Counselor's Corner

by Mrs. O

PurposeFull Practice: Kindness, Lesson 3


Dear McKinley Family,

With all of the love, candy, and fun in the air; this was a fast, furious, and somewhat interesting week. I was personally reminded that it is important to teach students that even if we are kindhearted, it is important to have clear boundaries and to be consciously and purposefully assertive at times. For instance, during a lesson this week I reminded a student that his words were not kind. Unfortunately, he restated his unkind words and then a peer copied him. Although I recognized that this was "attention seeking" behavior, I kindly and mindfully decided to create a teachable moment and withdraw my energy from the classroom. I let all of the children know that I was choosing to leave, as this behavior didn't feel kind and I had already used my Kelso's Choice of asking the student to not be unkind twice. Walking away from an unkind situation is another Kelso's Choice that I utilized in response to the unkind words. Believe me, this was not an easy decision to make on my part: I LOVE being in the classrooms, presenting, and connecting with our wonderful students -and it hurt my heart to walk away. *I've included Kelso's Choices at the end of this newsletter.

Long story short, the outcome was everything I had hoped it would be. The teacher, who is amazing, had a follow up conversation/debrief with the students; they created the most adorable and heartfelt notes; and (as a presenter) I was able to model a healthy and appropriate response to undesired behaviors. The next day I popped into the classroom, and had a beautiful exchange with the students: I let them know that I was never angry at any of them, I felt sad to leave, and reiterated that even adults can and should use Kelso's Choices.

On another note, if I was in your student's class this week and completed my full lesson; I discussed Stranger Danger. I know, this seems odd considering our PurposeFull Practice is Kindness this month. So, here's my line of thinking: We have taught our children about Empathy, Respect, and Kindness this year- and they are Rocking It!!! Unfortunately, there are those who would take advantage of these attributes; so, alongside them it is important to follow up with a strong emphasis on Safety First. When I teach this part of my lesson, I always tell students, "We don't have to, and shouldn't, be afraid- we just need to be smart." Additionally, I iterate that they do not have to be respectful, kind, or empathetic to strangers who try to talk with them; and I strongly emphasize that strange adults should NEVER talk with them nor ask them for help. (Predator's often attempt to prey on the kindness of little ones, by saying that they need help looking for a lost puppy or such.). Anyhow, below you will find a wonderful read aloud about Stranger Danger. I encourage you to review it with your child/ren, and to create your own plans, code words, and expectations if needed.

Thank you for raising such incredible children, and for entrusting them to us. Everyday is a blessing.

Warmly and gratefully yours,

Mrs. O (Ormachea)

McKinley School Counselor



Overview of Resources:

****Family Connect and Create (FCC)- Rescheduled****

1. Definition of Kindness

2. Links to Parent Resource Letters (English and Spanish) re Kindness

3. Excellent Read Alouds- Never Ever Talk to Strangers and Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

From Last Week- In case you missed it: A Wrinkled Heart; 2 Videos- The Science of Kindness and Why Kindness? -Kids Speak Out About What Kindness is to Them; and Musical Video- Kindness by Juicebox

4. Mindfulness Practice: Kind Wishes and Kindness Meditation (New)

5. Families that Play Together, Stay Together: Information and Links to Local and County Events for Families.

6. McKinley Schoolwide Expectations Chant- Our students are doing so great at reciting this chant- make sure to ask them to demonstrate it for you.

* I also included Kelso's Choices and left up information about our Brain (the Wise Owl and Guard Dog) and Zones of Feelings/Regulation. Understanding that our thoughts impact our feelings, and our feelings can impact our behavior and choices; is important if we desire to be our best selves.

