W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
November 4, 2015
In this Issue

Upcoming Events

November 5
Make-up photo day 

November 9
Early Childhood Enrichment Event - Music for Prospective Students Ages 2-5
10-11 a.m.
Learn More 

November 9-13
Annual Fund Drive
#WMSCommunity
Learn More

November 11
9-12 Information Night for Current Third-Grade Parents
5-6 p.m., Great Room
Learn More

November 13
Dance Party
6-8 p.m., Gym
Learn More

November 17
Rising 9-12 Transition Morning
9 a.m., starting in library
Learn More 

November 18
Rising 3-6 Transition Morning

9:30 a.m., starting in library
Learn More

November 19
Rising 6-9 Transition Morning
9 a.m., starting in library
Learn More
 
 


Message from 
Head of School Lisa Lalama
 
Read more from Lisa at on our Montessori Message blog.
WMS is actively working to integrate the arts more fully into our students' experiences. Last week WMS brought STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) to life for students and parents.

Toddler families had the opportunity to step into the Toddler Maker Studio and share STEAM lessons with Paula Sharpe, our STEAM Coach, and their children. Painting with pine needles, sanding "tree cookies," building with tree blocks and discovering which parts of a tree would sink and float were among the activities set out for children and parents to enjoy. It was a great opportunity for parents to learn more about what happens in the Maker Studio. Primary and Elementary families should mark their calendars for our upcoming Maker Faire on December 3 from 5 to 6:15 p.m. This event will be held in conjunction with our school-wide celebration of reading, also schedule for that evening.  

WMS also had a visit from Bash the Trash last week. Bash the Trash is an example of these subjects coming to life. Students were part of the ensemble, clapping rhythms, making sounds and answering questions about the science behind musical instruments made from items that were going to be thrown away. They heard a few musical pieces being performed and were then set off to their classrooms to make instruments from the trash they brought from home. At the end of the day, children happily transported their re-purposed "trash" instruments home, regaling their parents with the music they were making and the endless possibilities ahead.

As we know, learning happens when children are fully engaged. We can decide to teach children about sound, recycling or musical composition, and sit them down and share the information in ways that we learned when we were in school. Or, we can bring these lessons to them in a more interesting and fully involved way. Learning happens in the spaces we leave for children to observe, explore and play with ideas and "things." It happens when we least expect it. It happens on each child's own timeline - not on one that is prescribed by others.

At WMS we present lessons that will inspire children to think, to create and to seek more. We provide experiences to awaken a child's curiosity and provoke their imagination; we allow space for learning and are there to guide them as their education evolves.


News & NotesNews
Coming Soon... Transition Mornings
November 17-19
 
What's Next?
Have you ever wondered what the next program level will be like for your child at WMS? Come experience it!
 
Visit a next-level classroom so you can see for yourself what lies ahead for your child. Observe a class in session where children are working and teachers are giving lessons; ask questions about your child's transition to the next program level. Along with the teachers, Head of School Lisa Lalama, Assistant Head of School Laurie Orsic, Director of Early Childhood Programs Sarah Williams and Admissions Director Shelby Kaufman will be available to answer any questions you might have.
 
We highly recommend that all of our families attend a Transition Morning, particularly if your child will be moving up next year.
 
Schedule:
November 17, 9 a.m. - 9-12 Transition Morning (for current 6-9 parents)
November 18, 9:30 a.m. - 3-6 Transition Morning (for toddler parents)
November 19, 9 a.m. - 6-9 Transition Morning (for current 3-6 parents)
 
Please register by Friday, November 13 so we can plan accordingly.

Register Now Button
For additional information, please contact Shelby Kaufman.
Annual Fund Drive - Join our Community of Giving!annualfund

Share what you love about the WMS Community on Instagram using #WMSCommunity!
The 2015-16 Annual Fund Drive will be kicking off on Monday, November 9. This year's theme is "Community" and our Annual Fund Co-Chairs Sharon Miller and Mayura Simon will be asking our families what they value about our WMS community. Your responses will be shared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as the week goes on.  Please stop by our tables in the lobby and at the after-care entrance, and be sure to grab a cup of coffee and check out the World's Only Meerkat Spiral Bank in the lobby. 
 
This is the time of the year that we focus our school community on the importance of giving. Independent schools like WMS rely on Annual Fund contributions to support their programs. WMS has used these funds in the past to create new programs, support ongoing professional development of our faculty and purchase new supplies, among many other things. Every gift matters! 
 
Thank you to Sharon and Mayura for heading up this year's Annual Fund Drive, and thank you to our many families and friends who support the Annual Fund. Stay tuned for our results!
danceDance Party
Friday, November 13 from 6-8 p.m.
 
The dance party is here again!  

On Friday, November 13, WMS's fourth- and fifth-grade students will host their first fundraiser of the year. Our fundraisers support our sixth-grade trip to New York City and the Global Citizenship Action Project.
 
The dance party is a wonderful event for all ages and is a bargain at just $10 per person.  The event will run from 6 to 8 p.m. in the gym and includes pizza, salad, dessert and drinks. There will also be raffle baskets, so bring some extra dollars.

Tickets will be on sale in the lobby next week. 

We hope to see you at the dance!

