Counseling Corner

Jennifer Lee and Sharneka Andrews, School Counselors

January 2017

Happy New Year!

Classroom Guidance Update

As an integral part of our school's comprehensive school counseling program, I will be delivering Classroom Guidance lessons to your child twice a quarter. This is a way for me to teach the whole school and get to know our students better. I love Classroom Guidance! Your child may come home and share that they had a special friend in their classroom ;) As the school counselor, I will be teaching lessons on personal/social, career and academic development. I developed a Teacher Needs' Assessment and then teachers get to decide the most important topics for classroom guidance.

Kindergarten- 2nd Grade

K-2 students will be starting to learn about EMOTION MANAGEMENT this month. In this unit, students are taught proactive strategies to help prevent strong feelings from turning into negative behaviors. Students with the skills to manage strong emotions, such as anger, anxiety, embarrassment, fear, and jealousy are more likely to:

*Get along with peers and make good choices

*Cope with strong emotions and express them in socially acceptable ways

*Be successful in school

3rd Grade

This month third graders will review the previous two lessons taught on self discipline and coping skills. We will review the wave visual with identifying the strength of our emotions, the 4 color zones to identify our feelings along with strategies that can help at each level, as well as self discipline techniques we use to change our thoughts and feelings, which has an effect on our actions. We will review the strategies learned and then each student will be given a "High 5" hand visual to identify coping strategies, positive self talk, a safe place at school and home, and adult resources at school or home that they can talk to when they need help. They will be able to use this tool as a resource when they are experiencing a strong emotion.

4th Grade

This month 4th graders will have a lesson on conflict resolution. In the conflict resolution lesson, students will learn strategies that they can use if they have a minor problem with a peer. Each classroom will create a "wheel of choice" or "peace wheel" that they can refer to if there is a problem. We will also practice and act out these strategies based on scenarios. One of the strategies that will be discussed includes using an "I Message" to share their feelings, (I feel_________when you__________I need you to________________). This is a proactive strategy for students to advocate for themselves without blaming another student. It is important for children to learn how to advocate for themselves and their feelings.

5th Grade

In fifth grade this month we are reviewing the last few lessons:

#1 Emotion Management--Coping Strategies

#2 "Breaking the Chains"-Students worked in groups to create a sequence of an event that lead to a behavior or consequence they would like to change. Students identified where in the sequence they would "break" the chain to change the outcome. Students reviewed the coping strategies that could be used to help them "break this chain" of behavior.

#3 Conflict Resolution Steps:

Step 1: Cool off

Step 2: Share, Listen, Check-Student 1 Shares: "I feel_________when you_________I need for you ____________" Student 2 Listens and Checks for understanding: "You are feeling _______________and you would like for me to _________________________"

Step 3: Take Responsibility

Step 4: Brainstorm Solutions

Step 5: Choose a solution

Step 6: Affirm, Forgive, or Thank

In this lesson, students will work in groups or as an individual to create a project that demonstrates their learning over the last three months in our guidance lessons. They will have the opportunity to create a poster, google slide presentation, mini-book, scenario, etc. as a culminating project.

Next month, I will begin to talk with students about the Middle School Transition!

Small Groups

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. Small groups are based on data and referrals from teachers, parents, and/or the child themselves.

Groups this month and next month:

Building Resiliency (3rd-5th)- The focus of this group is building resiliency. Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from difficulties or successfully handle challenges. This group will strengthen self-confidence, build decision-making skills, and better understand how to handle the many challenges life presents. I will lead lessons on problem solving, feelings, managing stress, personal competency and having a positive outlook.

Attendance Check-In (K-2)-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 the third quarter.

Groups starting next month-

3rd-Growth Mindset/Self-Esteem

4th-SS Grin-Social Skills- This small group will focus on basic social skills such as communication, self-control, perspective taking, conflict management, and the initiation of activities. Group members will learn to set goals and assess the consequences of their actions; build pro-social attitudes, combat negative assumptions about themselves and others; and build coping skills to cope with stressful social situations (teasing, rejection, peer pressure).

Groups typically run for 4-6 weeks and meet once a week for a 30-40 minute period. Groups will meet during lunch time to minimize time away from core instruction.

Special Announcements

Parents of 5th Graders--Mark your calendar!

OPEN HOUSE DATES at the Middle Schools

LEESVILLE ROAD Middle School Showcase

January 17th

9:00-10:00 am in the Media Center

5:30-7:00 Tours will begin from the Media Center

Magnet Theme Thursday: Parent Information (Daytime) Sessions

General sessions about all magnet themes and early colleges, the application and selection process.

Dates: JAN 18
Location: Crossroads I, 5625 Dillard Drive, Cary, NC 27518

Session Times: 10a - 11a

More Magnet Information

Middle School Parent Sessions at BRIER CREEK ELEMENTARY School:

If you would like to learn more about your child's transition to Middle School, please join us for one of the parent information sessions we will be hosting here at BCES this January! School counselors from Pine Hollow Middle School will be visiting on these days to talk to you about how you can best support your child as he/she transitions into Middle School. Please see below the times and dates of the information sessions. There is a morning session and evening session for you to choose from.

Friday, January 19th

9:30-10:30 am (cafeteria)

Wednesday, January 24th

5:00-6:00 pm (media center)


Our snack pantry is very low and we are looking to fill it for the 3rd and 4th quarter. We are looking for healthy snacks for teachers to pick up to keep in their classrooms for those students who need a snack. We are looking for the following items: granola bars, peanut butter crackers, multi-grain goldfish, raisins, etc. Thank you so much for those who have sent in snacks!
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Contact Info

I am thrilled to be your child's full time school counselor this year! This is my seventh year at BCES and third year as a school counselor. Each month I will send out an online newsletter to keep you updated on our comprehensive counseling program. The school counseling mission statement is to provide a comprehensive counseling program addressing the academic, career and personal/social development of all students. In partnership with our fellow staff members, families, and our community, the counselor at Brier Creek Elementary School will provide a foundation of 21st century life skills that will empower students to think critically, visibly, and globally.

For as long as I can remember I wanted to work with children. 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. When I am not working with children I enjoy traveling to NY to see family, spending time with my husband and friends, going to the beach, and cheering on my favorite sports team...the SYRACUSE ORANGEMEN!!