay in control. As a class we came up with lots of ideas and then students picked their top 10 for their remote control. Here is an example of what your student might be bringing home:

Here is a list of some strategies the classes came up with:
  • Prepare and study-use your resources
  • Take your time, you have as long as you need
  • Relax and take deep breaths
  • Flag questions you want to go back and review
  • Reread
  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat a good breakfast
  • Take breaks: water, walking, bathroom
  • Circle key words
  • Wear comfortable clothes and dress for success
  • Cross out wrong answers
  • Use your tools
  • remove distractions
  • BE CONFIDENT! You're going to rock this test!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New and Improved!

Welcome to the new blog for the Crozet Elementary School Counseling Program! I have updated my blog to share directly with parents and our community. You might have visited my previous blog, Cool School Counseling, but I have switched the focus of that blog to share directly with other school counselors. The purpose of this updated blog is to keep the Crozet community up to date with the latest and greatest information about what is happening with the school counseling program at CES. Here you will find information about school-wide events, the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, and what activities I am doing with specific grade levels. Please also feel free to use this site as a way to communicate your questions and feedback about the school counseling program! I look forward to sharing and communicating with the Crozet Community!!