Homework OH Homework…

I believe many of us, familiar with Silverstein, can finish that sentence 🙂

It is a challenge I hear about often, and one I fully empathize with, as the homework process was exactly that for me when I was growing up: a process.

The articles a I share on here are posted because I find wonderful advice and suggestions in them, regardless of their original audience.  For example, one of the following articles addresses children with ADHD, however, I find the ideas useful for all of our scholars!

So please, read on, and hopefully you too will be able to pull some ideas from the articles below and implement them in your life and the life of our scholars, to promote success!


Happy Reading!


Your School Counselor

Outrageous Homework Advice for Kids with ADHD

Top 10 Homework Tips

Help Your Child Get Organized


Stop The Meltdowns!

Greeting Tigers Den!

Did you know that October is ALSO ADHD Awareness Month?

Below is one of my absolute favorite sites. Not only do they offer great, easy to read articles, but I find the information is beneficial in my practice with all students, regardless of a diagnosis, family dynamic, or living situation.

I recognize that the way demands are in today’s society, we are not always afforded the luxury of family dinner around the table, though one thing I promote is conversation. Maybe it isn’t at a sit down meal, but perhaps it is before falling asleep, or on a drive to school in the AM.

Every morning once we finish committing to our motto and saying our Pledge of Allegiance, I challenge our scholars to “Be Kind to One Another, and Ask Awesome, Expanding Questions”… Well, my challenge is the same for you all!  Ask. Ask. Ask. Be mindful of how you ask, and be prepared for all you will learn and how close you will become.


Your School Counselor

p.s. We are still welcoming and inviting volunteers to teach a character lesson during our Anti-bullying week next week, and our Healthy Lifestyles week the following! Check out my last post, and send me a personal email (writchie@cmitelementaryschool.org) We will get it all coordinated 🙂

Stop Meltdowns! Ask “What?” Not “Why?”


We want YOU!


Happy Friday Tiger’s Den!

This month, we have SO MANY topics/themes/national weeks of recognition…

Here is what we have going on:

October 17-21 Focus: Anti-Bullying (tolerance, welcoming of differences, being a good friend, empathy)

October 24-28 Focus: Healthy Lifestyles (diet and exercise, emotional health and mental health)

NOW! Of course this is not the only time we will be working on these ever-important and invaluable topics, just that these weeks, this month, are dedicated to it.

What does this mean for you? An Invitation!

I would love to invite you to come in and do a Character Lesson with our scholars during those weeks in promotion of these topics.

We have Character Education every morning for 30 minutes, though I am sure I could convince our teachers to extend it longer on a day we had an incredible volunteer guest teacher (that’s you!)

Lessons can be: reading stories and having a discussion, arts and crafts, whole class projects, skits, games, etc. The sky is the limit!

Lets Get Together and Get Creative! I would love to hear from you ASAP if you are interested to come in and partner with us, and work with our scholars on Character Education.

How do I make this a reality?!?!

  • Send me and Email : writchie@cmitelementary.org
  • Share:
    • Morning/Date you would like to come in and teach
    • Topic you would like to address
    • Idea of project currently (if you don’t have one, I can help! I have tons!)
    • Class you would like to come in and work with (more than 1? multiple days? GREAT!)

I am so excited to see what we can make happen!

Have a Fabulous Friday, Tiger Families!CMITiger

Catching those ZZzzzs

Good Morning Tiger’s Den!

I am not sure if it is because it is Monday morning, or because it is a RAINY Monday morning and I am on my second cup of coffee, but I realized that in the last 2 weeks, I have had multiple conversations with parents about the important of sleep for our scholars.  Not just an early bedtime, but actual, quality sleep.  What surprises many is when I share that a child may display extreme hyperactivity and distraction (sounds like symptoms of something else…) purely based on not getting enough quality sleep.

Please read this wonderfully informative article!


And check out this great chart!


Sweet Dreams, Tigers!

Tips! Tips! Tips!

Good Morning Tigers Den!

In my time working with children, whether in meeting with parents, teacher conferences, professional developments, etc.  I find, oftentimes, we work very hard to determine or try and uncover some major challenge or deficit, when in actuality a shift in structure and approach might be all that is necessary!

Trust me when I say, I have had the ‘palm-to-forehead’ moment too! You know what I am talking about…when you have exhausted all of your energy tackling something only to then realize the solution was far more simple than you ever imagined.

Here is a fabulous, simple, inclusive, list of 10 strategies that I have witnessed, first hand, promote school success and overall child-parent-teacher healthy bond(s) & satisfaction!

