Week in Review-September 30,2016

Our week was busy, productive, and FUN! The class submitted the first round of literature response essays for the year, organized a sale of their custom CMS and Montessori-themed buttons for our Parent Education Night, and we even made it out on another adventure with the students of the MAP school for a morning of fishing at the educational lakes in Forest Park.  Work hard, play hard; that is the motto of our group this fall and we hope the great work continues.


Division of real numbers, simplifying expressions, probability, and functions

Language & Literature

  • The students read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and submitted their literature responses.
  • Creative Writing: Presidential address on national security, the economy, child care, and immigration.
  • Writing in the Active Voice
  • “What is going on in this picture?”


Introduction to Physics Unit

  • Who was the first physicist?
  • What is Science?
  • What fundamental forces are studied in Physics?
  • Seminar: How to create the world’s strongest magnet

Creative/Physical Expression

  • Fishing at Forest Park


Fishing !

Today the class teamed up with the students from MAP St. Louis and the Missouri Department of Conservation to begin a fishing unit for physical expression. The fish were really hungry! We caught sunfish, catfish, hybrids, and largemouth bass. What a day!

The CMS Candidates

Fellow Americans, the Adolescents founded the CMS Political Party in our famous gymnasium just yesterday. As a creative writing assignment, we wrote multiple paragraphs about what our speeches would be if we ran for the most famous job in the U.S.: The President.

We exposed our plans to a small audience (and the 4th Grade French class when they came down) about the economy, foreign relations, immigration, and child care. All of our candidates argued fiercely and defended their opinions strongly… OK, it was just one at a time, but we had some ideas there.

Carson believed that a smarter US was a stronger US. He imagined all schools were like Montessori schools ( That ring any bells?) and our children had higher-quality education. Paige believed that criminals should go through ‘Kindness Acts’ until we are sure they have been rehabilitated ( Tough luck on the criminal). But why ask me? Ask the candidates. They have ideas to share and I have a debate at 6:00 tonight. Goodbye, America.


Peace in Caroline’s Words

This past Wednesday, September 21, was World Peace Day. To celebrate, all the Chesterfield Montessori students gathered in the gym and sang Light a Candle For Peace, as did Montessori schools all across the world. We, the adolescents, in addition to the performance, had a creative writing session about advocating peace and becoming peace activists. Because peace is such a broad topic and we have different writing styles, the responses were very unique.

For me personally, to start fighting for peace, we must all have a clear understanding of peace. Is it a place? An emotion? Do we have it in ourselves? Or is it just a symbol of something we had long ago and are trying to bring back? Peace, whatever your definition may be has over time become the opposite of conflict, a safe haven within a word, which is something necessary in the world.

Allison, however, had a clear explanation of what peace was to her. “…peace is a feeling rather than a thing. Peace is the feeling of happiness, the feeling of ‘everything is going good for me right now, at this exact moment.’ When someone says, ‘I am at peace with the world,’ to me they are saying, ‘I am happy with how life is going for me right now.’”

Again, other people had different ideas. Paige bypassed the meaning of peace and went straight to action plans. “The world needs peace. But in order to promote peace we must be peaceful. Being peaceful can mean different things. It can mean just being still and listening. If you just think a little before you speak your words will have more meaning. But peace can also mean two enemies becoming friends. It may seem hard at first but people who support peace make it work.”

What do you think peace is? How do you advocate for it? Talk to your friends and family, establish the meaning of peace, and spread the word. We can work together to spread peace around the world.

Week In Review

Mathematics: Keys to Algebra, Using a table to solve equations, system of equations review, coordinate plane (history/maps, plot a route, linear equations), math seminar

Literature: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland final book discussion

Humanities: Origins of the Ottoman Empire, Fashion in the Islamic world- past and present, Tales of the Hoja: turkish folk tales

Writing & Grammar: Word choice & synonyms, “very” & “so” workshop, coordinating conjunctions, conjunctive adverbs, compound sentences and run-ons

CE/PE: Turkish rug design, paddle boating with our friends at the MAP School

Micro-Economy: Look out CMS! The adolescents are in the final design stages of their new line of CMS and Montessori-themed buttons. The  buttons will hit the shelves just in time for the CMS Parent Event next week.

Ever Made a “Local Phone Call?”

Ever carried a canoe above your head? How about exploring a cave 16 inches wide (Mr. Mike got stuck)? Know how to fluff your duff? Have you had the chance to carry three days worth of supplies on your back? We, the adolescents, did all this on our extreme backpacking trip.

The Mad Dog Exploration took us from the Touch of Nature center to the Panther’s Den Wilderness and back. It was an unforgettable experience, full of teamwork, spiders, and memories. After signing a contract, promising that we would have strength, optimism, and flexibility, our journey began. Monday was spent packing our bags and canoeing to our first campsite. Going to sleep that night was slightly uncomfortable, due to all the sticks beneath us, but we quickly drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, after a breakfast of oatmeal and granola bars, we hiked up to Panther’s Den and explored caves that were a bit narrow at times. #spidersnearmyface  We finished the day with pizza, a game of Mafia, and a new game Greg introduced to us, called This Is a Stick.

Awake, bright and early Wednesday morning, we re-packed our bags, broke camp, and fluffed our duffs (kicking the ground to make it look like no one had been there). After a two-mile paddle, we portaged our canoes and gear from Devil’s Kitchen Lake to Little Grassy Lake. It was extremely heavy, but we survived (barely). Our reward for the effort was a campfire with s’mores, a sandstone ledge over the lake (for swimming), a nice meal with Pringles and Gatorade. Thursday, our last day, was spent with a final canoe back to Touch of Nature, where we said goodbye to our guides and headed back to good ole’ Missouri.

Through this experience, we’ve each come to a different conclusion about what nature means to us. Now, it is not only a big area full of trees and bugs with “facili-trees” instead of bathrooms, but somewhere away from all of the city noise, where you can be happy no matter what, and grow closer to your friends through it all. We’ve agreed this experience was enlightening for all of us, but we may just feel that way because we aren’t carrying canoes on our backs anymore.

Week in Review

Mathematics: What is Algebra?, math puzzles (31-derful & four fours), properties, sets of numbers, positive and negative numbers, math seminar

Literature: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Hobbit, and Watership Down book discussions and analysis

Writing/grammar: Selecting a research topic, library databases, research tips, MLA vs APA guidelines

Humanities: Byzantine Empire, Constantinople, The Origins of Islam

CE/PE: Limericks w/ illustrations, CMS Classroom Iris Garden

Micro-economy: Business Plan Basics

Seminar: Edward Lear’s The Story of the Four Little Children Who Went Round the World, The time I ‘nearly’ solved the Twin Prime Conjecture: My first authentic mathematical experience



Books & Nature

Today, the students discussed their summer reading assignments J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Richard Adams’ Watership Down at the Wildwood campus. Nature is an excellent place for young adults to reflect and share their insights on literature. Nature is an inspiration for our young writers here in the CMSAP and for the many great authors we study throughout the year. We are happy to be back at school, exploring our own Middle Earth at the Wildwood campus, and to be learning about each other through the great discussions we have in class.