Counselor's Corner

Jennifer Connors, School Counselor for Grades 1 and 3


Classroom Guidance Update

1st Grade

This month, I will continue Second Step, a research-based counseling curriculum to teach skills for social and academic success. This month we will continue to learn How to Manage Strong Feelings & Learn to Calm Down. Teaching students to recognize strong feelings and use Calming-Down Steps to stay in control are effective ways to increase coping and reduce aggression and other problem behaviors. Students learn that everyone feels angry sometimes, but hurting other people's feelings or bodies is not okay.

In this lesson, we will review the Calming Down Steps below. We will also learn how to use Belly Breathing and Positive self-talk to calm down our strong feelings. We will listen to the "Calm Down Song" and practice belly breathing while picturing hot soup or a piece of pizza. We will practice belly breathing by taking a big breath in through our noses and exhaling through our mouths while our bellies go out and in. Students will also practice using positive self talk statements when faced with situations that may cause strong feelings.

Belly Breathing Video

Calming-Down Steps:
1- Stop- use your signal

2- Name your feeling

3- Calm Down:

* Breathe

* Count

* Use positive self-talk

P.S. Make sure to join with the activation key SSP1 FAMI LY71 to watch videos about the Second Step program and get information about what your student is learning.

Auto B. Good-Character Education/Habits

Welcome to the Tullahoma Superspeedway! The Auto-B-Good series presents character traits that will captivate, entertain and educate students. This month's lesson is on Courage and is called "Miles to the Rescue." "Miles to the Rescue" is the story of how Miles rescued Johnny from a dangerous situation. Johnny and Derek decided to do some racing up on the treacherous mountain road. When Miles refused to participate, Johnny felt he lacked courage. We later discovered that this was not the case. Miles risked his own safety, acted very courageously, and rescued Johnny. The lesson was: Being courageous is doing what you know is right, even when others may be doing wrong. Cars of courage will always take the high road when it comes to tough situations. For more info about this series, check out their website at

3rd grade

Third grade will be taught another lesson through the Steps to Respect program. This month, our focus will be on the friendship skills of: "Showing Respect, Making Conversation & Finding Things in Common". The skills the students will be taught will be:

Showing Respect

1. Treat others the way you like to be treated.

2. Use manners and leadership skills to show respect

3. Respectful behavior is the foundation of friendship.

Conversation Steps

1. Decide what you want to talk about.

2. Ask the other person friendly, respectful questions about the topic you’ve chosen.

3. Show that you are a good listener:

• Look at the person who is speaking.

• Nod your head or say something to show that you understand.

4. Say something to show that you are thinking about what is being said.

5. Ask another question if you’re finished talking about the first one.

6. End the conversation politely

We will also be reading the third and final book in the Weird Series, called Tough! The text tells the same story as in the book Weird and Dare, however is told through the eyes of Sam. Sam is the character who has been showing bullying behavior to Jayla and Louisa. As we put ourselves in Sam's shoes we will learn that Sam has also been a target of bullying behavior in the past and at home. Sam learns that making friends is much easier when she shows kindness instead of bullying or teasing others.

For more information on bullying, check out the Stop Bullying website at

January Classroom Guidance Schedule

Jan 5- Almond, Levinson

Jan 7-Landis

Jan 8- Klager, Pleasants, Lewis

Jan 12- Randle, Garrison

Jan 26- Christie, Coleman

Jan 29- Norman, Falkner, Hughes, Weber

Leadership Connection

The 7 Habits and Character Traits that will be taught in Classroom Guidance this month:

Covey Habits: Habit 1: Be Proactive, Habit 5: Seek First to Understand

Character Trait: Courage- Always do the right thing, even when someone else is doing the wrong thing

Small Group Counseling

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. Children may be referred to certain groups by teachers or parents.

New Groups this month:

1st Grade-All Stars- This group has a sports theme and involves creatively "coaching" students. The skills "coached" include: effective listening & paying attention, positive self-concept, controlling impulses, organizational skills, setting & reaching goals, and successful communication. I have one more space available if you would like your child to participate. We will also connect these lessons to Habits 1, 2, and 3: Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, and Put First Things First!

3rd Grade-School Success-Put First Things First (2 groups)-The focus of this group is to teach academic skills (organization, study tips, homework tips, test taking tips) that will help them to be successful in school. These groups are full at the time.

Attendance Check-in: Selected students will be in our check-in group to help reduce the their unexcused absences and encourage being at school on time each day. Each identified student will have a calendar sticker chart to record their daily arrival for 45 days.

Groups typically run for 4-6 weeks and meet once a week for a 35- 40 minute period. Times for groups are coordinated with classroom teachers to minimize time away from instruction.



Jumpstart your child's success! Have him or her registered for kindergarten early.

Kindergarten Registration Jumpstart Day for the 2016-17 school year is January 7, 2016. While you may register later, earlier is better. Why? The sooner we know how many children are coming to a specific school, the better we can prepare.

Register for kindergarten



Spotlight on Student - Isabella Everett has been named our school's 2016 Spotlight Student!

Since 1982, the WCPSS Board of Education has opened its regular monthly meeting (October - May) with a special ceremony honoring selected students for outstanding achievements and accomplishments. By the end of the school year, one student from each participating school will earn the accolade of Spotlight on Students. Each student is recognized and awarded a plaque and letter from the superintendent.

More about our Spotlight:

Isabella Everett is helpful, kind, mature and bright. Isabella has a calm and sweet nature about her that is like a magnet! She is a model student both in the classroom and throughout our school. Her teacher states that she is amazed by Isabella's constant attention to be respectful in all environments of our school. She shows leadership by helping others in the classroom setting and by always being a positive example for others to follow. Isabella also loves helping in other classrooms as well. You can often find her helping out during her own recess in our school’s autistic classroom where she demonstrates her passion for service and love of connecting with others. Isabella is a wonderful student and deserves to be recognized.

Isabella will be honored at an upcoming WCPSS Board of Education meeting. A HUGE congratulations from the entire of A.B. Combs Community!

Lunch Bunch 3rd Grade

What is lunch bunch? Lunch bunch is an amazing time! Students can bring their lunch to the counselor's room to eat and make new friends.

When? Fridays

Where? The counselors 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.


Thank you to a few more anonymous sponsors for our Interfaith Backpack Buddies fund. We are now up to $1,750 meaning that we can add an additional FIVE students for Backpack Buddies! Thank you!

About Ms. Connors

Hello! My name is Jennifer Connors and I am thrilled to be part of the A.B Combs Community this year! I will be your child's counselor this school year! I will be working with our amazing full time counselor Mrs. Trueman who will be the counselor for K, 2, 4, and 5th grade. Each month I will send out an online newsletter to keep you updated on our comprehensive counseling program so you can reinforce it at home, if you want...WIN-WIN!

A little bit about myself-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. I am very excited to contribute to a school that incorporates Covey’s Habits, leadership, and character education into every aspect of the day. I will be working part-time with Mrs. Trueman on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and most Fridays. When I am not working with children I enjoy traveling to NY to see family, spending time with friends, and going to the beach. I am also thrilled to announce that over this holiday break I got engaged to a wonderful man, who I can't wait to call my husband!