- Greeting Song
- What is an elementary school counselor?
- I discussed how the students can let me know they need to talk to me and taught them about confidentiality, but how sometimes if they tell me something where they are being hurt or they are going to hurt themselves or someone else, then I do have to get help from other people.
- Following listening rules helps everyone learn.
- Your brain gets smarter every time it works hard.
- Focusing attention involves using eyes, ears, and brain.
- You can focus your attention just by thinking about it, and the more you do it, the better you get at it.
- Using self-talk helps you focus attention.
To succeed in school, children need to be able to ignore distractions while focusing their attention. This is an important skill for learning that helps students pay attention both to what is important in the classroom and to their peers when playing.
Additional resources used in these lessons:
Listening Rules Cards
- Listening and following directions are important skills for learning.
- Repeating directions helps you remember them.
- Following directions involves using your eyes, ears, and brain.
- Being assertive involves using an assertive posture (face the person you're talking to, keep your head up and shoulders back) and assertive tone of voice (use a calm, firm voice; use respectful words)
- Assertive communication is the best way to ask for help.
Outline of our lesson:
- We practiced our listening skills and focusing our attention while following directions. We did this by playing Doodle Dance, Simon Says, and Head. Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
- I talked to the students about the different parts of out brain that are involved in self-regulation. I have some really great posters from Conscious Discipline that show these three different sections: brain stem, limbic system, and pre-frontal lobes. When I talked about the brain stem, I taught the students that this when the brain is asking: "Am I safe?" We talked about the behaviors they would show if they were in a room with a really mad tiger. They said they would freeze, run away, hide, or hit, kick, punch, etc. Absolutely that is what you should do! You should do anything to keep yourself safe. This is so great we have this part of our brain, it helps us survive in scary situations. However, the brain needs help in knowing the difference between a dangerous situation and something that happened at home or school where you're feeling very mad. In order to do this, we have to remind ourselves: "we are safe" and take big, deep breaths to shift our brains up to the limbic system. The limbic system is the emotional state of our brains, here our brains are asking if we are loved. The behaviors we display here include crying, arguing, yelling, name-calling, anything that is verbally aggressive. We can move from this part of our brain up to our pre-frontal lobes, which is where we want to be. We shift up to the pre-frontal lobe by taking big, deep breaths and giving us time to calm down. The pre-frontal lobes are the executive state of our brains. This is where we can problem-solve. When we are here, the brain is asking: "what can I learn from this?" This is when we can use our assertive/big voice to solve problems.
- We talking about the differences between a passive voice, aggressive voice, and assertive voice. We discussed how using our assertive voice is the best. Using an assertive voice means: using your big voice in a calm, firm, and respectful way, standing up straight and tall, and looking the person in the eyes.
- The students practiced using their assertive voice with partners and using our Time Machine. The Time Machine is a conflict resolution tool, that helps students solve problems with one another in a respectful way.
- We read Shubert's Big Voice (Shubert shows us how he uses his big voice to stand up to Benny) and Shubert is a S.T.A.R (Shubert shows us how he calms down by doing the pretzel, balloon, drain, or S.T.A.R breathing in the Safe Spot in his classroom).