Counselor's Corner

by Mrs. O

PurposeFull Practice: Empathy, Lesson 2 and 3


Dear McKinley Family,

This week marks the end of Empathy, Lesson 3. You can be so very proud of your children, as they innately understand and practice Empathy on a daily basis. For instance, one of our wonderful staff members, Mrs. Crater, was hit in the head by a soccer ball this week. She was so moved by the empathy and kindness shown by our children, that she emailed me about it.

This leads me to the introduction of next week's PurposeFull Practice: Kindness. I like to say that Kindness is Empathy's Best Friend. As we move through the lessons, our children will be on the lookout for kindness, and explore the many magical ways to show and receive it.

Please view the resources below and enjoy some family time while going through them. I have included Zones of Emotion/Regulation, and information about the brain's "Guard Dog" and "Wise Owl". The children learned that it is difficult to feel or express Empathy when we are in the Blue, Yellow, and Red Zones (all of which place us in our Guard Dog brains). As you watch the videos, you will understand how it all fits together. The students were able to grasp these concepts and iterate them back to me with incredible precision.

I hope you have an amazing weekend filled with sunshine and memory making.

Warmly and gratefully yours,

Mrs. O (Ormachea)

McKinley School Counselor



Overview of Resources:

Family Connect and Create (FCC)- Invite to our Upcoming Valentines Connect and Create

1. Definition of Empathy

2. Links to Parent Resource Letters (English and Spanish) re Empathy

3. Excellent Read Aloud- Listening With My Heart, and Video- The Owl and the Guard Dog

+Brain and Zones of Regulation/Emotion Illustrations.

4. Mindfulness Practice: Be the Pond

This practice helps us to get our emotions under control, and get into our Wise Owl brain.

5. Our McKinley Schoolwide Expectations Chant- I'm going to start handing out Duck Bucks to students who have it memorized.

6. Families that Play Together, Stay Together: Information and Links to Local and County Events for Families

Family Connect and Create

Family Connect and Create

Family Connect and Create Day- Valentines Craft and Assistance Filling Out Valentine's Day Cards

When: Tuesday February 8, 2022

*****Come when you can: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM*****

Where: Sycamore Library

What: Create Memories and a Sweet Valentine's Day Project

**Students can also bring in their Valentine's Day cards and get help filling them out

**Healthy snacks and a sweet treat provided

Who: Parents/Guardians and their Student/s

Bring: Yourself, your child/ren, and their Valentine's Day Cards (if they would like to complete them during this time)

More details to come... <3

1. Definition of Empathy

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2. Links to Parent Resource Letter: Empathy (in English and Spanish)

3. Listening With My Heart -Read Aloud

This is a wonderful read aloud that iterates that we must not only have empathy and compassion for others, but for ourselves as well.

The Owl and The Guard Dog- Video

This video teaches us about two different parts of the brain: Our Wise Owl (the Prefrontal Cortex) and our Guard Dog (the Amygdala). The students learned that in order to be our best selves, we need to stay in our Wise Owl Brain. We also discussed the many ways to get back into our Wise Owl Brain, and that there are certain times that we want to utilize our Guard Dog Brains (hint- safety).
Below is a picture of the parts of the brain. Students like having a visual of where our Wise Owl and Guard Dog reside in the brain. They were also able to understand that when one of these parts of the brain is chatty, the other is usually quiet. For instance, when we have BIG emotions (anger, stress, fear) we are in our Guard Dog Brain; therefore, our Wise Owl Brain is quiet. The outcome: Our ability to have and show empathy, learn, and execute basic skills is nearly impossible.
Big picture
Below is a picture of our Zones of Emotion/Regulation. Students learned that we have many different feelings which fall into certain Zones. We discovered that being in the Green Zone (Wise Owl Brain) helps us to be our best selves (as students, citizens, family members, etc.). We explored triggers such as being in trouble, trying new things, being ill, getting hurt, learning a new skill- that push us into the Blue, Yellow, and/or Red Zones. Thereafter, we came up with strategies (breathing, talking to a friend or family member, going outside, taking a moment alone, exercising...) which effectively move us back into our Green Zone.
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4. Mindfulness Practice- The Pond

This is a wonderful mindfulness practice that helps us to remember that our many emotions are not us, they are merely a part of us. With practice we can calm ourselves, and get back into our Wise Owl/Green Zone Brain.

5. Our McKinley School Expectation Chant

Make sure to ask your student to teach you the arm movements that go with our chant. <3
Big picture

6. Families that Play Together, Stay Together: Things to Do in Our County