The Counselor's Corner

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

December 2014

Classroom Guidance Update

Hi Parents! As a part of our school's comprehensive school counseling program, I will be delivering Classroom Guidance lessons to your children once a month. 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 ;) I will teaching lessons on personal/social, career and academic development. I developed a Teacher Needs' Assessment and then teachers get to decide the "Big Rocks" for classroom guidance.

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. This month, Kindergartners will learn the difference between Tattling vs. Warning. I will introduce the book Tattle Tongue by Julia Cook. We will discuss that tattling means you are trying to get someone IN trouble and warning is when you are trying to get help (emergency) for someone. Each teacher received their own Problem Solver Trophy to use when they notice a student using Problem Solving Strategies to solve small problems in the classroom setting.

2nd Grade - Second Grade teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Emotion Management, Character Education/The Habits, Bullying Prevention, Problem Solving, and Friendship. 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!)

4th Grade - The Fourth Grade teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Peer Pressure, Bullying Prevention, Self-Esteem, Conflict Management and Career Exploration. This month, I will introduce the topic of Peer Pressure. I will read the story Peer Pressure Gauge by Julia Cook. The book describes Peer Pressure as the influence that a peer group has over a person. We will discuss negative peer pressure and how it's important to be self-confident and show inner strength. Finally, we will discuss friendship and the qualities that make up a good friend.

5th Grade - The Fifth Grade teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Middle School Transition, Bullying Prevention, Planning & Decision Making, Academic Study Skills, and Career Exploration. This month we will be discussing Study Habits - Prioritizing & Planning. This skill comes in handy in Middle School! They will take a quiz to see how they rate their current Study Habits & I will offer simple solutions to increase their productivity. Then they will be challenged in groups to prioritize a REAL 6th grade students To-Do list in order from most important to least important. We discuss their group's results as a class. Finally, I introduce the idea of Long-Term Planning and apply how they can use this skill in their upcoming Science Fair project & their Wax Museum project. This lesson helps them apply "Beginning with the End in Mind" and "Put First Things First."

Decemeber Classroom Guidance Schedule

Dec 1 - Pinkney, Hathaway, Christie, Boatwright

Dec 2 - Ferrell

Dec 4 - Cullum

Dec 5 - Gamble, Ildefonso, Ivester

Dec 8 - Horst, Little, Hawley

Dec 9 - Pride & Amon

Dec 11 - Lower

Dec 12 - Charland, Ashby, Metkowski

Dec 15 - Pattison, Carr, Abbott

Dec 16 - Phillips

Dec 17 - Campbell

Dec 19 - Smith, Vick

Leadership Connection

The Habits & Character Traits that will be taught in Classroom Guidance this month:

Habit 1: Be Proactive, Habit 3: First Things First

Responsibility, Respect, Courage, & Self-Discipline

Small Group Counseling

Small groups allow children to develop coping skills, a sense of belonging and to realize that they are not alone in their concerns. Groups this month include:

K - Anger Squiggles

K & 2nd - Friendship

4th - School Success

4th - All About Me

4th & 5th - All About Me

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: 5th Grade-Tuesdays, 2nd Grade-Wednesdays, 4th Grade-Thursdays

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.

Special Announcements

AB Combs Annual Food Drive - Thank you!

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

  • Nearly 116,000 children (43%) in our service area applied for free or reduced price meals during the 2012-2013 school year.1
  • 1 in 4 children are at risk of hunger in North Carolina2
  • 1,850 children were served 68,450 BackPacks at 55 sites in 7 counties during the 2013-14 school year

Family to Family Angel Tree

Our "Family to Family Angel Tree" has become a holiday tradition. It has come to symbolize the spirit of the season and the nature of our Ab Combs Elementary School community.

A BIG THANK YOU to all of our generous sponsors this year! We have 128 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 Wednesday, 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 15th. Thank you so much for your generosity!

Shout Out!

Holden & Hannah Watkins - They asked their friends to bring in donations for our school's Backpack Buddies instead of bringing presents for his birthday celebration! Thank you Holden & Hannah!

Girls on the Run - They decided to donate shelf-stable milk for our Backpack Buddies Pantry. We always need milk for Backpack Buddies! Thank you!

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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.