Counselor's Corner

Jennifer Connors, School Counselor for Grades 1 and 3

APRIL 2016

Classroom Guidance Update

1st Grade

SAFEchild's Funny Tummy Feelings is coming to your child's classroom in the next couple of weeks!! This presentation will be given by trained volunteers from SAFEchild.

Funny Tummy Feelings is a self-awareness program that promotes self-esteem and helps children develop skills they can use to protect themselves and to make appropriate decisions in a variety of situations. This interactive and engaging program teaches children the importance of listening to their body’s emotions and signals and talking about their feelings with special people in their lives. Posters, games and role-playing through puppetry are used to encourage discussion.

The program will include discussion about:

  • Pleasant and unpleasant “funny tummy feelings” or emotions

  • The difference between “good” and “not-so-good” secrets

  • How to identify and select special people in each child’s life that he or she can talk to and trust

  • When to say “no” and how to say “no” effectively

Handouts will be sent home afterward with your child so that you can review the material with him or her. If you would like to know more about SAFEchild and the Funny Tummy Program, please click on the link below:

3rd grade

The third grade teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Bullying Prevention, Problem Solving, Friendship, Skills for Learning, Character Education/The Habits. My monthly lessons will be developed based on these important topics.

Some of the third grade classrooms will have the Test Taking Skills lesson this month, as well as the lesson for April. In April, I will introduce the topic of Growth Mindset. This lesson helps students to define growth mindset, recognize the difference between a fixed (closed) mindset to a growth (open) mindset, and create positive self-talk statements related to growth mindset. I will read the story The Dot by Peter Reynolds. The book describes a girl who believes she can't draw. She gives up on trying until her art teacher helps her to see that she can turn anything into art. Throughout the story we will have a discussion about growth mindset and the power of YET! When we have a growth mindset, we know that: Mistakes help us improve, just because you haven't reached a goal YET does 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.

If you would like to watch the video that we watched in class click the link below:

April Classroom Guidance Schedule

Apr. 5-Weber, Hughes

Apr 8-Levinson

Apr 15-Coleman, Garrison

Apr 19-Klager, Randle, Falkner

Apr 21-Almond, Landis

Apr 22-Christie, Norman, Lewis, Pleasants

Leadership Connection

The 7 Habits and Character Traits that will be taught in Classroom Guidance this month:

Covey Habits: Habit 1: Be Proactive Habit 7: Sharpen Your Saw

Character Trait: Perseverance-Always try your best and never give up.

Small Group Counseling

Small group counseling is offered to students to support and enhance the development of personal and social skills and to support and promote academic success. Small groups allow children to develop coping skills, a sense of belonging, and to realize that they are not alone in their concerns. Children may be referred to certain groups by teachers or parents.

Groups in Progress:

3rd Grade-School Success-Put First Things First (2 groups)- Being successful in school is the foundation to a student’s future. Utilizing skills of listening, focusing, being organized, using time efficiently, knowing how to study, completing homework, knowing how to take tests & managing a good attitude are all essential skills in school success. These skills may come naturally to some children but for most of us these skills need to be taught, practiced, encouraged, structured, & maintained in order to be successful.

New Groups this month:

1st Grade-Friendship-Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand-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.

1st Grade-Anger Squiggles-Be Proactive-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.

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.

Lunch Bunch 3rd Grade

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

When? Fridays

Where? The counselors 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.



Are you looking for a place to donate your child's clothing? Check out this wonderful local organization! It's a great way to give back to our community. Current Needs:

Immediate Needs


Pant sizes 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.

Mission: We provide clothing to impoverished and homeless children in Wake County. Note in the Pocket believes it is unacceptable that children are limited in their educational and social development because they do not have appropriate clothes for school.

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Don't forget about this great resource for Summer Camps! Summershine is an annual publication of Lifelong Learning that offers information to parents about camps, activities, day care, clinics, and track out programs for children in the Wake County area.

About Ms. Connors

Hello! My name is Jennifer Connors and I am thrilled to be part of the A.B Combs Community this year! I will be your child's counselor this school year! I will be working with our amazing full time counselor Mrs. Trueman who will be the counselor for K, 2, 4, and 5th grade. Each month I will send out an online newsletter to keep you updated on our comprehensive counseling program so you can reinforce it at home, if you want...WIN-WIN!

A little bit about myself-I graduated from SUNY Cortland in NY with a Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood Education and was a first and second grade teacher for almost 9 years. While teaching, I realized my true passion was to become a school counselor. In 2014, I received my Master’s Degree in School Counseling from NC State. I am very excited to contribute to a school that incorporates Covey’s Habits, leadership, and character education into every aspect of the day. I will be working part-time with Mrs. Trueman on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and most Fridays. When I am not working with children I enjoy traveling to NY to see family, spending time with friends, and going to the beach. I am also thrilled to announce that over this holiday break I got engaged to a wonderful man, who I can't wait to call my husband!