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Middle School On The Move

Our Middle School Students are always doing and learning so much that it’s hard to keep up. And Middle School Head Teacher Ms. Erica chronicles it all every two weeks on her amazing blog — subscribe today to get posts by email.

Here are just a few highlights from last week:

  • Students visited Opportunity Village and had a blast singing, dancing, doing comedic improv and more. Student blogger Logan writes: “If there is one thing that I learned from this trip, it would be that it doesn’t matter where you come from, what you look like, how you talk, or the way you walk, every human on the face of this planet has something in common with everyone around them. So, all it takes to make a make a friend is to smile and say Hello.” READ MORE AND SEE PICTURES HERE (password protected).
  • E1 celebrated Pi Day with no less than ELEVEN different mathematical “Pi Stations,” including PiTunes, Pi-doku, Pi Graphs and Radial Radii. And of course, there was pie.
  • Students are learning all about Asia and are focusing on the geography, culture and architecture of the Middle East. From the blog: “This week we looked at pictures from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, and Armenia, which illustrated a little of the architecture, beautiful landscape, and cultural diversity of a region with both European and Asian influences. One seventh grader admiring the photos of Dubai said, ‘I want to go there. I want to go everywhere!'”
  • Students created a chronology of World War I that included biographies of key players and tracked American involvement. They even built their own “weapons”!
  • In Language, students are reading and analyzing various novels including Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. From the blog: “This novel first appeared during the era which historians label ‘the McCarthy period,’ the post-war political climate characterized by xenophobia, blacklisting and censorship. Many of the issues explored in the novel cannot be separated from the historical period in which it appeared. Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns. This novel commands lively discussion.”
  • Math studies included illustrating exactly why, as Pythagoras claimed, a^2 + b^2 = c^2!,.
  • “Middle schoolers are in the thick of the Circulatory System, and are anxious for our upcoming dissection of cow hearts! This dissection will give them a very clear picture of our recent studies: heart chambers, valves, the aorta, the vena cava, pulmonary vessels, the path of blood, and more! It doesn’t matter how many diagrams or books we have to share; nothing compares to holding an actual heart in your palms and learning through that type of hands-on experience. We hope you can join us for the big day!”
  • And finally, gardening: “Thank you to Marnie and Teri for helping us begin our new round of gardening! After the eighth graders’ trip to Star Nursery, the middle schoolers planted our basil and peppers on the outskirts of our box. Do you know what’s going in the middle?”

Phew! To read more and see more pictures, don’t forget to check out Ms. Erica’s E1 blog. And try to keep up!

*Don’t forget to stop by the Foothills Montessori School parking lot this Saturday from 8 AM to noon for a special sale to benefit Roos ‘n’ More, a local family-owned rescue-oriented zoo in need of donations. Student Maddie Hoggan writes: “Last semester, one of our field trips included visiting this zoo and it was one of the most memorable field trip experiences I’ve ever had. Two veterinarians that have a love for unusual animals own the zoo and they help provide care for animals that come there. Most of these animals, because they are so fond of humans, love to be held and played with. Recently, the zoo has been shut down in their transition to becoming a commercial property due to the size of their septic tank and lack of paved walkways. They will not reopen on site until they’ve raised the $300,000 necessary to address the issues. We hope our Parking Lot Sale can be a part of achieving that goal. We hope you drop by on the 22nd!”

 

The First Great Lesson

In Montessori education, students often start off their school year with “The First Great Lesson.” Says Ms. Vickie, teacher in E2: “The lesson is intended to make an impression on the children and spark an interest in the world around them. We do a series of experiments that demonstrate basic science to inspire and motivate them to want to learn new things.

“Maria Montessori said: ‘Knowledge can be best given when there is eagerness to learn, so this is the period when the seed of everything can be sown, the child’s mind being like a fertile field, ready to receive what will germinate into culture. [In lower elementary], all items of culture are received enthusiastically, and later these seeds will expand and grow.’ (To Educate the Human Potential, pg. 4).”

