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Counselor Lessons » 1st Grade

1st Grade 1st Grade

First graders see Mrs. Clark every week for a Counselor Lesson.  Each week, I will post the title of the Counselor Lesson and post supporting documents, if helpful to you, on this site. This link will give you details of my lessons and the Roosevelt Round-Up (PTA newsletter) will also periodically give you more information.  Let me know if you need more information or have feedback on my lessons.

Lesson 1: Who is Your School Counselor? We toured our building noticing all the Bulletin Boards Mrs. Clark has made for them to help them get to know Roosevelt -- New Student Pictures, Recess Games & Rules, Peacewheel Board highlighting Peace-makers and Peace-breakers at our school, and Roosevelt Staff Picture Board.   As we toured each stop, we discussed how they can see these through October to make sure they know all the new students in our school, the rules and options on our Playground, how we solve problems or conflicts at Roosevelt, and all the adults in our school they can ask for help if they needed or know their names like we know them!   We then made our way to my classroom where we discussed "What is a School Counselor?" - Mrs. Clark LISTENS to us when we have a PROBLEM or if we have a QUESTION and we need HELP.  She HELPS when we need HELP and make GOOD choices. What are Potato Points? - our rules for listening!  With the use of our Mr. Potato Head doll as a reminder - we discussed what good listening "looks like": eyes on the speaker, hands to ourselves, raising our hand to speak, bringing our thinking caps with our ideas and good sharing, ears for listening to others, mouth closed if others are speaking, and feet still and pointed at the speaker. We then concluded our lesson by reading the book "Who is the School Counselor and Who is NOT the School Counselor" to quiz them on some of the important adults in our school and make sure they know how a school counselor can help them!

Lesson 2:  Last week we talked about Who is Your School Counselor? & What goes on in Mrs. Clark’s Office?  They remembered that Mrs. Clark LISTENS to us when we have a PROBLEM or if we have a QUESTION, she is there to HELP them make GOOD CHOICES.  Our 1st grade classes make a book about what the School Counselor does at Roosevelt for our library – every student received a coloring page to add to our book "Who is your School Counselor" and at the end of our lesson we put our book together and read the story together, highlighting the pages they colored!   We started practicing what we learned with our Potato Points and concluded our lesson with a 2 point listening day!

Lesson 3: Our Book is almost complete!  While we wait for it to be ready for P/T Conferences, we met Kelso - our green frog puppet from Willow Pond who helps teach us about the 9 peacewheel options on the playground. We learned the difference between Small problems and Big problems and learned the hand-signs for these 9 choices by playing a fun game - Mrs. Clark says - to make sure they knew all 9 choices and are ready to work on the skills of each one of these choices the next few weeks.  The 9 choices are: walk away, share and take turns, go to another game, ignore it, make a deal, talk it out, apologize, wait and cool off, tell them to stop.  We will use these choices throughout the year and practice examples of "what would you do" throughout the year to continue to remind them of these choices, share examples of other issues students may be having and ways they solved them, and re-inforce that PEACEWHEEL choices are what work!  Today, with the help of the 1st graders, Mrs. Clark role-played what “good” looks like and what “bad” looks like with these choices.  Next week, we will watch a video of students using these strategies so we can see more ways to use these tools on our playground, in the classroom and at home! 

Lesson 4:  Did they remember all 9 -- yes they did! We reviewed those Peacewheel choices we discussed last week with a game of Mrs. Clark says and talked about the differences between a SMALL problem and a BIG problem. Small problems are problems they can handle on their own ex. someone not sharing a jumprope, cutting in line- Big problems you immediately get an adult's help, for example someone is hurting someone else, and we discussed that bulletin board we saw in the hall of all the adults they can ask for help at Roosevelt if they need help! We ask the students to try 2 of the 9 choices for a Small problem and if those 2 do not solve the problem, they get an adult to help them...so then it becomes a Big problem.  We watched a video of students solving Small and Big problems in "It's your Choice: Kelso K-3 in Action".   In the video,  we see students making choices from the Peacewheel -- and then I chose a student to act out a way that is NOT from the Peacewheel!  The video showed us: two students having the same problem with a student, but they solve it in different ways; a clip of two girls at recess trying to play hopscotch and watching a girl get frustrated and angry with a friend and make two choices on the peacewheel to solve the problem; and the last clip demonstrated a Big Problem and how to get help from an adult. We demonstrated how to do these 9 choices the Right way and the Wrong way - ex. calmly walking away vs. stomping feet and shouting "you aren't my friend anymore"....these examples were very funny, but some I see on our playground! *Peacewheels will be given out at P/T conferences for you to use at home as well as to help us emphasize these are the strategies we use at Roosevelt when they have a problem -- try 2 in small situations, then get an adult if they don't work or immediately get an adult if they have a big problem! 