Family Connect and Create- Rescheduled Event

Family Connect and Create

Connect and Create - Rescheduled

When: Tuesday February 24, 2022

*****Come when you can: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM*****

The project will likely take approximately 45 Minutes

Please RSVP at:

Where: Sycamore Library

What: Create Memories and a Sweet Craft Project

**Healthy snacks and a sweet treat provided

Who: Parents/Guardians and their Student/s

Bring: Yourself, your child/ren

1. Definition of Kindness

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2. Links to Parent Resource Letter: Kindness (in English and Spanish)

3. Never Ever Talk to Strangers

This is a fantastic read aloud, that will help families to discuss Stranger Danger and being safe, smart, and aware. The last page guides you through situations (like being separated from your child in a store, and what they should do). Great read.

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

This is absolutely one of my all time favorites. This book teaches children that each of us has an invisible bucket that is meant to be filled with kindness- by ourselves and others. It also teaches us that dipping in other people's buckets, by being unkind, doesn't fill ours. When your student comes home from school, ask them if they have filled a bucket today, and if anyone has filled their bucket.

A Wrinkled Heart -Read Aloud

During this heartfelt read aloud, students were able to use there superpower- Empathy; and identify it, kindness, and Zones of Emotion in the Characters. There are numerous teaching and connecting moments, which makes this book another favorite of mine.

The Science of Kindness

We all like it when someone is kind to us; but did you know that science has actually proven that Kindness is good for the giver, receiver, and observer? Watch this little video and be amazed!!!

Why Be Kind? Kids Speak Out about What Kindness Means to Them

Children have an innocent wisdom when it comes to life, so I always listen closely when they speak. In this video, young people talk about what kindness means to them. I'm sure you will be both inspired and impressed.

Kindness by Juicebox- Musical Video

This is a favorite of our students at McKinley- especially in Mrs. Allen's class. I am actually hoping to make our own music video of our students singing this song. Once you watch it, you'll see why.

4. Mindfulness Practice- Kind Wishes

This is a fun and quick mindfulness practice in which we send out kind regards to at least three people. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how great you feel after doing this practice. You might even be inspired to initiate an act or two of kindness.

Kindness Meditation- New

This is a new meditation that helps us to use kindness, compassion, and empathy.

It's great for adults and kids alike.

5. Families that Play Together, Stay Together: Things to Do in Our County

FREE Art Supplies and Activity Ideas at the Gridley Library!!!

***You Don't Want to Miss This***

FREE Art Supplies and Activity Ideas

When Sat, March 12, 12pm – 1pm

Where Butte County Library, Gridley Branch, 299 Spruce St, Gridley, CA 95948, USA (map)- Community Resource Room; Gridley

Description Come get basic art supplies (paint, glue, paper, and more), activity ideas, and a premade resource kits. Open to all; no registration required. Families welcome. Community Resource Room at Butte County Library, Gridley Branch Parking Lot


Check it Out!!! Valley Oak Children's Services Newsletter- Activities and Resources for Families

6. Our McKinley School Expectation Chant

Make sure to ask your student to teach you the arm movements that go with our chant. <3
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*Kelso's Choices

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*Guard Dog and Wise Owl- Connecting Thoughts and Actions

Below is a picture of the parts of the brain. Students like having a visual of where our Wise Owl and Guard Dog reside in the brain. They were also able to understand that when one of these parts of the brain is chatty, the other is usually quiet. For instance, when we have BIG emotions (anger, stress, fear) we are in our Guard Dog Brain; therefore, our Wise Owl Brain is quiet. The outcome: Our ability to have and show Empathy and/or Kindness, learn, and execute basic skills is nearly impossible.
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*Zones of Emotion/Regulations

Below is a picture of our Zones of Emotion/Regulation. Students learned that we have many different feelings which fall into certain Zones. We discovered that being in the Green Zone (Wise Owl Brain) helps us to be our best selves (as students, citizens, family members, etc.). We explored triggers such as being in trouble, trying new things, being ill, getting hurt, learning a new skill- that push us into the Blue, Yellow, and/or Red Zones. Thereafter, we came up with strategies (breathing, talking to a friend or family member, going outside, taking a moment alone, exercising...) which effectively move us back into our Green Zone.
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