Planning for High School: Part 2

Parents of rising 9th graders were on campus Tuesday to discuss all things related to high school.

If you were not able to attend, you can view the power point presentation: Planning for high school for PARENTS. I’ll send home the Carnegie Credit Forms with students next week of you were not at the meeting.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with our high school counselor, Dr. Brown, you can do so here

Two dates to remember:

Thursday, April 23 – turn in 9th Grade Registration Form

Thursday, May 14 – turn in Carnegie Credit Approval Formcalendar_may_flowers_md_wht

It’s hard to believe there are only four full weeks of school left! We talked about this in 6th and 7th Advisement yesterday and how to finish strong.

Have a great weekend! Stay dry!duck_holding_umbrella_rain_md_wht

Planning for High School: Part I

Today, I discussed making a four-year high school plan with the 8th graders. We high_school_md_blktalked about graduation requirements, specific high school courses and levels, and your student’s 9th course recommendations. You can view the power point presentation by clicking on: four year plan

The 8th grade teachers and I met to discuss the recommended courses for your student. The 9th Grade Registration Form went home today in a white envelope. Please discuss this form with your student, make any necessary adjustments, sign it, and send it back to me by April 23.

I will meet with the 8th grade parents on Tuesday, April 14, at 11:10-12:10 in the Training Suite. Dr. Brown, our high school counselor, will join us to talk about all things related to high school.

tulips_orange_lg_whtHave a SUPER spring break!!

Counseling lessons at GOC

It’s been a busy two weeks in counseling and advisement at GOC!

Fourth and fifth grade students have had their personal safety/Child Lures lesson. You can read more about it here.

WonderWe’ve also continued our Wonder lessons in 4th grade.

In 5th grade Class Meetings last week, we talked about how we often make a difficult situation even worse because don’t state how we’re feeling in a constructive and calm way. We discussed how to deescalate our emotions and situations using I Messages.

We practiced giving I Messages using the sentence stem: i_md_wht

When _______________, I feel _______________ and I want ____________.

Example: When you blurt out when I’m talking, I feel ignored and I want you to listen when it’s my turn to talk.

Using an I Message doesn’t guarantee we’ll get what we want, but when used calmly it can help us state how we feel about a situation without making the situation worse.

I encouraged the students to practice giving I Messages at home and school. We’ll continue learning problem-solving skills and the students will be ready to try actual problem solving soon.

We’re discussing how our behavior can negatively impact others in 6th and 7th grade Advisement. Dr. Kana, Mr. Lollis and I acted out various situations and then we discussed the possible impact on others.

The situations included spreading rumors, excluding others by moving seats, and not being invested in the planned activity during Learning Labs. The students did an awesome job explaining how behaviors impact others, even if unintentional.

We’ll continue this lesson in 6th grade and 7A next week.

Have an awesome weekend!spring_daisies_twirling_lg_wht

Want to save money on college?

The Georgia Department of Education sponsored program, Move On When Ready (MOWR) is a perfect way to cut college costs.

Even though this program is designed for 11th and 12th grade students, it’s never too early to plan for your child’s education. This information is included in our on-going counseling lessons in 8th grade and we’ll discuss it in our rising 9th grade parent meeting on April 14.

Move On When Ready Act (MOWR), House Bill 149, was signed into law April 2009 as a dual enrollment opportunity for students to attend a postsecondary institution full-time during their junior and/or senior year of high school.

Students that participate in MOWR will receive high school credit and college credit simultaneously while attending college classes on the college campus, full-time. Approved college on-line courses may also be taken that meet high school graduation requirements.

How does Move On When Ready help students? MOWR provides high school students the opportunity to “jump start” postsecondary education during the high school years. Once a student meets the admission requirements and is accepted to a technical college, 2-year college, or 4-year university, the high school student will be free to “move on” earlier to the next educational level.

The opportunities within the MOWR legislation provide students an educational alternative other than the traditional high school setting or school day structure. The Move On When Ready Act also provides students an option to earn postsecondary credit before graduating high school. Students who earn postsecondary credit while in high school, according to recent research, are more likely to graduate from college or university.

What does Move On When Ready cost? Students can save money on future college costs because most expenses are paid by a funding mechanism established by the legislation. MOWR covers students to enroll full-time (12 semester hours) in postsecondary institutions to earn high school and college credits simultaneously.