Lesson 5: We reviewed those 9 Peacewheel choices and our "body raps" and then read some books to go along with these choices --- showing us how these solutions helped out or were not used in our stories.   "Peaceweek in Mrs. Fox's Class" - a story emphasizing how every day can be "Peaceweek" if they use the tools they have and know they are responsible for keeping the peace at Roosevelt!  "Mean Jean the Recess Queen" was in charge and NOBODY jumped, kicked, or bounced until Mean Jean said they could...until one day Katie Sue came along ---- a great story about how a playground went from scary to a great place to be! "When I Feel Angry" - a story emphasizing Wait & Cool Off and shares strategies for doing this the right way and what happens if you don't wait & cool off!   "The Boy Who Wouldn't Share" - emphasizing Sharing and Taking Turns and what it feels like to be around someone who doesn't share or has to do things his way all the time.  "I Just Don't Like the Sound of No" - a story emphasizing Talking it Out by helping students learn to listen to No, say "Okay" and walk away, and then come back to the question later.   *These books can be checked out in our Roosevelt Counselor Resource Library.

Lesson 6: So they know the difference between Small Problems and Big Problems, but what is the difference between Tattling and Telling?  "A Tattler's Tale: Tattling vs. Telling" demonstrates the difference and gives us three scenarios for students to see when a student should tell or if it is just tattling.   Questions discussed included:   Will it help anyone? Is someone in danger? Do you need an adult to help you solve a problem? If yes -- then you are telling! If you want to get someone in trouble or just tell an adult to so they can solve a problem for you, this is tattling. Students were able to know the difference between small problems they are strong enough to solve on their own using our peacewheel choices and big problems they need to TELL an adult immediately because they need help, get that "uh-oh" feeling, or someone is in danger!

Lesson 7: So - Good Listening – Check.  Peacewheel Strategies – Check.  Passengers are ready for a new flight and in 3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF - we went to space camp!  Not outer space, personal space!  We read about Louis, a boy who has trouble with personal space, in the book "Personal Space Camp" by Julia Cook.   The book discusses personal space as the amount of space a person needs to feel comfortable and their own personal space "bubble" being about the size of a hula hoop at school, but everyone's bubble is a different size -- you must look and listen to what others are telling you about their personal bubble.  Next week students will explore their personal space in space camp by: Testing out their own spaceship (hula-hoop); Letting each other know what to say and do if someone is in your personal space in a safe and respectful manner (Please stop; you are in my bubble);   Exploring their own personal space and how others pop our bubbles (pushing in line, hurtful words).  If they complete all of these exercises at Space Camp, Space Camp Certificates will be awarded!   *Note: Throughout the year we will continue to work on how we let others know about our personal space needs in a safe and respectful way.  Students who need additional practice with this skill will be invited to Space Camp again in a small group setting with me. *This book can be checked out in our Roosevelt Counselor Resource Library.

**Parent/Teacher Conferences --- your students are doing so well!  I look forward to reading all the report card comments and connecting with them on their progress!

Lesson 8: Personal Space Camp concludes with talking about how we can be make safe and healthy choices in the space around our bodies and in our world around us - at school, at home, and in our community.  Officer Buckle and Gloria help kick off our discussion about our Safe & Healthy choices by reminding us of the many "rules" we have discussed in the past and to always pay attention to the safety rules! “Officer Buckle and Gloria” emphasize 101 important safety rules…especially, always stick with your buddy!   At the end of our unit, students will select one safety rule they would like to focus on the most and help create our Safety Reminder Bulletin Board for all the Roosevelt Students to see!  Be looking for their work in the halls in a few weeks! 

