W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
February 20, 2019
In this Issue
Today's Learners:
Elementary students learn to resolve conflicts in P.E. class

Upcoming Events

February 27
Middle School Coffee House
9:30 a.m. - Dress rehearsal
6:30 p.m. - performance
Great Room

February 28
9-12 Talent Show*
9:30 a.m. - Dress rehearsal
7 p.m. - Performance
*rescheduled from February 21

March 13
Toddler Maker Faire*
8:15-9 a.m.
*rescheduled from February 28

March 20
Board Visitation Day

March 22
Staff Professional Day - no classes or child care

March 25-29

Talent Show
Message from
Head of School Lisa Lalama

Read more from Lisa on the Montessori Message blog.
Next Thursday is a day we look forward to each year: the 9-12 talent show. It's a time for students to "strut their stuff," sharing skits, songs, dancing and many other talents. They wait for this day, and relish sharing it with their friends, parents and the WMS community.

When this day arrives each year I am impressed with the willingness of students to step out of their comfort zones and take to the stage. It takes poise and bravery that I am sure I did not possess at their ages. At WMS we emphasize participation in the arts, integrating them in each classroom from toddler through eighth grade. Throughout 9-12 students' time at WMS they gain insight into various art forms through our strong artist-in-residence programs, specials classes and arts integrated in their daily experience, as well as trips to museums, theaters and other performances. Their eyes are opened to the creative spirit that informs all of these artists' work.

Though most of them will not become artists in the truest sense of the word, they will  treasure moments like the talent show. In those moments, they are free to express themselves in ways that mean something to them, share ideas with others that push their audience to enter their world for just a little while and work together as a team to help each other stand out, whether that means performing together or working the lights, sound or curtain to make sure the show goes on. That is artistry. Sharing a story, however brief, that allows us to get to know them, what they think and feel, is what artists do. And next week is a chance for our very own artists to share their work with you. Please join us next Thursday, February 28, at 7 p.m. for the "The Talent Games."

News & Notes News
Have You Registered for Camp?

Despite the snow on the ground today, summer will be here before we know it. Camp Montessori registration is open, and our early registration deadline is just over a month away. Don't miss your chance to save 10% when signing up by March 31 for five or more weeks of camp. Visit the camp website  or contact  Tracey Gable  to learn more!

Flu Season Report from Nurse Lisa

Flu season is beginning to roll right along! We are still two to four weeks from its peak, and the numbers show that Delaware is being hit especially hard with double the national average of influenza-like illnesses. In fact, more than half of all respiratory illnesses tested in ERs right now are coming up positive for flu.

Why do I share this news with you? It's to warn you that over the coming weeks, I may call you to pick up your child within the hour if they have influenza-like symptoms. This is to ensure your child gets much-needed rest and is quickly isolated from his or her friends. Please plan accordingly and try to account for the possibility ahead of time.

In addition to flu, there are also some gastrointestinal illnesses, tonsil/throat infections and strep throat making the rounds.

If your child displays any fever (temperature greater than 100.4 degrees F), excessive coughing or nasal drainage, diarrhea or vomiting , it's better he or she stays home from school to recover.

The best prevention is to wash your hands. Remember that alcohol-based hand sanitizers are useful in a pinch, but it is the mechanical scrubbing of hand washing with soap and water that actually removes viruses and bacteria.

Together, we can work to maintain our students' health and try to avoid the flu as much as possible.
Lisa Chou
School Nurse

leaders Today's Learners
Empowering Students to Resolve Conflicts in P.E. Class

In Montessori classrooms, the peace table is an important tool to help children develop self-regulation and conflict resolution skills. In physical education (P.E.) class, elementary school-age children use the "conflict corner."

Students use the conflict corner to resolve
disagreements in P.E. class
Drawing inspiration from the peace table, P.E. teacher Jill Hallissey introduced the conflict corner a year into her tenure at WMS.

"It's a way to teach students to problem-solve and resolve conflicts on their own," she said.

When students have a disagreement in P.E. class - whether over an accidental or intentional bump or a feeling that a classmate was playing unfairly - they can invite each other to the conflict corner in an effort to resolve the matter.

For elementary students who attend weekly health classes with Jill, the conflict corner is a natural extension of the emotional, mental and social health unit they study during the first few months of the school year. In addition to talking about self-esteem, setting goals, relationships, body language and managing feelings and emotions, students work to identify problem-solving strategies and tools to manage conflicts as part of this health unit.

Sometimes students can avoid a conflict altogether by employing tactics such as walking away, counting to 10, choosing to play with another classmate or taking deep breaths. But conflicts arise during P.E. games and activities, just as they do during classroom play or on the playground, and that's where the conflict corner comes in handy.

"It's a helpful tool in [P.E.] with so many little things that can happen," Jill said.

Here's how it works:

Step 1: Invite the person (or people) with whom you're in disagreement to the conflict corner. (If this person needs time to think or employ strategies to help him or her calm down first, it's OK for him or her to say "I'm not ready.")
Step 2: Stand holding your hands out with palms facing up. This body language shows you're opening yourself up to talking.
Step 3: Explain the problem. Tell the other person why you're upset.
Step 4: Listen to each other. Make sure all those involved in the conflict give each other a chance to speak and listen to each other.
Step 5: Brainstorm a solution. Employ conflict resolution strategies such as using an "I" statement to describe the way you're feeling, talking together to reach a compromise, counting to 10 or playing rock-paper-scissors.
Step 6: Shake hands. This shows you agree that all those involved in the conflict are satisfied with the resolution.
Step 7: Give a compliment. Complimenting each other helps to ease the situation and reinforce that everything is fine again between all those who were involved in the conflict.

Occasionally Jill must still intervene to guide students to a resolution, but in most cases the conflict corner is all they need to diffuse a tense situation.

"They're really learning to do it on their own," she said. "They have the tools - they know how to handle conflicts."

The Wednesday Weekly shares WMS news and events that are relevant to the families in our community.  

Please send submissions to wednesday-weekly@wmsde.org by 4:30 p.m. on the Friday prior  to the issue in which you wish to include your information. Content may be edited for length and style and may be held for a future issue due to space constraints.  

For more information, contact Noel Dietrich, Director of Advancement & Communications.

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