Ready for a SUPER year!

posted Aug 9, 2017, 9:40 AM by CODY SWEARENGIN   [ updated Aug 9, 2017, 9:42 AM ]

I am ready for a SUPER year and want to welcome back my 1st grade SUPER friends!  I also want to welcome all of the new Kindergartners and let you know that I am SUPER excited to meet you all as well! 

This website is the best way to stay informed with what is going on during our counseling classroom time.

Check out the "News Flash!" part of my website and you can come to see what we are doing during our counseling classroom times.  We will be working on learning the "7 Habits of Happy Kids" as well as working on our social skills and soft skills.  You can also follow @CounselorCody on Twitter to get updates as well!

Keep checking back to see what we are up to next!

February/March counseling...

posted Apr 6, 2017, 8:54 AM by CODY SWEARENGIN   [ updated Apr 6, 2017, 8:54 AM ]

This year sure has flown by and the counseling classes for K and 1st grade have finished up learning and reviewing all 7 habits!  

The last month of the year is super busy with assessments and special activities so be sure to check out each building's web pages for calendar updates and information.

If you are interested in seeing what goes on during that day for the Kindergarten or 1st grade you can follow me @CounselorCody on Twitter!  I try to send out a couple of tweets every few days...and especially try to take pics and send out tweets whenever we have something special going on (field trips, assemblies, dance parties, academic celebrations, etc.)

Keep checking back for more up to date information!

January Counseling Lesson

posted Jan 10, 2017, 12:52 PM by CODY SWEARENGIN   [ updated Jan 10, 2017, 12:52 PM ]

We are hitting the ground running for 2nd semester and are picking up where we left off on our 7 Habits of Happy Kids!

For January we will be talking about Habit #5

"Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood"

This means that I listen to other people's ideas and feelings and work hard to get along well with others.  I don't interrupt and I listen with not only my ears, but my eyes and heart as well.  I truly try to understand where others are coming from!

A lot of our discussion has been on how to be a good listener.  Sure....everybody can listen but can you listen well to others?  Listening well means I give good eye contact, I listen with my ears and I am paying attention and focusing on the person talking to me!  This can be difficult if we think we already know everything or are not working hard to be focused continuously.  The video below is a simple but great example of how to listen....enjoy The Biscotti Kid

The Biscotti Kid

Cookie Monster wanted to learn Biscotti Karate, but in order to do so he had to listen with his whole body:

Eyes watch, Ears listen, Voice quiet, Body calm

May we learn from Cookie San how to be a good listener!

October and November Counseling Lessons

posted Nov 30, 2016, 11:11 AM by CODY SWEARENGIN   [ updated Nov 30, 2016, 11:12 AM ]

During the month of October and November we have gone over Habits #2 and #3:

Habit #2 - Begin With The End In Mind (Have A Plan)

Habit #3 - Put First Things First

We shared stories about Goob Bear saving up money and planning on what he was going to spend it on, while Jumper Rabbit took the money he earned and spent it all on stuff that didn't last.  We also share a story about Pokey Porcupine playing instead of studying and then failing his test because he didn't prepare like he should have!

We had some great discussions about having a plan before you do anything, setting goals and then working hard to meet those goals.  There was also good discussion on getting our work done first, and then having the rest of the time to play and do what we would like!

One of the other things that we started to talk about was careers and jobs and to begin thinking about what kind of jobs are out in the world.  Most of the typical jobs were named (police, firefighter, nurse, doctor, teacher, etc.).  During this time we were able to watch part of a video that shows some jobs that you might not normally think of!  Check out the video below:

Curious Kids Careers

This video really got our brains turning and thinking about what we want to be when we grow up AND what it might take to have the job that we want!

September Counseling Lessons

posted Oct 17, 2016, 7:16 AM by CODY SWEARENGIN   [ updated Oct 17, 2016, 7:17 AM ]

Over the course of September both the Kindergarten and the 1st graders have covered Habit #1 and talked about stranger safety!  Habit #1 says...."Be Proactive - I'm in charge".  This means that you are in charge of you....your hands, feet and what you say and do are all decisions that you make.  Self-responsibility is an important concept that helps us to realize that we truly are in charge of ourselves and how things go for us.  

When talking about Stranger Safety we watched John Walsh's video called "The Safe Side".  This video helped explain what kinds of people we can trust and not trust, and what to do if someone approaches us that we don't know.  We also got some hot tips on what to do when someone comes to your door!

During October we will continue to emphasize Habit #1 and be learning Habit #2.  By the end of this year, we will have gone through and had lessons about all 7 Habits of Happy Kids and be on our way to taking responsibility for our actions and being able to work well with others!