How can students participate in Move On When Ready? Interested students need to meet with their high school counselor and parents to discuss the guidelines and responsibilities of the MOWR program. Students are eligible to participate in Move on When Ready if they are entering 11th or 12th grade, as determined by the local system, and have spent the prior school year in attendance at a public high school in Georgia. Before students become MOWR candidates, they must meet the admission requirements of the selected college/university. Once accepted, students will need to complete the application form, meet the dual enrollment/ MOWR requirements as set by the eligible institution in addition to the GaDOE guidelines, and select approved courses to take at the college level that meet the high school graduation requirements.

What Else Do You Need To Know? Tuition, materials, fees and possibly books are paid through MOWR funding.  Food, transportation, and other costs are the responsibility of the student. Students participating in Move on When Ready are not eligible for any other state student financial aid at an eligible institution for courses taken under the program. They can receive additional institutional aid or local scholarships from the local postsecondary institution they are attending.  Move on When Ready course hours do not count against any maximum hourly caps for HOPE scholarships or grants. Students may live on campus or commute and the student is responsible for expenses related to these living costs. Students entering grade nine for the first time during the 2011-2012 school year and beyond, will need to pass the Georgia High School Writing Test and take Georgia public high school End of Course Tests, which contributes to 20% of the course grade.

Pretty cool, huh? Middle school students will learn more in April about this opportunity. If you have a high school student currently at GOC, please contact Dr. Lindsey Brown if you have any questions.

Have a great weekend!

Note: MOWR information taken directly from the GA DOE MOWR brochure.

Transitioning to 9th grade

We’re talking about the transition to high school in 8th grade Advisement. I was with 8B students yesterday and I’ll see 8A students soon.  This discussion will continue through April.

All 9th grade students will take:

9th grade Literature and Composition

Math (Algebra I, Accelerated Algebra I, Geometry or Accelerated Geometry)


Health (1 semester only)

PE (1 semester only)

2 Electives – choices include:

  • World Geography
  • AP Human Geography
  • Spanish I or Spanish II
  • Technical and Business Education electives

In early April, the teachers will give their course recommendations for our 8th graders and the students will share these with their parents.

On April 14 (11:10-12:10), Dr. Brown (the high school counselor), Mrs. Tennant (the Tech Ed. Department Chair) and I will meet with the 8th grade parents to discuss:

We hope all our 8th grade students will remain at GOC for their high school education, but if a student decides to go to another school, he/she can take the course recommendation sheet with them when they register at another high school.

Parents can read more about the courses required for high school graduation in the Choice Book.

As always, feel free to email or call me with any questions.

Have a great weekend! I hear things are warming up!partly_sunny_md_wht

Keeping Our Kids Safe

As parents, our number one job is keeping our children safe. We never want to alarm our families, but here are some facts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:

  • Approximately 800,000 children younger than 18 were reported missing.
  • More than 200,000 children were abducted by family members.
  • More than 58,000 children were abducted by nonfamily members.
  • An estimated 115 children were the victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping. These “stereotypical” kidnappings involved someone the child did not know or was an acquaintance.

In March, I will teach the Child Lures program to our 4th and 5th grade students. The key objective is to teach children to stay safe by:

Listening to their instincts to recognize and avoid situations that might threaten their personal safety.

Recognizing various child lures that someone might use to trick a child into trusting them.

Understanding what to do if they are faced with a child lure.

Types of child lures discussed in 4th grade:

  • The Fun & Games Lure
  • The Affection Lure
  • The Assistance Lure
  • The Friendship Lure
  • The Bribery Lure
  • The Emergency Lure
  • The Authority Lure
  • The Job Lure
  • The Ego/Fame Lure
  • The Online Lure

In 5th grade, we’ll review the lures discussed in 4th grade and watch a video that features 4 children telling their own story of abuse and how they received help.

A letter will come home to parents soon discussing the program further.

I hope you have a wonderful, warm weekend!!

This week in Counseling…

We’ve had a fun week at GOC and I truly enjoyed being with your children!

We’re still reading Wonder in 4th grade.

We talked about how Via (Auggie’s sister) sometimes felt ignored because Auggie’s condition required so much attention from their parents. We discussed feeling conflicted – having two different emotions at the same time. Our kids did such a great job “stepping into Via’s shoes” and articulating why she would feel this way.

We continued working on our empathy skills in 5th grade in Class Meetings. We discussed perspective-taking so we can see all sides of an argument. Soon we’ll be problem-solving as a group.

The 6th grade students took the Learning Styles assessment this week. You can Owlread more about this activity here

We’ll take the Career Matchmaker assessment in 7th grade next week. This assessment matches students’ interests with possible careers.

I’ll continue calling each 8th grade student over the next week. If you get a call from me, know it’s a good thing! I’m just checking in since it’s often difficult to talk with each student during our busy Learning Lab days.  If you get a message from me, give me a call back or email me with a better number to reach you.

