W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
March 2, 2016
In this Issue


Upcoming Events

Re-enrollment Deadline for 2016-17 School Year
If you have not yet submitted your re-enrollment deposit and contract, please contact our business office by Friday to avoid losing your child's spot for next year!


March 3
9-12 Maker Morning
7:45-8:30 p.m.
Room 30 
Parents welcome!
 

March 11
All-Staff Professional Day
No Child-Care Available


March 14-18
Spirit Week
Help our sixth-graders raise fund for Room to Read. Details in next week's issue!

 
 
Message from Head of School
Lisa A. Lalama
 
Read more from Lisa on our Montessori Message blog.
Wilmington Montessori School is dedicated to the professional development of all of its staff. It is a core value that has been upheld throughout the years. Last week, six people from WMS attended PETE & C (Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference) in Hershey. It was the first year for most at this event and surely will not be the last. The days were filled with questions, learning, inspiration and connection to other educators working to bring the best in technology practices to their students.

As you know, at WMS we are in the second year of a huge technology initiative, and there have been many visible and behind-the-scenes changes. For example, we have improved (and continue to update) our network, introduced iPads in all classrooms in varying degrees, and introduced children to STEAM and the Maker Movement. We have shifted our collective mindset. Technology is no longer an add-on; it is an integral part of life and learning.

As Maria Montessori worked to develop the pedagogy that we now recognize as Montessori education, she spent countless hours observing children and how they learn. She provided materials and lessons and adapted the offerings based on the children's responses and acquisition of knowledge and skills. We continue to do that today. At WMS, we have the huge responsibility of the education of your children. We spend a great deal of time and effort on our own continued education in order to learn and support the learning of the students placed in our care. What we know today will evolve. It will be adapted to reflect the children as they change and grow as well as the new and well-studied evolution of lessons through time. Our commitment to lifelong learning begins with the children and continues with each and every member of our community.


    
 
Co-op Cornercoop
Auction Committee
 
There's still time to join the auction fun. Join us for an auction planning meeting on Thursday, March 3 at 6 p.m. in the library to see all the ways that you can help.  Can't attend, but still want to be involved? Please contact Lori Oberly at lori_oberly@wmsde.org.
News & NotesNews
The 2016 Dads' Day Committee
Dads' Day Photos

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Dads' Day last week -and to the wonderful parent volunteers who helped make the day amazing!

Visit our Facebook page to view our Dads' Day photo albums, including candid shots and pictures from the photo booth (thanks to Barnyard Photography).
Today's LearnersLearner

Greetings and Morning Meetings: Getting the Most Out of Our Day
by Lead Primary (3-6) Teacher Erin Wehler
 
Dia dhuit! (JEE-uh Gwitch) That's the greeting, "Hello," in the Celtic language of Ireland. Last year, I wrote an article about a Responsive Classroom tool called "The Morning Message," which occurs during our daily morning gathering (known as "Circle Time" or the "Morning Meeting"). As we start our school day, we also reach into our bag of tricks to incorporate another community-building tool: "The Morning Meeting Greeting."

Many of our teachers have attended a Responsive Classroom training program, and all of our teachers practice these tools in their classrooms. Responsive Classroom, as described on their website, "is a research- and evidence-based approach to education that is associated with greater teacher effectiveness, higher student achievement, and improved school climate" and "one of the most well-designed, evidence-based social and emotional learning programs." The Morning Greeting is one of many techniques that WMS teachers use to build community in the classroom. The Greeting promotes social and emotional skills in our students and it makes connections between Morning Meeting and the academic curriculum. It is a common starting point that sets the tone for our day.

Like the Morning Message, the Greeting develops in complexity as the year progresses. In the beginning of the year, the goal of the Greeting is to help children transition into the day, build community, and stimulate engagement and empathy for one another - in other words, a lot of trust building. The Morning Greeting may initially begin as an introduction to learning our friends' names, proper handshakes, good eye contact and public speaking. For the first few months of school, it will take the form of name games, high fives, pinky shakes, elbow bumps, and the peace and love greetings (using our hands to make peace signs and hearts). The Morning Greeting provides the children with a sense of routine. But like all things Montessori, we take pride in doing things many times in many different ways.
 
As the year progresses, we are interested in challenging our children and maintaining their interest. The children look forward to the excitement of the greeting and what the day holds. We begin to purposefully weave the Morning Greeting into our Morning Meeting through intentional connections to our curriculum. We greet each other in languages from around the world. We make connections between our greeting and whichever cultural unit we may be focusing on at the moment. For example, we just celebrated and learned about U.S. Presidents. The children greeted each other pretending to be a different president each day. The George Washington greeting was silly, as we greeted each other as if we had no teeth (after all, he only had one tooth left when he became President)! When we did the Abraham Lincoln greeting, we pretended to put our paper reminders up high into our tall top hat, while greeting the friend next to us in a deep voice.  You can imagine the enjoyment we have when greeting each other as groundhogs and Chinese New Year monkeys.
 
While learning about units of measurement, straws of different lengths were given to each child. The leader began the greeting by holding up their straw and determining which friend's straw was an exact match to the length of his or her own. Once the child found his or her partner, they greeted him or her. This can also be done with language work comparisons, rhyming, look-alikes and math equations (one person has a card with a math equation on it and the other person has a card with the corresponding sum). This gets our brains active, moving and ready for the day. To make the morning even richer, keep in mind that the Morning Message also connects the curriculum and the greeting. Before 9:30 a.m., our children have already accomplished so much and made memorable connections.
 
We build camaraderie and trust as we greet each other each day. When you can be silly with your friends and have fun learning at the same time, it's no wonder that our students love coming to school!
Tomorrow's Leadersleaders
Send us your news! 
 
Calling all alumni and  past students - we want to hear from you!  We're particularly interested in hearing from the members of the WMS class of 2010, who will be graduating from high school this year. Where do you plan to attend college? What will you major in? Please send your information 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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