Celebrating diversity!

We’ve been talking about diversity here at TES during the month of February.  Check out the breakdown of counseling lesson activities:

Kindergarten: We read the book “Elmer” by David McKee.  Elmer is a colorful, patchwork elephant that doesn’t look like the other elephants he lives with.  But he learns how much the elephants appreciate his differences.  Students made their own rainbows based on their unique, individual colors.  Hopefully, you saw it!

First grade: We read the book “Making Friends Is an Art” by Julia Cook.  Different colored pencil characters have different personalities and learn to appreciate each other.  Students then paired up to learn new things about each other and to practice making friends by learning about others.

Second grade: Students got to watch the video adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ “The Sneetches.”  The Sneetches spend a lot of money to learn the important lesson that being different is okay.  Students were able to make their own Sneetch using colors specific to their own likes, dislikes and lives.  We had some colorful Sneetches!

Third grade: We read “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees, a student and counselor favorite!  Gerald the giraffe is basically considered clumsy until he learns to dance to his own music.  Students had fun learning about each other, including similarities and differences, by playing the popcorn game.  Ask them what it was like to be an unpopped popcorn kernel.

Fourth grade: We read “The Judgmental Flower” by Julia Cook.  One  young flower has to learn to accept the differences in neighboring flowers and that having lots of differences makes life more interesting.  Students completed their own flowers by using the petals to identify ways they can respect others’ differences.

Fifth grade: Have you ever heard of faces of diversity?  Maybe you will get to see one if your child brings one home!  After discussing what diversity means and how it impacts us in our daily lives, students drew their own faces.  What horror when they were then told to cut their faces into four pieces!  All the pieces were then shuffled and rearranged to make new faces, each one representing part of four different students.  Students talked about how we all come together with our many differences to represent a community that fosters respect for everyone.

Get ready for March which is career awareness month at TES!  Lessons will center around career education and Career Day is on Friday, March 29th!  If you are interested in participating and haven’t already contacted Mrs. Ozmore, please do so.  We love having parents share about their jobs!

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Spread a little kindness

We are starting off 2019 with KINDNESS!  Be on the lookout for information about The Great Kindness Challenge happening at TES and across HCPS next week.  Stop in a check out our Kindness Tree located outside the main office where students have the opportunity to grow the tree with their kind acts.

For lessons this month…

Kindergarten students learned about bucket filling and what it means to fill each other’s buckets with kind words and actions.

First grade students learned about how the Golden Rule applies to being kind.  We read a student and counselor favorite, “Do Unto Otters,” which goes into detail about how we should treat others in a cute and humorous way.

Second grade students heard the story “The Jelly Donut Difference” and learned about how we can show kindness at home and in our community.  They identified their favorite ways to show kindness and put those words on their own (paper) donuts.

Third grade students also heard a book about how to “Be Kind.”  (Literally, that was the name of the book.)  They then participated in the Kindness Write Around, finishing sentence starters on the various ways they appreciate other classmates.

Fourth grade students ready about Ordinary Mary who, with one kind act, multiplied the people impacted until kindness reached around the world.  Fourth graders also played the Kindness Game in which they had to compliment each other and themselves.

Fifth grade students watched a boomerang video about kindness on one community street.  You might ask what a boomerang video is.  Well, one person started with a kind act and by the end of the video, the kindness had spread through several other people and back to the one who started it.  Students then discussed quotes about kindness and came up with their own.

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Well wishes for winter break

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our students and their families a wonderful winter break full of relaxing, restful, fun, and rejuvenating wellness.  As we wrap up December lessons on cooperation, parents can extend the concept of cooperation by reminding students of what it takes to get along with others during the holidays.  As families gather and spend more time together, plenty of opportunities will be present for students to practice the skills they have learned up to this point in the school year.  We have reminded students that all the traits we cover in our lessons – responsibility, respect, commitment, and cooperation so far – are qualities they should be developing at all times, not just during the months that our lessons focus on them.  All four of these traits go into getting along with others as well as showing peach and kindness.  What a perfect time to practice them while family spends time with loved ones.

