Welcome to Guidance!
Emily Matteson-Weld, ematteson-weld@sau88.net

Mrs. Matteson-Weld’s Wellness


Dear Parents and Guardians,
        
         I feel truly fortunate to be able to work with all the children and families of our Mt. Leb. Community.  In my work here I strive to support all of you and our teachers in developing young minds that are confident and eager to learn.  I’d like to share some details of the Guidance program with you at this time.

         Classroom guidance has begun, and after we break the ice we’ll be jumping into a unit about identifying and articulating feelings.  Other goals of mine include helping children to positively and constructively deal with conflicts and helping students internalize their values of respect, kindness, and honesty.  We’ll explore the impact of the ways in which we communicate, both verbally and non-verbally, and learn that it takes many perspectives and differences to make our world go ‘round.  In the spring, we will be learning what it means to be safe, and I will send home a letter regarding this at that time.  We’ll learn these skills through activities, discussions, games, and videos.  I will see the first and second graders on a weekly basis and the third and fourth graders bi-weekly.  I’d like to provide the opportunity for the older students to talk more about friendship dynamics, peer pressure, personal responsibilities, and goal setting.

I meet with all first, second, third, and fourth graders in groups of six for Lunch Bunch.  Each week, I pull several children in alphabetical order from each class at that grade level.  This gives the children a chance to have lunch with students from a different class and is a great opportunity for me to get to know them.  The only agenda for lunch bunch is to do introductions, chat, and eat!

         I meet with children on an individual basis as well as in small groups as time allows.  Some small group meetings are spontaneous, such as friendship issues or something that is brought up in class.  Other groups are planned, weekly meetings with a specific topic such as friendship.  These groups are typically held during a recess time.
   
  
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    Fourth grade Adventure Group members participate in activity called "hula the hula."

Fourth grade Adventure Group members are transferring a chicken!

 
About Adventure Groups

 Last year I ran several adventure groups.  In these groups, the children learn to work cooperatively with one another.  Then we have a chance to process the activity.  I find the skills we practice in this group (listening, tolerance, patience, challenging yourself to try something out of your comfort zone) are the ones that can be transferred to any area of life.  These groups will be for the third and fourth graders.  Adventure group has become one that almost all third and fourth graders have expressed interest in, and for that reason, I am attaching a permission form for you to sign now.  I hope to honor all requests by the end of the year.
   
    With the exception of the adventure groups, the groups that I facilitate are support groups to help children understand that many children have similar experiences and feelings.  For these groups, I will send home a permission form before the group starts.   To help me start putting together some groups, I am including a form for you to give me any feedback you would like to share.  It is quite common for many first and second graders to be in a friendship group because they are still learning many of the behaviors that are expected among their peers.  If your child has already been in a group before, don’t hesitate to sign him or her up for it again—I use different materials with different developmental levels.  Your suggestions for group work will help to guide my practice.  Please fill out this form and return it to your child’s teacher.  If you would like, you may place it in an envelope with my name on it for it to come directly to me.  I regret that I am most often unable to include kindergarteners in my groups because of timing reasons, but will try to support them in other ways.
    Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have.  I am available by phone or email at 298-8202 and ematteson-weld@sau88.net.

In Good Health,


Emily Matteson-Weld