Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Fifth grade students across the district just finished up their growing up lessons, which followed our growing up nights for parents and students.  Taking good care of ourselves during puberty included a focus on the importance of getting plenty of sleep.  Have you ever wondered how much sleep your children really need?  Check out this new graphic from the National Sleep Foundation for more information!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Different Perspectives

We are in the middle of our conflict resolution unit during 4th grade counselor visits right now.  After defining conflict and looking at how we individually often approach conflict, we are now learning skills that will help us be better conflict managers.  Conflict is part of life, and there are healthy ways to work through it so relationships can be stronger afterwards.

First, we have been learning about how different people in conflicts often have different perceptions.  The goal of conflict resolution is not to figure out who is right and who is wrong, but rather, to better understand the different perspectives of everyone involved so we can come up with solutions that meet everyone's needs at least a little bit.

To help us understand this, students first worked on squiggle drawings.

Everyone started with the exact same squiggle.

Each person then turned that squiggle into their own drawing.  There were so many unique ideas.  We discussed how one picture is not more correct than another.  Each is different and represents a different way of seeing the situation - or another perspective if you will.  Then we discussed how different perceptions create conflicts sometimes.

How can you talk about different perspectives when conflicts come up at home?

Here are a couple of ideas.  Encourage one another to listen and identify different perspectives (i.e., one person likes a specific TV show because...  another dislikes it because...).  An idea with siblings is to have each kiddo pretend to be a different sibling (e.g., stand in his/her shoes) and talk about a conflict from that point of view.  This helps build empathy skills too!

What other ideas do you have for promoting conflict resolution?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


We are celebrating kindness this month at Hansen with school-wide activities!

Today in Mrs. Marshall's class during our counselor visit we focused on how kindness increases dopamine in the brain and can cause a ripple effect.  First, students experimented with bowls of water and eye droppers to see what ripples are all about.  Then we compared those ripples with the ripples of kindness.  We ended with students writing comics to show how they could have been kinder in a recent, real-life situation and finished with a math problem.

Here's the math problem.  Starting on Sunday, if one person does one random act of kindness for two people, and those two people do a random act of kindness the next day for two people each, and so on, how many acts of kindness will have been completed by the end of the day on Saturday.  Can you figure out the answer?

Be watching for our building-wide affirmation wall that we are making this week!  Other activities are planned as well.

Kindness matters.  Pass it on.

Friday, February 6, 2015

National School Counseling Week

It's National School Counseling Week.  Thanks to the Hansen family for supporting our comprehensive counseling program.  If you have ever wondered what your school counselor can do for students and families, check out last spring's video that is all about school counseling in Cedar Falls!