• Meanwhile, at the counselor's headquarters...
  • September - Habit #1 "Be Proactive- I'm In Charge"

    Posted by CODY SWEARENGIN on 9/15/2015

    Welcome to the counselor blog and a look at what we are doing this year!

    KINDERGARTEN

    For our first lesson we were introduced to the group of friends that live in 7 Oaks, where there is never a dull moment.  These friends are always sharing in some adventure, having fun and learning new things.  They also are helpful in teaching us about the 7 Habits of Happy Kids.  If you would like to meet the gang you can click on the link below...

     
    We continued the lesson by learning our first habit: 
     
    Habit #1 - Be Proactive (You're In Charge) 
     
    ss  
     
     This habit says that I am a responsible person who chooses my actions, attitudes and moods.  I don't blame others for my poor choices and I do the right thing, even when there is no one around.  I take initiative to get things done and make good choices.
     
    Sammy Squirrel helped us with this habit in the story "Bored! Bored! Bored!"  Sammy was bored and blamed his friends and family for his boredom.  It wasn't until he talked with Tagalong Allie's granny that she taught him that it was up to him to find something to do and to take responsibility for how he felt.  It's important that we all take responsibility for our own lives; to take charge and control the things we can control.  Sammy learns this and ends up being proactive and changing his day! 
     
    After reading the story about Sammy Squirrel being bored, we talked about being proactive and did an activity called "Pair Up and Share" in which we partnered up and took turns sharing what we do when we get bored.  The students had some really excellent ideas!  We will continue with our Habit #1 in the next lesson so make sure to check back and see what we are learning!
     
     
    1st GRADE
     
    The first lesson we did in 1st grade was over Habit #1 as well.  We reviewed what it meant to "Be Proactive - I'm In Charge" and had time to share out loud the ways that we have been practicing to be proactive.  Pokey Porcupine helped us with Habit #1 in the story "Just The Way I am" in which Pokey was being bullied by Buff Beaver.  Through the encouragement of his friends, Pokey realized that he controls how he feels and no one else.  Pokey returns to school and shows off his quills.  He also finds out that Buff Beaver actually wants quills of his own!  We learned a good lesson about how to be proactive and control our own thoughts and behaviors.  In 1st grade we also did a "Pair Up and Share" activity in which we took turns being the Speaker and the Listener (working on our conversation skills) and shared about a time that someone made fun of us or made us feel bad.  We then shared how we responded to those situations, and whether we made good or poor choices.  The students were great about being honest in how they reacted and worked together to find positive solutions to tough situations.
     
     
    Check back in a couple of weeks to see what we do for the second lesson this month!  See you then!
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  • Welcome to the First Day of School!

    Posted by CODY SWEARENGIN on 8/18/2015
    Welcome, friends, to the first day of school!  Today is going to be an exciting and busy day and I look forward to meeting you if this is your first time attending Cedar Ridge Primary.  I am excited to learn more about you and to get to spend time with each Kindergarten and 1st Grade classrooms during counseling lessons!    
     
    Throughout the year I will be updating the blog with information about what we are doing in the counseling classroom and sharing specifics about what we have discussed.  Please take a few moments to ask your student(s) about what they have been learning during their counseling time!  As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
     
    I am looking forward to a great school year! 
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  • March: Habit #5 "Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood"

    Posted by CODY SWEARENGIN on 3/9/2015
    Our fifth "7 Habits of Happy Kids" lesson continues this month with: 
     
    Habit #5 - Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood

    habit5

     

     This habit says that I should listen to other's ideas and feelings and try to see things from their viewpoint.  I should listen without interrupting.  When I listen, I don't just use my ears, but I also use my eyes and heart.  When it is my turn to share, I am confident voicing my ideas.
     
    The story for Habit #5 was about Jumper Rabbit and how he wasn't truly listening to what his friends had to say.  Jumper Rabbit runs into Goob Bear and was excited about playing with him.  Goob Bear wasn't in a mood to play because he had lost his favorite butterfly net.  While Goob was trying to tell Jumper why he was sad, Jumper truly didn't listen and kept asking Goob to play.  This upset Goob and ended up with him telling Jumper that he just doesn't listen.  Jumper left and ran into Tagalong Allie, who was crying in her sandbox.  Jumper asked what was wrong but couldn't understand her and even tried to make her happy, BUT he just wasn't truly listening.  Jumper heard what his friends were saying, but he didn't really give them his full attention to truly understand what was going on.  It wasn't until Lily Skunk told Jumper that he had to listen not only with his ears, but his eyes and heart as well, that Jumper finally understood.  Jumper then went back to Goob Bear and apologized for not really listening and instead of playing, helped his friend find his lost butterfly net.
     
    In the counseling classroom we discussed how to truly listen and to make sure that we were understanding what the other person is really trying to say.
     
