Welcome to my school counseling website

This I Believe

Contact



About Me


About Me About Me About Me
Hello!  My name is Alana Cummings and I am the Nine Mile Falls Elementary school counselor.  This is my 10th year in the district (I was the high school counselor for 5 years before moving to the elementary!).  The transition was an easy one because of the welcoming staff and students here at Nine Mile.  I feel so fortunate to love my job.  Working with your children is so rewarding and I am just happy to be with them and offer guidance during this time in their lives.  

Here is a little bit about me:
I went to Riverside High School in Chattaroy, WA and have lived in the Spokane area my whole life.  I attended and played basketball for SFCC and received my Bachelors and Masters degrees from Eastern Washington University. I am married and have two beautiful, sweet, and at times bossy and sassy (I mean, independent with leadership qualities) little girls. In my spare time, I enjoy dancing with my girls, doing yard work (I love raking and mowing the lawn), reading, water skiing and wake boarding, eating but not cooking, traveling and most of all, spending time at the lake with my family.

Services


Group Counseling

Learn More

Individual Counseling

Learn More

Classroom Guidance Lessons

Learn More

Resources-16 topics


Adoption

Learn More

Anger Management

Learn More

Anxiety

Learn More

Bullying

Learn More

Conflict Management

Learn More

Divorce

Learn More

Empathy

Learn More

Feelings/Emotions

Friendship

Grief and Loss

Learn More

Growth Mindset

Learn More

Moving/Relocation

Learn More

Personal Safety

Learn More

Self-Esteem

Learn More

Special Needs Resources

Learn More

Stress Management

Learn More

Classroom Guidance Lesson Plans


Kindergarten

Learn More

1st Grade

Learn More

2nd Grade

Learn More

3rd Grade

Learn More

4th Grade

Learn More

5th Grade

Learn More

Extra Lesson Plans

Learn More

6th Grade Lesson Plans

Learn More

Connection and Empathy Events


Dance Party Thursdays

Learn More

Hand Project

Learn More

Mix it up at Lunch Day

Learn More

Weekly Kindness Winner

Learn More

Growth Mindset


Teacher Resources for using Growth Mindset in the classroom

Learn More

Growth Mindset Videos

Learn More

Growth Mindset Posters for the Classroom

Learn More

Mindfulness in Schools


"Release" video. Introduction to mindfulness for students​​​

Mindfulness in Education Website:https://www.mindfulschools.org/


Class DOJO Mindfulness exercises:

Emotions are powerful: they can either overwhelm you, or become your best friend. Take your child/students on a journey to understand how they can manage their powerful emotions through mindfulness. This set of activities was created in partnership with Yale University's Center for Emotional Intelligence.
Episode 1: MOJO meets the Beast:
This episode introduces students to the idea that sometimes our emotions can be overwhelmingly powerful. After the video, there are discussion questions and a fun game called "Name that Emotion" to help students identify strong emotions. This activity is part of helping students realize that these powerful emotions are a normal part of life. In later activities, we'll look at some tactics for dealing with these powerful emotions in our lives.
https://ideas.classdojo.com/f/the-beast

Episode 2: Draw Your Beast:
In this activity, your child/students will think about a time when their "beast" appeared and what it felt like. They'll then get a chance to draw their "beast"!
https://ideas.classdojo.com/i/draw-the-beast

Episode 3: Mindful Breathing with MOJO:
Focusing on your breathing can help calm down the Beast! Your class will follow along with Mojo and take away a powerful tool to help them calm down powerful emotions that might flare up. Afterwards, there are discussion questions asking students to reflect on how mindful breathing might help them in the future.
https://ideas.classdojo.com/i/mindfulness-breathing

Books
1. When things go wrong, or when you have scary thoughts or strong feelings, you may need help to sort it all out, no matter how old you are. Learning and practicing mindfulness can make it easier to deal with the issues you face every day by showing you how to tap into your own inner strength in times of stress. So, why not use mindfulness and start being your own superhero today?
http://www.amazon.com/Master-Mindfulness-Superhero-Times-Stress/dp/1626254648/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1464712380&sr=1-3&keywords=kids+stress

