Preprimary students are processing what they’ve learned about artist Yayoi Kusama

New School Montessori preprimary students have been learning about the work and style of Yayoi Kusama and her iconic polka dots in the Obliteration Room. As you can read from this student’s language work spread out on her cloth mat, she wanted to process what she’d heard about this fascinating artist writing, “The Obliteration Room has lots of dots. The Obliteration Room is a room filled with dots. Yayoi Kusama is an artist. She is from Japan.” Below, you can learn more about the artist and see what the Obliteration Room looked like before visitors were invited to place colored …

Students study many aspects of African culture, geography and animal life

New School Montessori preprimary students have begun their study of Africa. They are making flags of various countries in the continent and are learning about some of the crops harvested there like plantains, passion fruit, mango, eggplant, sugar cane and papaya. Students have been learning about some of the ways babies are carried in other cultures and will even be balancing a few items in a basket on their heads. Various African habitats have been studied and children have practiced classifying animals by their habitat: rainforest, desert or grasslands.

Students get a hands-on experience to explore a pig’s heart

First, second and third grade students in Sophia and Jean’s class have been studying the circulatory system. Sophia brought in a pig’s heart from the butcher shop so that students could observe a heart that is very similar to their own. Students were thrilled to be able to touch and probe the various vessels and chambers of the heart. The large vessels were also quite impressive! Just as students had learned in class, they noticed that the upper chambers (atria) of the heart were smaller and not as muscular as the lower chambers (ventricles). Students understood that the heart’s ventricles …

Students learn about various properties of light

In physical science, 4th-6th grade students explored various demonstrations to learn how light is reflected or refracted as it hits objects. Students used a mirror to reverse an image, got to see how light reflects at the same angle that it goes in, and they even tried to make their own rainbow. Next week students will look at how light interacts when it passes through different lenses.    

Metric system comes to life as a mythical kingdom

One way to bring the metric system to life is to cast it in a mythical kingdom of kings, dragons, unicorns and other animals. Knowing that kings have dominion over the entire kingdom helps students remember that the prefix kilo is their highest prefix. Next to kings are humans (hecto), then dragons (deca), then unicorns (unit), dogs (deci), cats (centi) and finally mice (milli). These prefixes are used with units of meters, grams and liters and are all based on powers of 10. And of course in the kingdom of metric, powers of 10 are the most amazing and sensible …

Students made wildflower hearts

Students in Catherine and Gina’s (6-9) classroom are looking forward to spring by preparing a heartfelt wildflower seed project they’ll plant in the coming months. Students mixed wildflower seeds with water and pulverized paper, added red food coloring, and shaped this mixture into heart shapes using cookie cutters as molds. Once the seed paper hearts were dry (ish) they were sent home to sit on a windowsill or other safe place until the snows of February have abated, the winds of March have died down and the warm showers of April have fallen.  

Students learn about reptiles shedding their skin

New School Montessori preprimary students have been studying snakes and lizards. Fascinated by the way these animals shed their skin, students have enjoyed taking part in a molting work of their own.   First, students paint a thin layer of glue on a small patch of skin and feel the tightening as it dries. They then peel themselves free as they experience their own version of what it might be like to shed their skin.

Chef-for-a-day, Eleanor, planned an amazing lunch!

Eleanor was our chef for a day, planning the lunch menu for staff, preprimary and elementary students. Eleanor selected chicken stew; mashed potatoes; dinner rolls and butter; deviled eggs; sugar snap peas and carrots; broccoli salad and apple streusel pie!

Arts and craft supplies were donated to Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center

For their winter community service project, the students in Nancy Buchman’s homeroom organized a collection of arts and crafts supplies.  The supplies were donated to Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center for patients to use during their stay in the hospital.  Thanks to all the Ginkgo House students and families who contributed to this project!

School House Symphony visited TNSM (3-6) students

New School Montessori preprimary students greeted School House Symphony musicians with lots of enthusiasm during their performance and explanation of musical-instrument families, including strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. Musicians introduced their instruments, telling a bit about the vibrating elements that produce sound. Students were instructed to put their hands to their throats while singing a quick verse of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” to feel the vibration of their vocal cords as they produced sound in their own vocal instrument.