Lesson 9:  Last week we defined "safety" as: to take actions to avoid getting hurt.  We discussed some of their safety rules they already know - such as bike safety, playground safety, water safety, animal safety, tricky people, and fire safety.   Our first lesson in this unit deals with Gun Safety - Eddie the Eagle helps teach us the "body rap" STOP, DON'T TOUCH, LEAVE THE AREA, TELL AN ADULT.  In the video "Learn about Gun Safety with Eddie the Eagle" students see this useful body rap put to use when kids encounter a "big problem" by finding a gun.  Students are encouraged to show you the body rap and talk about what they learned to help them know what to do when they feel danger!   A letter about our Safe & Healthy Choices went home with your student this week and is also posted in a link below - thank you for talking about this at home with your child!  If you would like to watch the video, here is the link:  **If you would like to view the video, it is available on youtube - here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIEBrb_wRYc

Lesson 10:   Our Guest Speakers Eddie the Eagle & Officer Buckle and Gloria have helped us to know what we need to do when we feel danger, but we have another helper – Safety Sam the Fireman and his dog, Rescue! Safety Sam and Rescue demonstrate in our video street, personal, and stranger or “tricky people” safety. Students see the WRONG and RIGHT behavior for the safety rules. Safety Sam and Rescue teach them ten tips in the video "Is it Okay?: How to Stay SAFE!". Street Safety Rules: 1. Look both ways before crossing the street 2. Don't chase balls into the street 3. Wait on curb or sidewalk at the bus stop Personal Safety Rules: 4. Never take medicine on your own and always with/from an adult you trust 5. Never pet or play with an animal you do not know 6. Always wear a helmet when you ride your bike and helmet and pads on anything with wheels Stranger Safety: 7. Stay away from strangers 8. Never answer the phone on your own or give out any information 9. Don't answer the door or let strangers in your house 10. Tell and Yell - always tell an adult you trust if a stranger bothers you and if one does YELL as loud as you can! 

Happy Thanksgiving - I am Thankful to work with your child!

Lesson 11:  Following the rules is important, but sometimes situations or others may make it hard to do what we know is right.   We discussed that even Mrs. Clark needs reminders sometimes and when friends or adults remind us of a rule or suggest another way to solve something, being mad at them is unfair.   We saw this example in "Franklin and the Bus Patrol" where Franklin and his friends talk about how being safe and following rules is their responsibility, but sometimes hard to do with friends.   During this video, we discussed how following the rules and letting others know the rules is sometimes seen as "bossy" and can be a difficult thing to do with our peers; however, safety is more important than being "popular" with our friends -- just like we saw in our film. Working together and remembering to accept safety suggestions from other people is the thing to do!  Thank you for continuing your Safety Rule discussions in your home and identifying a "plan" and working on "what-ifs" at home so your 1st grader knows what to do to be safe! 

Lesson 12: Still talking about those Safe and Healthy Choices!  With the help of Wise Owl and his niece Wendy,  we talked about Healthy Choices -- like trusting your "cool" meter instead of doing what other people say/do is "cool", making healthy eating and sleep choices for your body and mind to grow, exercising your body every day in some fun way, and sticking to the safety rules like wearing a helmet!  Students shared with me some of their favorite healthy choices - like the fruits and exercises they love! 

Have a Safe & Healthy Holiday & New Year!

Lesson 13: We have completed our Safe & Healthy Choices Unit and I love what I am seeing and hearing on the playground with our 1st grade students using our Peacewheel!   Now its time for us to learn about our "meters" - Emotional Meters!   Using the language of color, students labeled, colored, and explored their very own emotional meter.  We will work more next week with their meters and send home an assignment to help you explore this new tool we use at Roosevelt and you can use in your home!  What color are you on?  

Lesson 14: We completed our Meters and then used them to discuss the terms: Internal Triggers, Outside Triggers, and Self-Talk. We read the book Molly Lou Melon and students identified the positive self-talk and what Molly's negative self-talk could have been if she let Ronald Durkin get to her -- but she didn't and she stayed on "Blue" despite Ronald's comments, actions, and circumstances like being short, buck teeth, and having to move.   Staying on Blue means having control of your Internal Triggers and Self-Talk ...knowing how to handle your Outside Triggers takes practice, but they can do it!  

