See below for the lessons that we have done so far this year!
Lesson 1 - Self-Referral Process
In third grade, students are able to reach out to us directly if they are having a problem. In this lesson, we discussed the self-referral process and identified different types of problems that they can reach out to us about. Self-Referral Process: Students in third grade and up have access to counselor request forms in their classrooms. If they would like to request a meeting with one of us, they must fill out a referral form and give it to their teachers to turn into us. It is important that the students know that it may take a few days for us to see them, but we will make sure to come and get them when it is time for our meeting. Size of Problem: It is important that students understand that we can help with all different types of problems. We will always do our best to see students in a timely manner, but we have to prioritize who we see when by having students identify the size of their problem.
Small Problem: A problem that can wait about a week to be dealt with. Examples include; a friend is annoying you or a sibling is bothering you at home.
Medium Problem: You would like to be seen this week, if possible. Examples include; friend conflict, general anxiety, or tips on how to manage your anger.
Large Problem: You would like to be seen today or tomorrow, if possible. Examples include; bullying, parent's divorce, or death in the family.
Critical Problem: You need to be as soon as possible. A critical problem means you or someone else isn't safe. Students should not fill out a counselor request form if they have a critical problem - they need to tell an adult right away.
Lesson 2 - Bullying Prevention
In this lesson, we discussed bullying and how to handle it. We defined the difference between rude (something that happens once accidentally), mean (something that happens once on purpose), and bullying (something that happens over and over again on purpose).
Then, we read the book “The Juice Box Bully” by Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy. This is a story about a new student at school who is engaging in bully behavior. The other students don’t put up with this behavior, and tell him about “The Promise” that all students abide by at their school. By agreeing to “The Promise”, students agree to not stand by and allow bullying to occur.
After reading the story, students were given the opportunity to make “The Promise” just like the students did in the story. We recited the words together and students were given the opportunity to sign it if they agreed to carry it out.
Lesson 3 - Conflict Resolution
In this lesson, we discussed the difference between conflict and bullying. We talked about how conflict is a normal part of life, while bullying is not. Unlike bullying, if we are having a conflict - we can take measures to solve that conflict on our own before it becomes too big that we don't know how to solve it. We read the book "The Butter Battle Book" by Dr. Seuss. This is a story about a conflict that starts over a very small disagreement and grows into something so big that no one knows how to stop it. After the story, we identified ways that the characters could have solved the conflict before it became too big. Then, students were given a fortune teller/cootie catcher with conflict resolution strategies along with different conflict scenarios. They were encouraged to role play the conflicts with families or friends and use a strategy given to them by their cootie catcher. I told them that if they practice solving conflicts, they would be more likely to solve them on their own when they are in a conflict.
Lesson 4 - Self-esteem
In this lesson, we talked about self-esteem and defined high and low self-esteem. We talked about how it is important to always try to remember the great things about ourselves even when we are feeling down. We read the book "Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon" by Patty Lovell. This is a story about a little girl who looks different than the other kids and gets made fun of. However, she always listens to her grandmother's advice to use positive self-talk to see her qualities that make her different as positive rather than the negative ways that other people are making her feel. After the story, students all made their own self-esteem flowers where they identified their own positive qualities on each petal of the flower. Students were reminded to always remember these things just like Molly Lou Melon did