The 5th grade anxiety lesson was taught to 179 5th graders. They learned about types of anxiety, coping strategies, assessed their own anxiety, discussed stressors and activities to ease anxiety. The students’ major worries were: demanding schedules, extra school work, grades and pressure from home. Coping strategies discussed were reading, playing outside, and taking deep breaths, but a lack of time to do them. Role playing was utilized to demonstrate how to talk to stakeholders about their anxiety. At the conclusion of the core lesson, 98% of the students could name 2 strategies to help with anxiety. The other 2% required the counselor to sit with them individually and suggest anti-anxiety strategies so they could name two they were comfortable with. A total of 15% of the students agreed to participate in a Tier II level of instruction. The outcome achievement data raised questions. Positively, 19% of the students scored higher in reading and 15% scored higher in math when comparing EOG scores from 4th and 5th grades. Comparing the same assessments, more concerning are the 33% of students who scored lower in reading and 22% lower in math. Looking ahead the counselor can look more closely at report card grades to give an indication as to if anxiety played a role in the drop. Moving forward, proficiency on EOG’s combined with Report Card data will be important to review together and Tier II support can happen earlier. The counselor can also move this lesson earlier in the year to give the students more practice time.
The Social and Emotional Lesson took 140 third graders through varying degrees of emotions and strategies they could use when emotions did not result in positive behaviors. One student explained a series of an emotion in this way: cranky, bothered, frustrated, angry and furious. They outlined different coping skills for each level of emotion: talk to a friend, think happy thoughts, one minute vacation, wall push ups, find a quiet spot. Before the lesson, 80% of the students were able to identify 1 coping strategy when prompted. At the end of the lesson, 98% of the students were about to identify 4 coping strategies. The perception data allowed me to access the students who had difficulty discussing coping strategies and could help these students 1:1 during the classroom. When looking at outcome data, teachers reported 12% of students struggled with handling their emotions before the lesson and 6% after the lesson. Looking ahead, if the behaviors of these students continue to be significant due to their emotional responses, a Tier III response could be created to give additional support. Also, I can work closely with classroom teachers providing options for ways to incorporate time and space to assist with elevated behaviors based on emotional responses. When teaching this lesson in the future I want more visuals to show students different coping strategies. It is developmentally appropriate for this age group since many are new to the idea of using coping strategies.
The second grade lesson was taught to 148 students and introduced SMART goals, short-term and long-term goals and the importance of setting goals for personal improvement and future success. All short-term goals were academic based and had to be time-bound to the end of second grade and all long-term goals had to be either college or career related. These goals were recorded by students and taken to each station. Out of these 148 students, 85% were able to successfully set a short-term academic goal and a long-term college/career goal. These results show that majority of students were able to understand the content of the lesson and apply it to their own lives in both the short-term and long-term capacity. In order to reach the other 15% of students, it will be important to allow more time for the stations to be completed and have counselor assistance and have ample time to create their goals. According to student report cards, across two randomly selected second grade classes, 15% of students showed improvement in math grades between quarter three and quarter four and 12.5% showed improvement in ELA grades between quarter three and quarter four. It is important to note that there are many other factors that contribute to academic improvement like classroom instruction, tutoring, classroom curriculum resources, etc. In order to more effectively implement and follow-up with this lesson, the school counselor can follow up with students’ on their progress towards their academic goals, especially with students who are performing below grade level.