W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
September 23, 2015
In This Issue

Upcoming Events

September 24
Fire Drill
10:30 a.m. 
As the first drill of the school year, children will be made aware that the drill is happening.

September 24-25
9-12 Program Overnight Trip to Washington, D.C.

September 30
Flu Shots 
2:45-6 p.m. 
Read More 

October 3
WMS Homecoming
1-4 p.m.
October 6 & 7
School Photos

October 8
Parent Education:
"Montessori & the Brain" with Dr. Steven Hughes
7 p.m.
Read More 

October 9
All-Staff Professional Day
No Child-Care 
Message from 
Head of School Lisa Lalama
Lisa Lalama
Last week we held Back-to-School Nights for all age groups. These nights are held in schools throughout the world. Their aim is to help parents understand what happens during their child's day and to get to know the teacher and the school just a bit better. At WMS, we work hard to make sure this is a special night for everyone involved.

As I traveled to each classroom, from toddler with chairs so very close to the ground, all the way up to the 9-12, I was struck by the similarities of the messages. Each conversation began with introductions and the child at the center - "I'm Sarah's teacher," or " I'm Sarah's mom/dad,"  and moved on to explore the wonder and beauty of the Montessori philosophy and method of instruction.

Some of you are new to the school; others have been around for a while. Listening to each teacher speak gave me an opportunity to continue learning about each age level and the "thread" that ties Montessori lessons together, whether for a 2-year-old or a 12-year-old. Many of the materials that were introduced are evident at various levels; the lessons build on one another. Montessori materials introduced to our youngest students will also appear in classrooms for older children to be used in a different way; experiences are broadened.

We hope that you enjoyed your time in the classroom and that you will take other opportunities to learn even more about Montessori throughout the year. The thread is long and the more you explore and learn the more you understand the beauty and wonder your children experience each day.


News & NotesNews
Parent Education: Dr. Steven Hughes Presents "Montessori & the Brain" 
Thursday, October 8, at 7 p.m.mtad

Join us for an evening with Dr. Steven Hughes, a nationally acclaimed pediatric neuropsychologist and Montessori advocate. 

More than ever, young people today need to bring creativity, social intelligence, initiative, sensitivity to nuance and an entrepreneurial spirit to the workplace. None of these are "teachable" skills in the conventional sense, and they all are reflections of a mature, uncommonly well-developed brain. Schools oriented around standardized test scores cannot and do not, foster these essential capabilities, but Montessori education does. 

At this lecture, Dr. Hughes will present research showing how Montessori education indeed "builds a better brain" and may be the most certain route to a successful, happy and fulfilled life in the 21st century. 

This event is sponsored by the Montessori Teachers' Association of Delaware. Parents from outside the WMS are welcome to come; however, we ask that all attendees RSVP by October 6,  either by calling 302-475-0555 or using our online registration form.

Register Now Button  

No Flu for You!flu

Flu shots will be available to parents and children age 4 years and up (with a parent present) on Wednesday, September 30, from 2:45 to 6 p.m. in the Great Room. The annual flu shot is an effective way to protect yourself and your family from the influenza viruses that circulate each winter - sometimes with very serious outcomes.

Please sign up on the nurse's office door and, for planning purposes, specify if you anticipate arriving between 5 and 6 p.m.

Video: WMS Celebrates the U.N. International Day of Peace
Peace Day 2015

Co-op Cornercoop
School Store Volunteers Needed
The School Store team - Dan Sanders and Jennifer Kniaz - are in need of assistance. Would you be willing to help with organizing and sales for the School Store? It's a great team and the hours are flexible.
Montessori League Soccer Assistants Needed After School
Tuesdays and Thursdays from September 22-October 29
Soccer season for the Montessori League will be starting soon. Would you be willing to assist Jill Hallissey, our new PE teacher, with the student athletes and program? Please email co-op@wmsde.org to volunteer. 
Today's LearnersLearner
Practical Life Activities: The Key to Independence
by Lead Toddler Teacher Leanne Callaway
A visit to a Pre-Primary or Primary Montessori classroom environment has many parents looking about in awe. They see low shelves with various learning activities, as well as a comfortable reading area and tables and chairs at just the right height for the students who call this environment their own. The Practical Life areas can cause confusion, however, for visitors watching a student use tongs to move objects from one bowl to another, or use a small, hand broom to sweep a tiny amount of colored paper repeatedly. It can lead one to wonder what the point of it all is. In her own observations, Dr. Maria Montessori noted that children actively sought to do things that had an order and repetition to them, as well as those that practiced coordination. These activities were often ones they commonly saw modeled by adults in their daily lives. But what, exactly, are students achieving with these exercises?
Not only are children imitating routine activities they see the adults in their lives doing every day - they are also gaining life-long skills that translate into an independent and socially contributing existence. By practicing activities like watering plants and wiping spills, a child is learning to care for his or her environment and to be responsible for it. Through pouring water from pitcher to pitcher or buttoning on a dress frame, a child is practicing hand and eye coordination, muscle control, and building his or her concentration. Through our daily handshaking, waiting patiently for snack, and using polite and kind language, a student learns how to socially interact with others, practicing manners and gaining respect. Several of our students this year have recently become siblings. In Room 4, we have a Practical Life activity that allows children the opportunity to bathe, dry and dress a baby doll. This activity enhances attention to detail and encourages a child's natural ability to nurture. All of these purposeful activities build hand strength, develop fine motor skills, and instill a sense of order and sequence in a child, preparing them for a variety of academic tasks, like learning to read.

These are not simply activities a child does in school. Many of these same skills can be practiced at home, creating a common bridge between both environments. Even toddlers can help prepare lunch or dinner by setting napkins or plates on the table, help to sort and fold socks fresh from the laundry, and water indoor plants. Invite them to work with you! You, as parents, are your child's greatest teacher. Doing chores together is not just an exciting way to get a sense of what skills your child has been practicing; it can also be a fun means of spending a little extra time with your family, while getting those mundane tasks completed!

"A child who becomes a master of his acts through long and repeated exercises [of practical life], and who has been encouraged by the pleasant and interesting activities in which he has been engaged, is a child filled with health and joy and remarkable for his calmness and discipline."
- Maria Montessori in The Discovery of the Child


Tomorrow's LeadersLeaders

Tech Innovators Discuss Impact of Montessori Education

During the past year and a half, technology has become a more integral part of our curriculum at Wilmington Montessori School. While technology has not always played a big role in Montessori schools, it is interesting to note that some of the most innovative leaders in the world of technology attended Montessori schools. So how did Montessori influence their future careers? Here's what they have to say:

Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon - According to Jeff Bezos's mother, "Young Jeff would get so engrossed in his activities as a Montessori preschooler that his teachers would literally have to pick him up out of his chair to go to the next task." The Montessori Mafia

Larry Page, CEO, and Sergey Brin, co-founder, Google - "I think it was part of that training of not following rules and orders, and being self motivated, questioning what's going on in the world and doing things a little bit differently." Google Founders Talk Montessori

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia - "What was nice about it and I think the tie-in to my current work is we had a fair amount of freedom to study whatever we liked... And so I spent many, many hours just pouring over the World Book Encyclopedia." Q&A with Jimmy Wales

Will Wright, creator of "The Sims" video game series - "Montessori taught me the joy of discovery...It showed you can become interested in pretty complex theories, like Pythagorean theory, say, by playing with blocks. It's all about learning on your terms, rather than a teacher explaining stuff to you. SimCity comes right out of Montessori - if you give people this model for building cities, they will abstract from it principles of urban design."  Maria Montessori: The 138-year-old Inspiration behind Spore
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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