Curiosity and Belonging – Essay from the Diversity and Community Engagement Committee Corner

Essay written by: TNSM parent and DCE committee member, Claudia López   When I used to be at Miami University, the Center for American and World Cultures, of which I was part, had a Diversity Calendar maintained by yours truly. I visited the Center’s site and couldn’t find anything. It might still exist. I don’t know if I had to dig a bit more deeply. A fast Google search gave me as first result – this calendar –hosted by the Truckee Meadows Community College. Certainly, well-ranked. April is Earth month, Autism Awareness Month, Arab-American Heritage Month, Tartan Heritage Month, and Celebrate …

“…when children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.”

Our (9-12) students were thrilled to witness a bird of prey flapping from one gloved hand to another as each 4th grader took turns bravely feeding a morsel to the bird and allowing it to take flight and land from their leather-gloved arm. This experience held particular meaning to our 4th graders who just finished reading the novel, My Side of the Mountain, which features a boy and his peregrine falcon hunting together. The bird brought by the Ohio School of Falconry was a powerful Harris Hawk. Students in 4th-6th grade gathered on the lawn behind their classroom to learn …

Diversity and Community Engagement Post: Learning More about Racial Literacy and Leading into Women’s History Month

Two weeks ago, we had our TNSM community Zoom conversation around Priya Vulchi’s and Winona Guo’s work. These two women spent their senior year of high school exploring what it means to be racially literate. In searching for a piece to start our conversation, we felt like their framing around racial literacy connects to the philosophy here at TNSM and also offers up opportunities for each of us to deepen our efforts and commitment to building a racially literate community.  If you couldn’t attend, or even if you attended and want to reflect more deeply, here is their TEDTalk and …

Preprimary students stitched self portraits

These days, we are often interested in the quick version of self portraits called selfies, but these preprimary New School Montessori students are going “old school” by hand stitching their self portraits. This kind of meticulous work: selecting thread to match their features, threading the needle and directing it through the fabric at the correct spot – all require significant amounts of patience, concentration and hand-eye coordination. Expanding these powers and planning out the steps of their process are all skills that transfer to many other areas of their work as students. Plus, they are having so much fun!   …

Celebrating Pi Day – Students memorized way beyond the decimal point of 3.14

Math lovers all over the world celebrate pi day on March 14th because pi is known as 3.14.  Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Regardless of the size of the circle, that ratio (pi) will always remain the same. This number, 3.14, has been used for 4,000 year by ancient Greeks, Babylonians and Egyptians in mathematics and in building projects and is used all the time today for simply calculating the volume of a can of soda to understanding orbits, particle physics and determining the density of Earth. The number for pi is often rounded …

Kindergartners create a Keith Haring inspired work

New School Montessori kindergartners study numerous artists throughout the school year with their art teacher, Ryonen Ignatius. Lately, they have touched on works by modern artist Keith Haring. Students have read books and looked at pictures of Haring’s work. In their research, they’ve learned that Keith was inspired by music and the culture of the 80s. For this project, Ryonen asked her students to dance and then freeze! With arms and legs akimbo and frozen in place, it was easy for Ryonen to capture the students’ moves as she drew basic outlines of the positions they were in. Then using …

Lip balm made with elements provided by New School Montessori bees

The New School Montessori is proud to own 2 bee hives that provide countless learning opportunities for our students. And now, with Carrie Driehaus’ help, our bees have given us lip balm!   Carrie Driehaus, a New School parent and part owner of Queen City Pollinator Project, cares for our hives and presents lessons, demonstrations and provides glass beehives for classroom observations. Carrie is always finding new ways to engage the students in learning more about the lives and work of these bees. And this winter, Carrie used several sheets of empty honeycomb from our hives as the wax component …

5th graders read and review Katherine Applegate’s books

As a class assignment, New School Montessori 5th graders read and discussed two of Katherine Applegate’s books.  The first title, “The One and Only Ivan,” a Newbery Award winner, describes the friendship between a captive gorilla (Ivan) and his fictional animal friends. Based on Ivan’s real-life experiences, and written from his perspective as a gorilla, it tells how he and his twin sister were captured and of his years of hardship. Ivan became a renowned animal artist, living in a more natural habitat at Zoo Atlanta where he painted and created works of art until his passing in 2012. The original …

Kindergartner Is at the Nexus of Concrete and Abstract Math

One of life’s sweetest sounds is hearing a child read to you. Even though this is a math problem, and the plot and character development are a bit limited, there is still nothing more exciting than observing the nexus of where concrete and abstract math come together. With numbers up in the thousands, this kindergartner worked out his answer with Montessori stamp game tiles and shared his victory in solving, recording and reporting his answer.    

New School Montessori children enjoy their woods filled up with snow!

Preprimary students flew into drifts with glee-filled laughs, delighting in making their mark on the clean canvas of snow. No worries about “miles to go before they sleep,” for unlike Robert Frost, they have lots of time to enjoy the thrill of a snowy day in the woods.