Friday, June 17, 2016

Breathing & Relaxation Techniques:

posted by: Jillian Perrault

Students who experience worries over the summer can practice these different types of breathing prior to entering new environments or scenarios such as cookout, beaches, and play dates. These techniques can help children's bodies calm down and have a more positive / enjoyable experience . 

Providing Structure in the Summer for your Anxious Child:

Posted by: Jillian Perrault

Summer time can be very unstructured to it’s important to provide structure for anxious children to help put them at ease. Having visual schedules can be helpful for children so they know what to expect. 

Here is a sample visual schedule:

Day of the Week

Beach Day
Daycare/ Sitter
Play date with Friend
Daycare/ Sitter
Visit with Grandparents


Family Day

  •       Always try to get to your child to events on time, or early – being late can elevate levels of anxiety
  •    Role play strategies so your child can practice their reactions and prepare for possible outcomes
  •          Allow & encourage your child to do things  on their own when possible
  •          Try not to pass your own fears onto your child
  •          Work together as a team (family members, teachers, child)
  •        Set consequences – don’t confuse anxiety with other types of inappropriate behavior. Set limits & consequences so that you don’t allow anxiety to enable your child
  •          Genuinely Accept your child’s concerns
  •    Help your children focus on what worries they can control and what worries are out of their control

Friday, May 20, 2016

Summer Tips to Maintain Social Skills

                            posted by Kristen Perrotti, School Psychologist/Counselor
As the school year comes to an end, here are some tips to keep students interacting positively with their peers during the summertime. Summer months are often filled with play dates, pool parties, beach trips, family vacations, camps, and other social activities. While this is an exciting and fun time of year, these activities are often less structured social events than students would experience during the school year, thus leaving more room for misperceived social situations, social conflict, and hurt feelings. Below are some useful reminders to tell children before entering a social event.

1.  “Think Before You Speak”:
Remind your child that it is ok to have our own thoughts. However, if the thought is hurtful, unkind, or not true, the thought needs to stay in our thought bubble (and not exit our talking bubble!)

Be a Good Sport”: Of course it feels great to come in first place or be on a winning team, however, it is important to show good sportsmanship when winning and losing games. Remind your child that it is fun to play a game, regardless of who wins or loses. When children brag about winning, or have big, upset reactions about losing, they are less likely to be included in a future game or play date. Teach your child the following scripts to say when a game is over. Many of the same scripts can be used for both winning and losing…
When WINNING a game:                                                    When LOSING a game:
 say “good job/nice game”                                                   say “good job/nice game”   
 high five/shake hands                                                         high five/shake hands            
 say “That was fun!”                                                            say “That was fun!”
 ask if the friend wants to play another round                     say “congrats” to the winner
 say “Thanks for playing with me”                                      say “It’s ok, maybe I’ll win next time”

3. “Expected/Unexpected Behaviors”:
Reminding your child of the behavioral expectations
prior to entering a social setting is important. Children need to be taught that their behavior impacts others thoughts and emotions, and in turn, affects how they will be treated (social behavior mapping). For example, “Today is your play date at Michael’s house! What are the expected behaviors for having a play date? (Listen to adults, follow house rules, share toys, play fair, take turns, be gentle with others’ toys, etc.)”. If your child is age appropriate and developmentally ready, further the conversation by asking how the other child will think and feel about his behavior, and how they will be treated. It is also helpful to go through the social behavior mapping for “unexpected behaviors”.

Expected Behavior:       Others' Thoughts About My Behavior:   Others' Feelings About My Behavior:
-Listen to adults             -The friend will want to come to my house        -Comfortable
-Follow house rules       -The friend might ask me over again                   -Happy
-Share toys                     -The friend might think I am nice/fun                 -Excited
-Play fair                        -The friend will want to be around me
-Take turns
-Be gentle/careful with
others’ toys
-Use good manners
Unexpected Behavior:  Others' Thoughts About My Behavior:   Others' Feelings About My Behavior:
-Say unkind words                   -The friend will want me to leave                              -Uncomfortable
-Leave the house w/o               
-The parents might not allow me over again             -Sad/Upset
-The friend might think I am too bossy/mean           -Angry
-Share toys                              
-The friend will not want to be around me                 -Surprised
-Play rough with others' toys   -The friend might tell others that I was too rough        
-Act bossy/mean
-Break house rules