As a grade level, we would suggest that the parents look through the classroom blogs for pictures of the First Great Lesson and discuss them with their child and see what they learned and what they thought was exciting and fun!”

First Great Lessons often touch on the origin of the earth, science, physics, astronomy, composition of matter, geology, chemistry and biology. This is the ultimate way to spark excitement for learning; to build a foundation for future learning; and to give a “big picture” perspective on how fields of study work together within the universe. For an example of lessons given, click here.

Foothills Montessori School is a private Montessori school serving families in Henderson, Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.

Primary Students Explore Space

Through the month of January, our Primary classrooms are learning about space by exploring the planets, solar system, sun and constellations.

Says P4: “The children will explore what each planet looks like and the contents that make up the different planets. There are many different works out in our Science Area which allow the children to continue to learn all about our wonderful Solar System.”

P4 students also learned a “planet song” and did a special art project involving the sun with Ms. Angela.

 

In the Practical Life Area, there are new works on the shelves such as shoe polishing, plant washing and wood polishing. These beautiful materials encourage independence and order while enhancing fine motor skills, focus and level of concentration.

Says P3: “It is wonderful to see the high level of concentration that the students exhibit while working with these materials.”

P3 students also worked on drawing their self-portraits. “Some of our Kindergarteners have taken on the ‘job’ of leading the other children through their self-portrait work,” P3 continues. “This helps to build on communication skills between the children and helps to make them responsible for the jobs within our classroom.”

Read more and check out lots of pics under Classroom News!

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A Look Inside the Window of E5

E5 students are starting the year off right, getting right back into downward dog!

Yoga

We have resumed our morning yoga ritual. Beginning our day with a rested and focused mind has been helping each of us. Deep breaths and getting ourselves centered has been an amazing way to start our day. Thank you Ms. Joanie!!!!

History

We launched our Pioneer unit with a visit from a real life “mountain man.” Scott Sorenson told stories, shared animal pelts, and sang us beautiful songs of our past. We listened and were intrigued with his choice to live like the Mountain Men of our past, like Jedediah Smith and Kit Carson. We researched several men from Nevada’s past and gained an understanding of why they were here and how this is an important part of our state’s history.

Writing

We will be working on publishing writing that involves creative fictional narratives. We will rely heavily on our schema from books we have read in the past. This is always an exciting unit and the students are looking forward to the process.

Science

We are still in our Ecology unit and are moving into adaptations and animals. You can talk to your child about camouflage and behaviors that animals display to help them adapt and survive in their environments.

Spelling Bee

Special congratulations to Matthew as he will move forward in the Scripps Spelling Bee competition. He will represent the sixth grade class and compete against two middle school students. Way to go Matthew!!!

You can read more from E5 and get tons of information and pictures from all the classrooms by visiting the Classroom News page. Check it out often — and remember to Subscribe!

[button url=”http://foothillsmontessori.com/classroom-news/” target=”_blank” size=”small” style=”cherry” ]Classroom News[/button]

Introducing “Window Wednesdays”!

Every Wednesday we will spotlight one of our Classroom Blog posts to give you a little glimpse inside our busy classrooms. To kick it off, let’s look into the window of E1. (This news is a little bit old, as we are just getting back from the holidays.)

[h4]Inside E1 — Week of December 21[/h4]

  • Two students win the Scripps Spelling Bee
  • We make snowflakes to send to Newtown, Connecticut
  • For our Element Personification project, we create comic strips, children’s books, clay models, stop motion videos and more to make the elements come to living, breathing life!
  • We make muskets and try out for the state militia as part of Thrilling Thursday in history class

 

Simply click on the link below and enter your password to see the rest of the posts and more fabulous pictures. We hope you enjoy!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE 

(If you forgot your password, please contact the front desk at 702-407-0790. And if you haven’t done so, remember to Subscribe to your child’s classroom blog — you’ll get instant updates sent to your email inbox and never have to worry about remembering to log in!)