Hello MLWS Families…

We hope you had a wonderful and restful winter vacation and have moved easefully into the rhythms of 2020! Although the days are growing longer, winter is certainly with us, complete with ice skating, skiing and, inevitably, school delays and closings! We hope you enjoy this issue of our newsletter, which includes a Parent Council update, highlight activities of various classes and other school-related topics, classified listings,offers and information about upcoming events in the MLWS community.

Parent Council Update

Parent Council is delighted to share that we are meeting on a regular basis during the 2019-20 school year. Please join us at our next meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, February 18 at 1:30pm at the school. We will discuss our priority projects and form small working groups which will continue to meet as necessary to advance their efforts. These include Faculty Nourishment, Food Drives, a Welcome Committee for new families, and this newsletter. If you are interested in working on one of these projects or if you have an idea for another initiative you would like to work on through Parent Council, please send an email to us at parentcouncil@mountainlaurel.org. Please consider getting involved and offering some of your time to one of our projects. Many hands make light work!

A Peek Into the Classroom

From Mr. Kohn:

In the First Grade classroom, we have entered our second mathematics block: The Four Processes. We are delving into addition, subtraction, division and multiplication through story and song, offering the children a creative and imaginative pathway towards learning. We have also begun our fluting lessons, which fill our halls with the melodic sounds of pentatonic harmony.

From Mr. Wish:

If you happened to peek into the Seventh Grade classroom the other morning, you would have seen the students wrapping ribbons of adding machine paper around various circular objects: a pickle jar, an old vinyl record, a syrup jar, a round table, and a pie tin. “Why on earth are they doing this?” you might have asked. The answer is that they were measuring the objects’ circumferences. This was not all they were trying to find out, though. Once done with the circumferences, they cut a piece of adding machine paper the length of each object’s diameter. In a short time, we had loads of strips of paper flapping around the room; we taped them all up on the wall so we could observe them all together. What did these lengths tell us? What is the relationship between the circumference and diameter of a circle?

After a moment of reflection, one student raised her hand and remarked, “all the diameters are about a third of the circumference, right?” “Well, let’s use our rulers to measure, and then let’s do some division,” I said. The students did just that, and thus we encountered the irrational number that provided our theme for the week, the mysterious 3.1415, also known by its Greek symbol, pi. For the rest of the week, we used it to calculate the circumference and area of various circles. So far the class has memorized the first twenty digits of pi. Who knows how many we willl have memorized by the next time we host an assembly!

News & Happenings

What has Mr. Evans’ Class of 2015 been up to since leaving the nest?

They have been exploring majors in marine biology, environmental geosciences, philosophy, nursing, meteorology, music composition, honing their national level snowboarding skills, competing in a Division 1 swim team, joining a college equestrian team or track team, an improv theatre group, trying out a gap year, completing a year of social work as part of German Waldorf high school graduation requirement… in places of learning such as Binghampton University, Clark University, SUNY Oswego, Boston University, SUNY Geneseo, Bucknell University, the University of New Hampshire, Mount Snow Academy, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Goucher College.

Spread your wings and soar dear alumni!

The Kindergarten Celebrates Chinese New Year
Ms. MacKenzie’s Kindergarten celebrated Chinese New Year in style. They made yummy spring rolls and paraded their friendly dragon through the First Grade and Nursery classes, singing and waving ni hoa.

January 11 Open House

Thank you to our faculty and parent volunteers for being most gracious hosts and to the 5th and 6th grade students who serenaded our guests so beautifully on their recorders.