The Grapevine, April 29, 2020

What’s up in Upper Elementary this week?

By Cedar/Birch teacher Matt Long (aka “Montana Matt”)

In Upper Elementary, children are still interested in storytelling. During history class, I have them circle around a candle and pretend we are sitting around a campfire long ago listening to the stories of our ancestors. In our current situation, that is no longer possible. Instead, I have taken storytelling to a modern, electronic version. By using technology, and a bit of help from a friend, I am able to continue using storytelling to engage the students during this time with a show I call, “History: Distance Learning Style.”

Below, Upper Elementary students are immersed in their studies at home.

The online gala is just two weeks away! How will the auction work?

Secondary level World Languages adjust to remote learning

Spanish—Alexa Boss—Virtual Greetings! Spanish lends itself well to being delivered online. It certainly isn’t my preference, I miss my students and would much rather be in the classroom, but we are finding our way around the digital world. We wrapped up the third quarter with some remaining work out of the textbooks, utilizing breakout rooms in Zoom to work in small groups, and continued reading our novels: “El Nuevo Houdini” in Spanish 1 and “Esperanza” in Spanish 2/3. Students presented their research and posters on Spanish-speaking countries and we’ve been able to sprinkle in videos and interesting articles to read just as we would in the classroom.

Japanese—Atsuko Seckinger—Since our remote activity learning started, it has been a little challenging to adapt to a new learning experience for students and teachers. How can we turn this challenging situation into an advantage of learning from home opportunity? It turned out there are a few “silver lining” aspects for the Japanese language class due to the remote learning.

For example, one thing that came to mind was a virtual “show and tell” by having students share an item with the class that they are comfortable with sharing. For example, “Share something related to Japanese Anime,” “Share a musical instrument,” “Share something scientific,” etc. Then the students explain their item in Japanese. The students often made personal comments regarding their items, and that made us feel a little more close to one another.

For the Japanese culture class, we did the same basic type of “show and tell” activity. The theme for them was to share something that represents another country’s culture. It turned out to be such a wonderful learning opportunity for everyone. The items that the students shared ranged from musical instruments to religion-related cultural items. What was so wonderful through this opportunity was to see the students learning something new from their peers, not from textbooks or the teacher. When the students saw their peer's items that were important to them, they listened to one another very intently and learned about them in such a respectful manner.

I thought this was it! The primary purpose of the Japanese Culture class is to introduce Japanese culture in general, but I also wanted this class to be a platform to share other countries' culture as well. The significance of learning about different cultures is not only understanding about it but also, and perhaps more importantly, to listen about something new with an open mind. Because of the remote learning, we were able to do it virtually “in person” online! While the remote learning has some challenges, it also has given us an opportunity to shift from “classroom to home” to “home to classroom”!

Below, High School students worked on Math Club together before the social distancing rules were in place.

Lower Elementary—music, continent studies and art

Lower Elementary students and families were introduced to their new music teacher on Tuesday. She is Virginia Navarro, owner of Seashell Music Together, the provider of our music program. Some students may remember that Virginia worked with Cece Leavitt on a LE music presentation a couple of years ago. Virginia created several short videos this week about drumming, rhythm patterns and movement, and the students could enjoy and follow along with them. Next week she will hold some short Zoom classes in which students can share and play music “together”.
A Hawthorn student wove an artwork from items found in nature, and a Spruce student created a Salish First Nation-inspired art project for Continent Study. He chose to study North America, and the eagle as his animal.

Toddlers loved to help this week

Toddlers showed their interest in practical life skills, helping out with vacuuming, baking and cooking. They had fun riding bicycles and celebrating a birthday.

Early Childhood—practical life, math and science

In the Dogwood class, a student engaged in a carrot-peeling work, and a classmate enjoyed her baking project. Another student worked on her math using items from home and engaged with her teacher via Zoom, while another conducted experiments in photosynthesis.


Now through June 17
•  School continues remote learning through end of school year
Thursday, April 30
•  Final day of Early Bird pricing for Summer Camp registration
Friday, May 1
•  National College Acceptance Day for our senior
Monday, May 4
•  Online Enrollment/Re-Enrollment opens
•  Teacher Appreciation Week begins
Wednesday, May 6
•  Virtual Coffee with Sunita, email her for the Zoom invitation
Tuesday, May 12-Saturday, May 16
•  WMS online gala!
•  Keep up with the WMS calendar here.

Summer Camp Early Bird ends April 30—register now

Early bird pricing for WMS Summer Camp ends on Thursday, April 30. Register to hold a spot for your child. If summer camp is running, payments will begin in June.

For more information, email Auxiliary Director Theresa Kirby.

Online Enrollment & Re-enrollment opens

Online Enrollment/Re-Enrollment begins May 4. WMS Families: You will receive information on May 4 by email regarding the annual collection of required forms for returning families, and online enrollment and re-enrollment for both new and returning families. Annual forms and online enrollment/re-enrollment submission is due on May 19.

Task Force is a force of nature

A store manager holds a paper bag on one palm
Accepting a gift bag of thank you cards from the WMS Task Force

Good Goods: Mark your calendars for Sunday, May 17, and stay tuned for details regarding our next food drive.

Gratitude Greetings: 140 "Thank You" cards were delivered to a local grocery store for essential workers, one for each employee of that location. The assistant store manager was very surprised and excited to share these cards with the team. These cards are the combined work of the Secondary, Lower El and EC students, with volunteer hours assembling and delivering.

We are in talks with King County Metro now to deliver gratitude greetings to their operators soon.

Please take a moment to fill out the WMS Task Force Survey. Be heard and guide the future you want to see through action: WMS Task Force Survey. Survey responses are rolling in and we're pleased to hear from you.

More hands are joining the task force, more voices are lending theirs to our chorus. We are being seen and heard and making a difference, one mask, one ear saver, one card at a time. Please add your voice and hands to the projects currently in progress as we launch the next round of actions and tasks to support our WMS community and the larger community. Contact: and earn valuable volunteer hours while helping our community.

Many hands make light work.—Shay Chapman, WMS Task Force Coordinator

Alums, share your news, WMS wants to celebrate you

WMS alums, work on the new issue of Seasons is underway, and we want to know all about your recent achievements and other news. We want to celebrate and recognize you, especially with graduations around the corner!

Please tell us your news and we’ll share it. Send us your photos or tell us your favorite memories. In this unique and challenging time, we hope to share some positivity with the WMS community.

Email news, photos and updates to Communications Assistant & Advancement Coordinator Emily Irwin, or mail your graduation announcements to Woodinville Montessori School, Attn. Communications Dept., 19102 North Creek Parkway, Bothell, WA 98011

We look forward to sharing the new issue of Seasons with you soon! You can view the previous issue here.

About the Grapevine

Welcome to the Grapevine newsletter. The Grapevine is published every Wednesday afternoon during regular school weeks. We welcome your submissions of photos and articles that are about or directly relevant to WMS students, subject to approval by the Director of Communications & Marketing. All submissions are due by 4:30 p.m., Mondays. We do not accept advertising.