Monthly Classroom Guidance Lessons

Each month Mrs. Bishop will go into the classrooms and work with students on various topics such as character education, friendship skills, feelings, etc. Check back each month to see what we are focusing on and how you can help reinforce these things at home.

September: 

My first lesson with all of the classes at Picolata was an Introduction to the School Counselor. Students learned what school counselors do. We talked about the things that school counselors can help them with such as problems they have at school or at home, helping with feelings or friendships, etc. We also talked about how school counselors may work with them one on one and how what we talk about stays between us, unless someone is in danger. Students learned about other things school counselors do such as working with students in a small group and coming into the classroom for a guidance lesson.

Our kindergartners also learned about listening this month. We read the book Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen. We reviewed the steps of listening (Stop, Look, Hear, Think) and talked about why it is important to be a good listener. We played a game of Howard Says to find out who was the Star Listener in each class.

October:

This month our kindergarten students learned about the difference between tattling and reporting this month. We read the book The Tattle Tongue and learned the tattle rules. Students then got to fish for tattles-each fish had a situation on it and students had to decide if it was something that needed to be reported or if it would be tattling.

Our first grade students were introduced to Bug Feelings. Bug feelings are those feelings that we don’t like to have and want to get rid of (anger, sad, lonely, confused, embarrassed, etc.)  Children often display undesirable behaviors (fighting, tantrums, disrespect, etc.) simply because they do not have the feelings vocabulary to properly express what they are feeling. We will be focusing all year on how to get rid of bug feelings (or de-bug). During this lesson, we talked about the rules for letting out our bug feelings. 1. I may not hurt myself. 2. I may not hurt property. 3. I may not hurt others. One of the main ways that people hurt themselves is by holding in their feelings. These feelings then come out in physical ways such as queasy stomachs, headaches, etc. Many people think that it is OK to slam a door or throw something that breaks. While this may make you feel better momentarily, there are always consequences for our actions. Not only are you still mad or sad, but you have broken property. Finally, we discussed the two ways we hurt others: with our bodies as well as with our words. Neither are OK ways to deal with bug feelings.

Our second graders will be focusing on friendship skills this year. This month we compared the properties of a magnet to our personal behavior. A magnet can either attract other magnets to it, or it can repel other magnets to it. People are the same way. The things that we do either attract others to want to be around us, or they can push people away and make them not want to be around us. Therefore, it is very important to think about a behavior or action before doing it. In class, we made a list of attractor behaviors and repellor behaviors and then played Attractor and Repellor Tic-Tac-Toe.

Our third graders learned about the different types of conflict. We talked about the differences between a disagreement, a rude moment, a mean moment and bullying. These are all often confused and all mistaken for bullying, so it is important to learn the difference between each type. We learned that a disagreement is when people have different ideas about something and usually no one’s feelings are hurt. A rude moment is hurting someone’s body or feelings on accident. A mean moment is hurting someone’s body or feelings on purpose and it happens just one time or every once in awhile. Bullying is hurting someone’s body or feelings on purpose, more than once and the person doing it has more power (older or bigger, more than one person or someone you are afraid of). Students worked in groups to examine situations and decide which type of conflict each was.

This month in fourth grade, we talked about the importance of having a growth mindset vs. fixed mindset. We talked about how just because we are not good at something, does not mean that we should give up. We should look at challenges as exercising our brain and our brain getting stronger as a result. We watched several videos about growth mindset and the “power of yet” (I can’t do this YET but I will work hard until I can). Students also worked to change statements from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

In fifth grade this month, we talked about peer pressure. We defined peer pressure as pressure from people your age to do things that you may not normally do own your own. It’s important to recognize that although, peer pressure usually carries a negative connotation, some peer pressure can be positive. Students learned some strategies to resist peer pressure and we role played, giving students an opportunity to put these strategies into practice.

November/December: 

Our kindergarten lesson this month focused on self-control. We started the lesson by allowing students to pop bubbles that were blown their way. Then bubbles were blown and students were told not to pop the bubbles-no matter what, even if they landed on their nose! We talked about how that feeling of really wanting to do something and not doing it is called self-control. Students were then given a marshmallow and told they could eat it right away or they could save it until we finished watching a video and then they would receive a second marshmallow. Most students decided to practice using self-control and waited to eat their marshmallow so they could have a second one. While they waited, students watched a video about Cookie Monster learning about the vocabulary word “resist”. The word resist means to control yourself from doing something you really want to do. Students shared how they were able to resist eating the first marshmallow they were given and how the resisted popping the bubbles. We learned that there are three steps to using self-control: 1) Stopping 2) Thinking 3) Making a choice. We then talked about ways they could show self-control at school.

In first grade, students learned the first strategy for “de-bugging”-bubble breathing (or deep breathing). Students learned how to slowly breathe in through their nose and then blow out, like they are blowing a bubble, through their mouth. This is something that can help us calm down, no matter our age!

In second grade this month, students learned about the power of our words and learned about the importance of using a social filter. We read the book I Can’t Believe You Said That! and talked about how we need to filter the things we say. We THINK before we speak and ask ourselves-T-Is it TRUE? H-Is it HELPFUL? I-Is it IMPORTANT N-Is it NECESSARY? K-Is it KIND? If it passes all of these filters, then it can come out of our thinking bubble into our talking bubble. Students worked in groups to determine whether situations were things that we should keep in our head, say or filter it and say in a nicer way.

Our third grade students learned how to deal with teases and put downs. We read the book Simon’s Hook. In the book, getting hooked meant you responded to the hook (or tease) or let it get to you. Simon learned 5 strategies that helped him not get hooked and be a free fish. We talked about the five strategies presented in the book: 1. Do little or nothing (don’t react). 2. Agree with the hook. 3. Laugh or make a joke about the hook. 4. Distract or change the subject. 5. Stay away. Students got to fish for teases and practice using the five strategies.

In fourth grade, we talked about how we all have different ways we learn and how it is important to know what our learning style is. Students took a quiz to determine their learning style-visual, auditory or tactile (hands on). Then we talked about some helpful learning strategies for each learning style. Teachers were also given each student’s learning style, so that they are aware of how each student learns best.

In fifth grade this month, we talked about choices and consequences. We watched a short video by Kid President about Making Choices. We talked about how even small choices can be a big deal and how we need to always think carefully about each choice we have to make.