The Counselor's Corner

Katie Trueman, School Counselor - Grades K, 2nd, 4th & 5th

April 2016

Classroom Guidance Update

Kindergarten - The Kindergarten teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Character Education/The Habits, Friendship, Problem Solving and Tattling vs. Reporting. My monthly lessons will be developed based on these important topics.


For the month of April, kindergartners will read the story of Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns It’s OK to Back Away, a story about managing anger. Howard has trouble managing his anger. He frequently acts impulsively and gets in trouble. His friend Ali stops by and he asks her why she doesn’t get angry. She tells him that she does just like everyone else. She said that her tummy gets all tight when she doesn't get her way and that she tells herself to "Stop; it's OK to back away," before she does the wrong thing. Ali teaches Howard to listen to his tummy to figure out if he's feeling scared, hungry, or irritated, and helps him practice techniques like counting, running on the playground, and throwing a ball. Students will practice belly breathing this month and will also play a feelings game to learn to identify feelings and develop coping skills for dealing with problems.


2nd Grade - The 2nd grade teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Problem Solving, Friendship, Emotion Management, Character Education/The Habits, Bullying Prevention. My monthly lessons will be developed based on these important topics.


This month, I will continue Second Step, a research-based counseling curriculum to teach skills for social and academic success. We learn that when we hurt someone's feelings, it's important to take responsibility. Taking responsibility means admitting what you did, apologizing, and offering to make amends. We also learn about Exclusion and how being left out is a problem. Students learn that inviting someone who is being left out to play is the respectful, compassionate thing to do. The students will practice the problem solving steps by using "STEP" (S=say the problem T=think of solutions E=explore the consequences P=pick the best solution). These next few lessons really come in handy when they have a friendship problem at recess!


4th Grade - The 4th grade teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Peer Pressure / Cliques, Bullying Prevention, Self-Esteem, Career Exploration and Planning & Decision Making. My monthly lessons will be developed based on these important topics.


This month, I will introduce Career Exploration! We will be learning about Budgeting. We will discuss how education affects average pay and the importance of education! Then we will play a career game from http://www.vacareerview.org/k5/careers/computer-career-games/3-5/careers-explore-learn-grow to learn more about different careers. Each student will select a career and find out the average starting salary. Then the students will get a budget sheet and choose what they will spend for transportation, housing, entertainment, food, etc. Finally, we will have a discussion on areas that surprised them on the budget and lifestyle choices.


5th Grade - The 5th grade teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Middle School Transition, Peer Pressure, Learning Styles/Academic Study Skills, Conflict Management and Career Exploration & Development. My monthly lessons will be developed based on these important topics.


We continuing our final unit for 5th grade - THE MIDDLE SCHOOL TRANSITION unit. The next couple of lessons will help prepare our 5th graders for Middle School! This month we will explore the Incredible Power of "0". This activity is designed to demonstrate to students the incredible effect that a zero can have on their grade. In middle school, most teachers will allow students to turn in late work for a reduced percentage in a grade or partial credit. However, if students do not take this opportunity, that missing assignment will become a zero and can drastically affect their overall homework average. This lesson will teach the importance of completing (and turning in their work) and the negative consequence on their grades if they get a "0". We will conclude the lesson with a funny DVD stressing the importance of completing homework.

April Classroom Guidance Schedule

April 7 - Charland

April 8 - Ashby

April 11 - Little

April 12 - Phillips, Boatwright, Dean

April 15 - Metkowski & Diaz

April 18 - Ivester

April 19 - Cayton, Amon, Gamble

April 21 - Vick, Hawley, Miles

April 22 - Whitworth & Carr

April 28 - Campbell & Shearin

April 29 - Abbott & Smith

May 3 - Lower

May 5 - Evans

Leadership Connection

The Habits & Character Traits that will be taught in Classroom Guidance this month:

Habits: Habit 1: Be Proactive


Character Traits: Respect & Courage

Small Group Counseling

Small groups allow children to develop coping skills, a sense of belonging and to realize that they are not alone in their concerns. Groups this month include:


Groups in Process:

School Success - 5th - Being successful in school is the foundation to a student’s future. Utilizing skills of listening, focusing, being organized, using time efficiently, knowing how to study, completing homework, knowing how to take tests & managing a good attitude are all essential skills in school success. These skills may come naturally to some children but for most of us these skills need to be taught, practiced, encouraged, structured, & maintained in order to be successful.