- Article by the students of the 9-12 class
Meerkat Milers Preseason and Early Registration

The Meerkat Milers eight-person relay teams will return to the Delaware Marathon Running Festival on Sunday May 8, 2016. The Delaware Marathon Relay is a fun community-building event for the school in which each participant runs just over 5K! Students, parents, alumni and staff are welcome to participate. 


If you already know you would like to participate as a runner or volunteer (co-op assistance is always needed at the WMS water station on the race course, as well as at the team tent), please contact meerkatmilers@wmsde.org to be included on informational emails beginning later this month. Help make this year's event our strongest ever!

 

Note: The WMS Running Club (an after-school sport) will reconvene for the spring season as well, although participation in this program is a separate commitment. Participation in the Running Club does not necessarily prepare students for the distance they would run on a relay team due to the variety of ages and ability levels in the club, so you and your child may choose to participate in informal training runs prior to the race.  

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Co-op Cornercoop
It is hard to believe that it is already November! This is a busy time of year, but usually a time when routines and plans are set and in place. If for some reason, you have not yet settled on a plan for completing your Co-op contract, please reach out to Laurie Orsic. She can assist you in finding just the right Co-op task(s).
 
There are plenty of events left in the school year for which volunteers are needed. For example, looking ahead, would you like to be a part of planning the annual WMS auction or be on the WMS Meerkat Milers/Delaware Marathon support team? In the next couple of weeks, you could be a part of the Grandfriends' Day committee, preparing for the grandfriends' visit on Tuesday, November 24. These are just a few Co-op possibilities. Please contact co-op@wmsde.org to connect with Laurie and consider even more ideas.

Today's LearnersLearner
Making Natural Connections: Outdoor Exploration for Young Children
by Lead Toddler Teacher Lauren Harris

Look outside your window. What do you see?  At this time of year, the landscape is bursting with color and sensory experiences that are educational and exciting for everyone. Think about these experiences from a toddler's perspective. What can a young child learn from being outside in nature during this transitional season?  

For toddlers, every moment in their day is an opportunity for language development. Providing them with vocabulary and descriptions for what they experience helps to build both their expressive and receptive language. A beautiful fall day can provide so many opportunities for learning new words and phrases in regards to color, texture, action words and more!

Fall is a wonderful time for sensory exploration, and we are lucky to have a beautiful campus with abundant space for these activities.Creating a pile of leaves and jumping in or rolling a large pumpkin through the grass provides wonderful input for the senses. These sensory experiences can also provide wonderful opportunities for collaboration and social interaction. Using teamwork to create that pile of leaves helps build social skills like turn-taking, patience and respect for the ideas of others. 

Exposure to nature is important for human development. Interacting with the earth and nature helps us develop a sense of respect for the world around us. The more that we interact with our surroundings, we realize that our actions effect what is around us. Allowing children to notice birds flying through the air or a caterpillar munching on a leaf will give them a hands-on experience that can make them advocates for our planet.

Take the time to get outside on these beautiful autumn days. Look around and see what you can find during all of the seasons. Think of what language could develop from picking flowers in the spring or the sensory input that happens when building snowman. Get out and experience nature! 

Tomorrow's Leadersleaders
WMS Alumni and Their Parents: In Their Own Words

Last spring, we conducted a survey that provided past WMS families with the opportunity to share their thoughts about our school. Several themes came up frequently among our past students and their parents.

Parents shared that they loved our school's strong community and continued to feel connected to WMS even after they left the school. They expressed appreciation for the Montessori philosophy, our talented teachers and staff, and their child's level of preparation for his or her next school.

"The kids were really valued and grew into themselves at WMS," wrote one parent. "It was a wonderful experience for them and set them up for their future." 

Many remarked that WMS helped provide their children with confidence and taught them to be respectful of diversity. And, again and again, they said that their children developed a love of learning and a deep understanding of themselves as learners that helped them through their next academic endeavors: "Kids develop a true love of learning and puzzling out truths - not just learning for a grade or test score."

Our alumni and past students echoed many of these sentiments, reflecting on their favorite teachers and sharing the fact that they truly enjoyed going to school. Many wrote about WMS's educational environment, both in terms of the physical campus and facilities as well as intangible aspects of their classroom communities.

"The school does a great job at creating a judgement-free environment," wrote one graduate. "When I first walked into the school, they taught us how to accept everyone and not judge people by their differences. That proved to be a vital skill for me to have because people in my high school don't necessarily have those skills of acceptance that I currently do."
 
Older alumni expressed true gratitude for the gift their parents provided to them in sending them to WMS:

" I, for one, wouldn't be nearly as successful if it weren't for spending my formative years at WMS," one said. "What many at Wilmington Montessori School might take for granted, such as learning from others, having a unique appreciation for the world around you, diversity and self-guided leadership - these are the qualities that are derived from every aspect of Montessori. They are the core competencies sewn into the fabric of WMS, and applied at every opportunity of interaction and possibility of learning. It's these values that aren't taught elsewhere that create a glue and unshakable process for approaching and solving challenges as they arise."

How did WMS impact your life? Email your thoughts to alumni@wmsde.org for possible inclusion in a future newsletter! 
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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