Monday, January 7, 2013

5th Grade Class Council

In 5th grade, we have finished two units: Bullying, and Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention. Check out the letter below explaining these two units, and then admire the “Thankful Wreath” some of the 5th grade girls made for Miss Wheeler during their “Girls Get the Message” group run by Girls, Inc. of New Hampshire.

November 26, 2012

Dear parents(s)/guardian(s) of 5th grade students,

I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday break and were able to spend time with friends and family. I wanted to take this time to give you an update on the class council lessons that I have been teaching in 5th grade so far this year.

The 5th graders just finished up an extensive unit on bullying prevention. They reviewed how to identify bullying situations and recognize that bullying is dangerous and harmful; therefore, they know an adult must be told when they experience or witness bullying. Students also identified reasons people might bully and what it might feel like to be bullied about differences. Perhaps most importantly, they identified strategies to protect themselves from bullying and help others who are being bullied. Cyber safety was also addressed in this unit. If you or your student have any concerns about bullying, please do not hesitate to contact the school.

Now that we have finished up our bullying unit, we are moving on to drug and alcohol abuse prevention. Through the use of age-appropriate videos and research-based curriculum, students will develop a basic understanding of the dangerous and harmful effects that drugs and alcohol can have on the brain and body. They will identify reasons people may use drugs and alcohol and understand the consequences of decisions related to drug and alcohol abuse. Students will also learn about peer pressure and identify strategies to deflect this pressure. Finally, students will apply effective problem-solving and decision-making skills in order to make safe and healthy choices.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me anytime either at the school phone number or by email ( I am really enjoying getting to know your children; the 5th graders are a very smart and creative group!

Amy Wheeler 
School Counselor, Grades 1, 3 and 5

"Thankful Wreath"

3rd Graders and the Unthinkables

The third graders worked VERY hard to create their own Unthinkables. Check out the drawings below and at the bottom of the post, a letter sent home to the parents explains what the Unthinkables are. Also included: Miss Wheeler's holiday door decoration: What Would the Unthinkables Want for Christmas? The 3rd and 5th graders brainstormed all of the ideas and created all of the "gifts."
3rd Grade New Unthinkables:

Silly Willy: Makes you silly at inappropriate times
 Rotten Ralph: Makes you not want to brush your teeth
 Mat Man: Makes you act like a doormat
Icee Iguana: Makes you pretend to be sick so you can stay home from school
Candy Eater: Makes you eat too much candy
 Music Box: Makes you hum or sign at inappropriate times
Funny Funster: Makes you make jokes at inappropriate times
Bored Billy: Makes you bored during class
Sleepy Me: Makes you fall asleep in math class
Beauty Judy: Makes you only focused on your looks
And those are just a few!

Here is the letter that was sent home:

December 11, 2012
Dear parent(s)/guardian(s),

As we are nearing the end of 2012 and approaching the beginning of 2013, I just wanted to give you an update on the class council lessons that I have been teaching in 3rd grade so far this year.

We started off the school year identifying and noticing expected and unexpected behaviors. Using Social Thinking curriculum, we have considered how our behavior affects how others think and feel about us. Most importantly, the students have learned that they can change how other people think and feel about them by changing their own behavior.

For instance, at school a teacher might say, “It is unexpected for you to be talking to your friend while I am teaching. I am feeling uncomfortable because it seems like you are not listening to what I am saying. If you can be quiet while I am talking, I will know you are doing your best to listen and learn.” This language could be used at home as well, if you are interested in utilizing it.

Each child also identified at least one unexpected behavior that they sometimes do and created an Unthinkable to go along with that behavior.  The students learned that the Team of Unthinkables are imaginary characters that get in your brain and try to take control of your thinking. Superflex is the superhero who provides kids with strategies to “defeat” their Unthinkables.

For instance, DOF (Destroyer of Fun) makes people too competitive. A Superflex strategy to defeat DOF is to tell yourself, “If I stay calm and remind myself, ‘It’s just a game,’ then people will think I am a good sport and will want to play with me again.” The 3rd graders were very creative and together thought of over 40 NEW Unthinkables that you can see displayed on a bulletin board near the front lobby.

After we return from the holiday break, we will begin a unit on conflict resolution. If you have any questions or concerns about your student, please feel free to contact me anytime either at the school phone number or by email ( I am really enjoying getting to know your children; they are a great bunch! 

Amy Wheeler
School Counselor, Grades 1, 3 and 5

Unthinkables Door Decoration:


First Graders Finish I-Care Cat Unit

Well, it's been quite a while since the school counselors have had time to blog. 2012 turned out to be a very busy year! We are in the process of catching up on posting, so in the meantime, we thought we would share some letters that have gone home so far this year for various grades with some examples of completed work. 

First up: 1st grade! Unfortunately, I didn't remember to photocopy any examples of the first graders I-Care-Cat books, but hopefully if you are a first grade parent, you saw them when they came home with this letter way back on November 14th.

Dear First Grade parent(s)/guardian(s),

I hope the beginning of the school year has been great for you and your child. I have really been enjoying getting to know all of them and work with them to improve their skills. I have seen every child during class council lessons once a week in their classroom, most children in small lunch groups, and some children individually, based on their needs.

In class council, we are just finishing up our I-Care-Cat unit. During the past few weeks, the first graders have met the I-Care-Cat puppet, learned his five rules, and created a book to help them remember the rules. The students should have brought their books home with this letter. You can ask them to explain what each rules means, and how it helps make them a better friend. The rules are:

1)      We Listen to Each Other
2)      Hands are for Helping
3)      We Use I-Care Language
4)      We Care About Each Others’ Feelings
5)      We are Responsible for What We Say and Do

If you can help to reinforce these ideas at home, that would be very helpful. The children all have this language now and can be prompted to remember, “Which I-Care-Cat rule should you be following right now?”

Please feel free to contact me anytime with any questions or concerns about your child via email (listed below) or phone at the school number. I look forward to working closely with you and your children. Thank you!

                                                                                    Amy Wheeler
                                                                                    School Counselor, Grades 1, 3 and 5