School Counseling Program
School Counseling Program
Counselor Lessons
Counselor Lessons
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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 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: 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 6: 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 7: We watched "Lets All Get Along" to combine all that we have discussed with Safe Adults in our School, Peacewheel choices, Good Listening, and Personal Space.    In the video, it showed many situations were every choice has a consequence.  In our video we saw students:  STOP before you say or do anything - take a deep breath and cool down! We discussed ways they can cool down so they can think before they speak! NAMECALLING, BLAMING, and being BOSSY are fight starters, not fight stoppers -- so work out a way to make decisions, like rock, paper scissors or take turns. We talked about what they saw as Fight STARTERS at Roosevelt - like saying "if you don't play with me I won't be your friend", asking only one friend to play and telling the other "we need some alone time>", always picking the same teams at recess, not including others in your games and telling them "there are too many people, you can't play." APOLOGIZE if you know you did something wrong...sometimes this is all that needs to be said! LISTEN to your friends -- how do you show you are really listening? we discussed and practiced what this looked like. JUMPLING TO CONCLUSIONS can get you to a conclusion that is not true -- if you have a question, talk it out before you assume another person's actions or words! TELL THEM HOW YOU FEEL -- no one can know unless you know how to tell them ..use those "I feel.. when .. please.." they know how to use them! TRY NEW IDEAS -- think about as many ideas that might work and then decide on one that works best for everyone can agree on!   We concluded with a go-around “Something I use to manage conflict with my friends is ____________”  and then “Something I need to work on to be a better friend/sister/brother/classmate is __________________.”  

Lesson 8: Wrapping up how 1st graders keep Peace on our playground and "one great place to be", they reflected on what made them a great friend at recess with the help of Katie Sue --- look at what they shared in their final projects hanging up on the bulletin board across from the cafeteria.  

Lesson 9:  In our films and books we have been reading, something has come up that I see happening at Roosevelt sometimes as well -- being left out.   Feeling left out - even by accident - is a hard friendship issue.  In "Franklin & the Secret Club" we see how Franklin and his friends handle Porcupine when she decides to start a club to control and keep friends doing what she wanted to do, not Franklin.   Franklin and Snail decide they don't want to be part of a club that leaves people out and start their own club where the only rule is "everyone is invited."  At Roosevelt, purposefully excluding - ex. like starting clubs only certain people can join -- controlling a friend --ex. if you don't play with me, I won't be your friends -- and being bossy --ex. we can only play this game with my rules, doesn't promote positive friendships and happy recesses --- we concluded with challenging all 1st graders to think about how inclusion feels so much better than leaving somebody out!


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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)