It's a bird, It's a plane, It's...a new school year!

posted Aug 8, 2016, 12:58 PM by CODY SWEARENGIN   [ updated Aug 8, 2016, 12:58 PM ]

Welcome back to school!  I look forward to meeting all of you and having you in the counseling classroom this year!

If you browse over the tabs at the left then you can learn a little bit about me and the counseling program that we have going on at Cedar Ridge Primary and Cedar Ridge Elementary (1st grade).

If you have any questions or concerns about anything, then please don't hesitate to contact me!

I am looking forward to this being a SUPER year!

March Lesson #1 and #2 - "Sharpen The Saw"

posted Apr 1, 2016, 11:51 AM by CODY SWEARENGIN   [ updated Apr 1, 2016, 11:51 AM ]

For the month of March we have been working on Habit #7 - "Sharpen the Saw"

Habit #7 is "Sharpen the Saw" and this means that balance is best.  I take care of my body by eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep.  I balance my time between school, community activities, family and friends.  I am always learning how to become a better person.

In Kindergarten we read the story "Sleepy Sophie" in which Sophie Squirrel has some trouble maintaining balance in her life.  She is sleepy at school, doesn't hang out with her friends and misses exercise because her favorite thing to do is read....and that is all that she is doing!  She stays up way after her bedtime reading and says no to activities with her friends.  After feeling worn out, Sophie's mother explains to her that even though reading is great, she really needs to include different things in her life in order to be balanced.  When Sophie begins to get her rest, hang out with her friends and exercise she really feels great!

In 1st grade we read the story "Goob and His Grandpa".  Goob and his grandpa did everything together, but one day Goob's grandpa passed away.  This left Goob feeling very sad and his friends wanted to help him feel better.  The first thing they did was just sit with Goob and mourned with him.  Then they made up a schedule and each friend visited Goob each day and spent time with him.  soon, Goob began to feel a little bit better and realized that he felt this way because his friends were willing to spend time with both the good times and the bad.

The questions for this discussion included - How does it feel when you spend time with people you are about?  How do you feel when you go awhile without getting to see your friends?  Why is balance important?  Have you ever lost someone close to you?  What could a friend do to cheer someone up?  When you feel sad, what do you like to do to feel better?

For the second lesson, both the Kindergarten and the 1st grade watched the same videos as we focused on keeping balance within ourselves.  The videos we watched discussed exercise, eating healthy and taking care of our minds.

Here are the videos we watched:

Too Much TV

After watching these videos we discussed why it is important to take care of ourselves and make sure that we are being healthy so that we can maintain BALANCE!  This is another skill that is important to practice so that we don't just strengthen only one part....but instead give equal attention to our mind, heart, body and soul!

February Lesson #1 and #2 - "Synergize"

posted Apr 1, 2016, 11:27 AM by CODY SWEARENGIN   [ updated Apr 1, 2016, 11:28 AM ]

For the month of February we have been working on Habit #6 - "Synergize"

Habit #6 is "Synergize" and this means together is better.  I get along well with other people and work well in groups.  I value the strengths of others and allow myself to learn from them.  I know that by working as a team we can come up with better solutions and get more done then we could by working alone.

In Kindergarten we read the story "The Big Bad Badgers" in which the 7 Oaks friends played a game of soccer against the Big Bad Badger team.  At first, all of the friends on team 7 Oaks was doing their own thing, not paying attention and not truly working as a team.  They soon found themselves losing the game.  At halftime, Sophie Squirrel rallied the team and helped them to realize that they would all have to use their individual strengths and work together as a team in order to be competitive and even win!  Each member of the 7 Oaks team did their job and by working together won the game in the end!

In 1st grade we read the story "Sophie and the Perfect Poem" in which Sophie and Biff Beaver were assigned to work together on a poem for their class.  Sophie and Biff Beaver had a hard time deciding on what to write their poem about and ended up just arguing and getting nothing accomplished.  When they decided to work together, and agree on things that they both like for their poem, they were finally able to complete the assignment.  Better yet....their poem was voted best in the class!

Our discussion focused on these few questions - What are some things the you are really good at?  What are some things that you see other people being good at?  What makes a good team member?  What makes a poor team member?  How does it feel when you accomplish something as a team?

In both Kindergarten and 1st Grade, we carried the idea of teamwork over in to the second lesson.  The students were able to pick out their own partners and we divided up into groups of 3 or 4.  Their task was then to work as a team and put together a puzzle in the allotted time.  This lead to some great discussion and lessons in both grade levels.  Many times, the students realized how hard it is to truly work together...sometimes we need to make decisions to not work with certain people because we get easily distracted....or sometimes people that we don't think would be a good teammate actually have a lot of great skills!  Other lessons for discussion included how to communicate with each other instead of everyone telling each other what to do.

