W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
November 11, 2015
In this Issue

Upcoming Events

November 9-13
Annual Fund Drive
Learn More

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

November 13
Speech screening
for first-graders and elementary students new to WMS
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

November 24
Grandfriends' Day
8:30 a.m.
Learn More

November 25
No school.
Pre-registered child-care available.

November 26-27
No school or child-care.
Building closed.

December 3
Celebration of Reading/Book Fair
4-7 p.m.

Primary/Elementary Maker Faire
5-6:15 p.m.

Got Edmodo?
Message from 
Head of School Lisa Lalama
Read more from Lisa at on our Montessori Message blog.
There has been a buzz in the building during the past couple of months: "What's going on with Edmodo?" "Why aren't I getting notifications? I signed up for them." "Now I have to check Edmodo rather than having the new posts delivered to my inbox." "It's so frustrating."

Yes. Edmodo has not delivered on its promise of making news from your child's classroom easy to obtain. Last year this appeared to work with just a few hiccups. This year that has not been the case. We were delighted to offer the ability to respond to posts, something that parents asked for and we could deliver. We were so happy to have all of the wonderful photos and videos of your children in a secure location that is accessible only to WMS parents and staff. We found our platform and were committed to learning more about it and using it more fully for the foreseeable future.

As we started this school year, the thrill was quickly over and just like the first dent on your shiny new car, Edmodo didn't look as good as it did a year ago. So what have we been doing? We began by working with Edmodo staff to fix the problems...which, as you know, did not happen quickly. Last Friday, we were notified that Edmodo engineers had finally identified the problem with our school's notification system, and on Friday night, parent accounts began to receive email notifications when teachers posted new content. 

While Edmodo notifications were down, IT Coach Rose Feehan and Director of Communications Noel Dietrich frantically tested out several other platforms that could deliver classroom news to your device. They noted their flaws and benefits, running tests on each and working to make a decision that would serve our families in the best ways possible. Through this investigation, they concluded that Edmodo is the best tool for our families and teachers - when working properly.

So where are we now? We believe that the notification issue has been fixed, based on the conversations we have had with parents, but we want to make sure this is the case for all of our families. If they are not working for you, we want to know. Please contact Rose or Noel if you are NOT receiving emails when new content is posted in your child's classroom. They will help you troubleshoot your settings and contact Edmodo support if there are still problems. They are also continuing to test the other platforms, just in case we identify additional ongoing issues with Edmodo.

In the meantime, what do we need from you? Patience...as parents, you know how hard this can be to come by. We want to make the best decision possible, whether we decide to stay with Edmodo or change platforms. We appreciate your feedback and patience to date. We understand that Edmodo has not lived up to your or our expectations and are continuing to work hard to correct it. You can be assured that your feedback has been heard. We value you, appreciate your input and want to share the school's news with you in the simplest way possible. In 2015 that means a speedy delivery to your phone, computer or tablet.

Stay tuned as we continue to work to solve this thorny problem and, once again, thank you for your patience.

News & NotesNews
Coming Next Week... 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.
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.
Anand, son of Annual Fund Co-Chair Mayura Simon
Marissa, daughter of Annual Fund Co-Chair Sharon Miller

Annual Fund Drive - Celebrating Our Community

This week you have probably seen 2015 Annual Fund Drive Co-Chairs Sharon Miller (mother of Marissa, Room 9) and Mayura Simon (mother of Anand, Room 19 and Dharini, Class of 2013) manning the tables in the lobby and at the child-care entrance. This year's theme is "Community" and we hope you will stop by the tables with your child to share some of the reasons why your family values the special community at WMS. (You can check out the responses at #WMScommunity on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.)
Mayura says she is happy to take a leadership role in the Annual Fund Drive: "I know that tuition alone doesn't cover the costs of educating each child. I am investing my time in a school I believe in, so that our extraordinary teachers and staff have the support and the resources they need."
Sharon adds: "This school is special, a rare gem. I want it to be here for another generation of children. I know that all independent schools require additional funds to cover the costs of maintaining and improving their programs. WMS was started by parents who wanted something different for their children, and it is up to us to keep this wonderful community thriving now and well into the future. "
This year you will see our community of givers grow outward from the lobby down the toddler hallway and toward the child-care door. Help us reach our goal of making the chain reach across our entire school! Thank you, Sharon and Mayura, and thank you to everyone who has participated so far in the 2015 Annual Fund!

