(We all have the) POWER to be Kind!

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As a Bullying Prevention educator, I often share the mountain of evidence that cultivating kindness in schools and classrooms is one of the most effective ways to bring an end to bullying.  At my school, we are highlighting Kindness as a Value throughout the month of February and really stepping it up a notch this week as we Celebrate Kindness with a Spirit Week filled with special dress days, door decorating, and other fun activities. All week long, I’ll be posting photos and ideas of what our amazing teachers are doing to Make Kindness Cool at School.

 

Today is (We all have the) POWER to be Kind day!  Check out our superhero outfits and poses, as we used our kindness superpowers all throughout the school.

 

Kindness SHINES

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As a Bullying Prevention educator, I often share the mountain of evidence that cultivating kindness in schools and classrooms is one of the most effective ways to bring an end to bullying.  At my school, we are highlighting Kindness as a Value throughout the month of February and really stepping it up a notch this week as we Celebrate Kindness with a Spirit Week filled with special dress days, door decorating, and other fun activities. All week long, I’ll be posting photos and ideas of what our amazing teachers are doing to Make Kindness Cool at School.

 

Wednesday is Kindness SHINES BRIGHTLY at The Swain School!

Check out the kids (and teachers!) in their sparkly, glittery, light-up, neon, glowing brightest accessories to celebrate how kindness shines and spreads in the world.

 

 

 

 

Our Kindness Tree is in full bloom, representing the dozens of no-cost acts of kindness that make our community so warm and wonderful.

 

 

We are CRAZY FOR KINDNESS!

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As a Bullying Prevention educator, I often share the mountain of evidence that cultivating kindness in schools and classrooms is one of the most effective ways to bring an end to bullying.  At my school, we are highlighting Kindness as a Value throughout the month of February and really stepping it up a notch this week as we Celebrate Kindness with a Spirit Week filled with special dress days, door decorating, and other fun activities. All week long, I’ll be posting photos and ideas of what our amazing teachers are doing to Make Kindness Cool at School.

 

 

Here’s a fun first grade project that students are focusing on throughout the month:

  • First, kids brainstormed no-cost ways to show kindness.
  • Then, they picked their top 30 ideas and turned it into a quilt-like poster.
  • Each time a student completes one of the acts of kindness, they put their initials on the square.
  • The project has generated tons of motivation, enthusiasm and excitement for showing kindness.

 

Today is Crazy for Kindness Day.  Check out some of our crazy socks and hairstyles!

 

February Coffee with the Counselor

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This school year, I’m offering monthly Coffee with the Counselor events at my school on the first Friday of each month. Coffee with the Counselor mornings will provide an informal opportunity for parents & caregivers to discuss issues related to child and adolescent development, mental health, social & emotional development, and general well-being. I’ll share interesting resources and recommend readings on selected topics, to inspire discussion within the group.

On February 7th, we will be talking about screentime & social media with a focus on popular apps that parents need to know about (read: let’s be sure we talk about TikTok!)  I’ll also offer some suggested do’s & don’ts for helping our kids consume technology in safe ways.  I hope you will join me!
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On the topic of Screentime & Social Media, here are some suggested resources:
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RECOMMENDED ONLINE ARTICLES & WEBSITES

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Screenwise: Helping Kids Survive & Thrive in Their Digital World

The Art of Screentime: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media & Real Life

Disconnected: How to Reconnect our Digitally Distracted Kids

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What Can Adults Do to Highlight Student Strengths?

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I love Education Week and am always honored when I get the chance to weigh in on Larry Ferlazzo’s questions.  In this post, he asks: What can teachers do to help highlight student assets and not their deficits?

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There are several informative and engaging responses.  Scroll down to the end of the post to read mine 🙂  Enjoy!

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Original link: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/classroom_qa_with_larry_ferlazzo/2019/12/look_at_whats_strong_not_whats_wrong_with_our_students.html

January Coffee with the Counselor

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This school year, I’m offering monthly Coffee with the Counselor events at my school on the first (or second!) Friday of each month. Coffee with the Counselor mornings will provide an informal opportunity for parents & caregivers to discuss issues related to child and adolescent development, mental health, social & emotional development, and general well-being. I’ll share interesting resources and recommend readings on selected topics, to inspire discussion within the group.

