Counselor's Corner

  • Counselor Welcome to the Counselor's Corner! I'm Karin Bloom, and I'm very excited to be here at ​Encinal as the full-time counselor. We are committed to developing the whole child, including social and emotional learning as well as academic learning. I am available as a resource for any students or families who may need the support of a counselor. I also lead a comprehensive Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program to strengthen interpersonal and intrapersonal skills for all students at Encinal. 
    Here are key takeaways she is sharing with each grade. Check out the links at home and start a discussion with your child to reinforce the development of this critical life skill.
    K-1st graders: Students learn how to look for clues about how someone is feeling by watching their face and body language. They read the book Understand and Care by Sheri Meiners and watched this fun Sesame Street video with Mark Ruffalo.
    2nd-5th graders: Be an up-stander, not a by-stander to show your empathy! Students learned 5 practical ways to be an up-stander at Encinal. Students also read Say Something by Peggy Moss and watched this short video with tips on how to be an up-stander.

    Ms. Bloom held the first Counselor Coffee talk with families to discuss "Creating Peace in Your Home." She provided practical tips and tools to help create a happy and peaceful home, especially during the most stressful times of the day like getting out the door for school and going to bed. "It takes teamwork" between adults and kids in the family is a major takeaway! See her full presentation here and download the handouts below.
    1. I Can Do It Myself
      • Chart with words and pictures, good for younger students.
    2. Family Chart
      • Matches the "I Can Do It Myself" Chart, but with only words, good for older students.
    3. Home Star Reward Chart
      • Focuses on the 3 most popular behaviors parents want help with.  Other popular ones include: speak in a "x year old' voice to reduce whining, put my things away, used a positive attitude to reduce complaining. Time frames can be adjusted depending on age of child.  Longer time frames for older kids.  Popular options: 1 hour time slots or Before Dinner/During Dinner/After Dinner/Bedtime. 
    4. Home Rewards
      • Ideas for daily or weekly rewards.
    5. Behavior Plan - Key Points
      • Helpful suggestions to create a successful behavioral change.

    During August and September, Ms. Bloom will visit every class to introduce our first Life skill of the Trimester -- Empathy.
    Empathy means
    Showing you understand and care about how someone else is feeling.
    For Kinder and 1st grade students, she talked to them about Filling their Buckets, Manners, Personal Space, and Tattling vs. Telling.  Ask your students about some of these concepts.
    For 2nd through 5th graders, Ms. Bloom read The Golden Rule book and reminded students about the basic school rules. She reviewed how to use a Feelings Thermometer to do a self-check on how we’re feeling and how to do “Talk It Outs” -- our school wide approach to working out conflicts and misunderstandings.
    With Talk It Outs, students are taught to make their problems smaller with 3 main steps:
    1. Make Eye Contact
    2. Use I-Statements
    3. Pick a Problem Solving tool
    Look out for Talk It Out posters around campus.  The goal is to empower students to solve their problems independently.  If the problem is too big or complicated, they are encouraged to seek an adult at school to help them put the process into action. Ask your student to teach you this technique to use at home! Click below to see the handouts used to teachTalk It Out to:  1st-3rd graders and for 4th-5th graders.
    Core Life Skills Lessons
      1. What I did to hurt someone? (owning behavior)
      2. How did the person feel? (empathy)
      3. What can I do next time? (learning from mistake)
      4. How I’ll make it up to the person? (restitution)
    • Feelings Strategies:  Students are being taught a variety of Coping Skills and asked to pick “My Go to 5” for calming down at school and home.
    • School Rules - Ask your child about the School Rules that were discussed to keep our community safe. They include:
      • Use Kind Words
      • Keep your Hands and Feet to yourself
      • Follow Adults’ Directions
      • Take Care of Property


    Where to find Ms. Bloom!

     You can call me at (650) 326-5164 extension 1106.