2. What does being present look like? Noticing when someone in your class needs help and taking the time to help them. Sound like? The rain outside your window. Smell like? Briny seaweed at the beach. Taste like? A bite of orange. Feel like? Allowing the rhythm of your breath, in and out … to make you feel peaceful.
http://www.amazon.com/What-Does-Mean-Be-Present/dp/0984080686/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1464712578&sr=1-6&keywords=kids+mindfulness

3. Children pay close attention to their parents' moods. When parents feel upset, their kids may become anxious, and when parents wind down, children also get the chance to relax. When you feel overwhelmed and stressed, it can be hard to help your child feel balanced. The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook for Kids, written by two child therapists, offers more than fifty activities you can do together as a family to help you and your child replace stressful and anxious feelings with feelings of optimism, confidence, and joy.
You'll learn proven relaxation techniques, including deep breathing, guided imagery, mindfulness, and yoga, and then receive guidance for teaching them to your child. Your child will also discover how taking time to do art and creative projects can create a sense of fulfillment and calm. By completing just one ten-minute activity from this workbook each day, you'll make relaxation a family habit that will stay with both you and your child for a lifetime.
http://www.amazon.com/Relaxation-Stress-Reduction-Workbook-Kids/dp/1572245824/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1464712762&sr=1-3&keywords=kids+mindful


Lesson Plans:

Mindfulness Lesson Plan #1
  • Explain how I have a new topic that has changed my life and the life of my family. Explain how our thoughts can bring on emotions and feelings that won't go away. Then introduce mindfulness as a way to be present in the moment and how we can use it to calm our minds and our bodies.
  • Go Zen Video https://www.gozen.com/go/gotothenow/lesson-1/

  • Read the book  "I Am Peace" and have discussion      

  • Do "Find your anchor" exercise then complete mindful breathing exercise with glitter jar
(Teacher plays these videos on in-between days and completes at least one mindful minute each day)



Mindfulness Lesson #2
  • Recap mindfulness and previous lesson with kids sitting on carpet in a circle.  Revisit"Mindful Minute" and how we are going to begin each lesson with one.  Use glitter jar. 
  • Talk to kids about mindful bodies See this lesson plan for help: (https://www.mindfulschools.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/starter-lesson.pdf) and have them breathe for one minute, just noticing how their bodies feel.  
  • Read the book "Silence" and then talk about mindful listening. 
  • Show mindful listening video: https://www.gozen.com/go/gotothenow/lesson-5/
  •  Have students go back to their desks and complete the paper "What can I hear around me?"  Play your own sounds as the close their eyes (stapler, scissors, coughing etc)
  • Mindful-Listening coloring page.pdf
(Teacher playes these videos on in-between days and completes at least one mindful minute each day)

Mindfulness Lesson #3
  • Recap mindful bodies and ask students what they noticed over the past week. Peaceful warriors is the name we came up with for the students.  Then play "Mindful Breathing" video: https://www.gozen.com/go/gotothenow/lesson-2/
  • Begin with a mindful minute exercise (recap "find your anchor")
  • Discuss Mind/Body connection, how our thoughts and emotions can affect our body physically and do "lemon exercise" below


  •  Do "dance exercise"  Turn on fun dance music and let the students get silly and dance around the room for about 30 seconds.  Then challenge them to stop, find their anchor, and practice mindfulness standing up, in the middle of the classroom.
(Teacher playes these videos on in-between days and completes at least one mindful minute each day)

Mindfulness Lesson #4
  • In circle on carpet: Mindful minute exercise/find your anchor 
  • Ask students to stand up really quick from the circle.  Then ask them how exactly they got up.  Did they sue their hands?  Which leg pushed up first? etc, etc.  Then, have them sit down and stand up again, this time being mindful of their bodies.  Ask how that was different. Introduce Mindful movement
  • Students go back to their desks and watch "Mindful movement" video from GoZen: https://www.gozen.com/go/gotothenow/lesson-4/
  • Practice Mindful movement with the following 2 exercises:
  • #1 Pass the cup
  • #2 Slow motion 
(Teacher playes these videos on in-between days and completes at least one mindful minute each day)

Mindfulness Lesson #5
  • Mindful Minute, then recap mindful listening with this video and listening activity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0Kp_J9kvNM  Recap mindful movement: Have students stand up and mirror your movements.  Then get a couple of student volunteers and have the class mirror their movements.
  • "Mindful eating" video from GoZen: https://www.gozen.com/go/gotothenow/lesson-3/
  • Practice mindful eating. See card below: I brought chocolate chips for the class.

