High School Registration!!
All 8th graders will be receiving their high school registration forms today (May 22nd) during 8th hour.  I have emailed the class of 2018 an online copy of the course catalog, so please check your email.  The attached version on here did not work! Do not hesitate to stop by my office, shoot an email, or give me a phone call with any questions!   sflie@csdmail.com or 715-822-5122 ext. 204

While the beginning of the month sure doesn't FEEL like May, we enter our last full month of school already.  The tulips planted by 5th graders for Red Ribbon week in years past are starting to come up (though the deer are using them for snacks...) and we wait for things to turn GREEN!

The 5th grade continues to learn more about careers!  All students will create a profile on WISCareers (http://wiscareers.wisc.edu) using their school ID and password.  This is an awesome website for both students and parents to get information about careers, post-secondary options, and for students to create portfolios that include interest inventories and other career activities.  

On May 30th, all 4th graders will be visiting the middle school for our 5th annual spring visit.  This is one of my favorite activities because we get to meet the incoming 5th graders and have some FUN doing it!  By the time late spring rolls around, many 4th graders are feeling anxious about the upcoming transition to the middle school.  This visit gives students a tour of the building, ask questions of current middle school students, meet their new principal and counselor, and check out their future classrooms.  We will also meet the Combination Family - Combo Carl, his wife Carla, and their daughter Paddy Lock to get an idea of how combination locks (often an intimidating part of coming up to middle school) work so by the time they get their locker at the Open House in August, they have an idea of how combination locks work!  

All 8th graders will be receiving registration materials on May 21st.  Students will use a master schedule to create their own schedules, complete with "back up" courses they would like to take.  Please contact Mrs. Flier if you have any questions about this process.  It can be stressful for students, just because they have never been through this process before, so don't hesitate to stop in or call!  715-822-5122 ext. 204

We spent the beginning of April field testing the Smarter Balance test, which will replace the WKCE next year in math and reading.  While this took me away from guidance lessons, it was a good experience to see what the test will look like so we know what we are getting ourselves into next spring!  Our 8th graders took the English/Language Arts test while our 5th grade tried out the mathematics test. 
The 5th grade guidance unit has now shifted to CAREERS - probably my favorite unit to cover.  I love hearing what students are interested in becoming when they grow up and there are lots of games we can play to help us learn more about our post-secondary options as well as reviewing all the different career options that are out there for kids.  

This month I have been working with the 5th graders discussing the topic of safety, beginning with safety during severe weather.  The Wisconsin Emergency Management team has created a curriculum called "STEP" - Student Tools for Emergency Planning.  This program encourages students to take responsibility for helping their families prepare for severe weather in our area.
I have challenged the 5th graders to create short skits to present information on various severe weather...  I knew they would do a great job with this, I just didn't know HOW great of a job they would do!  There are GREAT ideas they are working on and I can't wait to share the final results!  
Later we will move into the topic of personal safety, which includes information about abuse and personal rights.  At this point I will be mailing home a letter to all parents so they are aware of what we are discussing.

As our 8th graders get closer and closer to high school, there are lots of things going on!  If you have not already signed up for an Individual Planning Conference with me, please do so!  These meetings are about 30 minutes and allow us to discuss your students' future goals as well as answer any questions you might have about the next four years.  

All of our 8th graders will be traveling to Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) in Rice Lake on Tuesday, March 11th to listen to a wide variety of speakers talking about their careers.  Students were able to choose what speakers they wish to hear from and will also get a tour of University of Wisconsin - Barron County College.  This is a fantastic opportunity for our school and a huge thank you to Christy Roschell and WITC Rice Lake for putting together such a great Career Day for our kids!

Interesting Article
The past two months I have been doing classroom guidance with our 5th graders on the topics of bullying and appreciating our differences.  This group has been quite insightful and we have had some fun while also learning just how important it is to stick up for people and to appreciate what makes us all different.

With this piece, there is an overarching theme of kindness.  Years ago, when a grant was available, we did a Kindness Retreat with the 5th graders that was a really fun day filled with singing, games, and building each other up.  Everyone was all smiles, promised to be kinder to one another, and we all left feeling good about things.

But kindness starts long before 5th grade.  A friend recently sent me this article that talks about how kindness is discussed and handled at home can set the tone.  While a competitive nature isn't necessarily a bad thing, I think it is important for students to remember to cheer each other on - even when it means a loss for them.  

I have seen this kindness in the halls of Cumberland.  I have seen students noticing when another student is down.  I've had students come to me when they are concerned about a fellow classmate because they care so much.  I have seen students include others.  I have seen students be patient with one another.  I have seen so much kindness in our school - so thank you for raising kind students.  It makes such a difference in our school!!

Careers 8
One of the assignments for Careers 8 is for students to bring in a guest speaker or to interview someone so they can share what they learned with our class.  We have had many interesting guest speakers so far and look forward to many more!  We've heard from someone who works for Scott County making our roads safe, a nurse, an occupational therapist, a social worker, and a police officer, cosmetologist, electrician, dental assistant, EMT, and a veterinarian with a medical examiner and a carpenter on the calendar!
We will also hear from Career Specialist Christy Roschell of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.  She will  to our students about the options at WITC in Rice Lake and the surrounding campuses.  

                                                         Electrician Brandon Johnson shows 
                                                    students how fiber optics reacts to a flashlight 
                                                    while describing his career as an electrician. 

Occupational Therapist Karen Meade has students attempt
tasks without the use of their thumb to see what kinds of
things an occupational therapist might help their 
clients with. 

Welcome to the 2013-2014 School Year!
This will be my 7th year in the district serving grades 5-8 and I cannot wait for another great year!  I will be working with 5th graders during their BASE time, teach the quarterly class Careers 8, serve as the advisor for National Junior Honor Society, and supervise Level 3 resource.  
As the middle school counselor, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns about your child.  I am here to help assist you in any way I can and if I don't know the answer, I'll find it for you! :)
Welcome back!

The Adolescent Brain...
A great TED talk explaining what you already experience daily with your adolescent!