W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
April 22, 2015
In This Issue


Upcoming Events

April 22
Earth Day

April 23
3-6 Concert
9:30 a.m., Great Room

April 27
Montessori Monday Open House
9:30 a.m.
Tell a friend!

May 1
All-Staff Professional Day
Pre-registered child-care available.

May 5
Moms' Day
WMS moms & other special friends are invited to spend a morning at school.  

May 9 & 10
Delaware Marathon Weekend
Saturday - GYMM Fun Run
Sunday - Relay Marathon 
Details TBA 

 
Standardized Testing
Message from 
Head of School Lisa A. Lalama 
 
Read more from Lisa on our Montessori Message blog.

This past week our students from third to sixth grade participated in standardized testing. They completed the ERB (Educational Records Bureau, CTP IV) test. This happens each spring at Wilmington Montessori. It is a break from our typical routine. If you peeked in the classroom windows last week, you saw students sitting at tables or desks filling in those oh-so-familiar bubbles from your school experience. You may be wondering why we take the time to do this and what we learn from it.

 

The founding mission of the ERB was, "To create testing and learning solutions that would help schools develop improved curriculum based on results, thus helping students gain a better education." To a great extent that is why we use this test today. The ERB is a test used by most of our local independent schools. It helps us learn more about what we do. It is a concrete way to gather data that allows us to reflect on our teaching practices. In the past, test results have let us know that our children perform quite well (most above the 75th percentile in comparison to other independent school students) on this test -  even though we don't "teach to the test." We have learned that our students have the ability to reason and make connections, as evidenced by their scores on the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections of the test. We have also learned where we might need to provide more practice for some cohorts of students or for individuals. The ERB has gotten so much better at reporting information that we are able to share that with teachers in order to provide the professional development and resources needed to support student learning.

 

Additionally, it gives the children the real-life skill of test-taking, one that will become quite familiar as they graduate from WMS and move on to other schools. It's part of preparing children for what is to come.

 

We continue to adhere strongly to our Montessori foundation and strive to provide the experiences that will benefit our students today and into their future. Learning to take a test is one of those experiences. 

 

 

 



News & NotesNews
Bidding on the Bayou Auction Update

 

Thank you to everyone who helped make Bidding on the Bayou such a success!

 

This wonderful event could not have happened without our 2015 Auction Committee and our large crew of volunteers, many of whom contributed more than their required 30 Co-op hours. Special thanks goes to Stephanie Simms for her willingness to lead the team - for the second year in a row. We are deeply grateful for her extraordinary dedication, vision and generosity of spirit.

We also thank everyone who bought a ticket, donated an item or made a purchase - all proceeds from the evening benefit WMS!

 

You can still help support the auction by stopping by our Fire Sale Table in the lobby from the afternoon of Monday, April 27 until 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 30. All items will start at 50% off their original minimum bid!

Bargains include the following:

  • Health One PA Chiropractic and Rehabilitation gift certificate for consultation, exam and one-hour massage
  • Thomas Fallon Sea Glass Fine Art certificate for limited edition 12" print
  • Thomas Fallon painting from your photograph                     
  • Organic Valley product coupons (52 coupons, worth $10 each)                                  
  • Birthday party at American Karate Studios                                       
  • Knitted Pom-Pom Wreath from Room 22 After-Care  
  • "Our Work Calendar" (2015 calendar featuring children's art work from Room 27 After-Care)
  • Retro Fitness Package including three-month membership, $100 in personal training and other gifts 
  • Integrity Auto $100 gift certificate                                              
  • Bar/bat mitzvah photography
  • Slide scanning and restoration (one 135 format slide film scanned at a 16MP resolution and restored according to photographer's assessment)
  • Furniture conservation consulting from Stephanie Auffret, Ph.D., Furniture Conservator at Winterthur and University of Delaware Professor                                          
  • Thirty-One Bags girls' gift set including lunch bag, mini purse, blanket and more  

Click here to view full descriptions and starting bids!

 

Thanks for your support!    

 

The first batch of auction photos can be viewed on the WMS Facebook page - there are more to come!  

Spirit Week 2015 - Thank you!

by Sixth-Grader Shannon Surbrook-Bowers


The sixth graders are extremely thankful to the entire WMS community for their enthusiastic participation in Spirit Week. This year, we raised $667 for Save the Rain, a non-profit organization that builds rain collection systems, currently for towns in Tanzania.

In Tanzania, some people have to walk miles just to gather water that is sometimes unclean. This cause means a lot to us because we feel it is unfair that we can just walk 20 feet to the faucet and grab a drink, while other people are forced to walk miles to get water. We hope you will continue to support the sixth-graders in following years.

Meerkat Milers

Meerkat Milers Shirts for Sale

Order by noon on Friday, May 1

 

Are you planning to support the Meerkat Milers at the Delaware Marathon, run in the GYMM Fun Run or do you just want a super cool "Meerkat Milers" T-shirt?
 

