The Counselor's Corner

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

December 2015

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 classroom guidance for Quarter 1 & 2 , I will teach lessons from Conscious Discipline to learn how to be helpful in the classroom, how to calm down when strong feelings happen (anger, sad & worry), and how to use their Big Voices (show courage). This month we see Shubert again while reading Shubert's Big Voice. Shubert discovers that his voice has power as Benny, a bossy classmate, responds to Shubert's new found skill - using his assertive words. Shubert glows with excitement as he teaches all children who read and listen to this book to use their big voice. You can help reinforce this assertive skill at home by teaching your child to say, "I don't like it when you.....please.....". : )

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. This lesson will teach how to handle mistakes and how to handle anxious feelings. Have you heard your child sing, "Stop, Name Your Feeling, Calm Down"? The song is VERY catchy and helps students remember what to do when they have have strong & uncomfortable emotions. Here's a link to the song (I found a link so you can hear's not our students or school but it will give you an idea of what we are learning!)

Handling Mistakes & Calming Anxious Feelings - follow along at home!

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.

I will introduce the topic of Proactive Conflict Resolution. We will learn about the Talking Stick by watching a short clip of Dr. Covey explaining the use of a talking stick when trying to find a win-win with a friend. Then we will learn about I-Messages (I feel...when you...because...I want) and how they are often used with the intent to be assertive without putting the listener on the defensive. Finally, we will apply these two new skills by using both the Talking Stick & I-Messages during a game of I-Message Hopscotch (hands-on, kinetic way of learning this new skill). I will leave each classroom with their very own I-Message worksheet & Talking Stick for their own classroom "Win-Win Corner" (just in case it's needed later in the year ;) You can reinforce this skill at home by using an I-Message (I feel...when you...because...I want).

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 we will continue our lesson on exploring Careers! Talk about Begin With The End In Mind!!! We will dive deeper into specific careers that are suited for their career personality (Social, Realistic, Conventional, Investigative, Artistic, & Enterprising). Each student will participate in an Ipad SCANvenger Hunt to research about the education needs, salary, and specific job descriptions for many careers.

For more information & research at home on careers:

December Classroom Guidance Schedule

Nov. 30 - Guzzo

Dec 1 - Vick, Boatwright, Gamble, Evans

Dec 3 - Charland, Abbott, Dean

Dec 4 - Hawley & Ashby

Dec 7 - Little

Dec 8 - Krieg & Shearin

Dec 10 - Lower, Metkowski, Miles & Cayton

Dec 11 - Ivester & Smith

Dec 14 - Diaz

Dec 15 - Campbell, Carr & Whitworth

Jan 5 - Phillips

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: Compassion & Self-Discipline

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.

Keep Calm and Carry On - 2nd & 4th The group will identify various roots of stress, the possible effects, and teach practical coping strategies. Students will be taught ways to cope with stressors using visual, auditory, tactile, cognitive, relaxation, and physical strategies.

School Success - Kindergarten In group, students will learn skills to help the student be successful in the school environment. We will focus on learning how to follow group rules, to play well with others, and listen well to the teacher. Our goal is for our students to feel happy and successful so that learning can take place.

Girls World - 5th This group focuses on friendship. We will explore how friends can help and sometimes hurt, emphasize the importance of talking about others in a positive, kinds way (compliments), emphasize the importance of developing respect and empathy towards others, and learn helpful strategies when girls are "caught in the middle" between friends. We will also learn about confidence by affirming their abilities, capabilities and values.

New Groups:

All About Me (Self-Esteem) - 2nd, 4th & 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.

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


The Backpack Buddies Program at AB Combs provides children from food-insecure homes with weekend meals during the school year. The children receive a backpack containing six balanced meals and two healthy snacks a the end of every week. Our annual food drive will benefit Combs students directly & our community partner, Interfaith Food Shuttle Backpack Buddies Program. Because of your generous support, we are now able to support several additional students in our Backpack Buddies Program through our own Combs Pantry. Thank you!

Fast Facts about Backpack Buddies:

  • In the 7 counties that IFFS serves, over 121,000 kids applied for free and reduced lunch (during 2013-14 school year – the most recent data available1). That’s 46% of school-aged kids!
  • During the 2015-16 school year, 2,024 children will be served 74,888 BackPacks at 67 sites across 7 counties
  • 1-in-4 children are at risk of hunger in North Carolina2

For more information on how backpack buddies helps families, click here:

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Family to Family Angel Tree

A BIG THANK YOU to all of our generous sponsors this year! We have 120 angels on our Angel Tree this year and they have all been sponsored! Please return your gifts, wrapped and labeled with your angel number on Thursday, December 10th. Please hold your gifts until that date, as we have limited space to store the presents. The pick up date for Angel Tree gifts will be Monday, December 14th. Thank you so much for your generosity!

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Wake Magnet Middle Schools


Don't forget Leadership Academies online application period is:

October 16 - December 14, 2015.

Magnet Application is:

January 7 - January 22, 2016

Shout Out!

Thank you to our AMAZING PTA for donating everything to outfit an entire apartment for one of our families in transition! You make make a difference : )

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.