Last night the ginkgo trees lost their leaves. I love this moment.

  Hello Friends, Last night the ginkgo trees lost their leaves. I love this moment. It happens all at once. From one day to the next, almost all of the leaves detach and fall around the trunk of the tree like a golden blanket. During drop-off this morning, the sun hit our very own ginkgo tree, and it looked like it was dripping gold as the last few leaves fell. As you know, tomorrow begins our Thanksgiving break. For many of us, holidays can be complicated. They can remind us of people we have lost. They can bring us into …

Resources to open conversations and spark curiosity

Essay written by TNSM parent and D+CE member Allie Precht Hope, Rachel, Portia & Claudia have shared such lovely, vulnerable and informative stories over the past 4 weeks along with many resources that I want to re-share with our TNSM community. These resources can open conversations with our families, within ourselves, and spark curiosity and learning within our children. Claudia shared this video of the song Aya Aya (Hello, Hello) – try singing with you children as a way of honoring some of the ancestors of this land we call home now. Portia shared a list of Native American Children’s …

During Ex-Day, students made luxury accommodations for insects and squirrels

Students in (6-9) Extended-Day have been doing some serious planning for the insects and little creatures sharing space in our elementary woods. Not only do leaves left on the ground provide cover for butterflies and other insects to winter under, but some students have gone the extra mile to create a rock-enclosed bug sanctuary with choice bits of finely ground dirt to blanket the enclosure. These accommodations are the “Hotel Ritz” of the bug world. And that’s not all! The next day, these students decided to create a potential habitat for squirrels. The structure’s homey interior is very inviting, with …

Rockets = History + Science + Math + Fun

Students in 4th-6th grade were thrilled to make and set off their own rockets on The New School Montessori’s  blacktop.  Their work began by studying  the science that had come before, making this kind of event possible. Students looked all the way back to 400 BC when a Greek scientist propelled a pigeon along a wire using steam power to the Chinese igniting gunpowder for fireworks in 1232, to Newton’s discovery of the 3 Laws of Motion in the 17th century, to Germans’ ballistic missiles fueled with liquid oxygen and alcohol in 1942. All of these discoveries led us to …

To see and be seen — such a powerful act of humanity!

  Essay written by TNSM parent and Diversity and Community Enrichment chair, Claudia Lòpez Aya! tipeewe neeyolaani During my time at Miami University, twenty years ago, I had the privilege to work closely and develop a friendship with Daryl Baldwin, a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and the founding director of the Myaamia Center at Miami University. I would go to Daryl’s home in Indiana, about twenty minutes from Oxford, to pick up chicken — I might have gotten some goat at some point. He also introduced me to topinambur, also known as Jerusalem artichokes or sunchokes. Daryl …

Did our bees pass their pre-winter checkup?

Carrie Driehaus, TNSM parent and co-founder of Queen City Pollinator Project, has completed her fall inspection of our hives to be sure the bees are well situated to survive the upcoming cold winter months. With our 2 beehives at The New School Montessori, we are supporting 60,000 bees who have been busy pollinating fruit trees, flowers and plants throughout our Cincinnati community. We are so proud to be able to help the environment in this way. We look forward to Carrie’s next visit when she will give presentations to our students, teaching us more about these amazing and vital creatures. Here is Carrie’s …

The Best Part of Me

After listening to the book, The Best Part of Me, by Wendy Ewald, New School Montessori students in 1st-3rd grade wrote in their own words about their favorite part of their body and why. They then took black and white photos to illustrate their pages, as the book had done. We can always find something we like about ourselves. What would you say is the best part of you?

Understanding Thanksgiving through the work of Indigenous authors

Essay written by TNSM parent and Diversity and Community Engagement Committee member – Portia Dyrenforth Thanksgiving confuses me as a parent. I love the traditions of feasting and being with loved ones. I know the myths that I was taught about the “First Thanksgiving” are wrong and harmful. I am unsure how to combine these two perspectives to explain and celebrate appropriately with small children. So far, I have tended to focus on the “thanks” part of the holiday. I know from my background as a research psychologist that gratitude is a surprisingly strong predictor of well-being. So, gratitude seems …

Students learning anatomy at every level

New School Montessori students studied and reviewed human anatomy at every level. Preprimary students used clay to represent major bones in the human skeleton while 1st-3rd graders traced the outline of their bodies on black paper and labeled their skeletal bones – some even working outdoors with chalk on blacktop. Our 4th-6th graders wore paper bones pinned to black leotards for their musical rendition of “Dem Bones” where they listed moved bones from the mandible to the metatarsals.

What does it mean to be Indigenous to a place?

What does it mean to be Indigenous to a place? In Braiding Sweetgrass, scientist and Indigenous author Robin Wall Kimmerer explains, “For all of us, becoming Indigenous to a place means living as if your children’s future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual, depended on it” (9). She wonders if our “nation of immigrants” can “once again…become native…[and] make a home?” (ibid.)  Building on Rachel Lwin’s post from last week, I invite us to think about: festivals, fading light, and forming a relationship to a place.  Halloween, as Rachel discussed last …