W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
September 14, 2016
In this Issue

Upcoming Events
All September 
After-School Read Alouds
3:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays this September

September 15
Curriculum Night for Toddler & 9-12 Parents
6 p.m. Free child-care is available for Primary & Elementary students  - please contact Cass at least 48 hours in advance to sign up! 

September 17
Tree Planting Ceremony in Memory of Leon Huhn
10 a.m., Peace Park

September 20
First Announced Fire Drill
10 a.m. 
Webinar: Montessori 101
7:30 p.m.
Register Now

September 21
Welcome Back/Peace Assembly
9:30 a.m., Peace Park
All are welcome! 
Learn More

Whole Foods 5% Day
All day at Whole Foods Glen Mills

Learning Commons
Message from 
Head of School Lisa A. Lalama
Read more from Lisa on the Montessori Message blog.

As we begin the 2016-17 school year at WMS, one of the things that everyone who passes through our front doors notices is that there are changes to the space we have always known as the library. They peek in and see the books, shelves and read-aloud corner (now in a new location), and they wonder what is different. One of the first things people ask about is the librarian's desk; it's nowhere in sight. Other things that are noted are the books outside the library, at its entrance and in other parts of the building.  
Our beloved librarian Elizabeth Varley retired in June. As she decided to take the next steps in her journey, it was also the time to reconsider the space that had been nurtured and cared for by her for so many years. We began by forming a committee of staff members who were interested in the space and its use for our students and families. We sorted, shifted and considered many different ways to reflect author Ta-Nehisi Coates' (Between the World and Me) idea of a library as a space that was "open, unending and free."

You may have noticed that most September afternoons there is a read aloud in the space. Guest readers are joined by students and their families to hear a story, taking a moment at the end of a busy day to relax and enjoy a variety of wonderful books. The space has also been used by many of our students as they work with our Instructional Technology Coach to learn more about iPad use. This week, a group of students will be creating a movie in the Green Screen Room. Parents have used it as a space to check their email, wait for their child's day to end and to learn more about our programs over a cup of coffee. 

Our library has become what we are now calling a Learning Commons. We are using it as a place for all types of learning and not only for the books it houses, but for the information that can be gathered from a variety of sources and the collaboration that is already taking place. 

The Learning Commons is a place for us to gather, talk, explore and learn. Please stop in and explore the space to see what you discover.

News & NotesNews
Shop at Whole Foods on September 21 to support sixth-grade trip to United Nationswholefoods

On Wednesday, September 21, 5% of the net sales at Whole Foods in Glen Mills, PA, will support the WMS class of 2018's trip to New York City to attend the Global Citizenship Action Project (GCAP) conference. 

During their fifth-grade year, WMS students begin to raise funds to allow them to go on this special trip the following year. This year, WMS's 9-12 Program has been selected as a beneficiary to Whole Foods' community giving program - "5% Days." Please consider shopping at the store anytime next Wednesday to support this important learning experience for our students! 

What is GCAP?
Each fall, WMS's sixth-graders travel to New York to attend GCAP at the United Nations, alongside other middle-school-aged Montessori students from around the world. This trip begins a year-long capstone experience during which the sixth-grade class selects a non-governmental organization for which they will raise funds through spirit week and other events. Sixth-graders also visit a mission to the U.N. and enjoy a number of cultural experiences in New York City. It is a trip they remember for a lifetime. 
Register for After-School Enrichment Programs

Registration for fall After-School Specials is now open!

Program topics include:
  • Soccer (both Montessori League and Soccer Shots)
  • Drama Workshop
  • Stitchworks
  • Science Explorers (two options)
  • Yoga
  • Art Masters (taught by WMS art teacher Laurie M.)
  • Stop-Action LEGO
  • Hip Hop 
  • WMS's famous Steel Drums Program
The first classes begin next week, so be sure to register now!
specialwebpeaceParent Education Webinar: Montessori 101
Tuesday, September 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Join Lead Toddler Teacher Leanne Callaway and Early Childhood Education Director Sarah Williams for an overview of the Montessori Method and information about how it unfolds in traditional Montessori classrooms.

You will learn the hallmarks of the method, Dr. Montessori's view of child development and helpful tips for using the Montessori philosophy at home.

