School Spotlight: Chickens Provide Civics, Other Lessons for Isthmus Montessori Students

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IMA was featured in the Wisconsin State Journal this week, in a story titled School Spotlight: Chickens Provide Civics, Other Lessons for Isthmus Montessori Students.

The story features Sophie Griffith-Oh from IMA’s adolescent class, Clarity Watson from IMA’s elementary class, and Allison Bloom, IMA’s adolescent teacher.

Allison Bloom, who works as a guide in the adolescent-aged room, said the hands-on experience taught students about biology, physics, husbandry, carpentry and diplomacy, and they will delve into math as the project evolves. It also included a lesson about death, since some of the eggs did not result in successful hatches.

The school has applied to become Madison’s first public Montessori school, and Bloom cited the chicken project as an example of what older students can achieve through its curriculum.

Family Fun Night at the Warner Park Recreation Center

Warner Park

 

Want to do something super easy (and fun) to support Public Montessori?

IMA is hosting a Family Fun Night at the Warner Park Recreation Center on Friday 10/14, and we need your family to show up!

Warner park hold these events monthly, and they are a great resource to the community. Because IMA supports this mission and because it is a fabulous opportunity for the school to increase support and relationships within our new Northside neighborhood, we have signed up to be the event sponsor this month.

How does this help with our goal of becoming a public school? Well, one thing we have heard over and over from the school district is that they are not sure that we have the community support and that we are community-supporting. By hosting this event, and by bringing as many families as we can, IMA hopes to make some new friends and connections, and drum up support, while at the same time beginning some conversations with our neighbors and exploring what types of events or services the community would like to see IMA provide.

What are we asking of you? Primarily that you plan to attend — as many members of your family as are available — and have fun, mingle with the community, and say something nice about IMA if it comes up. If you can wear your Race to the Finn! shirt or other IMA gear, that’s even better (tip: swap your mom-purse or diaper bag for your IMA “extra clothes” tote for the day). We would also like some adults to serve as “official” volunteers for part of your time there — there may be some very light set-up, clean-up, or assistance needed. Hopefully there will be enough of us there that we can watch each others kids while we fill in some of these duties.

Activities:

  • Fall craft projects
  • Movie & Popcorn – Hotel Transylvania
  • Pottery Station
  • BINGO
  • Bounce House
  • Imagination Playground
  • Game Room
  • Costumes optional

Cost: $5 per family. But if you can’t afford that, Fratney Miller will personally cover your payment — email her at fratney@hotmail.com. If you can afford more, please consider paying double — or even triple-admission for your family. We know that each month some neighborhood families cannot afford the admission, and as the event sponsor, we’d love to be able to support their attendance.

First Monona Classroom Library / Grocery Store Trip!

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Dear IMA Families

Hopefully this finds you well and dry!

I am not surprised and I am happy to report that the children have been working productively in the classroom, choosing work independently, helping others without being asked, responding to reasonable requests, and working, for the most part, with concentration.

By now I’m certain you have heard all about the library and grocery store trip tomorrow. The children will need their bus pass and their library card and any weather appropriate clothing. We will be riding the city bus, and walking a bit to get to the Lakeview Library and the Willy Street Co-op North. We will leave after lunch, and we shall return right before dismissal.

We have thoroughly discussed the purpose of our trip which is to check out books and do some grocery shopping for other classrooms as a part of our community service work. We are not there to use the iPads or to look at the screens.

The children may want to bring a bag they can use for carrying books. The children all know that they can use their library cards to check out books for themselves, and that they are free to check out as many books as they can carry!

Please remember this when the children prepare for tomorrow. They are quite capable. You may want to guide their morning routine with something like, “Hmmm, is there anything else that you may need today? Anything different that you may be doing at school today that would require additional items to bring to school?” This line of prompting may only be necessary for the first or second trip. After that, no prompting may be necessary.

I urge you to avoid taking care of all preparations with regard to bus passes and library cards and placing them in the hands of your children. The more independently connected they are with the process, the more likely they will take responsibility for the process, and the more likely they will gain a healthy confidence and sense of value for their work.

If you have not signed a permission slip for the library trips, please find me at drop-off so that I can get you that form.

Many, many thanks and looking forward to tomorrow’s adventure!

Ms. Melissa

Maria Montessori in The Writer’s Almanac

The Writer's Almanac

Maria Montessori is featured in today’s The Writer’s Almanac, hosted by Garrison Keillor and produced by American Public Media:
 

It’s the birthday of Maria Montessori (books by this author), born on this day in Chiaravalle, Italy (1870). She was a bright student, studied engineering when she was 13, and — against her father’s wishes — she entered a technical school, where all her classmates were boys. After a few years, she decided to pursue medicine, and she became the first woman in Italy to earn a medical degree. It was so unheard of for a woman to go to medical school that she had to get the approval of the pope in order to study there.

As a doctor, she worked with children with special needs, and through her work with them she became increasingly interested in education. She believed that children were not blank slates, but that they each had inherent, individual gifts. It was a teacher’s job to help children find these gifts, rather than dictating what a child should know. She emphasized independence, self-directed learning, and learning from peers. Children were encouraged to make decisions. She was the first educator to use child-sized tables and chairs in the classroom.

During World War II, Montessori was exiled from Italy because she was opposed to Mussolini’s fascism and his desire to make her a figurehead for the Italian government. She lived and worked in India for many years, and then in Holland. She died in 1952 at the age of 81.

She wrote many books about her philosophy of education, including The Montessori Method (1912), and is considered a major innovator in education theory and practice.

New Website!

Hi Everyone!

 

This is our new website for our wonderful school, Isthmus Montessori Academy. Our new site is complete with new pages, links to Google and Instagram, buying through Amazon to benefit IMA, Twitter and Facebook and more.

We’re working this summer on all-new content. We really love providing Montessori education in Madison and would like to get the word out about our school, and the Public School Charter Initiative.

We’d love to know what you think of our new site. Let us know!

 
 
 

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