Youth (S, M, L) and adult (S, M, L, XL, XXL) shirts are currently available for purchase. Please contact WMS mom Amanda Biggs (at amandabiggs@gmail.com or 302-547-8284) with the size and quantity of shirts you would like to order.  


Children's T-shirts cost $12 and adult shirts are $15. Payment will be accepted upon delivery.

Book Club: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk 

 

Four Weeks

Wednesdays, April 29, May 6, 13 & 20

9 a.m.

In the Parent Workroom - Room 7

 

Enjoy this timeless, beloved book on how to effectively communicate with your child from #1 New York Times bestselling authors, then join a group of WMS parents, led by WMS mom Kelly Lambiras, for a discussion.

Learn new helpful parenting tools or refresh your knowledge within a supportive group. The book includes many worksheets and comics making it extremely accessible and useful.

Co-op Cornerco-op
Moms' Day - Tuesday, May 5

Please check the Moms' Day sign-up sheets posted on the Co-op bulletin boards to sign up for refreshment donations and assist with set-up, hosting and clean-up. You may also email co-op@wmsde.org to volunteer/contribute, as well. 

 

Support the WMS Meerkat Milers

Would you like a simple way to complete ALL 30 (or some part) of your family's Co-op hours in one fell swoop? Would you like to work on a Co-op task that will make a lot of people very happy (or, at least, hydrated)? The Meerkat Milers (Delaware Marathon Relay runners from WMS) urgently need Co-op parents to host the Market  Street water station on the race course on Sunday, May 10. Come join the fun and provide an invaluable service for the WMS runners (and other marathoners, some from the other side of the world!), while also earning Co-op hours. If you are interested in volunteering, please email meerkatmilers@wmsde.org or contact WMS mom Becky Davey!

Today's LearnersLearner
What is Practical Life and Why Is It So Important?
by Lead 3-6 Betsy Haas

Many parents find it hard to understand the importance of pouring water back and forth, spooning various objects or polishing a shoe. What parents might not know is that the practical life area is the heart of the classroom, especially in the 3-6 program. This area is essential in a Montessori environment, but may look different at various classroom levels. 
 
Often, parents will ask why their 3, 4, 5 or even 6-year-old visits this area of the classroom on a regular basis. Practical life is the springboard for all of the other areas of the classroom. By using these materials, the children are developing a sense of order, concentration, coordination and independence. They are also developing the fine motor skills needed for a strong pincer grasp while using a writing utensil, developing hand-eye coordination, and training their eyes for left-to-right sequencing necessary for their reading development.

While working with these materials, the children are learning how to complete a full cycle of activity. This means that they can choose a work from the shelf, complete the work, clean the work up and put it back on the shelf. If they are able to sustain a work cycle, then we are confident that they are ready to sit for longer periods of time in the math and language areas of the classroom. While working with multi-step materials such as shoe polishing or pumpkin scrubbing, the children are able to follow a sequence of events that has to happen in order to complete the work; there is a beginning, middle and an end. This ties in nicely when we teach the older children how to tell or write their own stories. They are also learning math concepts such as one-to-one correspondence. For example, they have to use tweezers to place 12 pom-pom balls into 12 different sections. They are learning that only one section can have one pom-pom ball in it.

There are five main components of the practical life area: 
  • Grace and Courtesy - waiting his or her turn for a snack/saying "please" and "thank you"
  • Control of Movement - pouring, tweezing, transferring solids and liquids, and holding a tray
  • Care of the Person - dressing frames (zipper, tying, button frames), washing face and hands and blowing his or her own nose
  • Care of the Environment - watering plants, caring for pets, cleaning up a spill with a mop and sweeping
  • Food Preparation - cooking, making snack, juicing, peeling and cutting food
These are just a few examples of some of the lessons that we teach in the practical life area. We always tell parents that many of these skills will stay with the child throughout his or her entire life!

We try to use as much real glass as possible in this area. We teach the children to handle these materials with great care. They learn that glass can break and that they have to walk slowly with the tray of containers and that if they are not deliberate with their movements, the glass will fall and break. If we used only plastic containers they would not learn the importance of taking their time and using these materials with respect and care.

The practical life area is a safe, familiar, comfortable place for a child to work in and visit time and time again. What we love to see the most is when a child finishes up a challenging work in the math or language area, nine times out of 10, the first place he or she visits is the practical life area. It re-energizes them!
Tomorrow's LeadersLeaders
Alumni in the News

WMS alum Lily Dubroff was featured on the front page of yesterday's News Journal sports section. The article discusses her amazing high-school swimming career at the Charter School of Wilmington, including 20 state titles, as well as her plans to attend the University of Southern California, one of the nation's top collegiate swimming programs. Read the article.

 

Coming Soon... An Alumni Survey 

WMS is in the process of developing a survey to learn about many of our constituents and their experiences and opinions about WMS. We would like to include as many alumni as possible. If you are an alumnus and did not receive an email invitation to our Alumni Pizza Party or our holiday e-card earlier this year, please contact us at alumni@wmsde.org


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 Communications.

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