MBMS Counselor's Corner


6th Grade: Jennifer Grant-Rucker 7th Grade: Jeff Amaral 8th Grade: Christina Robertson


Counselor and 504 Coordinator: Lauren Galbraith

Wellness Counselor: Katelynn Quach

Coffee With Counselors...is back!

Coffee with Counselors is an opportunity for parents to informally talk with the MBMS school counselors and other parents about the middle school experience and the whole child: How to navigate middle school both academically and socially, how to work with different teaching personalities, handling peer-to-peer relations, transitioning grade levels and how to access the counselor, just to name a few.

FRIDAY OCTOBER 12th: 6th GRADE BOOTCAMP

For 6th grade parents only. This will be an opportunity for the counselors to share information on how to best support your current 6th grader at MBMS

FRIDAY DECEMBER 7th: COFFEE WITH COUNSELORS

For 6-8th grade parents.

FRIDAY MARCH 1st: SCHEDULING FAQ & INFORMATION

For 6th and 7th grade parents to come in an ask any questions about their student's schedule for the following year.

SIGN UP HERE: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0B48A4AE2CA7F58-coffee2

From The New York Times

The Confidence Gap for Girls:

5 Tips for Parents of Tween and Teen Girls

Between the ages of 8 and 14, girls’ confidence levels fall by 30 percent. Fighting it requires taking some risks.

Click here to read the article

A Grandparent Support Group will be beginning on October 30, 2018. The Grandparent Group is open to any grandparent who is raising a grandchild on a full or part-time basis to this Group. Focus: A Discussion Group dedicated to the issues affecting grandparents helping to raise grandchildren.

Meeting Dates: Tuesday Mornings, October 30 - December 3, 2018

Time:: 9:30 – 11:00 am

Where: 2790 Skypark Drive, Suite 102; Torrance, CA.

Contact: Lesley Silverstone, LMFT @ 310-850-6067 or Peggy Kidwell-Udin, R.N., CNS @310-710-9951

Easing the Transition to middle school

Fall: a time where nights get cooler, leaves start to change, and for some, entering middle school for the first time. Starting middle school, especially in sixth grade, can be very daunting for students and parents alike. As students start the new school year, there are some things that you as parents can do to support them and ease the transition between elementary school to middle school.

Middle school is a time where the social aspect of school is very important to your child, especially being part of a peer group. With the large number of students at MBMS, there are many opportunities to meet new people. Some things to do to ease the social transition is to:

· Encourage your child to join a sports team, clubs, or other extracurricular actives. MBMS has various sport teams throughout the school year as well as clubs that appeal to different interests.

· Encourage your child to join group conversations. Discuss how to join in without interrupting, to add something relevant to the conversation in progress, etc.

· Talk to your child about traits that make a good friend and how words and actions can affect others.

Not only is the social aspect a transition for students but also the academics are as well. In middle school, your child is coping with harder classes, more homework, and a whole new set of academic expectations. It is quite typical for a student’s academic performance to drop upon entering middle school as organization and time management demands rise to a new level. Although it may seem overwhelming, keep reminding your child that he or she can manage these changes successfully, though it will take some time and practice.

Here are some ways to academically support your child through this time of adjustment:

· Help your student with time management skills. Work together on a schedule for study time, breaks, chores, etc.

· Have your student keep track of homework through an agenda notebook/planner.

· Have a specified time and place for homework each night.

· Have your student complete homework in a central place in your house where your presence is apparent. After your student is finished his or her homework, check it for completion against agenda notebook.

· Limit and monitor technology. This includes cellphones and iPads. Electronics can be distracting and may lead to mistakes when completing homework.

· Avoid overreacting to grades. Make sure your child gets a handle on how to meet the demands of his or her new school is the critical factor in the early weeks.

· Help your child be his or her own advocate. Encourage your student to discuss problems and solutions with teachers on his or her own, but be ready to step in and help as needed.

· Stay connected to your child’s school work. Stay on top of your child’s grades and work by logging into your Aeries account. If a question or concern should arise, contact the teacher after your student has reached out.

· Keep a positive attitude about middle school. Empathize with your child and tell him or her that it is normal for middle school students to experience fears and emotions. Furthermore, remind your student that his or her teachers want the best for him or her.

· Reassure your child that he or she will become more comfortable and confident with time and that he or she has what it takes to make it all work.

The mission of middle school is to help students learn the self-management and social skills that will be necessary to successfully cope in high school. Self-management skills, which include the discipline to keep track of homework and the work ethic to process it on time, are essential educational responsibilities student must learn to be successful in high school. Middle school is a minefield of developmental challenges for students and a time when significant parental supervision and support must be given. With the support from school and home, your child will be successful during these three years at MBMS.

