Welcome to the Counselor's Corner

Meet T.H.E Counselor: Ms. Hull 
Hello all My T.H.E Families, Students, and Staff... I am so excited to have a Counselor's Corner up and running at this time! For those of you that I have had the privilege to meet in person and for those of you I have yet to meet, I hope you find this connection helpful and useful. My goal is to post weekly social-emotional tools that you can use with your students. 
Learn the parts of the brain and how the brain works. Understanding the brain can help in managing your thoughts- which create your feeling and actions. In our society and in our daily lives it is important to try and focus on the positive and learning the power of "Yet", can defiantly help with that!
https://youtu.be/3bKuoH8CkFc - Why Do We Lose Control of Our Emotions?
Read Aloud: Social Sprouts Story Time: "Your Fantastic Elastic BRAIN!"
What is Mindfulness Anyways? 
Mindfulness is a precious thing. Mindfulness can help you calm down and deal with difficult things. Mindfulness can help you pay attention and concentrate better. 
Mindfulness is really about paying attention to everything that is going on inside and outside of you right now (in the present moment) or as it happens, noticing it but not making a judgment about it. Mindfulness is working to calm down the constant chatter of the mind. 
When you are practicing mindfulness be patient with yourself. Work to be aware of your five senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.
Every Monday I will add a Mindfulness Activity you can practice with you student! They will be located on the web page here with a tittle that will include the word "Mindful"!  
Side Note: Monterey Bay Aquarium has Live web cams of Moon Jelly(fish), Sea Otter's, Sharks, and more... These videos are often calming to the mind because they have a mystical visual component to them, the sound of water and or other calming music connected to the videos also add an audio piece. 
Learn about the five senses, what they do and how do they work:
https://youtu.be/-2caC-uI7l4 - Human Sense Organs - Learn about the five senses!
Mindful Eating Exercise: 
First you will need pick a fruit or something to eat mindfully - Recommendations would be an orange, maybe a hard piece of candy. (If you can get your hands on the Zotz candy- thats a fun one!) 
Start with SIGHT:
What does it look like? What Color is it? Does it have ridges? Describe what you see then you look at the fruit/ food you picked. There is not wrong or right here- take a few moments to do this.
Then move to TOUCH:
Maybe take a moment here to touch your orange or hard candy- prior to it being in your mouth, with an orange you will have an opportunity to touch and feel the skin, then you will have to peel the orange and you may feel the peel get under your nails, you may feel and notice the white stringy things on the orange itself from the peel. Ask yourself- Does it feel smooth, bumpy, soft/hard? Take some time here just to notice the touch senes with your hands and then notice the touch sense with your tongue. Does if feel different? With the the food entering into your mouth you and/or your child may want to bite into it- it's okay to do whatever you want. With a Zotz the longer you are able to resist the more experiments it can be! With the orange you will feel different textures inside the fruit vs. outside with the peel. Just take them all in and notice them! 
With Sight and Touch activated- you may have already started to SMELL (You actually may have smelled your orange First!)  When you smell ask yourself does this smell remind me of anything? How is this smell different from other foods? Does it smell sweet? Maybe they is no smell, but the flavor from taste helps you to realize what it may smell like(?). 
What do you hear? Maybe with the Zotz you hear the crunching or the fizzing (you maybe be feeling the fizzing as well). Maybe with the orange you heard the opening of the peel or the popping of the juice sacs. 
Can you taste flavors while holding the orange or hard Zotz? What about when the orange, Zotz, or food you chose enter(s)(ed) your mouth and touched your tongue? How about when you bite into it?
                          Are there any flavors left lingering in your mouth after you swallow?
Paying attention to senses like this can help us to....
Slow Down
Feel a bit calmer
Train our brains to stay present
Discussion Time:
Was eating like this different from how you used to eat or normally eat?
If, so how was it different?
Would you like to talk about what this experience was like for you?
Is this something you would like to do again? (If so maybe try a different food, "chocolate"!)
How could learning to focus your attention like this help in other areas or activities? 
