Susan Lindgren is the first of Elementary Schools to host Tex Ostvig, from the University of MN to talk with 4th and 5th graders about Goal Setting. The program is called Campus 2 Kids. This is an opportunity for students to hear more about the skills and strategies that they have already begun to grow and discover within themselves that will help make them successful as they continue to grow and advance in school.
Throughout the month of March, Tex Ostvig will be visiting our other Elementary Schools too!
Counselors were in Madison, WI this week attending and presenting at the WSCA conference. It was a great time to gain professional development, network and have the opportunity to share the work that we are doing here in SLP.
Melissa Berg, Rachel Nelson and Keri Olufson presented on "Discovering Students' Sparks", sharing Large Classroom lessons, Small Group ideas and many of our favorite technology tools.
They did a great job presenting and received many positive comments from the attendees.
Once again Elementary Counselors are taking their 5th Graders to a Youth Frontiers Kindness Retreat. This is a day for 5th graders to spend some time talking about what they feel their school does well in regards to Kindness and Friendship but also gives students the opportunity to discuss what might not be going well in their buildings. Students are divided up into small groups and are lead by Small Group Leaders, Senior High students from St. Louis Park High School. This is a powerful time for students both in 5th grade but also for the Senior High students. Given the chance, what would you change in your school to make the environment and the community more kind? A powerful question.
Schedule of Retreats:
January 14th .. Peter Hobart
January 15th .. Aquila
January 16th .. Park Spanish Immersion
January 17th .. Susan Lindgren
For more information on Youth Frontiers and their programming click the button below:
From Rachel Nelson, Counselor at Aquila
In the small Sparks groups we are learning about Acts of Kindness and brainstorming ways we can have a positive impact on others. One of the Kind Acts we will be doing is making sandwiches for the homeless in downtown Minneapolis.
This is possible through an organization called 363 Days.
A retired teacher has taken the daily responsibility of sharing food with those in need, and we will be his little helpers for one of those days making about 450 sandwiches!
This is a great opportunity for the Spark kids!
Mr. Law will be coming to pick up the sandwiches, thank the kids and share how their act of kindness will help others that night.
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.
Photos from the day:
Mr. Law Comes to Pick Up the Sandwiches
Counseling & iPads
Did you happen to see our Elementary School Counseling Team out at Aquila over the weekend for the SLP Technology Showcase? Anne Moore and Keri Olufson were presenting on how the Counseling Team uses iPads in their work with students. You can find some of the Apps that we like on our Resource Page.
Students at Susan Lindgren Elementary were ready to show their ORANGE and their pride in Standing Up for Kindness.
During the months of September and October, students in all four elementary schools will be filling out their "Ask Me About My Sparks" postcard. These postcards will then be shared with families at Fall Parent Conferences. See the article written by the Search Institute below on Exploring Possible Sparks with Your Children.
New this Year at Aquila and Park Spanish...
Being a Playgound Pal means you are safe, caring, responsible, open-minded and respectful! The job of the special helpers from each class, grades 1-5 is to wear an identifying vest and to always say, "YES" when a friends asks you to play. The playground pals are also charged with looking all around the playground for any friends who need a friend to play with. There is a short training where these students will receive their Playground Pal Student Handbooks and practice their assertiveness. The group's main focus is inclusion and being upstanders.
This has been a great joint venture at AQ and PSI between the school's counselors and social workers!
Elementary Students in SLP are getting the chance to check out stories in a new way!
School Counselors at each elementary building are hosting Books Alive! to come in and share with students a fun new way to hear stories.
For more information on Books Alive! Check out: www.MaggiesFarmTheater.com
Books Alive! presents youth literature in a theatrical oral reading, making the stories come alive!
Books Alive! is produced in collaboration between Maggie's Farm and St. Louis Park Senior Program.
Students at Park Spanish Immersion shared some of their Sparks on video with Melissa Berg, School Counselor. It is amazing to see the variety of sparks that students have! We feel pretty lucky to be able to assist these kids with growing their sparks.
Motivational Messages are everywhere these days. We see them all the time but do we stop and really reflect on what they are saying? Students were given the opportunity this week to look at a variety of Motivational Messages and then write what they thought the message was trying to say to them. From there, students were then challenged to write their own Motivational Message to themselves or to others.
This activity comes at a perfect time with testing going on. Students were given the opportunity to hang their message on their desk so that they could be reminded of it during testing.
Keri Hokanson Olufson, school counselor at Peter Hobart, worked with students on Dedication. Students heard the classic tale "The Little Engine That Could" by Watty Piper and then were asked to think about what skill or spark are they working on. Is it always easy to learn something new? Is it always easy to stick with it and be dedicated? Students were given the chance to share what it is that they are dedicated to.
I Love My School Counselor .... Tell Us Why.
We are midway through our 3 year federally funded grant. As we begin to make plans for the last year of our grant we are hoping to get feedback from our students, families, teachers, community members on why they think the Elementary School Counseling role is important. You can either click on the picture or head to the I Love My School Counselor page on our site.
Thank you ahead of time for sharing your thoughts with us!
This month counselors are working with students on the topic of Perseverance.
At this point in the school year students have learned so many new skills and are being asked to show their learning and understanding through testing, projects and other avenues. This is a great opportunity for students to remember to keep going and not give up. There may be days that seem harder but they can do it.
It is also getting warmer outside. Spring sports and outdoor activities begin to take over. So many of our children have a new goal or new skill they want to master (bike riding, jump roping, baseball, etc.) or a Spark that they are trying to perfect.
Perseverance is a skill we use throughout life. Counselors will be providing students the opportunity to discuss what it is and allowing students to hear from others on how they keep going and not give up.
Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen
Making Your Mark on the World
Sassy is a long-legged girl who always has something to say. She wants to be a ballerina more than anything, but she worries that her too-large feet, too-long legs, and even her big mouth will keep her from her dream. When a famous director comes to visit her class, Sassy does her best to get his attention with high jumps and a bright leotard. Her first attempts are definitely not appreciated, but with her heart set on dancing and her head above the rest, Sassy just might be able to win him over.
Ron's Big Mission by Rose Blue & Corinne J. Naden
Nine-year-old Ron loves going to the Lake City Public Library to look through all the books on airplanes and flight. Today, Ron is ready to take out books by himself. But in the segregated world of South Carolina in the 1950's, Ron's obtaining his own library card is not just a small rite of passage. It is a young man's first courageous mission. Ron's Big Mission is a fictionalized account of a real incident in astronaut Ron McNair's life.
"You can only be a winner if you are willing to walk over the edge," astronaut McNair once told a group of children. "You're eagles. Spread your wings and fly to the sky."
Park Spanish Immersion Kindergartners and First Graders had the chance to share their future careers by drawing the hat that they will wear.
"When I grow up, I will be a __________________. Here is a picture of the hat I will wear."
Photos from Aquila's Career Day! What a fun day with such a variety of careers being shared by the students.