Lynn Thornton, School Adjustment Counselor

Contact Information:

* email:  lthornton@oxps.org

              508-987-6066, ext 3

 November 2018

I am teaching Social Emotional Learning in grade 2 this year.  I am using the Second Step Program.  We will be learning and practicing Self-Regulation, Empathy, Emotion Management and Problem Solving.  Please practice and reinforce these skills at home with your child.  Feel free to contact me if you would like suggestions on how to do this.  Additionally, please contact me if you feel like your child needs additional social, emotional or behavioral support.

See attachment below re:  children's books that teach empathy

Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Schoemer and I have started our third year of the BOKS program.  BOKS—Build Our Kids' Success—is a free, before-school fitness program aimed at getting kids moving in the morning so their minds are ready for a day of learning. Its mission is to promote the benefits of physical activity for mind, body and community.  This year, we are fortunate to have the support of several teachers; Mrs. Gilligan (grade 3),  Mrs. Torti (grade 3), Mrs. Roemer (grade 2), Ms. Freudenthal (grade 4) and Michelle Cadavid (School Psychologist).

September/October 2017

In September, all 2nd grade classrooms were introduced to the ZONES of Regulation Curriculum.  The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum designed to foster self-regulation and emotional control.  It helps students to recognize when they are in different states called “zones.”  Each zone is represented by a different color; blue, green, yellow and red.  The zones have to do with where a person is at in terms of level of energy and alertness, strength of one’s feelings and readiness to learn and to make good decisions regarding social interactions.

 When a person is in the blue zone, he is in a state of low energy and alertness.  He is not ready to learn and will probably not be able to make good decisions socially.

 When a person is in the green zone, he is in state of optimal energy and alertness.  He is ready to learn and is able to make good decisions socially.  His emotions are at a level that he can control.

When a person is in the yellow zone, he is in a state of heightened energy and alertness.  His feelings are strong.  He is not ready to learn and will likely make poor decisions behaviorally and socially.

When a person is in the red zone, he is in an extremely heightened state of alertness and his feelings are very intense.  His emotions are overwhelming and his behaviors are out of control. 

This month, we will be learning tools (strategies, coping skills, calming techniques) that we can put in our “toolboxes."

In October, Mrs. Schoemer, Mrs. Borjeson, Mrs. Bennett and I started our second year of the BOKS (Build Our Kids Success) program.  The BOKS program is a before school program that helps teach students the benefits of exercise and the importance of making healthy choices.  It helps to give kids a body and brain “boost” that will set them up for a day of learning.  Every class includes a running activity, a skill of the week, a fun game and a nutrition “bit.”   This year we also added a mindfulness component to the program. We practice deep breathing, yoga, mindful listening, meditation and read short stories on mindfulness and "Being Present."  It's a great addition to the program and the children seem to enjoy it and benefit from it.

This year I started teaching mindfulness in grade 3 classrooms.  I go in weekly and introduce various topics, practices and stories related to mindfulness.  Please see below for a link regarding children and parent books on mindfulness.  There are some good ones!


Mrs. Hammond and I have worked together on updating and improving our "calming yourself down" toolboxes.  Every classroom has a "Take 5" area in which there is a toolbox as well as posters students can use to help them identify feelings and regulation zones.  There is also a poster that offers example of positive self-talk.  The tool boxes include manipulatives like play dough and stress balls as well as journals for writing and other visual reminders of what students can do to calm down.  A "Take 5" area is a designated place in each classroom where students can choose to go to when they find themselves dis-regulated.


What is Bullying and how to respond to it

Mrs. Borjeson, our health teacher, has been teaching lessons to the children about bullying. Topics have included ’What is Bullying.'

  1. For behavior to be considered bullying it has to be:Hurtful- verbal, emotional, physical. 
  2. Done on purpose
  3. One-sided- if 2 children are calling each other names, this is not considered bullying
  4. Repeated- one incident of name-calling is not considered bullying

 Please review the definition of bullying with your children.  If you feel that your child is being bullied, please call me or Mrs. Wiley.

 Children are learning when to report bullying to an adult and when to stand up to a bully.  Safety is the main factor in deciding between the two.  Children have had discussions about when it is not safe to stand up to a bully.  They have also been told that they can always report bullying to  an adult. Grade 3 ELA MCAS begins the week of March 1st and Grade 4 ELA MCAS begins the week of March 8th.  Encourage your children to be patient with their work and patient with themselves.

This month's character trait is Acceptance.  What can you do to help your child be more accepting of others?


The Character Trait of the Month is Friendship.  Check out this website:  https://raisinglifelonglearners.com/being-a-good-friend/


The Character Trait of the Month is PatiencePatience is to be calm and understand that some things take time and endurance.

Grade 3 ELA MCAS begins the week of March 1st and Grade 4 ELA MCAS begins the week of March 8th.  Encourage your children to be patient with their work and patient with themselves.


The BOKS program is coming to an end the week of April 9th.  Your children have come so far and we have enjoyed your children so much.  We will offer the program again next year for our 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders.  

Lynn Thornton,
Jan 9, 2018, 1:03 PM
Lynn Thornton,
Nov 28, 2018, 12:31 PM