On January 3rd, we’ll be focusing on Depression in Childhood & Adolescence.  Dr. Christina Gorigoitia of West End Counseling & Wellness, LLC will be our guest speaker, leading us in a discussion about common signs and symptoms of depression in young people, including what to watch for, how to support kids, and when to seek professional help.  I hope you will join me!
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On the topic of Depression in Childhood & Adolescence, here are some suggested resources:
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RECOMMENDED ONLINE ARTICLES
Depression in Children (Cleveland Clinic)
Depression in Children & Teens (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry)

RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR ADULTS

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk  (I consider this one of THE best books about trauma, which can be associated with child & adolescent depression.)
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Most of the books on child & adolescent depression that I favor are clinically focused, rather than speaking to parents about how to understand and support kids.  I’ll keep my eye out for other resources I think may be helpful to parents.
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RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR KIDS
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In February, we will be talking about screentime & social media with a focus on popular apps that parents need to know about.  I’ll also offer some suggested do’s & don’ts for helping our kids consume technology in safe ways.
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December Coffee with the Counselor Event

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This school year, I’m offering monthly Coffee with the Counselor events at my school on the first (or second!) Friday of each month. Coffee with the Counselor mornings will provide an informal opportunity for parents & caregivers to discuss issues related to child and adolescent development, mental health, social & emotional development, and general well-being. I’ll share interesting resources and recommend readings on selected topics, to inspire discussion within the group.

On December 6th, we’ll be focusing on stress & anxiety in young people.  We’ll look at the brain-basics of why kids worry and discuss how to use our knowledge of the brain to counter the repetitive negative thoughts that can create worry and anxiety.
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RECOMMENDED ONLINE ARTICLES
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RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR ADULTS
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RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR KIDS
Worry Says What? by Allison Edwards
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The Girls Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett & Gary Rubenstein
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In January, we will welcome Dr. Christina Gorigoitia of West End Counseling & Wellness, LLC who will lead a discussion on the topic of Depression in Young People.  Dr. Gorigoitia will talk about signs and symptoms of depression in young people, including what to watch for, how to support kids, and when to seek professional help.
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Teaching Feelings Literacy to Young Students

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Every Fall and Winter, I focus on cultivating self-awareness and self-regulation skills in my youngest students through interactive, engaging activities.  In this lesson–one of my perennial favorites–my 4-5 year old students are practicing using facial cues to recognize & differentiate feelings.  With a little bonus empathy development (e.g. “Why do you think the snowman might be feeling confused?), cooperative play, and a literacy component, this one is a keeper!

Click below to view video:

SNOWMAN FEELINGS ACTIVITY

November Coffee with the Counselor

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This school year, I’m offering monthly Coffee with the Counselor events at my school on the first (or second!) Friday of each month. Coffee with the Counselor mornings will provide an informal opportunity for parents & caregivers to discuss issues related to child and adolescent development, mental health, social & emotional development, and general well-being. I’ll share interesting resources and recommend readings on selected topics, to inspire discussion within the group.

On November 8th, we’ll be taking a look at Executive Functioning skills in kids–what they are, what role they play at school and home, and how we can help build “thinking brain” skills in kids who may lag behind in one or more areas. Recommended resources can be found here.
The December Coffee with the Counselor will feature a discussion on worry in young people.  We’ll look at the brain-basics of why kids worry and discuss how to use our knowledge of the brain to counter the repetitive negative thoughts that can create worry and anxiety.
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RECOMMENDED ONLINE ARTICLES
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RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR ADULTS
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RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR KIDS
Worry Says What? by Allison Edwards
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The Girls Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett & Gary Rubenstein
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What do Bullying Prevention & the Scrunchie Have in Common?

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I did not see this one coming…but love the fact that my work in the field of bullying prevention is connected to the rise and fall of the scrunchie in this roundabout way 🙂

 

Check out this article on VOX to make the connection!

 

 

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