All about Me (Self-Esteem) - K - Building and maintaining a positive self-concept is important in being a happy, productive person. In group we will focus on appreciating our strengths and the things we can do well, and then developing positive thoughts and skills to handle when things don’t go right.

New Groups Starting This Month

All About Me (Self-Esteem) - 4th - Building and maintaining a positive self-concept is important in being a happy, productive person. In group we will focus on appreciating our strengths and the things we can do well, and then developing positive thoughts and skills to handle when things don’t go right.

Friendship - 2nd - (2 groups) - The purpose of this group is to focus on acknowledging and strengthening our friendship qualities we have to offer others, how to connect and communicate with others, building friendly behaviors and dealing with friendship problems.


Intern Groups (Miss Holmes)

School Success - 5th - Being successful in school is the foundation to a student’s future. Utilizing skills of listening, focusing, being organized, using time efficiently, knowing how to study, completing homework, knowing how to take tests & managing a good attitude are all essential skills in school success. These skills may come naturally to some children but for most of us these skills need to be taught, practiced, encouraged, structured, & maintained in order to be successful.

Friendship - 4th - The purpose of this group is to focus on acknowledging and strengthening our friendship qualities we have to offer others, how to connect and communicate with others, building friendly behaviors and dealing with friendship problems.


Groups typically run for 4-6 weeks and meet once a week for a 35- 40 minute period. Times for groups are coordinated with classroom teachers to minimize time away from instruction.

Lunch Bunch (grades 2-5)

What: What is lunch bunch? Lunch Bunch is an awesome time! Students can bring their lunch to the counselor's room to eat & make new friends.

When: 5th Grade-Tuesdays, 2nd Grade-Wednesdays, 4th Grade-Thursdays

Where: The counselor’s room, Room 120

How: Students can write their name on a sign-up sheet on the counselor’s door - students can sign up once a quarter.

Special Announcements

Middle School Updates

Parents of 5th Graders,

Friday, April 8th, you will be receiving your child's Middle School Registration folder. You will find your child's official registration core placement sheet ("green sheet") and their personalized elective verification form (what electives they registered for at school). Don't worry, I'll give you directions IN the folder of what you should do but for now I just wanted to give you a heads up. Please set aside some time this weekend to review this as a family and help your child select their electives.


I would LOVE to get the folders back ASAP so I can go ahead and forward them on to their Middle Schools (lets be proactive!). They are officially due back on Friday, April 15th.


Each fifth grade classroom that turns in ALL of their registration folders (by Friday, April 15th) will receive a special prize & recognition! Each student in the winning classes will get their very own bubble wrap (I know...but who doesn't love some bubble wrap!!! ;)


2016 Middle School Open House & Elective Forms

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14z3pyFuVBJeOvGtPeNo68RtPV7mA4hUbI5oKFIimqo4/edit#gid=0

Note in the Pocket

Are you looking for a place to donate your child's clothing? Check out this wonderful local organization! It's a great way to give back to our community. Current Needs:


Immediate Needs

JUNIOR'S:

Pant sizes 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.


Mission: We provide clothing to impoverished and homeless children in Wake County. Note in the Pocket believes it is unacceptable that children are limited in their educational and social development because they do not have appropriate clothes for school.
http://www.noteinthepocket.org/

Summer Camps

Don't forget about this great resource for Summer Camps! Summershine is an annual publication of Lifelong Learning that offers information to parents about camps, activities, day care, clinics, and track out programs for children in the Wake County area.

https://cs.wcpss.net/index.php?route=sscontroller

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About Me

My name is Katie Trueman and for as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a school counselor! I graduated from Marshall University (Huntington, WV) with a B.A. in Psychology. Then I pursued my dream to continue my education and received a M.A. in School Counseling. I began working at AB Combs in 2005. I think it's pretty great to be at a school that embeds Leadership, Character Education & The Habits into everything! I acquired my National Boards of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) for School Counseling in 2010. I feel honored (and blushing a bit) to be named the 2014 School Counselor of the Year for Wake County Public Schools! When I’m not working with children, I love hiking with my husband & two cute kids, experimenting with new recipes and exploring NC with my sweet family & friends.