Stream Team

The adolescents united with visitors from Isthmus Montessori Academy (from Madison, WI) and our resident MO Stream Team guru, Bob Virag, to sample our very own stretch of Bonhomme Creek. Our physical, chemical, and biological samples confirmed what we already knew….the stream is in EXCELLENT condition and scored three points beyond the criteria that designate it as such. Despite last month’s severe floods, the invertebrate community remains diverse and strong. We even found two salamanders! #montessori


Student News Reports – On Todays Iris Show

CMS Holds First Iris Show

Caroline Sarris, Student Reporter Wed, May 10, 2017

Iris Show 2017:

On any other day, the CMS gym is filled with students practicing plays or running around during recess. However, on Wednesday, May 10, kids were swapped out with flowers to present CMS’ first ever Iris Show! With assistance from the American Iris Society and the Greater St. Louis Iris Society, over 70 Horticulture and 28 Designs were beautifully displayed in the gym for the school community to view.

Colorful irises were artfully placed on tables and pedestals all around the room, divided into Design and Horticulture Divisions. The theme, Greek Mythology, was split into four design categories: Gods and Goddesses, Heroes, Nature Spirits, and Monsters. Gods and Goddesses required a symbol of the deity the design represents, and Heroes should be brightly colored and suggest motion. Nature Spirits included branches or other natural materials, while Monsters needed an animal figurine.

Horticulture, where youth and adults alike could display their prized irises, had no design element, just a simple bottle to hold the iris. The irises were judged on bud count, damage to the flower, and the overall quality of the iris.

Whether a design gets first, second, or third place, or an honorable mention, the true purpose of an Iris Show, while debatable, is certainly not to win. For Mrs. Erin Chien it’s all about irises’ “different styles, colors, and patterns, I just love the diversity of the species.” Mrs. Jean Morris, Vice President of Greater St. Louis Iris Society, however, has another purpose, “to educate the public about the advancements of irises, and show them what’s really out there.” She added, “Lots of people think there are just white, purple, and yellow irises because those are all they’ve seen. But now you look around and see rebloomers, space agers, all these different patterns, and types.”

For those looking more at the scientific angle rather than showy, Jean provided some helpful evidence as to why irises should be the next addition to your garden. “Deer don’t eat them, and they bloom while school is still in session, so a school iris show is perfect. Irises also grow in every state (including Alaska) and every climate.”

If you are interested in participating with or just viewing future Iris Shows, the Adolescent Class will host another Iris Show later in the 2017-2018 school year, but for a more recent, upcoming one, the Missouri Botanical Garden is hosting a show on May 13. If you decide irises are your next hobby and are looking to start your own iris garden, the Greater St. Louis Iris Society is holding an iris sale August 5th, at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

With Irises, Less Really Is More 

Allison OverKamp, Student Reporter

CHESTERFIELD MONTESSORI — Designing a flower for the CMS iris show is tough. From meeting all of the specified requirements to gathering material to dreaming up a design for your flowers takes time, effort, and creativity. If flower arranging isn’t your thing, or you don’t have the time to make an iris design, or if you’re too old to compete in the design class, you’re in luck.

The horticulture section of the iris show is for people of all ages, there are little requirements, and minimal arranging involved.All you have to do is grow and bring to the show your iris, along with its correct name.There were over 60 Horticulture entries this year, in a range of different categories.: Historical, Novelty, Youth, Tall Bearded, beardless.

“Design is all about creativity, this is more about perfection,” said Erin Chien, a member of the Iris Society. “It creates a benchmark for breeders.”

If you want to be in the horticulture section next year talk to any of the iris show officials, but be sure to plant your iris by the coming fall.

Nature Spirit Design was Naturally The Most Entered Category

Annabel Riet, Student Reporter

The CMS Iris Contest brought on the nerves this year. Hosted in the gym, people have brought their own irises to be judged. There was also a youth design competition, in which many students had entered. The theme of the Iris Contest was “Greek Mythology.” The most popular category was the Nature Spirits Category. The Design contest allowed for students to show off their artistic skills in hopes of winning a prize.

“I’m So nervous. I hope I win something.” Said an Upper Elementary Student.