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

More Tips To Teach and Reinforce Responsible Behavior

posted by Elaine Light,School Psychologist
Praise responsibility.  Keep in mind that it’s just as important to reward your child’s responsible behavior as it is to comment on her mistakes. In fact, it’s even more important, because your praise and recognition means more to your child than just about anything else. Don’t overdo it, however, or it can lose its impact. (The experts say the right balance is to compliment your child about three times as often as you criticize her.) Here are some other tips for using praise:
• Be specific. Tell your child exactly what you like about her behavior. “I appreciate your taking the trash out without being asked. I know that’s not your favorite chore.”
 • Notice effort. Don’t wait until your child completes a task to give praise. Comment on her improvement every step of the way.
 • Reminisce. Every once in a while, mention a past accomplishment. For example, “Remember the first time you took Barkey for his afternoon walk? I think you were surprised at how happy that made him.”
 • Chart success. If your child is working on a specific goal—getting up, bathed, dressed and to the breakfast table without being prodded, for example—keep track of her progress. Make a simple weekly chart that lists each step in the process. Put a star or check mark under each step that she completes successfully.
• Brag. Occasionally, let your child overhear you talking about her accomplishments to others.
• Give awards. Words aren’t the only form of praise. Try giving awards, such as the “Self-Starter Award.” Each week, recognize the family member who took the most responsibility for doing things without being reminded.
from The Parent Institute

Ways to Teach Your Child about Choices and Consequences

posted by Elaine Light, School Psychologist
 A big part of learning to be responsible involves learning to make good choices. And that takes practice. You can help your child learn about responsible decision-making by presenting him with plenty of opportunities to practice making acceptable choices. Even the youngest child can decide which shirt to wear, or whether he wants tomato or chicken soup for lunch, for example. Older children can decide which sport or other after-school activity they want to take part in, or whether they will do their homework before or after dinner. It’s also important to help children understand that the choices they make—both good choices and bad choices—have consequences. Talk with your child about how all choices have consequences. For example:
• I chose to wait until the last minute to do my research project. The result was that I did a poor job and got a low grade.
 • I chose to review my vocabulary words for fifteen minutes a day this week. The result was that I got an A on my vocabulary quiz.
Use examples from your life in the discussion, too. For example, “I chose to sleep in today. The result was that I arrived to work late and felt rushed all morning.” Or, “I chose to pay my credit card bill on time. The result was that I didn’t have to pay an additional interest charge.”
 This kind of discussion can help your child understand that all of us make choices every day, and that we must accept responsibility for the choices we make.

From the Parent Institute

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


By Mark S. Houle

     It is May and we are getting closer to summer vacation. What will our students do without bulldog bucks all summer? Well, bulldog bucks can follow them home during vacation.

     The students don’t have to be without a PBIS program during vacation. They can also experience it at home. Here are some ways to keep the program alive at home this summer:

*Students can earn bulldog bucks or tickets or coupons for completing chores, good deeds, being helpful, or just being respectful.

*The students at home can earn special events, trips, movies and other neat stuff by collecting their bulldog bucks, tickets, or coupons and cashing them in.

*Parents can also institute PBIS when have friends sleep over by having them earn bulldog bucks, tickets, or coupons during the party to earn prizes and such.

*Upper school students can also earn their bulldog bucks for going out with friends, earning a party, or buying video games or CD’s

The point of this blog is to get us all thinking about PBIS not ending in June, but making it creative at home during summer vacation! Have a great upcoming summer!


By Mark S. Houle

     I was researching articles regarding PBIS and came across one that showed after a period of time
 (4 years), students’ academic progress, test grades, and behavior had risen to a very noticeable positive rate.  At the CGS, we are beginning to see the effects of PBIS. I feel that the students in Pre-K to 8th Grade look forward to earning Bulldog Bucks while actually acting in a very positive way.

     Now why did I title this blog “Did You Know”???????? Well did you know that many factors make PBIS work?  In the article mentioned, Dewey Elementary School, had students collect tiger tickets as their incentive for positive and responsible behaviors.  They followed 8 steps in bringing their school back into the positive light. Here they are:

8 Critical Factors
For a School-Wide
Discipline Program

These are the steps PBIS organizers advise administrators to start with when establishing a school-wide behavior management program:

Step 1: Establish leadership team membership.

Step 2: Develop brief statement of behavior purpose.

Step 3: Identify positive school-wide behavioral expectations.

Step 4: Develop procedures for teaching school-wide behavioral expectations.

Step 5: Develop procedures for teaching classroom-wide behavioral expectations.

Step 6: Develop continuum of procedures for encouraging and strengthening student use of school-wide behavioral expectations.

Step 7: Develop continuum of procedures for discouraging student behavior violations of school-wide rules.

Step 8: Develop data-based procedures for monitoring implementation of school-wide positive behavior system.

CGS also followed a similar path and we are now having Fun Fridays. Our second is coming up in May.
PBIS can continue to the cafeteria, busses, and maybe home. Check out the article I read at:

Taken from an article by Ellen R. Delisio
Education World®
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