Week in Review: Friday, December 7

T2 is off to a great start! 

In humanities, the Adolescents are studying ancient African civilizations and their influence on the world. They worked on maps of Africa in groups. The subjects for these maps are as follows: Climate, Vegetation/Land Forms, Ancient Civilizations/sites, Languages, Tribes, and Trade Routes. The class also participated in seminars on African geography and the challenges of archaeology in such an expansive continent.

In math, the 8th graders worked on factoring for the week while the 7th graders performed an interesting marble experiment in the community room that involved slope.

In language, the class practiced public speaking. To hone their powers in this regard, Ms. Jenna gave them exercises to do which included tongue twisters, improv comedy, and the like. The activities were really fun and they gave the group more experience in facing an audience and delivering what they need to say.

In Latin, the Adolescents continued to improve their vocabulary with some new words like sacculus (sack) and pecunia (money). The group also read some passages from the Latin book to work on pronunciation.

In art, the group created a wide variety of displays including LEGO self-portraits and “experiments” with tape on the wall. They worked on them for almost the entirety of Friday morning and the finished products look great!

Classroom News:

On Wednesday, the Adolescents took a trip to the Land School Campus to inspect the property and to harvest the tall grass there for an upcoming Micro-Economy project.

On Thursday, the class welcomed CMS Head of School, Ms. Kim to the building to give the students a lesson on grace and courtesy. We greatly appreciated her visit as it helped the class to acknowledge the “finer” things in life and to pay more attention to detail.

This week marked the debut of street hockey at our school. Let the games commence…

~ CK


Term 1 is Done!

12 weeks goes by fast when you are having fun.

Trimester 1 Presentation Day!

Restoration at the Land Campus (native plants, salamanders, toads, birds, butterflies, and bees)

Inequalities, math pathways, and seminar

Market Days (tables, windchimes, black-walnut coasters, candles, and apple butter)

Edmund A. Babler State Park Overnight

Scary stories (Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Monkey’s Paw, Three Skeleton Key, Sleepy Hollow, The Little Mermaid, The Pit and the Pendulum)

Time to reflect, relax, engage, and enjoy the company of others

Energy (farms, life, flow/transfer, photosynthesis)

Research papers (religion, geography/climate, trade, astrology, time, military, civilization, writing, medicine)

1 AWESOME Group of Adolescents!


The Adolescents’ Work in the Micro-economy.

It may be no surprise to those who have been following the activities of the adolescents, but our Fall Trimester has been incredibly engaging and productive. A cursory review of the blog from only the first two months of school reveals the varied and numerous activities of the adolescents. There have been events planned, prepared, and hosted; business ideas researched, promoted, and marketed; materials harvested; products created and sold; money exchanged.

If you are a product of traditional education (myself and Jenna included) and you are unfamiliar with Montessori theory at the adolescent level, much of what we do here in the AP may not seem like ‘school’ activities or ‘academic’ in nature. What sets us apart from traditional education systems is that we ensure the students have frequent opportunities for meaningful social interaction within the community and society. Montessori says,

The school which gives only academics, which separates intelligence from practical society, is no longer valid…the school itself is not the goal (learning for learning’s sake is torture!) but rather that learning has a practical application that it can unite and nourish life. It then suddenly becomes a brilliant and living thing.”                                    ~ Maria Montessori, XXIII International Montessori Course in “The Erdkinder Research and Development Report”

Clearly, there is much more to Montessori than simply nurturing the intelligence. Every parent who has a child in a primary classroom understands practical life lessons like sweeping and table washing produce more than children destined for successful careers in housekeeping. These specific activities in the environment provide an opportunity for the creation of the self and the development of the will. This depth of work applies to the work of the adolescent as well, but for the 12 to 15-year-old, the small, meticulously-prepared and beautiful classroom of the 3 to 6-year-old child has been transformed into society and all of the intricate connections between its parts. Adolescence is the time when we all take our first steps through the world as an individual in society rather than a child in the family. It is the point in our lives where we begin to ask ourselves, “who am I, and where do I belong?”