Every Tuesday you will be able to find a book read aloud - that will aid in teaching your student(s) about a variety of different topics. These books may have fallow up activities and/or discussion questions, to help recognize your student(s) understand of the information provided and to encourage your student(s) to ask their own questions connected to what they have just learned. Enjoy the read aloud and have some fun! 
https://youtu.be/Yfva5ltdpEw - "Wilma Jean the Worry Machine" (read aloud)
After listening to the read aloud check in with your child(ren)/student(s) about their worries. You can have them draw them out, make a list, or just talk about them with you. Sometimes it is just providing the space to have a nonjudgmental conversation about fears/worries that can help. Helping students to get out their worries is the first step, as with anything we have to identify them first before we can calm them down.
Once Students are able to identify their worries you can have them organize them from Biggest to Smallest and/or Ones they feel they can control vs. the ones outside of them things they can't control. (Example: Currently a lot of students are worried about no school, but the situation involving school is outside of their control (something they can't control).) The important thing here is to help students identify what they can control and/or do to help the situation. (Example: "I know I can't so to school right now but I can read 30 min.'s and do assignments my teacher asks me to do.") 
(More Activities to come connected to Wilma Jean and Worry.)
https://youtu.be/XMhPkueNmO4 - "My Incredible Talking Body" Learning to be Calm By: Rebecca Bowen
During this Teachable Tuesday I have given you a book/tool that incorporates Mindfulness Monday- with some deep breathing! 
Feelings Activity: 
Have your students/children make a list of the feelings that they feel or can verbally identify. (Examples of Feelings to start with: Worried, Sleepy, Happy, Sad, Mad/Anger, Sad, Scared/Afraid, Calm...) 
Once they have identified feelings you can "make a feelings book" take a piece of paper for each feeling identified and have your student/child pick a color to represent/identify the feeling. (Example: Red may represent Anger/Mad or Purple maybe the color to them that identifies the feeling of HAPPY!) In the feelings book write the feeling in the color your student/child has picked to represent that specific feeling. Then have them draw a feeling face that matches the feeling. Once that is completed you can ask or have your student/child tell you or write (or both) what makes them feel that specific feeling. This is a fun way for kids as well as parents/Adults to explore their feelings and think about what may make them feel a curtain was. You may learn things about your students/children and even yourself. This could be a "Feelings Book" that you create over time and do a feeling or two a day. 
A Couple Additional Pieces to this Feelings Book:
- Draw and outline of a human body- (I will provide a picture example if possible.) Have your student/child identify where they feel specific feelings in their bodies. Some kids report having worry in the heads, Anger in their hands and face, and happy everywhere. Every student/child is different.
- Once students/children are about to understand their feelings they maybe ready to have those next step conversations about what they do or what their bodies do when they are having or feeling their feelings. This could be a conversation: (Example: (Adult) "What does your body do when you are having this feeling?" (Student/Child) Sad- "I start to feel tightness in my throat and my eyes start to water or cry." "Sometimes I don't want to cry, but my eyes just do it.") 
It's important not to judge what your student/child tells you about their feeling and never make fun of them regarding their responses. 
You can also go further and ask your student/child to think of ways they can feel better when they are having curtain feelings. (Example: If you are mad what is something you can do to feel better? "I could jump up and down 10 times.")
You could play feeling Charades! Have some fun with feelings, students can learn and grow with feeling awareness! 
https://youtu.be/A5R6-2m_qHk  - How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids- 
Kindness Matters: This week I encourage you to do an act of kindness in your home- this could be doing something to help out your parents, grandparents, and/or siblings. It could be a note of appreciation and Love! It could be and uplifting song- "Dance Party" to help lift each others spirits! 
On Thursday's you can pop in to see a quick video and/or a find Video recommendations!
https://youtu.be/ikehX9o1JbI   - Social-Emotional Learning: What Is SEL and Why? 
https://youtu.be/dOkyKyVFnSs  - INSIDE OUT: Guessing the Feelings...
Creative Activities! 
"A Frog is a remarkable creature. It is Capable of enormous leaps, but it can also sit very, very still. Although it is aware of everything that happens in and around it, the frog tends not to react right away. The frog sits still and breathes, preserving its energy instead of getting carried away by all the ideas that keep popping into its head. The frog sits still, very still, while it breaths. Its frog tummy rises a bit and falls again." 
By doing the Frog exercise, students will learn to:
  • improve their concentration skills, which can help them remember things better.
  • be less impulsive
  • have some degree of control over their inner world without rejecting or repressing anything
https://youtu.be/EOckRqbCdG0 - sitting still like a frog for younger students- 
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