Happy Spring! Hopefully, we have seen the last of the Nor’Easters and are able to settle back into our school routines. Here’s what we’ve been working on in Guidance Lessons this month:
Students in all grades have been working really hard during Guidance Lessons this winter! Here’s an update for each grade level:
The kindergarteners have been learning all about feelings! It’s important for young children to be able to identify a range of emotions in order to foster their ability to understand and express how they are feeling. Some of the books we’ve read are:
- Today I Feel Silly by Jamie Lee Curtis (there are additional books in this series and great activity suggestions online at: http://files.harpercollins.com/PDF/TeachingGuides/0061127590.pdf )
- The Way I Feel by Steve Metzger
- The Way I Act by Steve Metzger
- The Way I Feel: When I feel… series by Cornelia Maude Spelman
Upcoming Lessons: Thank you for completing the annual Guidance Homeside Activity with your child. We are having so much fun looking at the creative ways everyone has transformed the letters of their name. Looking ahead, Kindergarten lessons will focus on the topic of cooperation.
In 1st grade, we’ve been focusing on learning different strategies to calm our bodies in times when we are feeling big feelings. 1st graders have done an amazing job identifying a range of different feelings, understanding that everyone has big feelings sometimes – it’s okay!, and trying several different self-regulation strategies. Some of the books we’ve read are:
- I Just Don’t Like the Sound of Not Like the Sound of No By Julia Cook
- Mean Soup By Betsy Everitt
- Angry Octopus By Lori Lite
- Mindful Movements By Thich Nhat Hanh
Upcoming Lessons: Please be on the lookout for the annual Guidance Homeside Activity! Looking ahead, 1st Grade lessons will focus on the topics of helping one another and cooperation.
2nd graders have been exploring feelings and self-regulation strategies through author Julia Cook’s book series as well as Feelings Bingo and the Feelings Card Game. We’ve had some great discussions about how to notice when feelings are getting bigger (i.e. what warning signs do we feel in our bodies when we are getting mad?). Some of the books we’ve read are:
- My Mouth is a Volcano By Julia Cook
- It’s Hard to be a Verb By Julia Cook
- Soda Pop Head By Julia Cool
Upcoming Lessons: Thank you all for completing the annual Guidance Homeside Activity! I have enjoyed reading your feedback about the Feelings Game. I hope that you enjoyed playing it with your family! Looking ahead, 2nd grade lessons will focus on skills to develop friendships.
In 3rd grade, our lessons have focused on developing friendship skills and expressing feelings appropriately. We’ve completely a range of activities, from art-inspired feeling maps to recipes for ‘enemy pie’ – ask your child about these creative activities!
Upcoming Lessons: Exciting News – we’ve just started working on posters to enter in the MARC (Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center) at Bridgewater State University Annual Poster Contest! This year’s 3rd grade question is: What does kindness mean to you? Student are working with a partner to write a paragraph and create a poster in response to this question.
The 4th graders have been sweating their brains learning all about Growth Mindset. I am so proud of their approach to these challenging lessons that ask them to think deeply about their on thinking and approach to learning. Each month, we introduce a new mantra from the book The Growth Mindset Coach, which guides our lessons. Here are the mantras for the next couple of months:
- February: A goal without a plan is just a wish.
- March: Mistakes are opportunities for learning.
Upcoming Lessons: 4th grade lessons will continue to focus on developing Growth Mindsets. Also, we will be starting our entries for the annual poster contest at MARC (Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center) at Bridgewater State University! This year, the 4th grade question is: How do you make yourself feel better when someone isn’t being nice to you?
Here are a couple links to learn more about social emotional learning in education and at home:
CASEL - https://casel.org/in-the-home/
Confident Parents Confident Kids - https://confidentparentsconfidentkids.org
Happy Autumn! We are off to a great start this school year. Guidance Lessons have begun in all classrooms. Listening, Personal Space, and Following Directions have been the focus of the first three lessons in Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade. Kindergarten students are working hard to develop their Whole Body Listening Skills - here are the pieces of Whole Body Listening:
- Our BRAINS are thinking about what we are learning
- Our EYES are looking at the speaker
- Our EARS are listening to the speaker
- Our LIPS are zipped
- Our HEART is caring about what we are learning
- Our BODY is still
- We are SITTING criss-cross applesauce with our HANDS in our laps
We review all of the pieces of Whole Body Listening at the beginning of each lesson. All of the teachers are also continuously reviewing Whole Body Listening within their classrooms throughout the school day. This consistency across classrooms and grade levels helps foster the development of these listening skills as well as a safe, engaging learning environment.
