Counselor's Corner

by Mrs. O

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Dear McKinley Family,

Next week we will complete our third and final lesson on Responsibility. As I tell our Little Mallards, "You can be super smart and super likeable; however, if you aren't Responsible it will be really difficult to accomplish the things that you want to accomplish in life.”

Although our students are young, now is actually the best time to lay the groundwork for becoming a Responsible person: getting ample sleep (10 hours is recommended for this age group), choosing healthy snacks (proteins & fruits & vegetables) , practicing good hygiene, exercising and drinking plenty of water, limiting screen time, completing small chores at home, being punctual and prepared for school, etc. In order to accomplish these things, we (as adults) must define, explain, model, and expect Responsible behavior from our children. As a mother of three, and grandmother of 4; I empathize and know this can be quite challenging at times.

So, what have we covered thus far?

During Week 1, we learned about the history of Red Ribbon Week; and discussed and celebrated making healthy choices (food, sleep, exercise, etc.). Check out these links for more information:

During Week 2, we focused on being Responsible by learning how to resolve conflicts in a peaceful way. We also learned how to distinguish a Small Problem (problems that students can solve) from a Big Problem (problems that require the assistance of an adult). In order to do this, we utilized a program known as Kelso's Choices: This program puts the power into the hands of students, teaches them to be assertive problem solvers, and builds a common language that is shared and understood throughout the school. What is really wonderful about Kelso's Choices, is that it's been used by our staff for almost 20 years; and it can be applied almost anywhere and by almost anyone: In our homes, at work, in school; and, by young and old alike. (Information is provided in the links below.)

Next week we will discuss how our behavior can (and often does) impact ourselves and others -either in a positive or negative way. This line of thinking can be a pathway to communication: For instance, the read alouds (below) can be used to ignite meaningful family conversations. After viewing them, you may want to ask:

  • How did you show responsibility at home, school, daycare... this week?
  • How do you think we (parents/guardians) showed responsibility this week?
  • How do you feel after you have been responsible?
  • How do you feel when you avoid doing what you should do- what you are responsible

for (i.e. feeding the dog, completing homework, etc.)?

Once we complete our last lesson on Responsibility, we will move on to one of my favorite PurposeFull Practices: Gratitude. On that note, I can honestly say that I am grateful for your amazing children, you, this community, and my school family.

I wish you a wonderful weekend.

Warmly yours,

Mrs. Ormachea (Mrs. O)

McKinley School Counselor

Overview of Resources-

1. Definition of Responsibility

2. Parent Letters in English and Spanish- Responsibility; TK-1st Grade

3. Kelso's Choices Materials: Kelso's Wheel, 3 Kelso Videos, and Informational Parent Letters in English and Spanish.

4. 5 Five Read-alouds About Responsibility, and 1 Song-

A Little Spot of Responsibility- "A Story about making good choices. Every time you make a GOOD CHOICE your RESPONSIBILITY SPOT GROWS and it makes you feel more CONFIDENT and HAPPY! This story is about a little RESPONSIBILITY SPOT that shows you ways you can make GOOD CHOICES to GROW your RESPONSIBILITY SPOT." -Excellent Read Aloud

But It's Not My Fault- This is a wonderful story about a boy named Noodle, who fails to take responsibility for his own choices and actions. Through Noodle's mishaps, we learn that our choices and actions do impact others and ourselves. We also learned that, although doing the right thing and being responsible can be hard sometimes; the rewards outweigh the costs.

What if Everybody Did That? This book helps children to understand that their behavior and choices do affect other people, things, and the world around them.

Sick Simon- This read aloud enables students to understand how they can be responsible when they are sick, so as to not get others sick and to heal faster. It is definitely applicable now that it is cold and flu season.

SONG- It's My Responsibility

I Am Responsible- this is a wonderful little book that teaches young children, that they are capable of managing responsibilities both at home and at school.

1. Definition of Responsibility

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2. Family Letters- Responsibility

3. Links to Kelso's Choices Videos and Information for Parents

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4. Read Alouds About Responsibility