Whew! That’s it for now. Have a great weekend!!

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day (tomorrow)! heart_head_wink_ty_wht

How do you learn BEST?

On Tuesday, our 6th grade students will take a Learning Styles assessment to see what type of learner they are. Career Cruising, a web-based career exploration site, uses three major types.

All 7th and 8th grade students should have already taken this assessment in previous years. But if your student hasn’t, I’ll catch them up when I’m teaching the Career Lessons in their classes this month.

You can see a brief description of each type below. GOC is so unique and adaptable for students with each learning style. Here are some helpful suggestions to get the most from our learning environment.

 Auditory Learning

As an auditory learner, you learn best when you can hear the information such as teacher lectures and classroom discussions. You understand and remember things better if you hear them. You may understand better when you read out loud to yourself. Here are some things you can do to help you learn:

  • After reading something, make a summary and say it out loud
  • Use the audio function in D2L on available lessons
  • Watch recordings of Learning Lab sessions (even if you were present)
  • Try talking to yourself when problem solving
  • You may find written assignments easier if you talk it out as you write
  • Noises may be distracting to you so study in a quiet place

Since you learn best when you can hear the information, look for ways to make the information auditory by reading out loud, listening to recordings, or having people read to you. You may find it helpful to have a study partner who can ask you questions out loud.

 Visual Learning

As a visual learner, you learn best when information is presented in written form or visually through diagrams or pictures. You prefer to read rather than listen to a lecture. Here are some things you can do to help you learn:

  • Use diagrams, images and pictures
  • Create flash cards to study from
  • Take notes or write down key words and concepts as you read lessons
  • Highlight or underline important information in your notes
  • Make outlines of the material that shows how the ideas and concepts are related
  • Try to visualize the material as you hear it spoken

Since you learn best when the information is presented visually, GOC D2l lessons fit you perfectly. You can also make information visual by taking notes and outlines or drawing diagrams and charts.

Tactile Learning

As a tactile learner, you learn best from hands-on experience where you can manipulate something in order to learn about it. The more you are able to touch and manipulate the information the easier it will be for you to learn. You learn by doing so you tend to learn better when some type of physical activity is involved. Here are some things you can do to help you learn:

  • Think through a problem while doing something physical like shooting a basketball, walking, or sitting on a yoga ball
  • Make diagrams, notes, and flash cards as a way of being physical with the information
  • Participate in Learning Labs on campus and Rich Experiences
  • Vary your study location during the day
  • Rewrite your notes or type them on the computer
  • Actively work the information you are learning by making models or doing demonstrations and practice assignments
  • Use role playing to practice skills or act out what you are learning
  • Take short breaks for physical activity when studying

Since you learn best by doing, look for ways to be active with the information you are trying to learn by using the information in some way to incorporate movement. You may find it helpful to act out material with a study partner, go on field trips or visit museums and science centers. And definitely come to Learning Labs!

You and your student can logon to your student’s account and learn more about their learning style and career interest. In general, the login info is Username: gc-student ID; Password: S6-digit DOB (ex. if you were born February 9th in 1998 you would put S020998 as your password).

The Career Cruising site is packed with tons of information about careers. We’ll do various activities in class, but students are also encouraged to explore on their own

Career Cruising also has a helpful video for parents on how students and parents can use the site:

Have an awesome weekend!



Got Empathy?

Empathy is one of those traits you’re either born with or not. Right?heart_head_wink_ty_wht

WRONG! While some people might be more naturally empathic (being in tune with another person’s feelings), children can be taught empathy skills.

And we’re doing this in 5th grade Class Meetings every other Thursday.

We’ve looked at pictures of kids in various scenarios and guessed how they might feel. We’ve also noticed how our faces change based on emotions. The students realized that even if people experience the identical situation (e.g., a friend can’t come to your birthday party), they may have a different emotion (e.g., disappointment, anger, relief.)


The students were assigned homework where they’re to notice other people’s faces and try to guess their emotions. They can do this with family members, the person at the drive-through, characters on TV, etc.

You can encourage empathy for others with activities at home.

  • expand your feeling words vocabulary. Instead of only using sad, mad, or happy, use varying degrees of these emotions such as gloomy, irritated, or elated.
  • read or watch TV together. Discuss how various characters feel. Ask, “Would you have the same emotion in that situation?”

One of the goals of our empathy training is to become better prepared to problem-solve.

We’re well on our way! heart_head_nod_yes_ty_wht

Have a great super fantastic weekend!