Thursday, October 24, 2013

A little late... or a LOT! :)

Sorry I've been missing in action this year! This blog was just something that completely slipped my mind!

So to catch up....

Welcome Back! The school year has gotten off to a great start! As we approach the end of the 9 weeks, it is even more evident that this is going to be another great year at FES!

October is National Bullying Awareness and Prevention Month. The whole month students have and will be learning (more!) information about bullying. I'm so excited when I go into a class to talk about bullying and the students know all the "right" answers. I makes me feel as if what I've been teaching them all these years has gotten through to them! However, knowing the right answers and applying them are two different things. :)

In 2nd, 4th, and 5th grades we spend a lot of time talking about what it means to be a bystander. This is such a crucial role that most students don't recognize they're in. We saw examples and talked about strategies students can use if they ever find themselves as bystanders. K, 1st, and 3rd, lessons emphasis was on ways to stop bullies.

Take a moment and talk to your children about bullying and what your expectations are of them. Emphasis on what they're learning at school, at home, can only help promote a solution to this ongoing problem.

For more tips for parents, check out the scholastic link below.

As always, if your child is experiencing any form of bullying we're here to help. Please don't hesitate to give us a call!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Gearing up for SOL's!

Here's a post from last year about getting ready for State Tests. As always if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me. :)

It's almost that time again... Time for our state tests! 

Students in grades 3-5 will be taking the Virginia standard of learning tests beginning May 7th. Students will be tested in a variety of core subjects including Reading, Math, Science and Social Studies over the course of three weeks.

Third grade students see this is a whole new experience which can bring forth many emotions. Fourth and fifth grade students have taken these tests before but that doesn't make them any less nerve-racking! All in all, taking the standardized tests can be quite overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help reduce test anxiety leading up to, and on the big day....

  • Encourage, Encourage, Encourage!! Your child has worked hard all year long. Encourage them to do their best and show what they've learned. 
  • Make sure your child gets a good night's rest. If they've been going to bed later try to push bedtime back 15 minutes each night until you get the desired bedtime. This will help them feel ready and focused the next day.
The Night Before
  • Emphasize you'll be proud of them regardless. They are well aware of what's at stake so being negative, or telling them how dissapointed you'll be if they fail, will fuel anxiety. Kids often think that if they fail, their parents won't love them anymore. Tell them you love them, no matter what.
  • Give your child the night off if you can. Let them do something they enjoy to ease the anxiety.
  • Have everything taken care of the night before if at all possible. Bookbag packed, clothes picked out (something comfortable!), etc. This will avoid a morning rush; a sure anxiety producer. 
The Morning of the Test
  • Make sure your child arrives to school on time. Being late can set the tone for the day so it's best to avoid rushing if at all possible.  
  • Provide a HEALTHY breakfast - No one wants a sugar crash to happen during the middle of the test! Something with protein will keep them full and provide fuel to last until lunch. If you can't have breakfast at home, encourage your child to eat breakfast here at school. It is served every morning. 
  • Wish them luck. The morning of the test, wish them luck, say you know they can do it, and send them on their way. Dwelling on it could lead to negative thoughts about the test and you want this to be a positive experience for them.
All in all, these kids are going to do great! They've learned the material, they just have the let that knowledge shine! Encouragement from those at school and home is sure to give them the boost of self confidence they need!

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have.
I'm here to help! :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

6th Grade Scheduling

All 5th grade students have received information about scheduling classes for middle school. They have the option to return a paper copy or parents may log on to parental portal and complete the schedule there. 

If you have ANY questions about this please contact me. 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

No Name Calling Week

Farmington Elementary will be participating in national
To show our support we have a different theme for each day. 
We hope your child will participate!

Monday January 21st- No School
Tuesday January 22nd Mean names can hurt your heart day! Wear red as a reminder!
Wednesday January 23rd Be a good sport day! Don’t use hurtful names when others don’t play as well as you - wear an athletic team shirt/jersey.
Thursday January 24th Dont be a Grinch day! There is no need to point out the negative things in others wear green or Grinch gear!
Friday January 25th Stand up for other Foxes day! Don’t let others call names; speak up when you hear mean names Wear school colors/spirit wear.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Talking about Tragedy

Our heartfelt condolences go out to all those affected by the events at Sandy Hook Elementary.

I have provided a list of resources for parents below. I hope you find these articles and websites helpful as we move forward.

National Association of School Psychologists. 
"Talking to Children about Violence: Information for Parents and Teachers."

Virginia School Counseling Association
Talking to children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers

PBS Parents
Talking with Kids about News

Please know that I am available to assist you or your child in any way. If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please contact me by phone or email at school.

Mrs. Conner

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bullying and How to make a difference

October is National Bullying Prevention Month!

Bullying is defined as: A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people. 

Every October I spend my classroom lessons focusing on bullying, grades K-5. The focus of the lesson is typically, what is bullying and what to do if you are being bullied. This is still true for the younger grades. As for the older children, the thought occurred to me one day that maybe being proactive on the front end wasn't enough. To me, our older children have the tools to stand up to a bully. It's reiterated everywhere from in our classrooms, school, at home, by society. Still, however, I find the larger issue to be those students who do nothing. I don't expect everyone to be on the front lines, stopping bullies one at a time but I do think these children hold more power than they know. 

I typically read the book, "One" by Kathryn Otoshi to students in the younger grades. This year I decided to read it to 5th grade. This powerful little book is on my must-have list. The premise behind this short and to the point book is that sometimes it only takes "one" to make a difference. My challenge to those 5th grade students was, "How are you going to be the "one" that makes a difference in someone's life?" 

This idea carried into my fourth grade lesson where we talked about the bully, the victim, and those in the middle (or on the outside, however you choose to look at it). After some role plays, I tried to drive home the point that, yes, that person who is being bullied can use their "tools" to stop them but those people standing and watching can be a powerful resource too. If someone is being left out, ask them to play. If they aren't allowed to sit by the "bully" at lunch, let them sit with you. Small acts of kindness.

While it's impossible to stop bullying all together, my hope is that these children start to think about what role they play in bullying and how they, all by themselves, can make a difference in someone's life. At home, talk to your children about what they're doing to help those who are being bullied. The children know who those children are. Encourage them to be a friend, reach out to them, and stand up for them even if they can't do it themselves. Sometimes it just takes one. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Welcome New Students!

Check out "Our TREEmendous New Students!"

I took an opportunity to meet with all the students new to Farmington this year. I always enjoy interviewing the new students. It gives me an chance to get to know them better and check to be sure things are going well. The interview questions and answers are displayed outside my office for the entire school to see as they pass. This also gives the other students in the buiding a chance to see all the new faces and find out more about them. During the interview, I also took the opportunity to explain what my role is as the school counselor and many students knew exactly what my job entails thanks their former school counselors!