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Mrs. Melanie Jaenicke - Guidance Counselor

My name is Mrs. Melanie Jaenicke and I am very excited to be working as the School Counselor at Holy Cross for the 2017-2018 school year. 

Here is an overview of some of the different parts of my role in the building: 

-Meet with students individually 

-Meet with students in small groups at lunch

-Conduct classroom guidance activities

-Consult with parents and teachers

-Develop and implement a Wellness/Mindfulness awareness in the building that promotes these types of activities across disciplines.

My goal is to provide a fun and safe environment for all students.  I am here to support them in any way I can whether that be academically and/or emotionally.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  

I can be reached at mjaenicke@holycrossrumson.org or (732) 842-0348 x1237.   

Here is an example of some of the activities conducted in a large group Guidance session:

Kindergarten

  • Get to know your school counselor from a Mr. Potatohead perspective. 
  • My Mouth is Like a Volcano —Students will read this book and understand the importance of not interrupting.
  • Tattling vs. Reporting—Students will discuss examples of when it may be necessary to let an adult intervene and when it is important to speak up for yourself. 
  • Mindfulness—Students will begin sharing different strategies that they can use to calm down if they are feeling upset or mad about something. Students do some yoga stretches.

First Grade

  • Getting to know your school counselor from a Disney perspective
  • Fancy Nancy-Working Together -Students will read the story and discuss some of the unkind actions and brainstorm how to respond to them.  The examples from the book and the pages they are creating address conflict resolution.  They will also complete a page independently that will be used to create their classroom friendship booklet.  This book may be revisited during the year for reminders on important ways to be a good friend.
  • Making Friendships Bloom-Children will brainstorm the important qualities needed to be a good friend, classmate, teammate, brother/sister.
  • Mindfulness-We will discuss the importance of taking care of our bodies and our minds and practice some yoga poses together.

Second Grade

  • Getting to know your school counselor from a Disney perspective
  • My Secret Bully —This book will be read and students will discuss some unkind examples of being a friend.  Students will also be asked to work on their page prompt which asks them to articulate a positive message in regards to being a good friend along with an illustration.  These pages will be put together and become a classroom friendship booklet.
  • Personal Space--Students read a story about personal space and use hula hoops as a visual to determine how much space is needed around our friends and classmates.
  • Toy Story—Watching segments of Toy Story and discussing the treatment of the toys as it relates to how we treat our friends.

Third Grade

  • Matching game to reinforce the different aspects of the counselor's job
  • Empathy-- Start to define this important word and look at examples of children being empathetic.
  • Extension of Empathy-Ask students to give themselves a grade on their empathy report card. 
  • Read and discuss How to Eat Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun—The Courage to be Who You Are .  Students will work together in small groups to brainstorm some strategies to address some unkind acts referenced in the book.
  • Multiple Intelligences-Students will learn about the different types of intelligences by watching a short video and then selecting the top three types of intelligences that they most identify with. 

Fourth Grade

  • Glitter is like gossip.  Students will pass around a glitter filled container and discuss how it is almost impossible to not get the glitter on themselves—just like how gossip often plays out.  We talk about ways to prevent gossip from spreading. 
  • Team work to build marshmallow towers—Students will discuss the important qualities needed to be successful when working in a group. 
  • Watch the different segments from Disney movies and share some of the important lessons shown in the brief segments as it relates to themselves in fourth grade. 

Fifth Grade

  • Empathy activity. 
  • Gingerbread Person-Students complete some questions regarding their greatest achievements, goals for the future, most important thing/person in their life and strengths that they have.
  • Wonder discussion.  Students worked in small groups to discuss different aspects of friendship and things we have in common.  Some of Mr. Brown's precepts were shared and students explained what their meaning was for them as fifth graders.
  • Compliment bags-Students will be asked to write a compliment about each person in their class.  The compliments will be placed inside a brown paper bag and students will get to read them and discuss how the compliments made them feel.

Sixth Grade

  • Study skills/being organized-Students were given some informal inventories to better examine some of their daily homework routines.  We discussed further some additional strategies that they may want to incorporate into their daily routine at school.
  • Students are connected to the preschoolers periodically during the year to do some reading and crafts with them.  These are wonderful opportunities for the sixth graders to serve in a leadership role with the younger students.  Our preschoolers look forward to their new "friends" visiting again. 
  • Personality Inventory-Students are given an informal personality test to yield a description of an individual's distinct personality traits.  The results may also help student realize their full potential and also help students appreciate other personality types.

Seventh Grade

  • Empathy.  Watched a brief video discussing this characteristic as it may relate to them. 
  • Brave-Sara Bareiles-listened to the song and looked closely at the words to examine the message being shared and how it relates to them as seventh graders.  We also discussed what it means to be "brave" at Holy Cross. 
  • Mindfulness-Discuss the important ways that they can take care of themselves as they may begin to experience some more pressure both academically and socially.

Eighth Grade

  • High School Transition-Some of the local Catholic high schools had visited the eighth graders to discuss more specifics about their school and their program.  Students had an opportunity to ask questions at those meetings. 
  • TED talk—watched a brief video on someone doing a small act of kindness and how that small act made an incredible difference in someone else's life.  The power of our actions is really important to be thinking about.  We also discussed the importance of leadership as it relates to them as eighth graders.
  • Compliment activity-Students are asked to write a compliment for every member of their grade and not use the word "nice."  I will take all of their comments and write up a compliment sheet for each eighth grader and review with them individually later in the year.
  • Letters to themselves-  Students are asked early in the year to write a letter to themselves one year from now.  They can start thinking about where they might be for high school and the types of activities they may be involved in.