As a parent, ever wonder how Summer break affects your child's school-year learning?

Some educators refer to this break from "traditional learning" as the Summer Slide. Here's a link to an interesting (and quick!) read: Kindle Edition of Summer Matters

Summer tips from the MBMS counselors:

1. Keep your kids reading! Have them tell you about their book... a character they like, an interesting fact, a prediction for the chapters to come.

2. Keep their math knowledge and their math confidence growing! Invest in an online program... IXL, Khan Academy, Reflex... Incentivize successful completion of lessons by having your children earn something that is meaningful to them.

3. Experiential Learning... Get out of the house! Travel, hike, explore local museums, try new restaurants, visit a local college campus, camp out in your own backyard, volunteer as a family.

The greatest gift you can give your child during the middle school years is your time... listening, understanding, reassuring, building their knowledge and confidence. Summer is a perfect time to do it!

Six Ways Parents Can Stay Connected With TheirTeen Son

Click here to read


Sleep. Is there ever enough?!

Not according to studies looking at the sleep patterns of adolescents.

Fun Facts to know about your middle schooler and sleep:

· Adolescents are children between the ages of 13-18

· Adolescents should be getting 9-9.5 hrs. of nightly sleep

· Younger Middle Schoolers should be getting between 9-10 hrs. of nightly sleep

· How much sleep are adolescents actually getting? 7-8 hrs. of nightly sleep

· The majority of adolescents are sleep deprived

· Sleep deprivation impacts every aspect of a child’s functioning: mood, behavior, focus, cognitive ability, academic performance, athletic performance

· Adolescent sleep schedules shift after puberty by approximately 2 hrs…. So, your child who used to be able to fall asleep at 9pm, now is not feeling sleepy until 11pm.

What can you do as a parent to establish and maintain the best sleep habits for your child?

· Monitor the nightly bedtime routine: same time, same place, same space

· Help your child to manage their evening activities allowing for a consistent bedtime routine: homework completion, extracurricular activities, unplugging from tech at least 30 minutes before lights out, peaceful hobby prior to sleep—reading, listening to music, drawing, writing…

· Don’t allow for over-booking and under-sleeping

Tips for Your Student: How to Approach Your Teacher with Questions

"Don't forget to talk to your teacher about that assignment!"

Does this phrase sound familiar to you? As a parent, we want our children to take advantage of the information that teachers have and the help they can provide when our kids have questions. Sometimes, students are apprehensive or nervous to approach their teachers because they don't know exactly what to ask. Here are some tips for how to help your student communicate with their teacher:

  • Have a specific question written down. Nerves can strike the best of us when we are put on the spot. Having your child write a specific question down can help get the ball rolling. For example, "I submitted my homework on December 1st, but was given a zero, can you help me with this" or "I used these 3 ways to study for your last test, but didn't get the grade I expected, can you help me come up with some alternate ways I can prepare for your next test?"
  • Choosing the right time. Ask your child what the best time to get help from their teacher is. It probably won't be during instruction time when they need to know about how to start that long-term reading assignment. It may be before school, during nutrition, lunch, or even after school.
  • Do your homework. Have your child look on PowerSchool, eBackpack or the teacher's website first to see if any of their (or your) questions can be answered. Maybe that missing assignment was completed, but just was never submitted.
  • Record what was discussed. Teachers provide a plethora of good information at face-to-face meetings, and recording what was discussed is key to remembering the conversation later on when students get home. With nerves, sometimes it's hard for kids to catch all of the information, especially if their meeting is a quick one. Encourage them to bring their iPad or a piece of paper (with their question written on it!) to write the answers to their question.
  • Send an email. Teachers appreciate when students are able to email their teachers directly and ask how they can get help. This shows interest and initiative on the student's part.

New Social Emotional Curriculum: Second Step

In 6th grade, the students are not only learning about the core subjects, but also are getting social emotional lessons taught by the wellness counselor and the sixth grade counselor. Second Step, a social emotional curriculum, is being incorporated into the sixth grade classes once a month.

This month, the students are learning about empathy and communication. After the lesson, students should be able identify behaviors involving listening and respecting others’ ideas. Students should also be able to apply empathy skills while identifying feelings and ways to make friends and work cohesively together in groups.

What Teens Need From Their Parents

Check out this article from the Wall Street Journal on what adolescents need in their teen years:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/what-teens-need-most-from-their-parents-1470765906

OMG, I Can't Even: Drama, Social Skills, and the Teenage Brain

An article from Edutopia on social and emotional learning:

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/drama-social-skills-teenage-brain-alex-shevrin