W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
June 1, 2016
In this Issue

Upcoming Events

June 2
9-12 Spring Concert: School House Rock Live Jr.
Dress rehearsal at 9:30 a.m.;
Performance at 7 p.m. 
June 6
Elementary Field Day

June 8
Primary Field Day

June 10
Last Day of School

Graduation Ceremony
9:30 a.m., Gym
All are welcome! 
Learn More 

June 13-17
Pre-Camp Child-Care Week
Pre-register for child-care and/or check out our pre-camp specialty programs.
June 20-24
Camp Montessori
Week 1

Schoolhouse Rock
Message from Head of School
Lisa A. Lalama
For more from Lisa, visit our Montessori Message blog.
Tomorrow is the 9-12 spring show. This year, they are performing Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. and will be regaling the audience with songs about nouns, the number "3," conjunctions, interjections and law-making. Many of you may be familiar with these catchy songs from your childhood. As the students have practiced them, they have learned a great deal about performing and what it takes to put on a show of this magnitude. They have worked hard to create sets and costumes, practice the songs and dance routines, and learn when to shine the spotlight, use the house lights, activate a particular microphone, and more. 

As you finish reading that first paragraph, you might be asking yourself, "What about their academics? What are they learning?" I would suggest that they are learning far more that will serve them in their lives than some of the standards listed in the ever-famous Common Core. They are learning to support one another, to work together toward a common goal, to stand up in front of a large group of people and speak so they are heard, to emote so the audience understands not only the words but the whole story, and most of all, they are learning by having so much fun. (Learn more in Heather's article about Schoolhouse Rock and arts integration.)

Putting on a show is hard work. So many people work to make this happen. There is support in ways too numerous to include here - from the facilities crew to the teachers and parents who are always there providing "just what is needed." And in 10 years when these children are asked about a lesson they had in their fourth, fifth or sixth-grade year, they will, most likely, struggle to recall the specifics. However, when they are asked what show they put on, they will quickly remember it was Schoolhouse Rock, and when they are asked how a bill becomes law, they will sing the ditty that explains the steps and know the answer.

Learning happens in and out of the classroom. The lessons are retained when we have key experiences that support learning, such as the play the students are doing tomorrow. 
It is enjoyable when they can do it alongside the people who matter to them, and it goes far beyond what the current standards of education deem mandatory. These children are learning to learn, to work together and to bring their best selves forward to benefit others.

Please join them for their dress rehearsal at 9:30 a.m. or performance at 7 p.m.

Co-op Cornercoop
Graduation Assistance

One of WMS's most cherished traditions is the annual sixth-grade graduation breakfast. Co-op help is needed with providing refreshments, setting up, hosting and cleaning up. The decorating and preparations will begin on Thursday, June 9 and the breakfast will be held on June 10. Thank you in advance for helping to make this day special for the class of 2016!
Please contact Lori Oberly or co-op@wmsde.org  if interested.
News & NotesNews
2015-16 Annual Fund Update

Thank you to everyone who supported the 2015-16 Annual Fund at WMS! This school year WMS has raised more than $75,000 from parents, grandparents, staff, alumni families and many others, and we are just $10,000 shy of this year's goal! Our community of givers has almost reached across the entire school, and if you haven't made a gift yet, it's not too late to add your name. 

Visit www.wmsde.org/annualfund to make your gift now!
Summer Skills Workbooks
Each year, as a service to WMS parents, we pass along an offer from Tri-C Publications to purchase workbooks for practicing and maintaining school skills during the summer. This offer is completely optional. Interested WMS families have used these workbooks with their children as a simple way to introduce and maintain skills over the summer months.
The workbooks cost $19 and can be ordered online
If you have any questions, please contact Laurie Orsic at laurie_orsic@wmsde.org. She also has sample workbooks if you would like to preview the materials.
Today's LearnersLearner
Schoolhouse Rock and Arts Integration
by Music Teacher Heather Wadler

Gesamtkunstwerk [German] - A concept developed by composer, Richard Wagner, which described the integration of all of the arts, including music, poetry, dance and other visual elements, comprised into a single medium of dramatic expression.
For many people, this is the time of year when projects and activities start to wind down and minds shift to barbecues and sunshine. For teachers, however, it is truly the busiest time of year. Consuming my everyday thoughts and musings has been the 9-12 musical, Schoolhouse Rock Live! Junior - a show that you really don't want to miss.   
Schoolhouse Rock is a particularly special project because it aligns itself so well with our school and our current Arts Integration Initiative.  Amid the 11 musical numbers within the show lie so many cross-curricular connections to core subjects.  For example, "Do the Circulation" talks about how blood circulates through our body, "Three is a Magic Number" is a perfect review of multiplication and "A Noun is a Person, Place or Thing" has us all practicing the nouns that we use everyday!  It's amazing how the students absorb the material through these catchy tunes and how quickly they remember these tricky lyrics. 
These content connections don't just stop at the script and score.  A special aspect of this production process is the involvement of the 9-12 students in roles that extend far beyond solely singing, acting and dancing. The students have played an integral role in the creative process as we have built this entire show. During a single rehearsal, we have several student choreographers teaching their classmates one of the musical numbers, a few students writing down notes for lighting cues and requirements, and others figuring out who needs a microphone and where they are going to get it.  We have stage managers and a set-up crew managing every transition from scene to scene. They are analyzing what needs to move when and who is going to do it, just to make sure our show flows smoothly. Many of the students have been helping with providing costumes or making props for this show, while others have been using new technology through iPad applications to control the sound system for the show and run the music and sound effects at exactly the right cues. The end product is a result of months of moving parts that come together in a somewhat magical way through the students' hard work and dedication.
At one of our afternoon rehearsals last week, I sat down and realized that these kids are running the show.  By the end of our tech week, the students have taken the knowledge, absorbed it as their own, understand what needs to be done and are just going with it. They are cohesive as members of a team, each with his or her own individual responsibilities, and they have created this work of art that displays that. They have created this piece of art that is, as stated in Wagner's German concept, "a single medium of dramatic expression." There is nothing quite like the final steps in making a musical.
Please join us on Thursday! 

Tomorrow's Leadersleaders
Alumni Spotlight:  Dylan Garvin, Class of 2013

Dylan Garvin, WMS class of 2013, has had a passion for math ever since he started in the Primary Program with former teacher Dolores Morra. When asked about his earliest memories of his time at WMS, he fondly recalls the engaging Montessori math materials and curriculum. As he progressed through the Elementary Program, he became amazed by what you could do with numbers and how it also translated to science. 
After graduating from WMS, Dylan entered the gifted program at P.S. Dupont Middle School. He is now a student in Mount Pleasant High School's International Baccalaureate program. Always an enthusiastic participant in WMS's musical theater productions, Dylan is active in the drama and music programs at Mount Pleasant. This year, he participated in the musical Ragtime and joined the choir. In addition, he continues to enjoy sports such as baseball, and his favorite subjects remain math and science.
"WMS has given me a lot of very important skills that I am able to use today" Dylan says. "One of the most important skills has to be the ability to problem-solve."

Would you be willing to participate in an interview or write about your family's WMS experience? Please email alumni@wmsde.org and we will be in touch! 
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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