Managing Anger in 4th Grade Class Meetings

This week in 4th Grade Class Meetings, we talked about anger management. There are three common situations that can make us angry:

  • being falsely accused of something,
  • getting consequences, and
  • being criticized or corrected and having to do something over again.

While it’s okay (and even normal) to get angry, it’s not okay to react in a way that makes the problem bigger. For example, there’s a tendency to want revenge, but that will only make the situation worse.

We discussed some ways to deescalate our anger so we can make a good decision.

We can clam down by:

  • taking three deep breaths,
  • counting backward slowly,
  • thinking calming thoughts, or
  • talking to yourself.

We practiced these strategies and shared times when we were angry. It’s no surprise that several of the situations involved a sibling.

This may be the perfect lesson right before Spring Break.

Enjoy the break!

Dr. Edwards

Planning for High School, Part 2

If you missed Part I, you can see it here.

I met with the 8th grade students this week to do a few career activities and to discuss their high school plans. We talked about graduation requirements, course levels (e.g. honors, AP), and decisions that need to be made now for next year.

Parents can see the power point Planning for HS 2017.

Next Thursday, I’ll give each 8th grade student his/her 9th grade Course Planner that contains the teachers’ course recommendations. Students will take these home and discuss the forms with their parents. You can make changes and return the forms by April 27 if remaining at GOC next year.

Dr. Brown, GOC’s high school counselor, will meet with parents of 8th grade students to discuss all things related to high school, as well as Move On When Ready. This meeting is Thursday, April 20 at 11:00. This will be a very informative meeting for parents regardless of where your student will attend school next year.

On another note…Thank you to all who donated to the food drive for the Southeast Co-Op!

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Edwards

The World of Work

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be with 6th-8th grade students to do several career lessons. We’re using a new website to explore our interests. The students will have their own login info and can access the site and explore any time.  

I was with the 7th grade students this week and they took two different interest inventories to match their interests with various occupations within the 17 Career Clusters. Ask your students about their results.

I’ll be with 6th and 8th grades over the next two weeks.

I’m also taking advantage of the time with 6th-8th students to talk about cyber ethics, mainly the topic of making good decisions. I talked about the unfortunate occurrence in our culture for kids to send compromising pictures (nudes) to each other. Thankfully, this isn’t something we experience often at GOC! But I made it clear that not only is it unwise, it’s against the law. Sometimes it begins innocently, then it turns into a huge regret. The 7th grade students were very mature in handling this delicate topic, and I’ll continue this discussion with 6th and 8th graders.

Last, but not least…

Next week we’ll have an opportunity to show our community that we care by contributing to the Southeast Co-op. Please bring items to campus and place them in the GOC Cares wagon.

I really think it will be spring again next week! Have a great weekend!

Dr. Edwards

Middle Grade Connections

This week, I talked with the students in 5th- 7th grades about their Connections choices for next year.

6th Grade

Introduction to French or Introduction to Spanish

All students will take PE, Health, and Visual Art.

7th Grade

French, Part A or Spanish, Part A

Both of these courses are year-long. If the student also takes Part B in the 8th grade, they are eligible for a high school Carnegie credit. If a student doesn’t want to take a foreign language, they will take Visual Art and Music. All students will also take PE and Health.

8th Grade

There are several choices in 8th grade.

  • French, Part B
  • Spanish, Part B
  • Intro to Business and Technology
  • Intro to Digital Technology
  • Foundations of Engineering and Technology
  • Biology

Each of these choices come with possible Carnegie high school credit. All 8th graders will also have PE and Health.

I sent home a form with the students this week. Please discuss the choices with your student and return the form.

Have a great long weekend!

Dr. Edwards

GOC Counseling Happenings This Week

We’ve had a busy few days, post-virtual week!

In 4th and 5th grade, the students learned how to stay safe. We talked about the lures that someone might use to harm a child. Some of the ones we talked about were:

  • pet lure – there is NO lost puppy!
  • name lure – sometimes “bad people” listen to hear your name so they can pretend to know you
  • assistance lure – someone might ask you for directions, to carry objects into their car or house, etc.
  • bribery lure – someone who wants to do harm might give you something in exchange for keeping a secret

I mentioned that most people are kind, honest, and helpful. But because we can’t always predict people’s behavior, we need to listen to our brain. It tells us when a situation feels odd or scary.

We also talked about how important it is to NEVER talk to or go with another person unless we have permission from parents, and to be sure they know exactly where we’re going. Most importantly, children should never keep secrets from their parents.

7th-lifelines-3In 7th grade, Coach Blair and I continued our Lifelines Suicide Prevention lesson.Because kids tend to tell other kids if they’re thinking about doing harm to themselves, kids need to be equipped with the right language to help.

We discussed the Warning Signs of suicide.

