This past month our counselor lessons focused on the March Life Skill: Problem Solving. In each class we read Rulers of the Playground as a fun way to launch our discussion of problem solving. As part of our Second Step (SEL) curriculum, we use the STEP model for solving problems: Say the problem without blame, Think of solutions, Explore consequences, and Pick the best solution. To help support students in using these STEPS and to effectively communicate with one and other, we use a tool called the Peace Path in kindergarten through third grade, and a script in fourth and fifth grade. These tools help students to use assertive and respectful language to communicate their needs. In each class we also took time to practice utilizing the peace path/script. Visit the SEL Lesson section of the website to see what these tools look like!
On Tuesday, March 27 all coats and clothing that are left in the lost and found will be donated to Forest Trail Elementary’s clothing drive. Please encourage your child to stop by the lost and found to claim missing jackets or sweaters before then! We make every effort to find the owners of jackets with names in the them, so please make sure to always label your child’s jackets with their first and last name.
Report cards were posted yesterday, so I would like to remind you of a resource we shared earlier this year- the Parent Toolkit (http://www.parenttoolkit.com/). This website has resources and information on topics ranging from academics to health & wellness. Perhaps my favorite section of the website is the one dedicated to Social Emotional Learning. There you can find developmental milestones, strategies to support your child’s social and emotional growth and many great articles.
Yesterday we also said goodbye to Ms. Ashorn as she leaves to pursue her new and exciting career opportunity. We will miss her terribly, but appreciate her two years of service here at BPE and all that she has taught us!
On Wednesday, we had a group of first graders help us introduce the March Life Skill: Problem Solving. To kick off this skill, first graders helped lead the school in a chant to remember our handy problem solving strategy: STEP. Ask your child to teach you the chant! S- say the problem, T- think of solutions, E- explore consequences, P- Pick the best solution. S-T-E-P, We use STEP at BPE! As we practice being independent problem solvers here at school encourage your children to practice these same skills when solving problems at home, too!
It is with mixed emotions that we share the bittersweet news that Amy will be leaving Eanes ISD at the end of March. An amazing career opportunity has presented itself and it is one she could not pass up. She shared news with our staff and campus leadership mid-February and feels so fortunate to have their support as she steps outside of her comfort zone to grow professionally.
Amy will be joining Vida Clinic, a school based mental health clinic that serves kids, parents and teachers who have experienced trauma. Though the timing isn’t ideal, it is a once in a lifetime dream job that will allow Amy to truly use her degree and licensure to provide a clinical approach to address trauma in schools. It also takes her back to her roots and passion of working alongside populations that are typically economically disadvantaged, thus limiting their access to mental health services. She is excited and terrified about what lies ahead! Amy’s last day at BPE will be Thursday, March 22.
This week we wrapped up our February counselor lessons about integrity. In each class we read the book The Empty Pot. This story explores what integrity looks like, and how uncomfortable and challenging it can be at times. Above all, this story illustrates how much courage it takes to have integrity and that doing the right thing is always best! After reading the story, students explored a number of scenarios and had to determine whether or not students were showing integrity. Students in fourth and fifth grade viewed this video of Jack Sock displaying true integrity through sportsmanship. We discussed how integrity doesn't always lead to reward and glory, but that we must do the right thing even when there is not incentive.
Third through fifth grade students also spent three minutes in each class practicing mindful thinking time. We used the Tao Mix 2 app to listen to calming sounds while we reflected in silence. Students utilized this time to clear their minds and/or focus on positive thoughts. We introduced this strategy as a way to help manage stress and train ourselves to slow down, relax and feel comfortable alone in our minds.