Learning begins with a calm body and mind. Research shows that Mindfulness and Yoga practice increases cognitive functioning, improves interpersonal relationships, promotes emotional regulation, increases attention and reduces anxiety. Educators Rochelle Robinson and Simone Carmel have years of experience teaching kids tools to calm down, slow down and feel better about themselves.
Simone Carmel: School Psychologist, Meditation Instructor; Somatic Experience Practice
Orgg/ Drum (Mallets)
Welcome back to school and another year of WM Mallets! I am excited to continue leading this group. To be a member of Mallets, members are responsible for following a set of guidelines at every rehearsal and performance. They must follow these rules to remain a part of the ensemble.
Members must arrive on time to every rehearsal and performance, respect the teacher, their peers, and the instruments, assist in set-up and tear-down at each rehearsal and performance, be proactive, and use your practice time wisely!
Utilizing their interest and experience in gardening, Miss Karen and Mr. Baxter will facilitate student gardeners in maintaining and eventually enhancing the courtyard space in the center of West Mercer. They will recruit interested students in October and each supervise at least one gardening opportunity during a recess each week.
+ possible plant identification signage created and tours led in the spring
KFN is Kids First, News. This program reports what is happening at West Mercer every month. KFN will go into classrooms and video a variety of class projects. KFN will video our school assemblies. Sometimes students and/or staff are interviewed. Every month there is a Geography segment which poses four questions to be answered during the next month. These questions are posted in the library and there is an answer box in which answers are submitted. Those students who answer all four questions correctly earn a prize that is delivered to them by a KFN representative. These prizes are possible thanks to a previous WM PTSA grant!
KFN is produced by 5th grade students. Any 5th grader that wishes to participate may do so. Usually there are so many participants that the students get separated into three separate production crews and rotate monthly. The students do everything associated with a news program. They serve as reporters, videographers, script writers, art directors, music directors, and editors. The crew devotes one recess each day to this work and sometimes more if needed.
The “on the air” talent is supplied by students in K-5. These students are selected monthly by the classroom teacher. KFN is uploaded to our staff Drive at the end of each month and each classroom teacher shows it at their convenience.
Leadership Ambassadors is a program of 50-60 students at West Mercer that focuses on building student confidence, creating a welcoming environment for our community, and providing a leadership opportunity for students in second through fifth grade. Students involved in the program will be responsible for greeting peers in the morning, assisting in after school events, and supporting new students.
Interested students will be able to sign up for the program starting September 5th. We will then be hosting a lunchtime training where students will learn how to positively greet and communicate our WM before school procedures with their peers. Beginning October 1st, students will work in groups of 3-7 each morning. Leaders will be responsible for greeting each person who comes to West Mercer. As need arises, students will also have the opportunity to support after school events such as the Talent Show. Finally, leaders will be able to showcase their love of our community to incoming parents and students by guiding tours of our school and programs.
Learning Lab (formerly Homework Help) offers students extra time to complete assignments, homework or tests. Students in grade 3,4 and 5 may come to room LS-1 during lunch and/or recess on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to do work independently under the supervision ofKay Walker, Learning Support Specialist.
The Peer Mediator program is a violence prevention program as well as an innovative, effective way to handle discipline programs at school. While teaching new ways to deal with conflict, the program also helps young people understand that physical violence and aggressive behavior are not appropriate ways to deal with problems. This program teaches children to work through their disagreements and arrive at mutually acceptable solutions.
What does it look like at West Mercer?
Teams of two 5th grade students who are specially trained as Peer Mediators are assigned to approximately one primary recess a week to watch for fights or disputes, help the students in conflict talk out the problem and arrive at a solution and facilitate recess games.
What’s the process?
5th grade students complete an application. By signing the application, the teacher is endorsing that student as a Peer Mediator and agreeing to allow the student to carry out the necessary duties. In considering an applicant’s interest in becoming a peer mediator, teachers and parents need to keep in mind that mediators will be missing 15-20 minutes of class likely during the 10:35-10:50am, 10:50-11:50am, or 2:15-2:30pm recesses. Parent permission is required. At different times during the school year, Peer Mediators will meet with their supervisor to discuss issues, concerns and questions.