    A funny way that we talked about people misunderstanding was by watching and discussing "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs".  The Big Bad Wolf claims that the pigs were not listening and that he really was made out to be a bad guy, when all he wanted was a cup of sugar.  You can check out the story with the link below: 
     
    "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs"
     

     
    After watching the story, we talked about how important it is to truly listen to what people are saying because if we don't, then a small misunderstanding can lead to big consequences.

    When talking to your student(s) about Habit #5....take a minute to talk about putting yourself in "someone else's shoes" and how we can have great relationships if we truly "Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood."


     
     
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  • February: Habit #4 "Think Win-Win"

    Posted by CODY SWEARENGIN on 2/19/2015
     Our fourth "7 Habits of Happy Kids" lesson continues this month with: 
     
    Habit #4 - Think Win-Win

    habit 4

     

     This habit says that I should try to think not only of what I want, but what others want as well.  I need to take into consideration the feelings and thoughts of others.  When a conflict comes up, I look for a win-win solution.
     
    The story for Habit #4 was about Lily Skunk really wanting to plant a garden.  Lily's mom started off saying "No" to the garden idea, because she didn't want to have to be the one to do all the work.  Lily came up with a plan that she would do the planting and watering, and her mom would get to eat delicious vegetable and strawberries.  Mom agreed to let the garden be planted and Lily ended up keeping her end of the bargain and doing the work she said she would do.  In the end, Lily got her garden and mom got her fresh vegetables and strawberries.....a definite Win-Win result!
     
    In the counseling classroom we discussed what a conflict is and how we can work through conflict.  The students came up with ideas that they had been involved with that could have been considered a conflict.  Below is a video link that really helped us understand what conflict is.
     
    "What is Conflict" Video
     
    We also discussed what it meant to cooperate and what cooperation was.  Many of the students knew this concept as teamwork.  Below is a video we used to discuss cooperation.
     
    "Cooperation" Video
     
    When talking to your student(s) about Habit #4....take a minute to talk about how conflicts start and how cooperation can lead to a Win-Win solution!
     
     
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  • January: Habit #3 "Put First Things First"

    Posted by CODY SWEARENGIN on 1/12/2015
    Our third "7 Habits of Happy Kids" lesson continues this month with: 
     
    Habit #3 - Put First Things First

    habit3

     This habit says that I should spend my times on the things that are the most important and I should say "NO" to things I know that I should not do!  I need to set priorities, make a schedule and follow my plan.  I practice being disciplined and organized in what I do!
     
    The story for Habit #3 was about Pokey Porcupine and how he had an upcoming spelling test at school.  At the beginning of his week his teacher told the class that they would be having a spelling test a the end of the week.  Pokey knew he should study but there were so many fun things that he wanted to do during the week!  He was invited by friends to play, eat cookies and do all kinds of things....but NOT study!  When it came time for the test, Pokey tried to study the night before but it was just too much to learn!  Unfortunately, Pokey failed the test.  Sophie Squirrel told Pokey that he should have "Put First Things First"....study now and play later.  Pokey's teacher gave him a second chance and Sophie helped him to study a little bit each day.  The next time Pokey took the test....he got a perfect score! 
     
    In the counseling classroom we discussed how, many times, when our parents or guardians ask us to do something, we complain about it (chores, etc.) and then in the time we spent complaining we could have already completed our responsibilities.  This habit is hard not only for students but adults as well!  Many times we do the easier things first and fail to take care of business like we need to!
     
    When talking to your student(s) about Habit #3....take a minute to talk about how it can feel horrible to procrastinate and put things off versus how good it feels to be prepared and get things done! 
     
    "Do what you have to do...so you can do what you want to do!" 
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  • December: The Grinch!

    Posted by CODY SWEARENGIN on 12/3/2014

    For the month of December we are taking a break from learning any "new" Habits and joining with the Kindergarten and 1st Grade who are using the Grinch in some of their lessons!  While doing this we are reviewing our first two Habits:

    Habit #1 - Be Proactive (You're In Charge)

    Habit #2 - Begin With The End In Mind (Have A Plan)
     
    For the first lesson in December we have been watching "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" and have begun discussing our first two Habits.  This story and video is a great way to open up some general discussions on how we are in charge of the choices we make and if we want to accomplish something, then we need to have a plan...
     

    grinch

     

     The Grinch was proactive and wanted to take away the holiday spirit and cheer from the Who's....so he came up with a plan to do just that!  Even though his plan was evil, he was proactive in his approach and devised a plan to carry out his goal!  The Who's were also proactive when they realized that the "stuff" of their holidays had been taken, but they chose to not let that destroy their holiday spirits!  This has led to some very good conversations and discussions about us, as individuals, being proactive and making the best of the situations that are presented to us, whether it is fair or not!  The Grinch also came up with a plan and carried it out...but in the end, when he saw the Who's being proactive, his heart grew three sizes and he changed his plan, much to the delight of the Who's and his dog.  This has also led to some good discussion on how we may have made some past choices that were not so great, but that doesn't mean we can't change, be proactive and make plans to make better future choices!!!  It all begins with being proactive and having a plan!
     
