The Counselor's Corner

Katie Trueman, School Counselor - Grades K, 2nd, 4th & 5th

February 2016

Classroom Guidance Update

Kindergarten - The Kindergarten teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Character Education/The Habits, Friendship, Problem Solving and Tattling vs. Reporting. My monthly lessons will be developed based on these important topics.


In February, kindergartners will be studying the character trait of Kindness and the Covey Habit of Seek First to Understand. Students will listen to the story of “Howard Listens to His Heart.” In this book, Howard learns how to follow his heart and be true to himself. Next, students will see a puppet play called “How Big is Your Heart?” We will discuss kindness and giving without expecting something in return. Students will share what they can do to be a caring person. Finally, students will participate in a “Heart Puzzle” activity. The students will have to find the person who has a puzzle piece that matches their own. When all of the students have matched their hearts, we will read the messages of kindness on each heart.


2nd Grade - The 2nd grade teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Problem Solving, Friendship, Emotion Management, Character Education/The Habits, Bullying Prevention. My monthly lessons will be developed based on these important topics.


This month, I will continue Second Step, a research-based counseling curriculum to teach skills for social and academic success. We will review the unit of Emotion Management. Then, they will "show what they know" about calming down when a strong feeling takes over with Lego Build To Express. I love this activity because I can make sure the students are learning AND they get a chance to teach others about calming down!


4th Grade -The 4th grade teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Peer Pressure / Cliques, Bullying Prevention, Self-Esteem, Career Exploration and Planning & Decision Making. My monthly lessons will be developed based on these important topics.


In February, I will introduce the topic of Growth Mindset. This lesson helps students be able to accept perfectionism as a common issue, identify the consequences of perfectionism, define growth mindset, and create positive self-talk statements related to growth mindset. I will read the story Too Perfect by Trudy Ludwig. The book describes a girl who wants to be perfect. Then I will introduce the idea of growth mindset. When we have a growth mindset, we know that: Mistakes help us improve, just because you haven't reached a goal YET doe not mean you should give up on it, and if you are trying your best, then that it good enough. Finally, the students will have a growth mindset worksheet so that they can practice creating positive self-talk statements.


5th Grade - The 5th grade teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Middle School Transition, Peer Pressure, Learning Styles/Academic Study Skills, Conflict Management and Career Exploration & Development. My monthly lessons will be developed based on these important topics.


This month, I will be headed to each 5th grade classroom to teach Study Skills. Students will learn about their individualize Learning Style & several techniques to study smarter not harder. Be on the look out for a sheet to help them remember the study skills for their unique learning style (Visual, Auditory, or Tactile Learner).

February Classroom Guidance Schedule

Feb 2 - Krieg, Metkowski (Jan. make up), Dean (Jan. make up)

Feb 4 - Vick, Boatwright (Jan. make up), & Whitworth

Feb 5 - Amon (Jan. make up) & Ashby

Feb 8 - Little

Feb 9 - Phillips, Campbell & Gamble

Feb 11 - Evans & Hawley

Feb 18 - Lower, Charland

Feb 19 - Ivester & Carr

Feb 23 - Boatwright, Miles & Cayton

Feb 25 - Amon & Shearin

Feb 26 - Metkowski & Smith

Feb 29 - Diaz

Leadership Connection

The Habits & Character Traits that will be taught in Classroom Guidance this month:

Habit 1: Be Proactive & Begin with the End in Mind

Character Trait: Courage – Attempting difficult things that are worthwhile

Small Group Counseling

Small Groups

Small groups allow children to develop coping skills, a sense of belonging and to realize that they are not alone in their concerns.


Groups in Process:

All About Me (Self-Esteem) - 5th - Building and maintaining a positive self-concept is important in being a happy, productive person. In group we will focus on appreciating our strengths and the things we can do well, and then developing positive thoughts and skills to handle when things don’t go right.

Friendship - 5th - The purpose of this group is to focus on acknowledging and strengthening our friendship qualities we have to offer others, how to connect and communicate with others, building friendly behaviors and dealing with friendship problems.

Attendance Check-in: Selected students will be in our check-in group to help reduce the their unexcused absences and encourage being at school on time each day. Each identified student will have a calendar sticker chart to record their daily arrival for 45 days.

New Groups Starting

Anger Squiggles - K-2- The purpose of this group is to learn how to manage and deal with our angry feelings in an appropriate way. Anger is an extremely complex feeling with multiple and varied triggers and causes for the individual. Small group activities will focus on the basic self-control skills of anger management.

Friendship - 4th (During Lunch Bunch time)- The purpose of this group is to focus on acknowledging and strengthening our friendship qualities we have to offer others, how to connect and communicate with others, building friendly behaviors and dealing with friendship problems.

All About Me (Self-Esteem) - 5th *2nd group - Building and maintaining a positive self-concept is important in being a happy, productive person. In group we will focus on appreciating our strengths and the things we can do well, and then developing positive thoughts and skills to handle when things don’t go right.

Groups typically run for 4-6 weeks and meet once a week for a 35- 40 minute period. Times for groups are coordinated with classroom teachers to minimize time away from instruction.

Special Announcements

National School Counseling Week

Since it is School Counseling Week (Feb 4-8), I thought we would help answer your burning question of "What exactly do you DO as the School Counselor???" Many of you may not have had a school counselor when you were in school. For those of you who did, there is a good possibility that school counselors have very different functions now than they did 10 or 20 years ago!


I'm not one to toot my own horn but I think it's important to advocate for how school counselors can PARTNER with parents and educators to help children find success and remove barriers. This will help explain why I LOVE my job so much! I am honored to work with parents, students & educators.


Elementary School Counselors Implement the Counseling Program by Providing:

School Guidance Curriculum

  • Academic support, including organizational, study and test-taking skills
  • Goal setting and decision-making
  • Career awareness, exploration and planning
  • Education on understanding self and others
  • Peer relationships, coping strategies and effective social skills
  • Communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution
  • Multicultural/diversity awareness
  • Individual student planning

Academic planning

  • Goal setting/decision- making
  • Education on understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses
  • Transition plans

Responsive Services

  • Individual and small-group counseling
  • Individual/family/school crisis intervention
  • Conflict resolution
  • Consultation/collaboration
  • Referrals

System Support

  • Professional development
  • Consultation, collaboration and teaming
  • Program management and operation


School counselors are actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents; working in a partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today's world; focusing on positive ways to enhance students' social/personal, educational and career development; and working with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves. Professional school counselors are certified, experienced educators with a master's degree in guidance and counseling. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.


I LOVE BEING A SCHOOL COUNSELOR!

Lunch Bunch (grades 2-5)

What: What is lunch bunch? Lunch Bunch is an awesome time! Students can bring their lunch to the counselor's room to eat & make new friends.

When: Wednesdays - 2nd & 5th, Thursdays - 4th

Where: The counselor’s room, Room 120

How: Students can write their name on a sign-up sheet on the counselor’s door - students can sign up once a quarter.

About Me

My name is Katie Trueman and for as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a school counselor! I graduated from Marshall University (Huntington, WV) with a B.A. in Psychology. Then I pursued my dream to continue my education and received a M.A. in School Counseling. I began working at AB Combs in 2005. I think it's pretty great to be at a school that embeds Leadership, Character Education & The Habits into everything! I acquired my National Boards of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) for School Counseling in 2010. I feel honored (and blushing a bit) to be named the 2014 School Counselor of the Year for Wake County Public Schools! When I’m not working with children, I love hiking with my husband & two cute kids, experimenting with new recipes and exploring NC with my sweet family & friends.