This week & next, we will host the final Middle School (MS) transition visit in 5th grade. This year Delana Brinkman, Dean, Theresa Weber, MS School Counselor & current MS Students came over to each 5th grade class and co-facilitated an engaging, interactive lesson with me. We covered 6 different topics that are relevant to MS.
Each student received a special orange SLP Middle School folder with their materials in it. They were instructed to bring this home and share out some things they learned from our knowledgeable Middle Schoolers!
If you would like more information on how to support your student through this change, visit the Middle School Transition page.
The final all-school theme for this school year is College & Career Readiness (CCR). These lessons are meant to expose students to all the options and choices that are waiting for them after high school. The material covered is pretty basic, but interactive.
The biggest curriculum change was in 4th grade lessons. I found a College & Career Escape Room on the Teachers pay Teacher website. This activity was created with Middle and High School levels in mind - however, I was able to edit the material to fit our needs for this lesson. This was a fun & engaging way to get students continuing their journey in learning of new careers, but also introduces them to some light college material including mascots! I am happy to report ALL groups finished! Their treasure for accomplishing their tasks was 2 things ~
1. A certificate proving they escaped the room
2. A college pencil (purchased online from Party City)
Enjoy some pictures below of the kids in action! For more detail on our CCR programming, visit our College & Career page.
The theme for the beginning of 2018 was conflict resolution. In 1st grade through 4th grade, we discussed the importance of needing to solve small problems peacefully on their own. In order to convey the importance of not going directly to a teacher when they run into a conflict, we talked about how to figure out what size the problem is first (Small, Medium or Big). Then we watched some video examples of small problems and how to use the Solution Wheel 2.0 to solve it. Then we even acted out some more problems that come up and practiced using the Solution Wheel 2.0 even more!
Below is the Solution Wheel 2.0 that went home with all 1st - 4th graders. Even more detailed information on these lessons (links to videos and other websites) can be found on the Conflict Resolution page
Tex from the U of M Visits SLP!
Every year is St. Louis Park we expose all elementary students to the idea of college and careers. For all 4th (and some 5th grade classes) this theme is introduced through inviting William 'Tex' Ostvig from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus. He offers a program called Campus2Kids where he visits local schools. The idea behind this program is to engage students in the idea that with hard work, any one can go to college. The definition of college is 'any education after high school.' He also shares words of wisdom about how they can start preparing to be ready when that day comes.
Tex also hosts Kids on Campus where kids go to the 'U' in order to experience what it feels like to be on a college campus. As a note, in SLP our 8th graders take advantage of this program as part of their College & Career Readiness prep.
Tex asks our students that if they remember only 1 part of their time together, to remember the following tips on how to be a good student:
To see more of our investigation into College & Careers,
visit the Classroom Lesson page!
5th graders at all elementary schools in SLP proved their ability to work together as a team while maintaining their individuals growth mindsets in order to free the brain from the fixed mindset prison!! Each group had approximately 35 minutes to solve a number of tricky tasks and clues. I'm happy and proud to report that every group accomplished this goal!
I knew this activity was impactful when a student who struggles with feeling motivated, shyly approached me with his teacher and said quietly with a toothy grin, "I LOVED that challenge!!" This made my heart full and reminded me of the true capabilities and potential of each and every student.
For more details on where to find the lesson plans, go to the Growth Mindset classroom lesson page here!
So far this year, the message has been concentrating heavily on Bully Prevention and How to be an Upstander. Within this topic, the message of empathy and kindness is (not so subtly) embedded in order to begin the school year with an intentional dose of social expectations. Below are some pictures from a 2nd grade lesson using the text The Juice Box Bully by Bob Sornson. The activity was originally found on Pinterest, but I updated it with directions on what they can do to be an upstander. The last piece involved students taking straws I provided and putting it in the juice box! For more lessons done during this these, visit the Classroom Lesson page.
As an aside, this school year is a little different than the past because I am one counselor for all 4 elementary schools this year. Even though this is a big challenge, I am staying optimistic and trying to think on a larger scale than I have had to in the past. My hope is that this website is continuing to be used by other amazing counselors out there who have been working hard for all students.
With the 2016-17 school year, we again decided to concentrate on 4 themes across all 4 of our elementary schools. Please visit the "classroom lesson" page to find out more about what these visits look like in K-5 classrooms.
This year SLP Elementary Schools want students to remember that we are all UPSTANDERS and that we stand up for others throughout the school year, not just during bullying prevention month. Therefore each month we will have an assigned day to wear orange and show our pride in Kindness and being an Upstander!
Dates to Wear Orange:
Bullying is a word that is frequently being used in the media, with stories that are negative and often sever. In St. Louis Park we want to focus on the positive strategies that will help make our schools a stronger, kinder and more accepting community of learners. In St. Louis Park Schools we want our students to be UPSTANDERS: Standing UP for Kindness and helping others who need it. For more information on UPSTANDERS - check out our UPSTANDER page.
