Counselor's Corner Nov./Dec.

McIntire Elementary

November-Feelings

This month I will be talking about Feelings in all classes Kindergarten through 5th grade. We focus on various different feelings and learn that the feeling is not the problem, it is our actions or how we handle the feeling that cause the issue. Here are more specifics on each grade level…


Kindergarten– Basic recognition of feelings. We will make a GLAD, SAD, MAD book to bring home the last week.


First grade– Review of basic recognition of feelings. Then move into more specifics on how to handle the tough feelings (anger and sadness).


Second grade– Begin to introduce feelings that they may not have recognized before now (delighted, greedy, mischievous).


Third grade– Learning to state their feelings clearly with “I” messages (I feel_____ because_____ and I want you to_____).


Fourth grade- Review of feelings and then more in depth with anger and sadness (including suicide prevention)


Fifth grade– Filling your bucket, how gossip hurts feelings, and sadness (including suicide prevention)



ATTENTION 4th and 5th Grade Parents:

A few years ago, the FPS Counseling department decided to implement more information about suicide prevention into our guidance curriculum. It saddens me to say that suicide and/or suicidal thoughts are something that is starting at younger and younger ages. Between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/youth_suicide.html). At the elementary level, we have decided to intertwine suicide prevention within our Levels of Sadness lesson, with worthlessness being the top level of sadness. Last year the 4th and 5th grade students immediately made the connections that people that feel worthless may also feel suicidal. I will be discussing the Levels of Sadness with 4th and 5th grade students in the weeks of December 1st and December 8th. I realize that this topic is alarming, but it is our reality; and I want to do all I can to prepare our students for a long and healthy life. I believe that our students are aware of this topic and through our discussion they can learn how to handle these feelings if they were to ever feel this way or if a friend reports to them that they are feeling suicidal. As always, please let me know if you have any concerns with your child participating in these lessons.

December-Study Skills

The month of December, I am focusing on Study Skills with the students. In the Kindergarten-2nd grade classes, we are focusing on listening skills, being organized, trying hard, never giving up, and test-taking skills. In the 3rd-5th grade classes, we are focusing on setting goals, being organized, and test-taking skills.

Practicum Student

I'm excited to let you know that I will be having a practicum student from Stephens College with me next semester! She will be helping out with classes, groups, and individual counseling. More information will be sent out closer to the first of the year.

Activities to help children understand their feelings…


Write it, Toss it– Sometimes kids have a hard time talking when they have strong feelings. Have them write or draw their emotions and then they can either share it or crumple it up and throw the strong feelings away.


Sad Sock- Sometimes it is easier for children to open up to a puppet or stuffed animal because they feel they will not be judged. If your child is feeling sad try making a sock puppet and let them decorate or draw the expression on the puppet. You can make one to and converse with your child through play!


Other helpful hints…

Allow your child’s negative feelings to come out, even if they are hard to hear.

Avoid “attacking” your child’s character.

Tell your child how their behavior makes YOU feel.

“I’d rather feel silly, excited or glad,

Than cranky or grumpy, discouraged or sad,

But moods are just something that happen each day,

Whatever I’m feeling inside is okay!”


~Jamie Lee Curtis, Today I Feel Silly

and Other Moods That Make my Day.

Attendance

Student attendance and student achievement are closely intertwined. Students who develop patterns of good attendance are much more likely to be successful both academically and socially than students who develop patterns of poor attendance. McIntire teachers and staff work together with the entire school community to maintain and create a school culture and climate where students feel safe, welcome, and connected. A positive school environment, conducive to regular daily attendance and learning, will result in increased attendance and improved academic achievement. Parents, staff, community, and school leadership are vital in supporting all students to graduate, as well. Parents can be empowered, engaged in, and responsible for the successful completion of their children’s education.


It is our building's goal to have 90% of our students here 90% of the time. Please do your part in making sure your child is here everyday so we can achieve this goal.