The Upper Unit students were proud to welcome their families to this year’s Celebration of Learning. They cleaned the whole classroom, arranged flowers, decorated the board, and created work plans so that their families could sample their Upper Unit work. Family members tried their hand at math challenges, physics experiments, taking apart and reassembling a carburetor, finding good things for their treasure chest, and writing stories using Story Cubes.
High school students have been learning from and experimenting with an indoor, aeroponic garden this semester. We have been monitoring how long it takes for different kinds of seeds to germinate and then produce enough yield for a harvest.
We used our first big harvest to prepare a lunch for our school staff. Students trimmed, cut, washed, and dressed numerous salads. They also prepared an order form for custom-made sandwiches and three choices of dessert. The staff was well fed and the students enjoyed the opportunity to give back to the adult community of our school. This event was the finale of our Leadership Academy project which challenged all staff members to write encouraging messages to fill each others’ buckets during the month of January (see blog post from Jan 7). This act of service by our students was a rewarding experience for all.
This week, we had one more harvest from the same plants and weighed a total of 1.5 pounds of leafy greens, which we distributed to our staff to enjoy at home.
There are more seedlings ready to go into the tower to keep the cycle moving. Maybe one day soon, we’ll have fresh greens for sale!
In January we were happy to host Scott Jasper with his farming equipment. Scott has designed special equipment for children to have hands-on experiences in the planting and harvesting process. Students in Kindergarten and Lower Elementary got to spend some time outside exploring the tools and equipment.
This week we learned about our second Asian country, India, with many unique characteristics. It’s a peninsula, just like Florida. Many people wear clothing made out of beautiful, decorative fabrics. The Bengal tiger, for which our local football team is named, lives in India. We have been relaxing by listening to sitar music and practicing yoga. India is also home to one of the most remarkable structures in the world-the Taj Mahal. India has delicious foods that we got to try during lunch; saag paneer, naan bread, and mango lassi were favorites.
So far, India has been fascinating! We can’t wait to see what else we will discover.
Sharing art is an exciting and rewarding experience in the McGuffey art studio. Artists select one of their creations (finished or a work-in-progress) to share and receive positive comments on. Often, in the older units, we write down our positive comments to give to the artist. The peer recognition, opportunity to giggle together, and the chance to admire the work of classmates is a wonderful experience for all.
The Upper Elementary students are busy using Montessori materials to learn mathematical skills. The multi-colored manipulatives help them grow in understanding as they move from concrete representations to more abstract concepts. These materials, familiar from their experience in Lower Elementary, help students with their transition to the Upper Unit.
This year we were able to return to the Goggin Ice Arena on Miami’s campus for our annual ice skating sessions. A good time was had by all and many of our students improved quite a bit over the three sessions!