The Counselor's Corner

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

March 2015

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. This month, kindergarten will focus on Respect, Synergy and Sportsmanship. Students will hear the story, “Howard Learns About Sportsmanship.”Howard always wanted to come in first, but Howard learns that winning is doing his best and having fun. Howard learns that a team player is nice and respectful to his teammates, shares the ball, says positive things, forgives mistakes, and doesn't cheat. Sportsmanship means to be fair, have fun, have a positive attitude, and always do the best you can. You can listen to our song this month, “Winning Isn’t Everything,” by going to and clicking on “songs.” Students will also hear an important message about sportsmanship from Captain Positive in a short video. Finally, students will have the opportunity to practice good sportsmanship with some fun classroom games.

2nd Grade - Second Grade teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Emotion Management, Character Education/The Habits, Bullying Prevention, Problem Solving, and Friendship. This month, I will continue Second Step, a research-based counseling curriculum to teach skills for social and academic success. We will begin a new unit for problem solving. The students will learn the problem solving steps by remembering "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 Fourth Grade teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Peer Pressure, Bullying Prevention, Self-Esteem, Conflict Management and Career Exploration. This month, I will introduce the concept of Self-Esteem and discuss why it is so important. Self-esteem gives you the courage to try new things and the power to believe in yourself. It lets you respect yourself, even when you make mistakes. And when you respect yourself, others usually respect you, too. Each student will create their own "Self-Esteem Frame" that shows all their positive traits and the things that they can do well. An example of the Self-Esteem Frame is below. I hope they bring these home and find a place to hang them as a reminder! Parents, you can use the following website to further your talks of self-esteem at home.

5th Grade - The Fifth Grade teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Middle School Transition, Bullying Prevention, Planning & Decision Making, Academic Study Skills, and Career Exploration. We are moving on to 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 talk about different roles of teachers/staff members in Middle School and who to see if they have a problem (locker won't open = see homeroom teacher, schedule change = see school counselor). Then each student will participate in a Lego Build To Express activity. They will build a model to show how they feel about going to Middle School. We conclude the lesson by discussing all the different feelings that are natural when we begin a new transition (I'll remind them that they are all leaders and encourage them to use their leadership skills they have learned at our school to help them navigate in Middle School). Parents, see below about more exciting Middle School Updates!

March Classroom Guidance Schedule

Mar 5 - Ferrell

Mar 6 - Ivester

Mar 9 - Horst, Little, Hawley

Mar 10 - Pinkney

Mar 12 - Phillips

Mar 13 - Pride, Ashby, Vick

Mar 16 - Cullum, Carr, Abbott

Mar 19 - Gamble

Mar 20 - Charland, Smith, Metkowski

Mar 23 - Dean, Christie, Campbell

Mar 30 - Pattison, Ildefonso, Boatwright

Mar 31 - Amon

Leadership Connection

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

Habits: Habit 5: Seek 1st to Understand, Then to be Understood & Habit 6: Synergize

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:

K - All about Me

2nd - School Success

4th - Leadership Group

5th - School Success

5th - Girls World

K-5 - Attendance Check-in

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, don't forget to check with your new Middle School about their Open House date. Most Middle Schools list the Open House date on their websites. In the month of April, your child will bring home their Middle School Transition folder. This folder is incredibly important because it will have teacher placement recommendations for 6th grade Math & Language Arts and their middle school elective form! How exciting!

2015 Middle School Open House & Elective Forms

Parent Academy

Parent Academy:

To promote continued cooperation between families and schools, WCPSS offers Parent Academy – a series of classes, workshops and events aimed at helping families learn to engage with the school system and positively contribute to their child’s academic and social success. Classes are offered in English and Spanish. All events are free and open to the public. Registration is required. Childcare is available!

March Parent Academy

* Navigating the WCPSS, the Department of Public Instruction, and Learning about Community Resources

* What Parents Can Do to Support Academic Growth Over the Summer Break

* Positive Discipline & How to Improve Communication between Parents and Children

* Identify and Protect Your Child against Bullying in School

* WCPSS Digital Tools at School and at Home
* Keeping Our Children Safe at School

Shout Out!

Girl Scout Troop 3308 at Hollands UMC - Kinsey Avent & Sydney Britt have help organize 2 events to collect donations for our school's Backpack Buddies. Thank you!

Please check out

Mark your calendars to join The Food Drive Kid (AB Combs 3rd grader - William Winslow) for his 2015 Wake County Backpack Buddies Food Drive! April 18-19, 2015 He is in need of over 100 Volunteers to help him work to end childhood hunger in Wake and the surrounding counties!

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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.