Ms. Sallie's Counselor Connection

March 2023

Happy March!

Learning About Mindfulness

Happy March LME Families!

This month your students will be learning about practicing Mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to keep our thoughts in the present moment. Our brains can often get distracted easily and you may notice your thoughts wandering into the future like "I wonder what I need to do this afternoon?" or even wander into the past, example "I should have said this instead of that." These thoughts of past and future can bring stress on and what Mindfulness does is allow your brain to focus on the present moment and to appreciate the stillness. Students will meet my new puppet - Mindful Mr. Sloth and hear his book! This book teaches kids to slow down, be still, and focus on what sensations their body is experiencing right now. They will use their 5 senses of touch, smell, hear, sight, and taste to help them stay grounded in the now. We will practice mindful listening, mindful breathing, mindful noticing, mindful walking, and mindful thinking. We will also learn strategies to help us stay mindful when big emotions arise. When students can use mindfulness - they can be better learners, better problem-solvers, better at regulating their emotions, and better friends.

Ms. Sallie's Survey on Student Stress, Safety, and Wellbeing - Winter 2023

Throughout the school year I like to get a pulse on how students are doing mentally and emotionally. During their Health Specialist time, I will have the 2nd-5th grade students take a quick google survey. This survey is taken in the Fall (October), Winter (February), and again in the Spring (May). Below are the questions I ask in the survey.

I created this survey in order to make sure I am supporting students who may be feeling stressed and have not made a counselor note to let me know about it. I also want to check and make sure students are not experiencing bullying and may just not feel safe reporting it. If a student is feeling stressed or experiencing bullying and this survey indicates a need to check in, I will notify parents.

1. How do you feel about coming to school?

2. How do you feel about your teacher?

3. How do you feel about schoolwork right now?

4. How are your friends treating you?

5. Are you experiencing bullying?

6. How are you sleeping right now?

7. How is your appetite recently?

8. How is your home life feeling right now?

9. What coping strategies do you use when stressed?

10. Do you want to meet with Ms. Sallie (Counselor) about a concern?

11. Please leave any notes for Ms. Sallie - these can be about your concern or if you are worried about a friend/classmate.

If you are concerned about your student's wellbeing, please know that I am here to support you and your child so they feel safe, seen, appreciated, and cared for at school. Below is the QR Code to fill out a referral for me to meet with your student if you would like.

#SEL Day 2023

Friday, March 10th, 9am

This is an online event.

On March 10, 2023, SEL4US will come together to showcase SEL in our communities, promote SEL to our personal and professional networks, advocate SEL with our policymakers, and support SEL in our schools, organizations, and communities. This year as we continue to face the challenges of a global pandemic, SEL Day 2023 will focus on Uplifting Hearts, Connecting Minds. Teacher, parents, and community members can learn more and get involved by signing up to attend a free webinar summit on a variety of SEL themed projects happening! Learn more by clicking on the link below.

Student Wellness Challenge for March

March is National Nutrition Month so this month we will be challenging students and families to eat healthier this month! This means incorporating more fruits and vegetables into all meals of the day, adding more whole grains instead of processed carbohydrates, and trying to limit artificial sugars and sweeteners.

We have lots of research on how important a balanced and nutritional diet is for kids and how their diet impacts their behavior, brain function, sleep, and over-all mood. The old saying "you are what you eat" rings true!

We know how busy families can be with late night practices, errands, balancing work schedules, homework, and family time. Parents can feel pressed for time and budgets for eating whole, organic produce can be tight. There are ways to make this easier and more achievable. Click on the link below to learn creative ways to incorporate healthier eating for the whole family!

Community Resources Link

Click here for Community Resources on Housing, Food, Childcare, and Mental Health Therapists

Connect with Ms. Sallie

As the School Counselor, I am here to support all LME parents and students! Please reach out to me for any concerns you might have about your student. Respectfully, Ms. Sallie