Register for Montessori 101
Note: Please register for this program in advance to ensure that you have login instructions for the webinar prior to the event.

U.N. International Day of Peace Celebration
Wednesday, September 21 at 9:30 a.m. in the Peace Park

Each year, the WMS community celebrates the U.N. International Day of Peace. This year, we will be joining approximately 100,000 children and adults from Montessori schools to simultaneously "Sing Peace Around the World" simultaneously at 9:30 a.m. EST. All are welcome to join us for this celebration.

Stay tuned for more information in next week's Wednesday Weekly and check out this video from last year's festivities.

leonTree Planting Ceremony in Memory of Leon Huhn
Saturday, September 17 at 10 a.m. in the Peace Park
Members of the WMS community are invited to join Girl Scout Troop 5 and the Huhn family for a tree planting ceremony in memory of former WMS student Leon Huhn who died last spring three and a half years after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

For more information, please contact Laurie Orsic.

Remembering Danny Peak

Along with so many in the Delaware arts community, Wilmington Montessori School mourns the sudden and tragic loss of Danny Peak, Executive Director of the Delaware Institute for the Arts in Education (DIAE).

Danny shared his passion for the arts with the Delaware community for decades. He worked closely with WMS to write grant proposals to the Delaware Division of the Arts, which covered a portion of the expense of bringing amazing artists in residence to our school including Tony VaccaAlex Shaw and the Rhythm Poets
Ashley SK DavisClyde Evans, Jr (along with Chosen Dance) and Nanci Hersh.  He also helped us to individualize the residencies to match the Montessori Cultural Curriculum, enabling us to integrate the arts with the students' studies of geography, history, natural science and physical science.

The impact of the experiences Danny helped bring to WMS students and so many others in Delaware is immeasurable, and his gifts will live on in each of the children who experienced the arts because of him. Our hearts go out to his family and loved ones.
Today's Learnerslearners
The First Six Weeks
by Room 13 Lead Primary Teacher Erin Winner

If you haven't already, you will soon begin to hear teachers reference "The First Six Weeks."  This term, introduced in our Responsive Classroom training, refers to the important social foundation that is built in a classroom at the start of each school year.  While six weeks may seem like a long time, the work that we do now sets the tone for the entire year. 

A primary goal for teachers at all levels is to create a learning environment in which children feel safe and welcome.  Some of this is evident in the physical environment, such as individual cubbies or lockers for personal belongings.  In the Primary (3-6) classrooms we greet each child at the door with a smile and a handshake. This helps to ease the transition from home to school, and also conveys the message that he or she is a respected and valued member of the group. Morning Meeting provides daily opportunities for children to develop trust and a sense of belonging within the classroom community.  

Teachers also use this time to introduce initial lessons such as how to roll a work mat and how to carry a tray.  Maria Montessori emphasized the importance of teaching even these basic skills because it provides children with a clear model of expectations.  As students learn how to care for the classroom and its materials, they begin to take ownership and responsibility within their shared space. 

Another crucial aspect of establishing an effective learning environment is creating class rules. Teachers and children work together to identify characteristics of a peaceful classroom and use that list to create necessary guidelines.  These rules clarify boundaries and define what respect will look like in that room. Because children actively participate in this process, they are more likely to value and respect the rules. Repeated demonstrations and opportunities to practice skills promote children's autonomy. This independence, along with the strong interpersonal connections that develop in the classroom, gives children the confidence to take risks and explore new ideas. They ask questions and engage in discussions without fear of embarrassment, and they learn to listen respectfully to the opinions of others. 

The first six weeks of school serve as the springboard from which children will leap into an amazing year of discovery and growth.  
Tomorrow's Leadersleaders
1-4 p.m.
Wilmington Montessori School
1400 Harvey Road
Wilmington, DE 19810
Come catch up with old friends at WMS's homecoming celebration, featuring a soccer game coached by special guests, food, giveaways and more!
All are welcome! Please RSVP at www.wmsde.org/homecoming.
To see who else is coming and receive event updates, visit our official Facebook event page. For more information, contact [email protected].
The Wednesday Weekly shares WMS news and events that are relevant to the families in our community.  

Please send submissions to [email protected] 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.

Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved.