W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
Bi-Weekly Summer Edition - August 19, 2015
In This Issue


Upcoming Events

August 17-21
Camp Week 10 
Specialty Camps:
Beginning Ballet
Earth Art
Gamer's Theater
Scratch Programming


August 20
Field Trip:
Rooms 22 & 24 - Tubing on the Brandywine


August 21
Ballet Camp Performance
11:40 a.m. in the Great Room


August 24-28
Camp Week 11


August 26
Field Trip:
Room 12 to Brandywine Zoo 

New Family Reception
5 p.m. in Library

Family Picnic
6-7:30 p.m.
at WMS
Learn More


August 31
All-Staff Professional Day
No Child-Care 

Message from 
Director of Extended Day Programs
Cass Winner
 
Cass Winner
Last week, I spent several days driving through the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. At the Red Mountain Pass, elevation 11,018 feet, I looked down over the pine forests, sheer rock cliffs, and rushing creeks, and saw only those things. My mind was not a jumble of thoughts, worries, clips from decades-old television shows, or checklists of things I was trying to remember to do.  It was just present.  I saw chipmunks, deer, elk, jackrabbits, raccoons and even a coyote (who yawned as we passed by). I heard the wind in the Aspen leaves. I marveled at how many miles of wilderness have been preserved for us in National Forests, and was grateful to have finally - in my 50s - been lucky enough to spend time in them. 
 
We read all the time about how we adults need vacations, how they allow our minds and bodies to rest and "reset." The studies say that not taking vacations makes us less productive, rather than more. The same is true of children. Parents are pressured to make sure that their children are learning all the time, all year round. The proponents of year-round formal schooling forget, perhaps, that children are always learning. It's their nature. They are driven to explore and to learn in every situation. The question is only what they are learning and where.
 
There is also a growing base of research on the positive effects of natural environments on children.
 
Getting outdoors into green space, wild space, changes the brain. It is true for us, and also true for our children. This is why our campus is so precious to us, and why the toddler playgrounds were recently renovated to incorporate more natural elements, creating a space that invites children to touch, climb, run, roll, spin, play hide-and-seek and become characters in epic stories. The woods do the same for the older children, allowing them - both in camp and during the school year - to make scientific inquiries and discoveries as well as to see themselves as part of this earth, as native creatures in this wondrous habitat.  
 
I hope that each of us can find a way to give ourselves and our children this gift - the gift of time spent in nature. It is tempting to make vacations - or even weekends - a marathon checklist of "to-do's."  If we can manage to make time to just be, to melt into the sun-dappled landscape under a crystal sky, we will be the richer for it.

  

 


News & NotesNews
Message from Nurse Paige:
Back-to-School Forms
 
The 2015-16 WMS school year will be underway before we know it. Many thanks to all who have already completed the back-to-school requirements on the Magnus Health System! If you have not, please take a few moments to do so as soon as possible.  

In order to efficiently prepare for the new school year, we must receive the information well in advance of the first day of school. If you have any questions or if I may be of any assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me at paige_lucarelli@wmsde.org

Click here to log into the Magnus Health Portal.  
Thank you in advance for your prompt attention. Wishing you a safe and happy last few weeks of summer.

Join us for our Back-to-School Picnic - On-campus for the first time!

August 26, 2015 - 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Wilmington Montessori School

Don't miss WMS's first community event of the year. Meet your child's teachers, classmates and other WMS families and staff; enjoy live music and face-painting; sample Smart Lunches; find out about WMS's Extended Day Programs and after-school specials; and explore our campus and playgrounds.

Bring your own dinner or purchase food from Kapow Food Truck, featuring a delicious blend of Thai, Korean and Hawaiian flavors. For those looking for a sweet treat, snow cones will also be for sale.

Visit www.wmsde.org to check for a cancellation notice in case of inclement weather. For more information, email events@wmsde.org or call 302-475-0555.
Co-op Cornercoop
Co-op Opportunities

Get a jump-start on your 30 hour Co-op obligation for 2015-16. Volunteers are needed for the following events and tasks in advance of the school year.

If you are interested in helping with any of these Co-op jobs, please contact, please email
co-op@wmsde.org or contact Laurie Orsic at 302-475-0555.
 
Face Painters for the School Picnic on August 26
No face-painting experience required. Volunteers will offer a range of relatively simple designs to the children as a part of the WMS Annual Back-to-School Picnic. Come join in the fun. 
 
Community Events
Help us spread the good word about WMS at two upcoming community events. All that is needed is a welcoming smile and a willingness to assist at the WMS Information Table.
  • India Fest - Saturday, August 29, 2015 - Noon - 10:30 p.m., Bob Carpenter Center, University of Delaware 
     
  • Arden Fair - Saturday, September 5, 2015 - 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Volunteers are needed particularly for the afternoon time slots.
 
Saturday Morning Front Desk Coverage (9 a.m. - 1 p.m.)
Covering the Front Desk on Saturday mornings allows parents and teachers to enter the building in a secure way. Parents earn four Co-op hours for each Saturday and may tackle their own "work" at the same time. Sign up on the Co-op bulletin board or by emailing co-op@wmsde.org.
 
Copying
Help prepare classroom materials for the students. 
Teachers are so appreciative of copying help, because it saves them valuable time for other tasks, especially when there are so many tasks to be completed before the start of the school year.
 
And again...if you are interested in helping with any of these Co-op jobs, please email co-op@wmsde.org or contact Laurie Orsic at 302-475-0555.

Today's LearnersLearner
Scratch Programming Campers Learn More Than Technology Skills

This week, a group of 8- to 13-year-olds is enjoying a camp utilizing the Scratch program. A product of the innovation lab at MIT, Scratch was designed specifically for use by 8- to 16-year-olds. The following is an excerpt from the MIT website:
 
The ability to code computer programs is an important part of literacy in today's society. When people learn to code in Scratch, they learn important strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas.
 
Solving problems, designing projects and communicating ideas are the skills that we all need for life, whether in the workforce or in our homes and communities. When we add in the Montessori values of collaboration and respect and admiration for the ideas of others, it becomes even more powerful.
 
Rose Feehan, WMS's Instructional Technology Coach, and Daniel Potter, WMS graduate and senior at Williams College, are leading the camp. They began the day by sitting with the campers in a circle, and each person introduced him or herself and told the group how much experience he or she had with Scratch Programming. These initial meetings are crucial for making sure that the campers know one another's names, and that they feel welcomed into the group.This does not become any less important as campers move into the middle school years, which can be a time of social anxiety and insecurity. Together, they brainstormed thoughts about what strategies/qualities they would need to be successful. Some of the ideas campers listed were creativity, learning, experimentation, patience and perseverance. 
 
Using the information that the campers provided about their experience with Scratch, Daniel and Rose grouped the children into pairs. The campers then chose a color-coded challenge card from the board and worked on it together. For example, "Make your sprite bounce when it hits the edge of the screen without using the 'if an edge, bounce'  command." Some teams found it easy to collaborate; the teachers observed carefully in order to help any team that struggled with taking turns or with solving the challenge problems.
 
Using the Scratch program looks like a game, with cute characters, bright colors and comic-book speech bubbles, but it involves using algebraic concepts, logic and plenty of creativity. At the end of the week, campers will be able to access their completed projects online to share with family and friends. Along the way, they plan to have a great time!

Tomorrow's LeadersLeaders

1-4 p.m. on WMS's Campus

Join us for an afternoon of fun and memories as you catch up with old friends and past teachers!
Don't miss our Alumni Soccer Game at 1:45 p.m., coached by former WMS PE teacher Lisa Mann!

Please help us spread the word to past students, parents and former staff! RSVP at www.wmsde.org/homecoming

To see who's attending and receive updates, visit our event page on Facebook!
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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