Donate to the WMS Annual Fund Today
speechSpeech Screening - Friday, November 13
In order to best serve our students, WMS has implemented screening for speech articulation, in addition to the vision and hearing screening already done in kindergarten, second and fourth grades. Nina Straitman, a Speech and Language Pathologist, will be at WMS on Friday, November 13, to screen all first-graders as well as older elementary students who are new to WMS this year.
  Speech is a developmental skill. In the same way that we expect a developing child to sit, then crawl, then stand and then walk, children acquire speech production skills sound by sound in a particular and predictable sequence.

This process begins early in the first year of life and continues until the 44 consonants and approximately 12 vowel sounds of Standard American dialect have been mastered and deployed in conversation - a mission accomplished typically by the age of 8.

Most first- and second-grade students recently finished or should soon finish the work of perfecting their repertoire. Errors that persist into the eighth year of life are worrisome because every mispronunciation amounts to practicing a behavior that should change. 

By routinely screening for these errors in first-graders, WMS is seeking to identify speech articulation difficulties proactively to ensure timely follow-up and correction. 

Grandfriends' Day - November 24, 2015
8:15 - 11 a.m. 
(Elementary classrooms open at 8:30 a.m. & Early Childhood open at 9 a.m.)

Grandfriends are special people in our children's lives - aunts and uncles, family friends, grandmothers and grandfathers, and even great-grandparents.

Now's your chance to spend a fun-filled morning with your Montessori child and experience a glimpse into his or her daily school life. Enjoy refreshments,
activities with students, a special musical
performance and more! 

Please visit www.wmsde.org/grandfriends to RSVP.
Co-op Cornercoop
basketball_closeup.jpg Here is a fun way to earn co-op hours...
Are you a basketball fan/player? Would you enjoy being an assistant for the Montessori/Interscholastic League? Jill Hallisey, WMS PE teacher, is on the search for assistants for the upcoming basketball season, set to run from Wednesday, January 7 through Thursday, February 25. Practices will be held on Wednesdays and Thursdays after school from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. Experience not needed, but enthusiasm is a must.
Please contact co-op@wmsde.org to volunteer. Come be a part of a winning team!
Today's LearnersLearner
Room 13 Students Compare Apples to Apples
by Lead Primary Teacher Erin Winner

As the leaves outside our window have changed from green to gold and brown, teachers in the Primary classrooms have used children's sense of wonder and enthusiasm for nature as a springboard for learning.

In Room 13, we recently focused our attention on the study of apples. Through a combination of literature and hands-on exploration, the children learned a lot about this delicious fall fruit. Our investigation began with a discussion on everything we already knew about apples. They knew that apples grew on trees, started as seeds, came in a variety of colors, were crunchy and had seeds inside. Over the next few weeks I introduced the vocabulary for the parts of the apple, including the stem, skin, flesh, core and seeds. Some of the older students made their own "Parts of an Apple" book, in which they highlighted and identified each part.  
This past week, our class had an apple taste test. Everyone was given three apple pieces: one McIntosh, one Golden Delicious and one Granny Smith.  As they ate, we talked about the unique aspects of each variety. They described the crunchy and juicy textures, and the sweet and sour tastes. After trying all three types, each child voted for his or her favorite. We created a basic graph to represent the class favorite. This provided a great demonstration of collecting and analyzing data in a way that was meaningful and accessible to young children. The group then totaled the votes, and we discovered that McIntosh was the winner!
The culmination of our study was the making of our very own applesauce. They had all tasted applesauce from packages at the store, but few of them knew anything about its journey from the tree to their lunchbox. We started by washing each apple, as this is an important part of any food preparation.  The children took turns chopping the fruit with small apple cutters. Nell then cooked the apples until they were soft enough to grind through the food mill. The children enjoyed cranking the grinder and seeing all of the applesauce drain into the bowl. Everyone's favorite part was, of course, enjoying our hard work at snack time! 
Maria Montessori emphasized the need for children to participate in real work, to handle objects and engage in constructive activity with them just as adults do.  Children have a natural curiosity about the world beyond the classroom walls, and Montessori education feeds that curiosity.  As they explore objects and processes that interest them, they learn to engage in sound scientific inquiry and analysis.  They are building better brains with applesauce!

Tomorrow's Leadersleaders
Calling all past/alumni parents!

We would love to hear your thoughts on how WMS has impacted your life and the life of your children. Your stories and quotes may be shared on our website, in future newsletter or in WMS marketing materials. 

Please submit your thoughts via this form, or contact alumni@wmsde.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
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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