Posted by Paige Fossum at 8/30/2012 9:00:00 AM
Hello and welcome to the Pipestone School Social Work Website!!
My name is Paige Fossum, and I am looking forward to meeting you this school year. I wanted to share some information about me:
Hometown: Lennox, SD
Education: Augustana College, B.S.;University of South Dakota, Masters in Social Work
Family: 2 sisters, 1 brother, 2 nieces, and 1 nephew plus my boyfriend Nick who is a nurse.
Favorite Color: Blue
Hobbies: Camping, 4-wheeling, fishing (really doing anything outdoors), sports, reading, crafting, and spending time with family & friends
Pets: This is my Golden Doodle Harper Lee. She's still a puppy and extremely adorable.
So there's a few things about me. I cannot to learn more about you!!
Posted by Paige Fossum at 9/11/2012 9:00:00 AM
I am very excited to begin the first week of Character Education at Brown School. This week we will do introductions, read and discuss a fun summer book (hint: see below!!), and play a game to get to know each other better.
Our next round of Character Education is the week of September 24th when we will talk about being a good friend! :)
More updates to come!
Posted by Paige Fossum at 9/24/2012 2:00:00 PM
This week we'll talk about being a good friend and how important sharing is with our friends. This book is a great tool that tells us all about a shiny fish whose beautiful scales were the envy of all the fish in the ocean. The Rainbow Fish learns an important lesson about giving and how it can lead to great things -- like friends!
Posted by Paige Fossum at 9/24/2012 2:00:00 PM
Social skill groups & friendship groups are gearing up! If you think your child may benefit from activities that help regulate emotions or improve decision making skills, social skills group may be a good fit. We will also have friendship groups for kids to meet other kids at school and become better friends. Please contact me if you think your child is a good fit! I'll be sending out permission forms this week and am looking forward to beginning the group work!
Posted by Paige Fossum at 10/8/2012 2:00:00 PM
This week we are talking about Bullying at Brown. We read the Name Calling book which the kids really liked as the characters were fun and unique. Kids told me lots of stories about their own bullying experiences and we talked about how we can handle these. We discussed ignorning, asking the bully to "please stop," and walking away before telling an adult. We also brainstormed a lengthy list of adults we could talk to. The kids could think of all kinds of locations that bullying happens from schools, to McDonalds, to parks but a recurring theme was on the bus, at recess, and at football games.
Each student signed a pledge . This shows that the student will speak up, reach out, and be a friend. It states that they are "a kid against bullying!" Our school takes that same stance against bullying (as noted in the school handbook). We'll continue to discuss bullying throughout the year, but please continue to discuss it at homew ith your kiddos as well. The Pacer Organization has some great information and activities on bullying http://www.pacer.org/bullying/.
Posted by Paige Fossum at 10/23/2012 3:00:00 PM
Letters have been sent home to parents explaining the great collaboration we have had between staff at Pipestone Area Schools, the Elementary Booster Club, and parents who have volunteered. Students completed a coloring contest last week. STAR Students will be visiting all classrooms tomorrow to discuss "saying no" with students. They will also announce a coloring contest winner in each classroom. These winners receive a special prize and will have their picture taken Friday for the newspaper.
Remember, conversations with your kids will help make this Red Ribbon Week a successful one. Thanks to all the teachers, volunteers, booster club members, and staff who are working hard to teach these important lessons this week!
Posted by Paige Fossum at 10/29/2012 11:30:00 AM
Halloween is nearly here!! It's time for costumes, and the kids can hardly wait!!! As we embark on a night of trick or treating, it's good for us to remember how important safety is each and every day for these young kiddos. Research shows that only 1/3 of parents talk to their kids about Halloween and on average twice as many child pedestrians are killed on Halloween than any other day. Another scary statistic - 12% of children five years of age or younger are permitted to trick or treat alone. We want the kids to have a fun and accident-free evening on Wednesday! So for Character Education this week, we are focusing on Halloween safety! These safety lessons are helpful all year round - like how to cross the street and walk properly on the sidewalk.
For more information on Halloween safety, please visit
Posted by Paige Fossum at 11/12/2012 11:00:00 AM
Week 5: Trustworthiness
This week we begin following the Character Counts curriculum. In each class, we are talking about the value of trustworthiness and why it matters. We've had great discussion on why it matters to be honest and how happy honesty makes others around us. Children have "baa-ed" as sheep and "howled" as wolves in the story The Boy Who Cried Wolf. We're also talking about why we should keep our promises. To do this, we recall the importance of activities like returning books, doing our chores, and being reliable for our friends. Students will be taking home some materials from class about being trustworthy. Please talk to your children about this value and why it matters.
Posted by Paige Fossum at 11/15/2012 11:00:00 AM
Conferences are Thursday, November 15th and Monday, November 19th from 5-8pm. I will be at Hill Elementary Thursday, November 15th and at Brown Elementary Monday, November 19th. Please call or email me if you would like to arrange a meeting during these times or at another date.
Posted by Paige Fossum at 12/3/2012 12:00:00 PM
Week 6: Respect
Recently, we have been focusing on being respectful people. This week we played "Compliment Tag" in every classroom. The students tagged each other with their kind words. Almost every child had a smile on his or her face when doing this activity. It was exciting to visit classrooms where teachers are already using this logic to promote a peaceful classroom. Some teachers even use a compliment box!
We also played a variation of musical chairs where we learned more about our differences and similarities. Students recognized the need to respect others - no matter who they are. Each classroom recognized a long list of people they respect here at school and ways to show their respect. For instance, many of them try to remember to say "thank you" in the lunchroom.
We had a great time using our words in respectful ways this week!
I encourage you to keep this conversation going with the kids by identifying ways they show respect at home!