Counselor's Corner

November/December 2015

Melissa Foss

Decorah School Counselor


Counselor Connection Lessons


Being a problem solver will be our focus for a few weeks! We will learn about SIMTUT (Share, Ignore, Move Away, Take Turns, Use Chance, Talk It Out). SIMTUT gives us 6 healthy strategies that we can use to solve our small problems.

1st Grade

Our focus for November and December will be solving our small-1st grade sized problems. We will review the SIMTUT (Share, Ignore, Move Away, Take Turns, Use Chance and Talk It Out) and learn about Kelso's Choices. Kelso's Choices are more strategies we can use to help us become problem solvers. Ask your child about the Kelso Choice song!

2nd Grade

We started our unit on bullying by reading “Bully Blockers Club.” We discuss that we want Decorah to be a safe place for everyone. We talk about the 3 types of bullying behaviors (mouth, muscle and friend snatcher). We also will learn the bullying triangle – the individuals that are involved in bullying situations (the person doing the bullying behaviors, target and bystander). We will discuss ways that we can stand up, use our voice and get help from an adult. From there we will move into peer pressure and learn how to STOP and THINK before we make a choice for ourselves.

3rd Grade

Our focus will be “putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes” and learning about the word empathy. Empathy is putting ourselves in others shoes and trying to understand how someone feels. We read a book “Hey little Ant” and watched video clips to helps us better understand empathy and how we can show it to others. We will then start our unit on bullying. We will read a book “Nobody knew what to do” and focus on the role of the bystander. We will also read a story about keeping ourselves safe when using the internet.

4th Grade

Our focus for November will be careers! We will be able to identify interests and make the connection that our interests will help us decide on a career. We used the computer program, Career Locker to explore different careers and career clusters. Each student brought home their Explore booklet, username/password and parent letter. I encourage students to log on to Career Locker to do more career exploring. We will also visit Kelso's Choices and how to solve our 4th grade sized problems in good healthy ways and ways to keep problems small. Following this lesson, we will discuss feelings and healthy ways to deal with our feelings.
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Fall Food Drive

Monday, Nov. 16th, 8:30am to Friday, Nov. 20th, 3:30pm

1225 Sylvan Way

West Bend, WI

We will be collecting Thanksgiving, non-perishable and household items for Decorah families. If you find your family in a position of need this Thanksgiving and would like to be entered into our raffle to receive one of the baskets, please fill out the slip that was sent home on Monday and return to school with your child. Return the signed slip by Friday, November 13th. If your family is interested in donating a turkey please let Mrs. Foss know by November 13th. Sorting and boxing up the food items will be done by our own Decorah students this year. One student from each classroom will be randomly drawn to help assemble the baskets during the school day on Friday, November 20th.

Thank you for supporting our Decorah Community as we work together on this project.

Please see Melissa Foss if you have any questions!

Gingerbread Gift Giving Program

November 15th is the last day to sign up if you and your family are in need of help this Christmas season.

Location: The Youth & Family Project

630 Elm Street

West Bend


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November is about more than turkey!

The holiday many of us celebrate this month is a perfect time of the year to talk about and teach gratitude. It's in the name! THANKSGIVING = giving thanks. Here are a few simple ways to instill thankfullness in young children:

  • Ask your children about the highs and lows of their school day. What went well? What went right? Focus on appreciating the positive.
  • Thank your children often, even if they're doing required chores or activities you requested of them. Let them know you notice and appreciate their effort!
  • Say "thank you" to your spouse, your friends, and your family in the presence of your children.
  • Generate an attitude of giving. Ask your children to gather and donate old toys, clothes or books to other children who may be in need.
  • Encourage your children to write or draw thank you notes or pictures to friends, family, teachers, etc.
  • Point out how others have helped your children - someone holding the door open, a friend helping your child tie his/her shoes, a teacher giving extra time to make sure your child understood a lesson, etc.

Why is teaching and modeling gratitude so important?

Being able to recognize and appreciate the good things in your life can lead to increased happiness and life satisfaction. For children especially, learning how to be thankful can help in the development of interpersonal skills, included the "big" one - showing empathy. Gratitude leads itself to expanding our worldview. When we're thankful for even the small things, we're thinking of more than just ourselves; we're thinking about how all of us have the ability to positively impact another's life. Gratitude is powerful!