5th: We talked about our dreams and goals. We then talked about how all of our choices help us to move toward or away from what we want in life. We discussed things/people that can help us make the right choices to accomplish our goals. This year we will spend a lot of time figuring out who we want to be and how to stay strong under pressure to be true to ourselves in Middle School and beyond!
4th: We did an activity to realize that in our classrooms, cooperation is more helpful than competition. Our teacher doesn't want us to be THE best, s/he wants us to be OUR best! We talked about being a team and ways we can work together this year in partners, in groups, as a whole class, etc.
3rd: We talked about the characteristics we need for a positive third grade classroom. We compared the characteristics people might have to pictures of apples: good but not yet ripe (still working on it!), ripe and ready, and rotten (not helping us in the classroom). We talked about the characteristics we WANT in our classes and I encouraged them to all set a goal to work on a "not ripe" characteristic.
2nd: We talked about how to make and keep friends. There are lots of student changes at the beginning of a school year such as new students to our school and different kids in our classes. We brainstormed ways to make someone feel welcome. We read "Emily's New Friend" and shared ideas we heard in the book that could help kids at our school to make a new friend or continue to be a friend.
1st: We talked about different feelings that kids might have at school and how a school counselor can help with those feelings. The students shared things that make them feel sad, mad, or scared at school. We put those yucky feelings into Mrs. Hoell's magic bag. I talked about how coming to my office for help is OK! Everyone needs help with something and we all have things to learn--that's why we are at school. Just like some kids need extra help with Math, other kids might need extra help making a positive choice with tough feelings, making a new friend, cooperating with others, listening in class... and that's why I'm here! We might take lots of unhappy feelings INTO the counselor's office, but we leave with... a smile!
KD: We spent the whole time getting to know each other! I taught them a song we will sing each time we have class together. Then we read a short, homemade book: "What is a School Counselor." We also learned our class expectations and procedures and sang School Counselor Hokey Pokey! At the end, the students introduced themselves to "Mr. Bee," my inflatable helper :)