Our Wildwood, Winter 2017, Volume 40

together with a purpose—to cement social bonds and build new ones. Division One students often play their favorite board or card game together during their advisory group. Uno , The Game of Life , and charades offer students the opportunity to interact in ways that help build community. “It’s fun to see how other kids play the game,” 6th grader Skyler S. says during a hand of Apples to Apples. “It helps you understand their sense of humor and how they think.” The Wildwood approach to learning and community is taught very intentionally in advisory, every day. Connections—between students, and between advisors and advisees— are at the heart of it all. WORKS CITED: Busteed, Brandon. “Make a Difference: Show Students You Care.” Education Week (2014): n. pag. Edweek.org. Editorial Projects in Education, 30 Sept. 2014. Web. 2016. Durlak, Joseph, Allison Dymnicki, Rebecca Taylor, Roger Weissberg, and Kriston Schellinger. “The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions.” Child Development 82.1 (2011): 405-32. Wiley Online Library. Wiley, 3 Feb. 2011. Web. 2016. McClure, Larry, Susan Yonezawa, and Makeba Jones. “Can School Structures Improve Teacher-student Relationships? The Relationship between Advisory Programs, Personalization and Students’ Academic Achievement.” Education Policy Analysis Archives 18.17 (2010). Epaa. Arizona State University, July 2010. Web. 2016. Olson, Kirke: The Invisible Classroom: Relationships, Neuroscience, and Mindfulness at Work in School. New York: W. W. Norton, 2012. Print. WW

year’s curriculum is designed to help students understand different styles of conflict and leadership while allowing them time to investigate their personal inclinations. One Thursday per month, all middle school students can opt-in to activities beyond their assigned advisory. For example, students can join an affinity group (students of color, allies, LGBTQ community, and more). Students take their affinity groups seriously. A member of the Allies Affinity Group, 7th grader Angela R. suggests the students start an anonymous advice column for LGBTQ students and their allies. “We can make it part of The Howl, ” she

says, referring to Wildwood’s online middle school journal. Students’ other option is to sign up for and attend a discussion around a particular contemporary multicultural issue. One recent Thursday, students chose between six topics: veteran homelessness in L.A., the plight of Syrian refugees, an examination of white privilege, the voting rights of prisoners, the interplay between sports and politics, and a discussion on female gender roles. These opportunities allow students to choose an area of study as well as join a group that fits their identities and interests. opportunities for students and their advisors to purely enjoy one another’s company. The curriculum encourages fun. Division Two advisories might play a favorite game, celebrate a birthday, or compete in the inter- advisory Olympics while Division One students enjoy the “Fun Friday” activity chosen at the beginning of the week. The goal is to spend fun time FRIDAY— A TIME TO BOND The end of the week brings

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