I hope you find it as useful as I do!!!

Just Click Here:



Empowering Parents Opportunity!

Good Afternoon Tigers Den!     girl-hero

This WONDERFUL opportunity was just shared with me, and I couldn’t pass it along to you all fast enough!  I am so hopeful you will be able to attend!

(For parents, its FREE!)

2016 Annual Parent & Professional Empowerment Conference:

Parents & Professionals Together Meeting the Behavioral Health Needs of Children & Families”

Who should attend?

Parents, mental health professionals, teachers, daycare providers, school guidance counselors, clergy, foster parents, caregivers and anyone who could benefit.


This annual, one-of-a-kind parent & professional conference will provide valuable information about mental health and related behavioral challenges in children and adolescents.  Learn about signs and symptoms, diagnostic criteria, treatment modalities, teaching/parenting strategies and available resources.  Additionally, you will have an opportunity to get your questions answered, network with professionals and have a great learning experience.


Friday September 16, 2016 at 8:30 AM EDT
Saturday September 17, 2016 at 4:30 PM EDT


Emmanuel Church
3800 Old Town Road
Huntingtown, MD 20639

———————————>Click to Register Here!
Happy Learning and Collaborating!
If you are able to attend, I would love an opportunity to meet with you afterwards and discuss all you glean from this wonderful program!

Working to become our very own Superhero…

Good Afternoon Tigers Den!

This year, we have a school-wide theme focusing on our own superpowers; practicing them, growing them and applying them! We will be exploring superpowers through all areas of academics, and the personal and social arena.

Counselors Challenge:

Around the dinner table tonight, or pillow talk before bed, or perhaps in the car ride tomorrow morning on your way to school, dialogue with your scholars and other family members about:

(1) which superpower they desire to have, and how s/he would use it for good

(2) challenge them to share a talent they already possess, that with rehearsal and growth, is on its way to being their very own superpower!

We will be engaging in similar conversations in the classrooms during the next few weeks.  This will get your Tiger thinking and reflecting ahead of time!

soaring into character bulletin board

change your mindset

Counselor’s Corner

images copy

Welcome Tigers!

It is with great excitement that I will serve the CMIT Elementary School community in the capacity of Professional School Counselor once again for our 2016-2017 year together! I am eager to partner with you, brainstorm and engage with you, in all areas of support of your children’s education. With focuses on Academic, Career and Social/Emotional development, we will work together as a team to support your tigers to be successful during their time at CMIT, and beyond our school hallways.

The Elementary age is a critical time in learning and developing self-concepts and understanding capabilities. From tying one’s shoes to knowing how to research and write a formal essay, our scholars are ever changing, growing and maturing during their time in elementary school. And, with the world in the state that it is today, our country, and our neighborhoods, our youth are exposed to a lot, and not always age appropriate content and/or experiences.

This year, we are going to delve deeply into the meaning of our school motto and work through focused Character Education to understand what it looks like, sounds like and feels like, when we “R.O.A.R” and are truly living and behaving as a CMIT Tiger.

Respect Others… Opt to be Scholarly… Act ResponsiblyReact with Kindness

I will be working with our students on their capacity for understanding Social Emotional Language (SEL) and how we communicate effectively with others, and within ourselves.

I will provide Individual Counseling, Group Counseling, Classroom Guidance, and also Parent Workshops this year. I will host many opportunities to volunteer, as we have seen the greatest, strongest, most successful way to communicate the importance of school and education to our children is to show up. Research shows that students whose parents are involved in their education have better grades and fewer discipline problems, Wow!

Whether you have minutes or hours, your ideas, your talents and your presence is critically important, and I will work with you to ensure you are able to share your unique skills and character with our community.

Please check back here often, as I will update this page with ideas, articles, projects, opportunities, and more,  that I come across and find relevant to the work we are all doing.

Here is to our 2016-2017 year together!


Miss Whitney Ritchie

Professional School Counselor



The Quick Facts…

Me and P

Name: Miss Whitney Ritchie

Position: Prof. School Counselor (PSC)

Stats: 6th Year as PSC in PGCPS

Education/Degree(s): Washington College, BA Sociology

Loyola University, M.Ed K-12 Professional School Counseling

Loves: Her Poodle ‘Paisley’; Imaginations; and Empathy

Dislikes: The word “can’t”; Assumptions; & Lack of Accountability

Email: writchie@cmitelementary.org