There were about 25 youth entries, which made the competition tough. The best irises and designs were awarded either a 1st place ribbon, a 2nd place ribbon, a 3rd place ribbon, or an honorable mention ribbon. The best out of the best had to “fight” to be claimed as the best iris of the whole show.

Judging is done by looking at the flowers, deciding if the flower has enough buds, and if the flower is fresh and clean.

“Sometimes, even if the flower looks nice, the judges have to check the back to see if there is any damage.” Says Caitlin, one of the Adolescents.

The most entered design category was nature spirits—about 10 designs were entered. The requirements of the Nature Spirits category were that you had to have had wood or sticks in your iris design. Each design was on their own individual podium without a background behind them. Many people stuck with a theme within the category such as a water spirit, a rock spirit, or even a fire spirit. Some people used statues to represent certain elements in their design.

“Nature spirits are easy to represent whenever you are working with flowers and branches.” Says Allison, another Adolescent.

The American Iris Society would love more participants next year. If you would like to enter the contest next year, be sure to plant your irises by this fall so that they will grow and bloom in time!


The CMS Iris Show

Caitlin Quirk, Student Reporter

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Have you ever thought that those random irises growing in your backyard were useless? Well it turns out they aren’t. This year at Chesterfield Montessori School, an Iris show was hosted on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The theme of this year’s show was “Greek Mythology”. The show was hosted by the Adolescents and the American Iris Society or AIS, as the Adolescents recently became youth AIS members and they planted an Iris bed in the school garden. There was horticulture and design categories.

One of the design categories was called “Gods and Goddesses.” The designs in this category had to include a symbol of a Greek God or Goddess. 8 designs were entered in this category and all of them were made by students.

“I thought that the Iris show was really cool because everybody’s artistic side was shown,” said Annabel, one of the Adolescents.

After the judging was finished, the participants came and saw what they had won. It looks like those random irises growing in your backyard have a purpose after all.



Paige Matthys-Pearce, Student Reporter

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

CHESTERFIELD MONTESSORI – Lurking in the depths of the CMS gym, we witnessed Greek monsters hiding in the shadows at the iris show on May 10th. CMS students used Irises to portray monsters from Greek mythology, and were judged by design. The students used flowers and other natural plants, as well as figurines, to be incorporated into the design, with an animal creeping out of the shadows of the arrangement.

In the horticulture division, the irises were placed in glass bottles. In the design division however, the design, which included irises, natural flowers and wood, and other materials, was placed in a bowl, cup, or vase to compliment the design.

The irises were used to create a scary with some sort of animal incorporated into the design.

Some designs made the judges jump! “I didn’t see the snake at first, but then I saw it and I almost jumped!” said one of our judges.

The iris show inspired many to grow irises at home, and participate in the show again next year. “I really would like to do the iris show again. It was a great experience!” said one of the designers.

The monsters shown were Medusa, Hydra, and some others.


Adolescent Students Marked End of Judicial System Unit, With Visit to The 8th U.S. District Court

Today the adolescent students marked the end of their Judicial System unit, with a visit to the 8th U.S. District Court in downtown St Louis.


The students began the judicial unit months ago, reading and discussing, 12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose. We then continued our studies by exploring the formation of our Judicial system through Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Papers and the US Constitution.
The students explored types courts, types of cases, players in a courtroom, jury selections and landmark cases. The students had in-depth conversations, driven by their research into historical and current judicial systems worldwide.

During today’s visit, to the courthouse, our class sat in on a Federal Crime sentencing under US District Judge Audrey Fleissig, Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s 2016 Woman of the Year. Prior to our visit, we learned about Judge Flessing’s career, past cases and her work to reform Federal Court Sentencing.

Today, the students also met with a Secret Service Special Agent, who talked about the roles and responsibilities of the US Secret Service. The special agent also allowed the students to conduct a hands-on investigation of US currency, weeding out counterfeits.

Both the in-class unit and today’s courthouse visit proved to both inform and inspire our students. When asked how many days of school they had left, not one knew the answer off hand. They were rewarded with a picnic in beautiful City Garden and returned to rehearse for our May 19th play.