Counseling Corner

Jennifer Lee, School Counselor

May/June 2019

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 get into classrooms, teach the whole school and get to know our students better. I LOVE Classroom Guidance! As the school counselor, I will be teaching lessons on academic, personal/social, and career development.


Here's an update on what your child has been learning or will learn in the 4th quarter during our classroom counseling lessons:


3rd Grade:


April: Students had the second lesson in our bullying prevention unit. In this lesson third graders learned about the power of the bystander in a bullying situation.

Bystander Power

Be part of the solution and help stop bullying.

* Report bullying to an adult.

* Refuse to let others be bullied.

* Don't watch bullying. It is up to you!


We will also be reading the second book in the Weird Series, called Dare! The text tells the same story as in the first book Weird, however it is told through the eyes of Jayla. Jayla witnesses the bullying behavior and is unsure about what to do about it. We will put ourselves in the shoes of Jayla to understand how we can be "world changers" and be part of the solution.


May: This is our third and final lesson in our bullying prevention unit. We read the last book in the Weird series, called TOUGH! This story is told through the perspective of the character Sam. Sam is the child showing the bullying behavior in the previous two stories. In this text, we learn more about Sam and her home life. We learn that her brother treats her the way she's treated other children. We learn that she feels like she has no control at home so she has to go to school to gain control and act "tough" so other people leave her alone. We also find out that Sam didn't realize that other kids thought she was being mean. In her eyes, she was being tough. In the end, Sam learns that she feels much better and happier when she is kind to other children. To wrap up this unit we played a jeopardy game to review all three stories in the series.


June: In one of the last lessons we will focus on test taking skills and relaxation strategies. I will be reading the book The Anti-Test Anxiety Society written by Julia Cook. This story is about a little girl who has negative views of taking tests and has high test anxiety. She learns strategies to help her prepare and ways to relax before the big test day. We will also be watching an inspiring video to remind us that the EOG is just one "piece" of the puzzle in the big picture. We will remember that this test does NOT define who you are. We will follow up with practicing deep breathing, some muscle relaxation strategies, and lastly use our five senses to help us think about our happiest place as a way to relax.


Check out the video we will be watching:

This Test Does NOT define me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFMjbs3hoiU


Go Noodle-Rainbow Breathing


4th Grade:


April: In this month we discussed the topic of gossip and rumors. In this lesson we defined gossip, discussed how it creates conflict & the affect it can have on everyone involved, and identified ways that students can be positive change agents to stop gossip from happening. Your child heard the story Mr. Peabody's Apples, written by Madonna. Please ask your child about the "Kind Words" Contract that he or she signed promising to spread kindness and not gossip.


May: This month 4th graders will have a lesson on conflict resolution. I will read the story The Sandwich Swap, a story about two girls who insult one another based on the type of sandwich they eat for lunch. Students will learn strategies that they can use if they have a minor problem with a peer. One of the strategies that will be discussed includes using an "I Message" to share their feelings, (I feel_________when you__________because _________I want or 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. We will finish up the lesson with a game of "I Message" Hop Scotch. Students will read fictional scenarios and "hop" their way through verbalizing an I Message that could be used. If classes had time, we practiced giving "I Message" with personal situations.


June: The last lesson I will teach this year will be a digital citizenship lesson. I will read the story, Technology Tail, written by Julia Cook. This book tells the story about the importance of "thinking before posting". Whether tapping out messages on their computers, tablets, or phones, the main character "Screen" wants kids to know that their words----kind or cruel---will follow them for life, creating a digital trail that can't be erased. The story uses a visual of a tail that stays with you forever collecting gifts (kind words) bandaids (hurtful words), or holes (unsafe actions such as sharing your address or password). To wrap up this lesson children will leave with a T.H.I.N.K glove to help them remember to "think before posting" by asking themselves: Is it True? Is it Helfpul? Is it Inspriring? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?


5th Grade-- The last couple of lessons will help prepare our 5th graders for Middle School!


April: We will explore the Incredible Power of "0". This activity is designed to demonstrate to students the incredible effect that a zero can have on their grade. In middle school, most teachers will allow students to turn in late work for a reduced percentage in a grade or partial credit. However, if students do not take this opportunity, that missing assignment will become a zero and can drastically affect their overall homework average. This lesson will teach the importance of completing (and turning in their work) and the negative consequence on their grades if they get a "0".


May or June (Depending on the track/class) The final lesson for 5th Grade will conclude the TRANSITION TO MIDDLE SCHOOL Unit! The students will learn about their new middle school using Ipads while playing a game called "Middle School Scavenger Hunt ". Finally, to ease anxiety, I will teach them how to open a combination lock (the #1 fear of heading to Middle School). By the end of this lesson, students will feel more comfortable about their next transition ;).


May or June (Depending on the track/class): In this lesson we discussed the topic of gossip and rumors. In this lesson we defined gossip, discussed how it creates conflict & the affect it can have on everyone involved, and identified ways that students can be positive change agents to stop gossip from happening. Your child will be heard the story Mr. Peabody's Apples, written by Madonna. Please ask your child about the "Kind Words" Contract that he or she signed promising to spread kindness and not gossip.

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 continuing this month:


All About Me (4th)-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


School Succes (5th)- In this group, students will learn skills to help them be successful in the school environment. Students will take a self assessment on work habits to identify areas of need. They may include organization, completing work, handling stress, test anxiety, test strategies, and/or following directions. Our goal is for our students to feel happy and successful so that learning can take place.


Groups typically run for 3-5 weeks and meet once or twice a week for a 30-40 minute period. Groups will meet during lunch time to minimize time away from core instruction.

5th Grade MIDDLE SCHOOL INFORMATION!!!!

ALL 5th Grade students have been registered for Middle School! Thank you so much for working with me! All registration forms were sent to the Middle Schools at the beginning of May! :)

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Contact Info

Hi! My name is Jennifer Lee and I am thrilled to be your child's full time school counselor this year! This is my ninth year at BCES and fourth 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 spending every minute I can with my 1 year old twins, Connor and Julianna and my husband Chris. We also love traveling to NY to see family, going to the beach, and cheering on the TARHEELS as well as my favorite sports team...the SYRACUSE ORANGEMEN!!