Lesson 15:   We read several books to help demonstrate the different colors of our meters.  "Mean, Mean Marlene", "Franklin and the Secret Club", "The Worst Best Friend", and "Unlovable" all demonstrated these different colors and how words, actions, thoughts, feelings help move us up and down our meters.  In our classrooms, on the playground, and even in the front office we are using the language of color to help us regulate our emotions and know we are in control!

Lesson 16: :  "I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful one hundred percent." In Horton Hears a Who, we watch our faithful friend Horton show the true meaning of friendship, kindness, commitment, perseverance, integrity, respecting differences and forgiveness. As we watch this movie the next few weeks, we discuss these themes and the choices and challenges Horton faces as he keeps his faithful promise to the people of Whoville.  

Lesson 17: Week 2 brings one of the most important messages we see Horton demonstrate for us - "A person's a person, no matter how small." Friendship and acceptance -- what an important topic!

Lesson 18: Week 3 of Horton -- almost to the end!  I challenged students to think about: Who is your "Horton" in life? I heard mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt, uncles, friends, and teachers --- that person that no matter what sticks to what they say and shows you the dedication and love that Horton showed the people of Who-Ville.   What if you did not have these people in your life - what would you do?  We all need someone to believe in us no matter what -- why can't that person be you?  We left off at the "We are here, we are here, we are here" -- working together as a team to save Whoville and help Horton.


SPRING BREAK - enjoy your week off!

Lesson 19:  Its what we have been waiting for - will Horton be able to follow up on his promise to the people of Who-ville? Can the people of Who-ville work together to help Horton?  Will Horton persevere and reach his goal despite the obstacles?  The ending leaves you believing that anything is possible! Students talked about the characters in the movie and their qualities. We focused on what makes a good friend and they created Horton Hats to help them remember what the can do, what it is to be a friend, and who they have in their life that believes in them 100%!  (I'm on that list!!!) 

Lesson 20:  Thank you to our PTA for partnering with our School Counseling Program to host the STEMbusUSA.org Mobile STEM Lab and Assembly! STEMbusUSA.org gives a truly unique and hands-on experience so students can dive into science, technology, engineering, and math. The STEM Mobile Discovery Lab is equipped with the latest technologies, enabling students to learn and explore all things STEM! Students saw drones, robots, explosions, and more!  They also experienced high-end, hands-on tools like virtual reality, circuitry and much, much more! All school assembly at 9:00am with classrooms rotating through the bus and hands-on experiences throughout the day.   From 3:15pm to 4:00pm the STEMbus will stay after school for parents and students to explore together and learn more about summer camp opportunities. 

Lesson 21: Careers A-Z

Lesson 22:  We watched "Bernenstien Bears: On the Job" and followed Bear as he explored all kinds of options for his future -- we discussed what it would take to be a teacher, a bee-keeper, police-officer, and more while we watched the film.  We discussed what Choices they have? What do they Love? What choices do they have in their Future after High School?  One of those choices is College - so we concluded our lesson by reading the book “Watch out College, Here I Come!” This activity started them thinking about their Choices – their Passions – their Future and how even in 1st grade, all that they do helps them increase their choices – develop experiences, people, and things they love – and keep their eye on their bright futures!   Concluding this activity was a homework assignment for students to follow up with parents identifying the different jobs people they know have and what they know about that job  -- see Friday Folder for the assignment!  

Lesson 23:  What did you find out about Jobs people have in your family? your family friends? neighbors? relatives?

Lesson 24: Earth Day Book

Lesson 25:   Remembering all that we have learned and what they can use this summer!   Safety, check. Emotional Meter, check.  Peacewheel, check.  Summer learning goals, check.  Having lots of summer adventures and getting ready for 2nd grade...in progress!  

Have a great summer - stay safe, keep learning, and record those experiences to share with us in August!




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Wendi Ellis-Clark, School Counselor
Boise School District - Roosevelt Elementary
908 E. Jefferson Street
Boise, Idaho 83712
208-854-6030 (phone) 208-854-6031 (fax)