In 3rd and 4th grade, we have been focusing on the development of classroom communities. It is very important for students to feel comfortable, safe, and a sense of belonging within their classroom environments and especially during interactions with their classmates. At Taylor School, we often look to the 3rd and 4th graders to act as the role models of the school, demonstrating to the younger grades ways to get along with each other, support one another, show empathy, build positive relationships with grade-level peers, etc.
In the coming weeks, Guidance Lessons will continue to focus on fostering the development of supportive classroom communities.
In other news, Anne Mueller, long-term substitute for my maternity leave, began shadowing me on Friday, September 30th. We had a great day of meeting students and having Guidance Lessons in Mrs. Reardon's and Mrs. Zabbo's classrooms! She will be shadowing me during the upcoming week as well and will get a chance to meet all the classrooms and students. I am excited to welcome her to the Taylor School community and know that she will be an excellent support to students, staff, and families while I am out.
It has been an exciting first month of school!
- Mrs. Lazur
September 9, 2016
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Welcome to a new school year at Taylor Elementary School! I hope you and your family had a fun and relaxing summer vacation. This summer has been action-packed for me. I am excited to share that my husband and I are expecting our first child in mid-October. I plan on returning to work on January 30, 2017. Until then, Anne Mueller will be the substitute school adjustment counselor. She brings years of experience supporting children and families and a calm personality that I know will be a great match with all the Taylor School students.
This year, I will continue to facilitate Guidance Lessons in all classrooms. Our Guidance Lesson curriculum focuses on teaching The Six Core Strengths (developed by Bruce Perry, MD, PhD) through the use of stories and activities. The Six Core Strengths are:
• Attachment – developing positive relationships with peers and as a student
• Self-Regulation – understanding emotions, thinking before acting
• Affiliation - being part of a group and larger community
• Awareness – thinking of others
• Tolerance – accepting differences
• Respect – appreciating the value of ourselves and others
Please be on the lookout for Guidance Lesson Activities throughout the school
It is my hope that this school year will be full of successful experiences for all students. I look forward to working with your family! Please contact me, or Anne, with any questions or concerns.
Adria Lazur, LMHC, SAC
Counselor – Taylor Elementary School
(508) 543-1607 firstname.lastname@example.org
News from Guidance
Hello! Congratulations to all of the 3rd and 4th graders for their hard work on entries for this year’s MARC Bullying Awareness Contest through Bridgewater State University! I’m proud to announce that we had several award winners.
Third Grade Poster Awards
There will be an awards ceremony on Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 10am at Bridgewater State University for all award winners and their families and teachers. Students who received an award will bring home detailed information about the awards ceremony as well as a permission slip. Please contact us with any questions!
Kindergartners and 1st graders have been learning all about Cooperation in guidance lessons. After reading a story about a group of animals working together, the Kindergartners and 1st graders in each classroom worked together to create a giant spider web with a ball of yarn! They all did a great job cooperating during this activity!
3rd and 4th Grade Students have started working on their posters and poems for Bridgewater State University's annual Anti-Bullying Poster Contest. This year, 3rd grade students are creating posters or writing poems that answer this question: "Everyone feels sad sometimes. What are the nice things that people do to cheer you up?" The 4th grade students are creating posters or writing poems that answer this similar question: "Everyone feels sad sometimes. What are things you do to cheer yourself up when you are having a bad day?"
- Mrs. Lazur
Thank you to all the Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade families for completing Homeside Activities this month! We've enjoyed discussing these activities during Guidance Lessons.
Every year, the 3rd and 4th graders participate in Bridgewater State University's MARC (Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Ceneter) Poster Contest. In the coming weeks, students will be working in small groups during Guidacne Lessons to complete posters or poems about building positive peers relationships.
Hello! It’s hard to believe the holiday season is already here! For the past few weeks, our Guidance Lessons have focused on feelings and self-regulation. In Kindergarten, we’ve been busy reading books about feelings, acting out feelings, and identifying feeling faces. Being able to identify feelings is a really important skill that helps students develop self-regulation strategies. In 1st grade, we’ve been focusing on making connections among our feelings, the size of our reactions, and different strategies to use when feeling upset. In 2nd grade, we’ve been reading books by Julia Cook that teach us all about different feelings we may have in school and appropriate strategies to use in the classroom setting. In 3rd grade, the students just completed Feeling Maps – abstract drawings of specific feelings that represent how big that feeling is to them and what colors and shapes they associate with that feeling. In 4th grade, we’ve been learning all about VIBES – the emotional signals we give off to those around us through our body language and social interaction. In the coming weeks, each grade will continue to explore feelings and a variety of different strategies that help our bodies and brains feel calm and ready to learn. Please click on your child's grade under the Guidance tab at the top of this page to see some of the activities we've done so far!