W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
December 2, 2015
In this Issue

Upcoming Events

December 3
Celebration of Reading/Book Fair
3-7 p.m. in the Great Room
Learn More

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

December 7
Early Childhood Enrichment Event - Art (Admissions)
10-11 a.m. in the Art Room

December 17
6-9 Winter Concert Dress Rehearsal
1 p.m. in the Gym

December 18
6-9 Winter Concert
9:30 a.m. in the Gym

December 21-23
Winter Break
Pre-registered Child-Care Only

December 24-January 1
Winter Break
No school or child-care.

January 4
School re-opens.

A Celebration of Reading 
Message from 
Head of School Lisa Lalama
Read more from Lisa at on our Montessori Message blog.
Tomorrow is a big night at WMS, our Celebration of Reading and Maker Faire. This is one of the best days of the school year for our students; they love to read. They love the idea of books, messages conveyed on the page using beautiful illustrations, a symphony of words and the voice of the writer or the reader expressing those words as the characters in the story. Reading is a solitary activity that is universally shared.

One of my favorite books to share with students is actually a book for us, as adults... The Book That Changed My Life. This book is a compendium of brief essays about books that various authors say changed their lives. Sharing it with children requires a bit of editing as some of the titles are not appropriate for elementary-aged children. However, what does translate is the joy these books brought the authors sharing them. Each time I have shared it, I am reminded to consider what book has changed my life. That book changes over time and with my life experiences at the moment, but today I want to share a book...it was a book long before it was a movie - Harriet the Spy.

Growing up in a world of boys, "Harriet the Spy" was an inspiration to me. She was strong, sassy and created her own path, which ultimately led to some difficulties. However, she figured them out and kept on going. When my own daughter was in second grade we shared this book together, reading and writing about it for a class assignment. One of the wonders of great books is sharing them.

Please make some time to celebrate reading tomorrow and every day with your child. You will be introduced to new characters and learn about them through your children's eyes. You will also have the opportunity share books that have changed your life.



Co-op Cornercoop
Volunteers Urgently Needed for Tomorrow's WMS Reading Celebration! 

Would you like to participate in an enjoyable family event AND earn Co-op hours? Volunteers are needed to help with the WMS Reading Celebration on Thursday, December 3, from 3 to 7 p.m. Please sign up and join the party!

There is a sign up sheet on the Co-op bulletin board or you may contact Laurie Orsic at co-op@wmsde.org.
News & NotesNews
Primary students use Bee-Bot to practice hands-on programming.
Students of All Ages Participate in Code Week

by Instruction Technology Coach Rose Feehan

Each year, Code.org celebrates
"Hour of Code," a week-long event during which everyone in the world is encouraged to take one hour of their time to introduce themselves to programming. Last year, students in the 9-12 Program participated in this event. Students worked together on their iPads to access the coding materials hosted by Code.org to experience programming, some for the first time. Students had a choice of programming challenges to choose from; some students created their own Flappy Bird game while others worked on creating snowflake designs. Some students even choose to do an introductory lesson that discussed directional control, number inputs, and the very beginning of conditional statements.  

This year we are excited to announce that all students (yes, even toddlers!) at Wilmington Montessori School will participate in Hour of Code during the week of December 7. Paula Sharpe, our STEAM coach, has programming materials for all ages and experience levels. She has already incorporated programming activities as part of our STEAM curriculum here at WMS. Next week's activities will focus on each program's skill level and abilities.  

In the Toddler Program, Paula will introduce children to the Bee-Bot as a way to experience hands-on programming. To help our youngest students understand the basic concept of programming as a set of instructions, children can press arrow buttons to direct the movement of the Bee-Bot. Our Primary students continue to utilize these concrete hands-on materials and also move toward more abstract digital programming activities such as Dash and Dot and Scratch Jr. Elementary students will have access to hands-on programming in the Maker Studio such as Little Bits, as well as digital programming through Khan Academy, Codecademy and Code.org.

Most of these digital tools used can also be used at home for families who would like to program with their children. Hour of Code will be the official start of our school-wide programming activities for students here at WMS.

For more information on the hands-on and digital platforms used at WMS, check out these links:
Codecademy Hour of Code
Primary/Elementary Maker Fairemaker
5-6:15 p.m. - During the Celebration of Reading on December 3!

Join us for some STEAM fun during the Celebration of Reading and try out some of the hands-on materials your child is using in the Maker Studios like Osmo and Little Bits! 

Children and parents will have the opportunity to participate in some STEAM activities related to the books being read aloud including creating mitten ornaments to serve as obstacles for the Bee-Bot, painting using the Sphero robot and more. 

Explore the book fair! Along with the titles above, many other popular children's books (provided by the Chester County Book Company, a local independent bookseller) will be available for purchase. 20% of every purchase goes to WMS.

 There will also be pizza for sale, arts and crafts, and a raffle for the "Three-Ring Circus" below!
We hope to see you tomorrow!


Today's LearnersLearner
Botany: Integrating the Arts and Sciences
by Lead 6-9 Teachers Arlene Wason and Sue Kenney

6-9 students in Room 19 spent the fall studying trees, examining the ways in which trees have an impact on society and the environment. 
We opened our study looking at the job of a scientist, and in particular, the jobs of an arborist and dendrologist (tree scientist). Learning that scientists classify trees by their shape, bark, leaves, flowers and fruits, we toured the school grounds and the Montessori woods to look closely at the variety of tree life. We began the process of using these characteristics to identify specific trees on our property. We sketched trees in their natural habitat and collected leaf samples to further investigate and classify them by their shape, margins and vein patterns. We examined the root systems of trees and how leaves make food for the tree. A trip to the Tyler Arboretum in late October allowed us to look more in depth about the different functions of the parts of the tree and how these parts allow a tree to adapt to its environment.
One of the goals of the project was to create a digital book. In small groups, students chose a tree on the property to identify, photograph, and research. Guided by our Instructional Technology Coach Rose Feehan each group created a page for the book. Students were first introduced to Google slides on the iPad, creating a slide all about themselves. They wrote about themselves, editing the font for size, type and color. They imported pictures that they manipulated and cropped. Applying these skills, each team then created a slide about their tree including their photography and research.
We incorporated the arts creating leaf prints from the many leaves we collected on our walks. We used a drybrush watercolor technique to capture the image of the leaf. The results of their prints were stunning! Their art work is featured on the front and back covers of the book.

On Grandfriends' Day, the children unveiled their digital book and made presentations to our special guests. Take a peek at our digital book by clicking the image below!

Tomorrow's Leadersleaders
Where do WMS alumni go after graduation?

Upon graduating from WMS, our students attend a variety of public and private local middle schools, including the following:
Cab Calloway School of the Arts
Garnet Valley Middle School

Haddonfield Middle School
H.B. Dupont Middle School
PRIED Middle School
P.S. DuPont Middle School (including gifted program)
Stetson Middle School
Mullica Hill Friends School
Patton Middle School
Sanford School
Springer Middle School
Talley Middle School (including IB Program)
The Tatnall School
Tower Hill School
Westtown Friends School
Wilmington Friends School

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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