(Teacher playes these videos on in-between days and completes at least one mindful minute each day)

Mindfulness Lesson #6
  • Why mindfulness?  Talk about swimming pool: See below
  • During meditation, your awareness settles to finer and finer levels of thought until you slip into the spaces between the thoughts, you dip into the silence, the infinite possibilities, you bump into the Self. When you jump into a swimming pool, you come out wet, you bring some of the water with you. Just so, when you slip into the spaces between your thoughts, you bring the silence and infinite possibilities back into your life. You begin to restore the memory of who you really are.By making this journey back and forth on a regular basis, you begin to reintegrate these qualities into your everyday life. You reestablish the silence that underlies all the noise and activity so that even in the midst of chaos and confusion, even in the midst of dynamic activity, you can still remain calm, you can still think clearly and creatively.
  •  Play Still, Quiet Place video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIJn5XhqPN8
  • Have them draw their still, quiet place.  When done, do the mindfulness exercise below (guide them around their still, quiet place) with this relaxing music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZYbU82GVz4                           
    Still, quiet place mindfulness exercise:
    • Draw a picture of your Still Quiet Place.
    • When you finish, close your eyes and imagine you are there.
    • Breathe in… and out.
    • Look to the left, what do you see?
    • Breathe in… and out.
    • Look to the right, what do you see?
    • Walk around and explore your Still Quiet Place.
    • Observe every detail.
    • What does it smell like?
    • What sounds do you hear?
    • Touch something. What does it feel like?
    • Breathe in… and out.
    • Now return from your Still Quiet Place.
    • Slowly open your eyes.
    • Breathe in… and out.
  • If time permits:
    Show gratitude video:https://www.gozen.com/go/gotothenow/lesson-8/
  • Practice Gratitude Mindfulness
    • Pretend you’re in the Gratitude Zone like Nik. Choose ONE person, place or thingyou are grateful for.
    • Really visualize this person, place or thing.
    • List specific reasons why you are grateful for this person, place or thing.
    • How does this person, place or thing make you feel?
    • Now imagine your life without this person, place or thing.
    • Are you sadder? Lonelier? Less fulfilled?
    • Now exit the GZ and show gratitude for this person, place or thing!

Mindfulness Lesson #7
  • Final lesson recap
  • Hand out certificates

Research:

http://www.mindfulschools.org/about-mindfulness/research/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mlk6xD_xAQ


Mindfulness in Schools

Community Resources/Services


Counseling Referrals

Learn More

Crisis Intervention Services

Learn More

Dental, Vision and Other Assistance

Learn More

Legal Advocacy

Learn More

Medical Assistance

Learn More

Buddy Bench


Buddy Bench Buddy Bench
What is the buddy bench?
The buddy bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. Let’s spread the message of inclusion and kindness!

"Sometimes it’s the really simple ideas that can make the biggest difference.”
A second grader in York, Pennsylvania came up with an idea last year after his father showed him a photo of a bench placed by a German school on their playground specifically so that lonely or shy children could be offered friendship.
Christian Buck wanted to put such a bench at his school, Roundtown Elementary, and the principal agreed. In the year since that one bench was put outside to foster relationship-building, others like it have popped up at schools across the country.

When I brought this story to our Kindness and Compassion Club a few years ago, they were excited and wanted to have this at Nine Mile.  We gathered ideas, held fundraisers and promoted the bench within our school.  A parent agreed to build the bench for us at no charge! Thank you Jason Cardon!!!  The Buddy Bench was installed in March of 2016!!

LINKS:
Buddy Bench Strategies


                                 



Co-Parenting


Co-Parenting

Learn More

Father/Daughter Relationships


Father/Daughter Relationships

Learn More