Our jobs as adolescent guides are to provide for the students the appropriate exposure to society and the context for them to navigate through it. One of our best tools for this purpose, and the reason it may seem as if the adolescents are always offering their goods and services in exchange for your money, is that the mechanism of “production and exchange, on which economic life is based” provides “an opportunity to learn both academically and through actual experience what are the elements of social life.” (Maria Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence, Appendix A). Thus, the Micro-economy functions not only as a way for students to generate funds for their projects and trips, but as an integrated curriculum that provides the opportunity, the context, and the practice as a member of society.

Montessori observed that there is more than the intellect that requires nourishment during adolescence, which is why nearly half of her written material on the subject of adolescent education focuses on the practical considerations for the organization of social life. She saw the importance of adolescents having opportunities to be useful to their peers, to be valorized through their own labor, and to join in the actions of society.

-Michael Hill

Scenes from the Classroom.

The CMS Pumpkin Hunt was a blast!  We hope you were there and bought some of our famous AP Inc. Apple Butter.  If you didn’t come to the Pumpkin Hunt, then come to our Fall Market Days on November 1st and 2nd.  We will be selling scented candles, black walnut coasters, apple butter, Bush-Honeysuckle tables, and bamboo wind chimes.  Thank you for supporting the CMS Adolescent Program! See you at the Turkey Trot!


Autumn Approaches!

It’s that time of year again! From here on, the class prepares for the upcoming Fall events: the Pumpkin Hunt and the Fall Market Days.

“During this wonderful month of October, we begin to see changes happening in the environment around us: the trees turn bright orange and then to red, the fallen leaves start collecting in piles, and the air gets much colder.

“A change is also seen in us humans. We develop more of a festive mood, as is evident by the pumpkins by the front door, the spooky decorations in the front yard, and the stockpiling of apple butter and pumpkin pie in the fridge. We start to enjoy ourselves a little more, perhaps by taking a walk out in the cooler weather, preparing a homemade meal in the kitchen, or finding some straw and doing who-knows-what with it.

“And the holidays. Who can ever forget Halloween and Thanksgiving? A festive, spooky event outside in the cold winds of the night, dressed in costumes and begging for candy at the door. A relaxing, warm, and friendly occasion when you welcome friends and family relatives to the dinner table as you feast on a great big turkey. Perhaps afterward, you might sit down on the couch and watch the NFL with your uncle and grandfather, or you might catch up with your aunt and grandmother at a nearby table.

“Autumn really is a special season.”

— Carson

Week in Review-October 12, 2018

What a fun/exciting/busy week! The AP students welcomed CMS and OakHaven 6th year students into their new environment at the GTC on Tuesday and Thursday, and the entire upper elementary visited the Land Campus today to participate in a plant and tree identification scavenger hunt. On Wednesday, the AP students canned over 80 jars of apple butter and made over 100 buttons for the CMS Pink Tower Campaign. We modeled exponential growth with m&ms and skittles. We discussed the elements of a piece of horror fiction through Roald Dahl’s Royal Jelly and A.A. Jacobs’ The Monkey’s Paw. We wrote stories, developed characters through physical characteristics, and studied the use of the transition word ‘however’. The class finished Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma and decided on their occupations group project for the T1 Presentation Day.  Next week, we switch back into our humanities studies as we begin to prepare for individual and group research projects. Have a great weekend!

Week in Review: Friday, October 5

Mathematics: Binomial theorem, probability, factorial notation, permutation, constructing regular polygons, describing ellipses, factoring, exponential growth/decay, direct variation, scatter plots, collecting data, and capture/recapture population estimates.

Language: Transition words, supporting answers with evidence from text (introduce, cite, and explain), COMMAS!, selecting research topics, Dr. Maria Montessori’s From Childhood to Adolescence seminar, introduction to Rhetoric Analysis, exercises in finding Ethos, Pathos, Logos, introduction to Gothic Literature

Occupations: Seminar and research on fertilizer, Omnivore’s Dilemma seminar, garden clean-up, cool-season vegetable planting, analysis of ingredients in processed food

Expressions: “I am” project, plant identification field guide, Land Campus Map, Community Lunch

Micro-economy: Market Day Prep (apple butter, Pink Tower buttons, honeysuckle tables), Pumpkin Hunt planning