Many wishes from Mrs. Shala and Mrs. Ozmore for a wonderful winter break and a Happy New Year!

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What’s up in December?

For December, we are focusing on COOPERATIONCheck out what we are doing in classroom lessons:

Kindergarten: Kindergarten students are experiencing Personal Space Camp as we read the book by the same title (author Julia Cook) and practice some of the activities in the story.  Students learn about cooperation by giving each other appropriate and comfortable space to work and play.

First grade: We are reading another Julia Cook book (if you can’t tell, we really like her) called “Teamwork Isn’t My Thing and I Don’t Like to Share!”  In the story, a student struggles to get along with his classmates during a group project.  But he learns from his parents and soccer coach some tips for how to work with others.  Students then have the opportunity to work together, or cooperate, to create a t-chart of what it looks and sounds like with others are cooperating,

Second grade: We are reading “Pete the Pencil and Eddie the Eraser,” a student favorite!  Pete and Eddie work against each other to help their owner, the student using them for school work.  When things go wrong, Pete and Eddie learn they have to work together for everyone to be successful.  Students then create a spider web using yarn to illustrate how they are all connected to each other within their classroom environment.  When one person doesn’t cooperate, it affects the whole class.

Third grade: Students will work together on a tricky puzzle with a lineup of baseball players.  They will have to cooperate as they analyze the clues to figure out the correct order!

Fourth grade: Cooperation Squares!  Similar to third grade, the fourth graders will have a puzzle to solve as a group, but how will they do it when they can’t talk and have a few rules to follow?

Fifth grade: We will lead a discussion on cooperation and the many different ways it is incorporated into our lives.  Look for a handout to come home with your child’s thoughts.


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Talking about committment

Hello Parents!

For the month of November, we are focusing on the word “commitment.”  We have different character traits that we focus on each month and our classroom lessons are based on those traits.  For our commitment focus, we have worked with students on the importance of doing our best and not giving up.  We have also talked about goal setting and what it means to stay committed to our goals.  Here is a brief description of classroom lessons this month:

Kindergarten: We read Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg and talked about how some mistakes can be made into something better if we think of new, creative solutions.  Students did an imagination workout by turning doodles into new pictures and also watched a student favorite video about Ormie the Pig.

First grade: Students watched a video about a student committed to doing his best on a science project.  They then had the opportunity to recognize different situations as ones in which people were showing commitment or not.  Students were provided a handout to list different ways they can be committed in their worlds.

Second grade: In second grade, we introduced the idea of setting goals that students can work towards.  We read a story about a warm fuzzy feeling named “Wish.”  Wish often wished for things but had to learn through hard work and commitment how to make his wishes come true.  After a discussion about how to set goals and identifying personal goals, students created their own fuzzies.  They added eyes to their fuzzies (pom pom balls) as a way to signify that goals need vision for future steps.

Third grade: We read the book “Planning Isn’t My Priority” by Julia Cook to talk about how we have to plan and stay committed to reach our goals.  Students then completed their own wheel of fortunes for goals they would like to reach by identifying a goal and several steps they would need to take to reach it.

Fourth grade: Fourth graders viewed another student favorite video called Piper. After discussing the video and what it took for the main character to overcome his/her fear, students identified three goals to work towards.  They completed worksheets with the goals listed on the top and steps to complete on the bottom.

Fifth grade: We continued working with students on goal-setting after reading an inspirational interview done with Michael Jordan.  Students were then asked to identify their own goals and complete a sheet that listed steps to achieving the goal as well as challenges they could expect along the way.

As you can see, explaining the concept of commitment to Kindergarteners is much different than explaining it to upper grades!  Our hope is that all students will leave this month’s lessons understanding the importance of creative thinking, planning and goal setting and never giving up when things get tough.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!

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