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Welcome to the Lower School Guidance page! The Lower School Guidance program at Pinewood offers developmentally appropriate instruction and support services to students in Pre-K3 through Grade 5. We hope you find this page helpful and informative.  The purpose of this page is to provide you with a central location to find information about our ongoing guidance curriculum at Pinewood and to provide you with information and support resources.  The page will be updated on a continual basis.  Please feel free to email Anna Bright (Guidance Counselor) if you have any questions or if there is a topic you would like to see covered.  

A child’s emotional development is as important as their academic development.  At Pinewood, we strive to educate our students to correctly identify, communicate, and manage their emotions.  We also focus on identifying others’ emotions and how to react to those emotions/feelings.  It is also important to learn conflict management skills, and how to make and keep friends.  We also talk about the importance of rules (at school, in the home, and in our community), and how to work cooperatively in a group.  Other important topics covered are the similarities and differences among people and families and recognizing diversity in society.  The list could go on and on!  Our guidance lessons involve short videos, stories, arts and craft activities, and games that assist children in learning these skills.  Check back for monthly updates on these topics! 

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October 2020: Feelings, Friendships, and Communication

October 01, 2020
By Anna Bright

I am so happy that October has arrived and the weather is getting cooler and the fall decorations are coming out! October's guidance lessons are also in full swing. Here’s a summary of what will be covered in each grade level:

This month in PK3 we will talk about similarities and differences among others.  We will begin the lesson by reading the book “Little Quack’s New Friend” by Lauren Thompson. This book is about a group of little ducklings and how they behaved when a new friend, a frog, wanted to play with them. At first the ducklings didn't want to play with him because he was different. By the end of the story they learned that even though the frog looked different, they could all have fun playing together. We will then follow up with a class activity. The children will color images of fish and place them on a big sheet of blue paper. The paper will have the title “We May All Be Different Types of Fish, But In This Class We Swim Together.” It is important to respect similarities and differences in others and to remember that, while someone may look different on the outside, we all have feelings on the inside. Being kind is important and will take you far in life. Here is a great article about helping your child learn about differences in people: 
This month in PK4 we will discuss identifying the feelings of another person. We will read the book “Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day” by Jamie Lee Curtis. This book discusses numerous feelings, events or activities that may put you in a certain mood, and how all feelings are okay (but we have to be careful of our behavior). We will then watch a short video starring the Emotions from the movie Inside Out. We will conclude this lesson with a "feeling sort." The students will match pictures of real kids (no one we personally know) displaying a certain feeling with a drawn figure which represents and labels this feeling. Identifying others’ emotions is a life skill that will serve our children well. For more information on helping a child develop empathy read this article:
This month in K5 we will discuss identifying ways to make and keep friends. We will read a book titled “How to Be a Friend” by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown. This is a great book about how to ask others to play, how to share ideas, how to take turns picking an activity, and how to ask others to join in with your activity (just to name a few). We will then do a sorting game about things that friends should and should not do. It is called “Friendship Dos and Donuts” and all the examples are printed on little donuts! It’s a very cute game that the K5 classes enjoy!  Making friends and being a good friend is a skill that helps us succeed in life. For more information on how to help your child with friendships, see the following articles:  
Grade 1 students will discuss appropriate communication skills this month. We will watch a video about how clearly stating our feelings to someone will help us communicate better.  We will then play the ‘Friendly or Unfriendly’ game.  This is a cute, fun game that explores friendly and unfriendly comments that a child may hear, and what the possible emotional reactions of each comment may be.  Knowing how to express your feelings in an appropriate manner is an important life skill.  It is also important to learn how some comments may hurt others’ feelings, and how we need to try to avoid making those comments.  For more information helping your child to develop communication skills, see this article: 
This month in Grade 2 guidance, we will talk about skills for conflict management. Conflict with peers is inevitable, and we will discuss positive ways to handle the conflict. We will watch a video of a book called “The Recess Queen” by Alexis O’Neill. This is about a little girl who tries to control who can do what during recess. Her classmates grow tired of her behavior and a new classmate helps them solve the problem. We will then discuss how you can SAVE the day!  
  • Say how you feel
  • Acknowledge the other person’s feelings
  • Very respectful conversation
  • Engage in win-win solutions
Our final activity will be a partner activity and the students will solve problems using the SAVE method!  I love how this lesson gives a very scripted method to solving problems.  For more information about conflict resolution, see:  
This month in Grade 3 guidance, we will talk about respecting similarities and differences among others. We will read a story about a girl with a developmental delay and how she is treated by others. We will discuss how some children did not treat her kindly and called her names, but they changed their mind about her once they got to know her. This is a nice lesson about acceptance and about how everyone is different in some way. Just because someone is different, it doesn't mean that they are somehow not as important as everyone else. Everyone should be treated with kindness and respect. For more information on talking to your child about respecting differences, read the following article:  
Grade 4 students will discuss healthy and unhealthy relationships in the month of October. We will start the lesson by reading the book “My Secret Bully” by Trudy Ludwig. This is an excellent story about a girl and her “friend.” The “friend” started to treat the main character, Monica, poorly and the book discusses how that made Monica feel. By the end of the story Monica realizes that this has developed into an unhealthy relationship, and stops being friends with the girl. This took strength and courage on Monica’s part. We will then discuss as a large group what qualities a good friendship has (respect, honesty, trust, communication, etc). We conclude the lesson with a “healthy vs. unhealthy relationship” sort.  A student will randomly pick a card, read it aloud, and we will discuss it as an example of a healthy or an unhealthy relationship.  For more information about helping your child build healthy relationships, please read the following article:
October’s guidance topic for Grade 5 is conflict resolution. Conflict with peers is inevitable so it is good to learn how to effectively and respectfully deal with conflict. We will start with a review of the steps to conflict resolution: make sure you are calm, identify the problem, decide if it is a big problem or a small problem, try two ways to solve the problem, and tell an adult if necessary.  We will then break up into groups to rotate to different stations in the classroom. At each station there will be a written example of a conflict for the group to solve. After each group rotates through each station, we will discuss as a whole group how to solve each conflict. For more information about conflict resolution, please see the following: 
Brendan Diffley 
843.873.1643, ext. 2009
Director of Guidance/Assistant Head
bdiffley@pinewoodprep.com

Anna Bright  
843.873.1643, ext. 2018
Guidance Counselor/School Psychologist
abright@pinewoodprep.com