Tal Fish, MA, National Certified Counselor
November 5, 2014
October was National Anti-Bullying Month and Smith Farm participated in many ways. In guidance lessons, students created links for the school-wide chain of kindness. Our chain was featured during the Kindness Rally held on October 11, 2014. We had visitors from the Wake Forest dance and cheer teams perform, and the Demon Deacon was here as well. The next morning, staff and students participated in the district's Step Up Stand Up Walk Against Bullying at the Dash stadium in downtown Winston-Salem. We have been learning about Japan and the art of origami in guidance lessons through the lens of the story of Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes. After reflecting on the compassion Sadako's classmates showed their sick friend, students folded paper hearts of their own as a tangible reminder.
Welcome back, students, parents, and families!
Dear Smith Farm Parents and Families,
My name is Tal Fish and I am the guidance counselor at Smith Farm Elementary School. I am so excited to be a part of your child’s educational experience. I have a master’s degree in Counseling from Wake Forest University and I have previously worked in the community at Cash Elementary School and East Forsyth Middle School.
As a school counselor, I am involved with the students in many different ways. I teach guidance lessons to each class every ten days. In these lessons, I cover topics that include problem solving, conflict resolution, friendship, character traits, and self-esteem, as well as skills for academic success and career preparation. I also meet with students individually and in small groups to help them achieve a variety of personal goals such as improving work and behavior in the classroom, getting along with their peers, managing stress, and coping with difficult situations. Students in grades 2-4 can request to meet with me themselves (K-1 students must request through their homeroom teacher) or be referred by a parent, teacher, or administrator. In addition, I serve as the AIG coordinator for Smith Farm and work in a number of ways to ensure that each student is given the opportunity to excel. This includes chairing the Intervention Support Team, a process aimed at pinpointing learning problems and developing interventions, and serving as the 504 coordinator, a process through which students with disabilities can receive accommodations.
Building collaborative partnerships with Smith Farm parents and families is very important to me and I gladly welcome parent contact.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I am certain it is going to be another great year at Smith Farm.
Guidance Counselor – Smith Farm Elementary
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED MAKE COLLEGE AND CAREER DAY 2014 A SUCCESS! Check out pictures below of some of our visitors.
FIRST ANNUAL SMITH FARM CAREER DAY
TUESDAY, MAY 13 FROM 9-11 AM
We will have a physical therapist, a firefighter, a police officer, and a veterinarian on site to speak to all grade levels. The police officer and firefighter will have their car and truck here for the kids to see!
For a $1 donation to the playground fund, students can dress up like a worker they'd like to be when they grow up OR wear something from their favorite college or university. Staff will be wearing articles of clothing featuring colleges and universities they've attended.
Parents - if you'd like to help out that morning, please let me know! Than
Notes from the Fishbowl - March 12, 2014
Did you know that Smith Farm has both a clothing and food resource for students in need? Please feel free to bring non-perishable food items (with nutritional value) and/or elementary-aged children's clothing (socks and underwear must be in original packaging) by the Guidance office.
We are still awaiting results for the 2nd grade students that were retested for AIG identification purposes. Also, we have begun after-school math tutoring for 3rd graders on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Notes from the Fishbowl - February 6, 2014 (An excerpt from the first Smith Farm newsletter)
We have had a wonderful year so far in guidance. We have been working on friendship skills, positive self-esteem, personal safety, effective communication (listening as well as speaking), anti-bullying techniques, and how to deal with difficult emotions. We have also explored skills for appropriate behavior that facilitates learning in the school setting. We have covered many character traits relating to students’ personal and social development such as kindness, gratitude, empathy, and responsibility. I strive to foster emotional intelligence while preparing students to face obstacles and problem solve effectively. As we approach the spring season, I will begin teaching lessons on college and career preparation and readiness. If you have a career that you would like to share with our students, please let me know! (firstname.lastname@example.org). I am hoping to hold a career day in the coming months.
I work to support student success in many ways at Smith Farm. If you would like for me to meet with your child for individual or small group counseling, please contact me. I help students work through a variety of personal, social, and academic challenges. In addition, I am the chair of our student intervention team and 504 coordinator for Smith Farm. If you are concerned about your child’s academic progress, or if your child is in need of accommodations due to a disability, please make an appointment to speak with me. I am here to support your child’s growth and learning. Please do not hesitate to use me as a resource. Be sure to check out my webpage on the Smith Farm site. Thank you for all that you do as parents!
Notes from the Fishbowl - December 16, 2013
Hello and happy holidays! This is a very exciting time of year as we head toward the holiday break. We will be nearing the end of our second quarter when we return in January, so please make an appointment to speak with me if you are concerned about your child's academic progress.
Please check my Tips for Parents page to read about some Holiday Stress Busters. While the season can be joyous and celebratory, it is important to monitor your child's emotional and physical well-being during this busy time.
Notes from the Fishbowl - December 2, 2013
Attention parents of 2nd grade students: Do you want more information about what your child's recent CogAT scores mean? Visit this website (http://www.riverpub.com/products/group/cogat6/input.jsp) and enter your child's stanine and profile (example: 7A) found at the bottom of the letter you received. If you have questions about the AIG identification process, please contact me.
Notes from the Fishbowl - October 21, 2013
I've made some exciting updates to the website recently. Want to know what your child is up to in guidance? Check back for weekly updates on lesson topics. If you'd like to set up an appointment for your child to meet with me, there is now an online referral tool (on the left-hand side of this page). We had a great time at the district's Link Up! event. Stay tuned for more opportunities to get involved with making our school a safe place for all children to learn.
Notes from the Fishbowl - October 8, 2013
It is hard to believe that we are already in the seventh week of school! Our year has gotten off to a wonderful start here at Smith Farm. I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know all of our amazing students. I'd like to take this opportunity to expand on the ways in which I can help your child here at Smith Farm. I serve as the Academically and Intellectually Gifted Coordinator for our school, helping to identify our gifted students and ensure that their needs are being met. I am also the Chairperson for the Intervention Support Team. This process is in place to help students experiencing learning and/or behavioral issues in the classroom. Lastly, I am the Section 504 Coordinator for Smith Farm. Students with disabilities sometimes need special accommodations to work on the same level as their peers and a 504 plan makes that possible. If you have any questions about how I can help your child through these various programs, please let me know.