Connect with Counselor Collins

November & December 2022

Hello there Line Creek Families,

Due to November and December having fewer school days than most months, I am combining November and December's newsletter.

Students learned a lot of information during our Emotion Management Unit. Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 5th grade will continue to learn more ways to manage their emotions in January.

In 3rd grade, we used Character Strong's program to guide our Emotion Management Unit. To learn more about this program, please visit, Character Strong's website.

Topics we focused on:

  • Calm down steps
  • Gratitude (3rd grade)
  • How their brains and bodies react when they have strong emotions
  • Calming strategies (coping/relaxation skills)

I'm here to help you and your student(s) every step of the way. Do not hesitate to reach out if needed.

With gratitude,

~Mrs. Collins

Brain Hand Model

We discussed the thinking or “upstairs” (pre-frontal cortex) and the feelings or “down stairs” (amygdala) part of our brain. When emotions are regulated, our upstairs brain is in control. However, there are times when people perceive a situation to be overwhelming, or too much to handle and that is when their lids are flipped and emotions take control.

Flipped lids prevent students from thinking logically. Students may respond in the following ways once their lid is flipped: fight (throw objects, kicking, hitting, etc.); flight (run away or attempt to escape the situation); and freeze (shut down, does not respond, disconnected). To keep from flipping our lids, it is important to listen to our bodies, know our triggers, and implement a calming strategy when we notice we are experiencing a strong emotion. Here is a video that explains what happens in our brain when our lid is flipped, Why Do We Lose Control of Our Emotions?

Home Learning

When your child(ren) are experiencing big feelings, ask them how their body feels.

  • Attempt to connect how their body feels with a feeling. Example: You said your tummy feels tight, your heart is beating fast, and your palms are sweaty. You maybe feeling nervous.

  • Once you ask them how their body feels, model with them how they can name that feeling by using the sentence, "I feel______." Ex: "I feel nervous."

  • Now that you have supported your child with naming their feeling, it will be important to choose a calming strategy with them. There are many different calming strategies you can engage in: belly breaths, coloring, counting, physical activity, fidgets (pop its, thera-putty, etc.).

Many of the activity sheets we completed in counselor, you can find in your student's AVID binders. This will be a great resource to review with your child and begin to use these strategies at home. Skills and concepts are retained best when regularly practiced, reinforced, and are talked about.

The Next Counselor Lesson Topic

From January 9-February 17, will continue our Emotion Management and start the Child Protection Unit. Students will receive lessons on personal safety, touching safety, and assertiveness (review). We will use Second Step's Child Protection Curriculum as a resource to guide these conversations and lessons. For more information on this curriculum, you can visit: Second Step Child Protection.

Kindergarten-2nd Grade Lesson Dates:

  • January 9-13
  • January 23-27
  • February 6-10

3rd-5th Grade Lesson Dates:

  • January 16-20
  • January 30-February 3
  • February 13-17

Small Group & Individual Counseling

Small group and Individual counseling are available for students to support their social emotional skill growth, and/or academics.

School counseling is not intended to take the place of therapy, or outside counseling. It is short term, 4-8 weeks, and uses a solution-focused strategy.

Individual and small group counseling are led by Mrs. Maloney (School Social Worker), Synergy Resiliency Specialist (Ms. Lindsey Geller), or me (Mrs. Collins, School Counselor).

Also, if a student, needs to check in with me to discuss a problem or feeling they are experiencing, I am available for that as well. Students can request to see me by asking their teacher or emailing me. Please remind your student that if what they want to speak to me about is an emergency and/or someone is in danger, to tell an adult immediately.

Parent Support

As you continue to reinforce and discuss counselor lessons with your child(ren) at home, consider the following resources.

Learning and Engagement:

  • December is a month that means Christmas to many of us. However, not everyone celebrates Christmas. Check out We Are Teachers for their Favorite Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas books for kids. Along with the titles they include great descriptions so you can choose the books that would be the best fit for your family!

Social Emotional Learning & Awareness:

Asking for Help

During school breaks, I will not be available to respond to email and phone messages. If you or someone you love is struggling with suicidal thoughts or ideation, don't be afraid to ask for help. The resources below are free. In case of life threatening emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

  • If you need a Safe Place, go to any QuikTrip, Police Department, or Fire Department and tell them you’re in need of a "Safe Place" and they will help. Or call 816-741-8700.
  • If you are in need of other community resources or assistance, visit or dial 211 (United Way).
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988 (24-hour access)
  • text 741741 (24-hour access)
  • CommCare Access Crisis Intervention: 888-279-8188 (24-hour access)

Taneka Collins, School Counselor

If you have questions regarding your student, the information shared in this Counseling Connection Newsletter, or need help finding a mental health professional in the Kansas City area, please reach me at either of the contact options listed at the bottom of this page.

You are also welcome to reach our School Social Worker, Bonnie Maloney at 816-359-6744 .

We look forward to partnering with you and your student!