Being able to work in a team can be a very difficult task, but is very important in everyday life and can lead to a great sense of accomplishment when done successfully.  What a great skill to work on for both students and adults!

January Lesson #1- "Seek First To Inderstand, Then To Be Understood"

posted Jan 25, 2016, 8:25 AM by CODY SWEARENGIN   [ updated Jan 25, 2016, 8:26 AM ]

For the month of January we have been working on Habit #5 - "See First To Understand, Then To Be Understood"

Habit #5 is "Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood" and this means that I listen to other people's ideas and feelings.  I try to see things from other's perspectives and viewpoints, not just my own.  I listen without interrupting.  I use my eyes, heart and ears to listen and truly hear what the other person is saying.  I am confident when voicing my own ideas.

In Kindergarten we read the story "Jumper and the Lost Butterfly Net".  Jumper Rabbit really wants Goob Bear to play, but Goob doesn't feel like it because he lost his butterfly net.  While goob is trying to tell Jumper while he is sad, Jumper keeps interrupting and begging Goob to play, not really listening and see how sad his friend really is.  Jumper goes off to play leaving Goob alone.  Along the way he runs into Tagalong Allie, who is hard to understand.  When Allie says "Me Thweter Back Woods" (My sweater is backwards) Jumper can't understand what she is saying because he really isn't listening.  Lily Skunk helps Tagalong Allie and teaches Jumper that you have to listen with your eyes and heart, not just your ears.  Jumper realizes he wasn't listening to Goob and returns to his friend to help him find his missing butterfly net.  They find the net and Jumper teaches Goob about what he has learned about really listening.

In 1st Grade we read the story "Lily and the Yucky Cookies".  Lily Skunk wants to bake cookies for her friends, but is in a hurry and doesn't listen to her dad trying to read the recipe to her.  She ends up giving her friends a really yucky batch of cookies and gets embarrassed when they tell her that aren't that good.  Lily goes back and her dad explains to her that sometimes we need to slow down and listen, making sure that we have everything we need and know what to do.  She bakes another batch of cookies, listening to the instructions this time, and makes the best cookies ever for her friends enjoyment!

Our discussion, for both grade levels, centered on a few questions - Have you ever been frustrated when someone is not listening to you?  Do you truly listed to what others are saying, or do you just hear them?  What makes a good listener?  How do you show you are being a good listener?

We ended our discussion with some role plays on being good listeners.  We really focused on listening and not interrupting our friends when they talk, using good eye contact and restating what we heard from the other individual.

In the end, we all agreed that being a good listener is a skill that we all can work to improve on everyday!  

December Lesson #1 - "Think Win-Win"

posted Dec 15, 2015, 12:02 PM by CODY SWEARENGIN   [ updated Dec 15, 2015, 12:02 PM ]

In December we have been working on Habit #4- "Think Win-Win"

Habit #4 is "Think Win-Win" and this means that I am a problem solver!  When a problem comes up I do my best to solve it.  I am kind to others.  I think about what other people want and not just what I want!

In Kindergarten we read the story "Lily Plants a Garden".  Lily skunk wanted a garden but her mom was skeptical because she knew that taking care of a garden was a lot of work!  Lily decided to write a letter to her mom about having a garden and listed all of the responsibilities that she would do to make sure that the garden grew.  Lily's mom, realizing that Lily was ready to take responsibility for the garden, agreed to let her grow one.  This allowed for a "Win-Win" situation.  Lily was able to have her garden and her mom was able to enjoy fresh vegetables!

In 1st Grade we read the story "Sammy and the Pecan Pie" in which Sammy feels like his sister gets everything.  She always gets a perfect score on her math tests AND she always gets the biggest piece of the pecan pie!  Sammy's mom explains to him that while his sister is good at math, it doesn't minimize what he is good at.  His sister does not make model rockets as well as Sammy does.  Mom goes on to say that the world is like an all you can eat buffet, and not just a piece of pie.  We can all have as much as we want, and it all depends on how you choose to solve the problems and make of each situation.

Our discussion in both grade levels included:  How are you a problem-solver?  Why is it important to think about others and not just think about yourself?  Do you ever compare yourself to someone else?  What kind of compliments do you give others?  How does that make you feel?

Our character word(s) for the month of December are Compassion/Kindness - caring for others.

This tied into our first lesson really well and for our second lesson we watched a Character of Virtue video on Compassion.  You can check it out below!


Thanks for checking in!  Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season!  See you in the new year!

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