UPSTANDER: a person who takes action particularly when the easiest or most acceptable course is to do nothing.
September Lessons Begin this Week!
Students in Kindergarten will get their first exposure and introduction to "SPARKS" this week at all four of the elementary schools. Students will get the opportunity to learn about what Sparks are and begin to share what their own Sparks are.
If you are a Kindergarten Parent, look for more information coming home this week.
Welcome to the 2014-2015 School Year!
The Sparks Counseling Program is excited to be starting year four and ready for some changes. This year we have some fun things in store - so please stay tuned!
Counselors This Year:
Park Spanish Immersion and Susan Lindgren
Schedule: M (SL), T (PSI), W (rotating), Th (SL), F (PSI)
Aquila and Peter Hobart
AQ - (952) 928-6521
PH - (952) 928-6623
Schedule: M (AQ), T (PH), W (rotating), Th (AQ), F (PH)
Susan Lindgren 3rd Graders take on Sandwich Making
to give back and help out others!
Third Graders had the opportunity to take their lessons on being caring and part of a community to the next level today! Students helped make sandwiches for the needy and homeless in Minneapolis, with the guidance and leadership of some special 5th grade students who have been working hard this year sharing and showing their Spark to others.
Pictures from the day
Mr. Law Comes to Pick Up Sandwiches
More About 363 Days
About Minneapolis Recreation Development: “Love One Another”http://www.363days.org/index.html
Minneapolis Recreation Development is dedicated to serving the homeless community, vulnerable individuals, disadvantaged youth, and their families in the Twin Cities through our Three Programs. Enabled by the generous support of our donor community, from 9pm to10am every night Founder Allan Law drives throughout the Twin Cities serving people in urgent need in homeless shelters, and on the street. Making as many as 50 stops a night, he distributes donated sandwiches, basic necessities, and encouragement to the homeless from the back of the MRD minivan. He volunteers overnight because that’s when shelters are closed, and homeless people living on the street are most vulnerable. He also responds to several calls a day 24/7 from people in crisis, with requests ranging from critical immediate needs, to others like help finding a job or temporary housing.
On any given night there are an estimated 7,000 homeless people in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area, and 2,200 of them are children under 17. The goal of MRD is to feed, and provide emergency assistance to as many of them every day as possible. In 2012 MRD will serve over 100,000 people in urgent need, which is made possible by the incredible outpouring of both the time and resources of our donor community, and a handful of dedicated volunteers.
The Sun Sailor wrote an article titled: "St. Louis Park Career Day Aims to Spark imagination"
sharing information on Park Spanish Immersion and Aquila's Career Fairs this March. Check it out!
Aquila puts on another successful and enjoyable Career Fair! The energy was amazing and the conversations between presenters, students and teachers was awesome!
A BIG THANK YOU to the presenters who volunteered their time to come in to Aquila and share their wisdom and enthusiasm with our students. Just to see and be able to touch tools that each person uses in their every day job is amazing. It is all about "planting the seed" to dream and work hard!
On Tuesday, March 25 all 510 of the Park Spanish Immersion students were able to participate in a career fair! The students had a great time walking through the fair and learning from our ten community experts. It was such a delight to see the students so engaged in the presentations.
Here is a list of the speakers:
· Leigh Nelson, hairstylist
· Vicky Dotterer, Kids’ Place and Army Reserves
· Tim Lane, Carpenter/Builder
· Josh Feinberg, Associate Professor of Geology and Geography
· David Winecoff, Physician Assistant in Orthopedic Surgery
· Megan Patterson, Psychotherapist
· Aaron Ninnemann, Attorney
· David Gaines, VP of eCommerce and Honeywell
· Tim Peltier, Firefighter
· Matt Havlik, Police Officer
Using the Book, Being Wendy by Fran Drescher (yes, Fran Drescher from The Nanny) counselors have been challenging 2nd and 3rd Grade students to think outside of the box. Counselors are sharing the story of Wendy and her struggles to fit in and find just one box to be labeled for life. Then students are given the opportunity to fill out their own box with a variety of words that will fit and describe them as they grow up into adults. What a fun lesson for everyone!
More Information on Being Wendy by Fran Drescher:
From the Book Jacket: Wendy was afraid to say that she felt different from everyone else. But all residents of Boxville must choose a box to wear - for life. These boxes are labeled with what each person does. The teacher wears a TEACHER box. The police officer wears a POLICE OFFICER box. Even the poodle wears a POODLE box!
Now it's time for Wendy to choose her box. Just pick one, everyone tells her. It's simple. But it's not simple, because Wendy loves LOTS of different things - from playing basketball to performing onstage. Wendy's big ideas make her feel lonely...will she ever fit in?