  • F – feelings
  • A – actions
  • C – changes
  • T – threats
  • S – situations

We also talked about the important of:7th-lifelines-2

  • showing you care,
  • asking if the person is considering suicide,
  • and getting adult help

if someone tells you they are thinking about suicide.

Ask your students about these lessons.

Have a great week!

Dr. Edwards

Keeping it Cool in 4th Grade Class Meetings & 7th Grade Health Lessons


We had a busy time in 4th grade class meetings last week when we talked about impulse control.

An impulse is the first thing that pops into your head. We discussed that sometimes our impulses can cause problems for us.




To keep your impulses in check:cm11

  1. Stop and think
  2. Ask yourself: how does my body feel?
  3. Try:
  • taking deep breaths
  • counting backward slowly
  • thinking calming thoughts
  • talking to yourself.


In 7th grade, Coach Blair and I taught the first Lifelines lesson, promoting suicide prevention. These lessons are taught to all students in GCPS 7th grade Health classes. Because kids tend to tell other kids if they’re contemplating hurting themselves, it’s important that students are equipped with what to say and do if they’re ever in this situation. The main points we emphasized were to show you care and get adult help.

We’ll teach the second lesson on March 2. We hope all our 7th graders will be there.

Next week is Virtual Week! Be sure to engage in all your virtual sessions.



Have a great weekend!

Dr. Edwards



Planning for High School: Part I

I know it’s only February, but soon I’ll talk with our 8th grade students about going to high school.calendar_february_hearts_sm_wht

Here’s the timeline:

Early March – 8th grade teachers will make high school course recommendations.

March 30 – Dr. Edwards will visit 8th grade students in Learning Labs and discuss high school courses and graduation requirements and give out the 9th grade recommended course schedules.

April 20 11:00-12:00 – Dr. Brown will meet with 8th grade parents to discuss high school courses and graduation requirements.

April 27 – all 9th Course Forms are due to Dr. Edwards

Parents will have time to review their student’s recommended course schedule and make changes.

If your student is remaining at GOC, I’ll give the course forms to Dr. Brown and your student’s courses will be set for fall.

If your student is going to another high school, you can keep a copy of the form to discuss with the high school counselor at this school. You will need to call and schedule an appointment to register your rising 9th grader at the new school. These appointments are usually made over the summer.

I’ll share the information discussed in our 8th grade Learning Labs about high school in another blog post in March to keep you informed.

Have a great weekend!

Happenings at GOC!

Wow! It’s been a busy week at GOC.

We had a class meeting in 4th grade. We reviewed our past discussions on empathy and learned some interesting facts about each other.

51yS9y0WAaL._SX342_BO1,204,203,200_In 5th grade, we talked about how Catherine was embarrassed by her brother’s behavior and her parents’ argument. We talked about how sometimes our siblings embarrass us and…how sometimes we might embarrass them.


In 6th-8th grades, we continued our Start Strong Advisement strongman_lift_weights_md_whtlesson. The main concepts we talked about were plagiarism and cyber-bullying. The teachers and I reminded the students that they must give credit for works that aren’t their original thoughts.

kids_on_a_merry_go_round_md_whtI encouraged the kids to keep GOC a bully-free school and if they ever felt uncomfortable or unsafe, to let me know. We’re proud of our kind GOC students! You can watch the video that we used as our discussion-starter here.

Have a great weekend and stay warm!hunter_warming_by_campfire_sm_wht

Dr. Edwards

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

Sometimes after a long break it’s difficult to remember the good habits that brought success last semester. Things like:

  • having and following a routine each day
  • attending Learning Labs and Adobe Connect sessions (in their entirety)
  • submitting work only through your dropbox
  • emailing or calling your teachers when you have a question

We talked about starting strong in Middle Grades Advisement this week. You can take a look at the video discussion starter here.

51yS9y0WAaL._SX342_BO1,204,203,200_In 5th grade, we read Rules. After an awkward beginning, Catherine made a new friend, Jason. We also talked about how Catherine assumed the worst when she saw two kids talking outside her house.

Sometimes we do that, but luckily things usually turn out well, and there isn’t a need for the negative thinking. I asked the students to pay attention to the times they think negatively and to challenge that thinking. Ask your 5th grader about the story and how we relate it to our lives.

Have a great weekend!sun_shine_md_wht

Dr. Edwards



Welcome Back!

Welcome back, students!

Even though our first official day is Tuesday (1/17), you can access your courses TODAY!

So, if you’ve got a busy week coming up (such as you’re an 8th grader who is going to JA on Tuesday) you can go ahead and get a jump on your work.cricket_group_chased_by_frog_sm_wht

Sometimes having a long break like we just did makes it difficult for students to hop back in. We’ll address that next week in Advisement.

See you soon!

Dr. Edwards