Counselor's Corner

January 2016

Melissa Foss

Decorah School Counselor

335-1146

mfoss@west-bend.k12.wi.us

Counselor Connection Lessons

Kindergarten

Feelings Lesson - "I can identify feelings in myself and others." We will pretend that we are feeling detectives and and look for clues when Mrs. Foss blows bubbles. We will identify four ares were bubbles are like our feelings: size, pop, color and multiple.


Protective Behavior Lessons:

Lesson 1: Video - What Tadoo (1995 Gary Mitchell Film Company)

Students will learn that there are three kinds of touches: Safe, Unsafe and Unwanted. We learn that our bodies are especially private in the areas covered by our swimming suit. In accordance with our district's Human Growth and Development curriculum, the terms "penis" and "vagina" are used once during this lesson to define that all body parts have names, even those that are private. We emphasize that no one is allowed to touch a child in those areas, except to help keep us safe or healthy. Students will be introduced to the safety rules: Say "NO." Get away. Tell someone.


Lesson 2: Book - The Right Touch by Sandy Kleven

This book reviews touches that feel safe, and what to do if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Introduce the song My Body's Mine to reinforce the message. Students will identify four adults to tell if they feel unsafe.


1st Grade

Character Education: At the beginning of the year, we read the story "Have you filled a bucket." We are going to review this concept of how to be bucket fillers by reading, "How full is your bucket." It is our hopes that we continue to fill each others buckets by doing and saying kind things to others.


Protective Behavior Lessons:

Lesson 1: I can Play it Safe by Allison Feigh

Main ideas: We all have the right to feel safe. Nothing is too small or too scary to talk about; we can always talk to adults that we trust. As a class we sing the song My Body's Mine. Students will complete a take-home page listing adults in their safety network.


Lesson 2: A Most Unusual Tail, James Stanfield Publishing

Students review the three kinds of touches and the messages "My body belongs to me" and "I can say NO to touches I don't like." They are reminded to follow our three safety rules: Say "No." Get away. tell someone.

2nd Grade

Diversity Lesson: "I can respect and appreciate the differences in myself and in others." We will watch a video with real girls and boys sharing their real-life experiences. Some of the stories will be about trying your best, not letting disabilities stop you from being who you are and how real kids feel about being teased because of their differences.


Protective Behavior Lessons:

Brad Creighton, the Educational Outreach Coordinator from Friends of Abused Families will be our guest speaker during the first lesson for 2nd - 4th grade classes, partnering with me. Together we will be following our district curriculum for each of these grades.


Lesson 1: Video: It's Your Body, You're In Charge, Sunburst Media

Main ideas: My body belongs to me, different kinds of touches, trust your feelings, Say No, get away and tell until you are believed and remember it's not your fault.


Lesson 2: Book - Not in Room 204 by Shannon Riggs

Main ideas: Safe vs. Unsafe secrets. The book tells the story of Regina Lillian Hadway, a fictional character who has a secret that makes her quiet, scared and sad. Students are encouraged to tell an adult they trust if they ever have a secret that makes them feel scared or unsafe. Students will identify safe adults in their lives.

3rd Grade


Self Understanding/Management Lesson: Multiple Intelligence's

Students will be able to identify their kind of "smart." We will go through an interactive powerpoint explaining what smarts are. We then will take an inventory to find out what areas we are "smart" in. The class will then do some in-class activities to better understand this information.


Protective Behavior Lessons:

Brad Creighton, the Educational Outreach Coordinator from Friends of Abused Families will be our guest speaker during the first lesson for 2nd - 4th grade classes, partnering with me. Together we will be following our district curriculum for each of these grades.


Lesson 1: Video - When Should you Tell? Dealing with Abuse Sunburst Visual Media

Building on our concepts from 2nd grade, we review the different types of secrets. Discuss how it feels to keep a scary secret and why it could be hard to tell.


Lesson 2: Main ideas: our body sends us instincts or warning feelings. These are our body's alarm system to keep us safe. Tell an adult you trust if you have a warning feeling or an unsafe feeling. Students will create a plan of safe adults at home, at school and in the community.

4th Grade

Problem Solving/Conflict Resolution:

Students will be able to use Kelso's Choices strategies to help them solve their problems. We will review the Kelso's Choices wheel of strategies and watch video clips of students using the strategies to help solve their problems.


Protective Behavior Lessons:

Brad Creighton, the Educational Outreach Coordinator from Friends of Abused Families will be our guest speaker during the first lesson for 2nd - 4th grade classes, partnering with me. Together we will be following our district curriculum for each of these grades.


Lesson 1: Video "If it Happens to you" Dealing with Abuse - Sunburst Visual Media

This video uses the terms "physical abuse," "sexual abuse," and "neglect." Before the video, I introduce these terms to students an discuss them using the language we've used in previous grade levels. After the video, we discuss the three stories and review the importance of telling a safe adult if you are in an unsafe situation.


Lesson 2: Internet Safety Game Show. Students will participate in a "game show" to learn tips for staying safe online or while using technology.

Protective Behavior Lessons

The middle of January, all grade levels will participate in a unit called Protective Behaviors. This unit focuses on personal safety and abuse (sexual and physical) prevention. Students will learn the concepts of staying safe in dangerous or uncomfortable situations. All lessons are adjusted for grade-level appropriateness, but the main concepts of safety taught in each grade level are:



  • Everyone has a right to feel safe
  • Your body belongs only to you
  • We all have private parts on our bodies and no one is allowed to touch these private parts except to help us stay clean or healthy
  • If you do not feel safe, you have a right to tell a trusted adult
  • Keep telling until you get help



A letter will be sent home with all students the first week of January. The letter contains more information about these lessons as well as information about how adults can handle a potentially abusive situation. Please contact me with questions or to preview any lesson materials. Parents are always welcome and encouraged to attend these lessons to help support this important message at home.

Thanksgiving Food Drive

Thank you to all the families who donated food and household items for our Fall Food Drive. We were able to make 20 boxes to give our own Decorah Families. A special thank you to all of our helpers that helped stuff the boxes!
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What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is our beliefs about our self - how capable and loved we feel. It is our shield against life's challenges.


Of all the things we help our children learn and do, helping them to develop a healthy self-esteem is probably most important. This is because self-esteem affects all aspects of their lives - how they learn, how they interact with friends, how they treat others, how they problem solve, how they handle adversity, and how much they are willing to try new things. Here are some tips to help your child develop healthy self-esteem.



  • Praise your child - notice when your child has done something well and tell them! Easy on the criticism. They should hear 5 positives for every 1 negative thing you say.
  • Criticize the behavior - when you child misbehaves, talk about the behavior, such as, "What you did was hurtful, and I know you are a nice kid. How can we make this better?" Do not label your child as "bad."
  • Validate feelings - if you child gets a blow to their self-esteem, they need you to allow them to feel sad, hurt or mad. After, you can boost them up with positives.
  • Give you child chores - children learn how to function in groups by learning how their own family cooperates. Set your child up to be a team player by giving age-appropriate chores at home. Offer praise after their work!
  • Give the gift of time - your children know how busy you are, so when you find 10 minutes to listen about their day or play a game, they will feel worthy and loved. The gift of time spent is worth much more than the gift of money spent.
  • Avoid harmful comparisons - do not compare your child to others, especially siblings. Instead of saying, "why can't you be more like so-and-so?" try, "do you notice that so-and-so does this?" Let your child know that it's okay to be different and that you don't expect perfection.



"We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light." ~Mary Dunbar

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Contact Me

As always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns with your child. I am here to help support you & your child.