    Thanks for checking back in and I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and has a safe and happy holiday season! 
     
     
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  • November: Habit #2 "Begin With The End In Mind - (Have A Plan!)"

    Posted by CODY SWEARENGIN on 11/6/2014
     Our second "7 Habits of Happy Kids" lesson continues this month with: 
     
    Habit #2 - Begin With The End In Mind (Have A Plan!)
     
    goob  
     
     This habit says that I plan ahead and set goals.  I do things that have meaning and make a difference.  I am an important part of my classroom.  I look for ways to be a good citizen.
     
    This time we shared a story about Goob the bear, and how he wanted to purchase a Bug-Collecting Kit.  The problem was, Goob didn't have any money to buy it....so he had to come up with some goals and a plan to reach those goals.  Jumper Rabbit wanted to be a part of the plan as well, so Goob and Jumper Rabbit decided to sell lemonade to make some money!  They sold all of their lemonade and split the money.  Jumper Rabbit went to the toy store and spent all his money on candy and little toys that ended up broken or lost.  Goob took his money and went over the goals that he had set for himself.  By setting goals, Goob was able to purchase everything on his list and even had a little left over....which he used to take Jumper Rabbit to the movies...even though Jumper had blown all his money.  What a great lesson to learn!  Beginning with the end in mind really does lead to a better outcome! 
     
    After reading the story about Goob the bear and his goals, we talked about being setting goals and planning and shared with our classroom partners some ideas for goals.  The students had some really excellent ideas!  They included....wanting to learn to swim, wanting to learn to ride a bike without training wheels, wanting to be a better reader....and well, you get the idea.  Next, we had to come up with a plan to achieve those goals.  Many of these goals included lots of practice time and putting in extra work, because learning new things usually doesn't happen by itself....we have to BE PROACTIVE and BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND! 
     
    Here is a link to a video we watched of another school counselor talking about beginning with the end in mind and wanting to bake sugar cookies!  Check it out!
     
     Begin With The End In Mind....Have A Plan!  
     
     
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  • The 7 Habits of Happy Kids!

    Posted by CODY SWEARENGIN on 10/5/2014
     During the month of October the Kindergarten and 1st Grade on the Cedar Ridge campus will begin "The 7 Habits of Happy Kids" by Sean Covey.  Some teachers have already started sharing this in their classrooms, but during counseling time we will be reviewing and discussing one habit each month.  You can check back here to see what habit we are talking about and what our lesson entails each month.....and don't hesitate to ask your student what habit they are learning about! 
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  • October: Habit #1 "Be Proactive - (You're In Charge)"

    Posted by CODY SWEARENGIN on 10/6/2014

     For our first lesson we were introduced to the group of friends that live in 7 Oaks, where there is never a dull moment.  These friends are always sharing in some adventure, having fun and learning new things.  They also are helpful in teaching us about the 7 Habits of Happy Kids.  If you would like to meet the gang you can click on the link below...

     
    We continued the lesson by learning our first habit: 
     
    Habit #1 - Be Proactive (You're In Charge) 
     
    ss  
     
     This habit says that I am a responsible person who chooses my actions, attitudes and moods.  I don't blame others for my poor choices and I do the right thing, even when there is no one around.  I take initiative to get things done and make good choices.
     
    Sammy Squirrel helped us with this habit in the story "Bored! Bored! Bored!"  Sammy was bored and blamed his friends and family for his boredom.  It wasn't until he talked with Tagalong Allie's granny that she taught him that it was up to him to find something to do and to take responsibility for how he felt.  It's important that we all take responsibility for our own lives; to take charge and control the things we can control.  Sammy learns this and ends up being proactive and changing his day! 
     
    After reading the story about Sammy Squirrel being bored, we talked about being proactive and did an activity called "Pair Up and Share" in which we partnered up and took turns sharing what we do when we get bored.  The students had some really excellent ideas!  We will continue with our Habit #1 in the next lesson so make sure to check back and see what we are learning!
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  • Learning about Jobs in the school...

    Posted by CODY SWEARENGIN on 9/29/2014
    Over the last couple of weeks we have been learning about jobs in our school....courtesy of the Gingerbread Man!  He was running loose in the Primary and Elementary buildings and while he was loose, he helped us learn about many different jobs that take place at school.  Check out the links below for our Gingerbread Man story!

    gingerbread

     

         

     


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