Montessori Matters

October 11, 2019

Forgive the pun, but our STEAM program this year is going full steam ahead! As you may remember from this article last year, we implemented a SCISA-accredited program integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics, commonly known as STEAM. This allows us to bridge these seemingly different subjects into one overarching view, showing where they relate and how it relates to our practical life.

This year, we are doing one STEAM program per quarter for all students K-12. For the first quarter, we focused on one of my absolute favorite things: Bread. We discussed the historical impact of agriculture and how it shaped our society into the one we have today. We looked at the science behind bread, the yeast lifecycle, and fermentation. We used engineering design principles and mathematics to try to reverse-engineer a bread recipe and experimented to find one that worked. We then did the most memorable part of the lesson: baked delicious fresh bread!

As we progress through this year, we will continue doing activities to bridge the arbitrary boundaries we have placed around STEAM subjects and works. This allows us to build education in a way that is more natural, complete, and, most importantly, fun. I am so glad to be in charge of this program and hope all of the students enjoy these lessons as much as I do.

- Stephen Saunier, Middle School Co-Lead and STEAM Coordinator

Dates to Remember

October 14-18 - Fall Break, extended day available

October 21-25 - Spirit Week*

October 25 - Primary Book Character Day

October 25 - Box Tops for Education due

October 25 - Fall Fest, 2:30-6:30, 2:30 dismissal for all programs

Oct. 28-Nov. 1 - Middle and High School conference week

November 4 - Upper School Open House in the morning

November 8 - All Programs Closed for professional development

November 15 - UE Family Visit Morning

November 26 - Thanksgiving Blessing at 10 a.m.

See here for the full, interactive calendar.

Spirit Week

Please refer to correspondence from your child's teacher(s) regarding attire for each Spirit Week day as they vary slightly by level.

Fall Fest

Our annual Fall Festival is quickly approaching! We are excited to try things a little differently and host the festival here on campus. All programs will close at 2:30 on Friday, October 25 so that staff, families, and guests can come enjoy the festival together. Click here or on the image below to view the Fall Fest order form to place your dinner orders in the front office. If you would like to volunteer to cover a station, serve food, or clean up during Fall Fest, please add your name to this spreadsheet (please do not move or erase names that are already filled in!).

Glo-Grams and Ghost-a-Grams

The Middle School is sponsoring a fundraiser for the students' spring trip by selling "Glo-Grams" to be delivered to Infant-Upper Elementary students and to campus-wide teachers and staff on Wednesday, October 23 during Spirit Week. The Glo-Grams will honor Mrs. Gloria Harmon, one of the school's founders, on her birthday. Each Glo-Gram costs $2 and includes a Gloria or Harmon-themed message, a personalized message, and a "Glo-treat". Orders are due by 8:30 a.m. Monday, October 21. A Glo-Gram order form can be found here or by clicking the Glo-Gram picture below, and they can be purchased with cash, check made out to MSA, or charged to your account.
Student Council is hosting a Ghost-a-Gram fundraiser for students in Middle and High School as well as campus-wide faculty and staff. Ghost-a-Gram order forms can be found in the front office, here, or by clicking the image below. Each Ghost-a-Gram costs $3 and includes a personalized message and a piece of Halloween candy.

SCMEA Regional Orchestra

Please join us in congratulating sophomore William Cline! He auditioned this past weekend and scored high enough to gain entrance into the SCMEA Regional Orchestra!

Primary Planet Pajama Party

Two weeks ago, Primary celebrated the culmination of a month-long study of the planets and the solar system with the Primary Planet Pajama Party. Students had a blast demonstrating their knowledge by painting light-up models of their favorite planet and putting together space-themed puzzles, dressing up and pretending to be planets, stars, and comets on the playground, and eating rocket ship-shaped snacks while watching educational space videos, all in their pajamas! A few pictures from the event follow, and you can click here for photos from the event by senior Abby Keenan and here for many more! Thank you to our teachers and volunteers for making this event a great success!
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Primary Soccer

Please enjoy this photo grallery from the Primary Montessori Eagles Soccer game from a couple weeks back.
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Elementary Classroom Campout

Students in Lower and Upper Elementary had the chance Thursday night to spend the night in their classroom. Students made and ate dinner in the classrooms and bonded over board games, creating art, and other activities. The two classrooms came together outside to stargaze and eat star fruit before heading back to their classes for the night. View the classroom campout album for many more photos from the night!
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Friday Dance Party

On Friday mornings, Upper Elementary students start the day with exercise and fun by having an early morning dance party! This past Friday, High School students joined the Upper Elementary students the morning after their classroom campout to teach them how to dance to Cotton-Eyed Joe before the high schoolers' Anatomy and Physiology class. Thanks to senior Abby Keenan for these photos from the dance party this week.

Measuring History

Upper Elementary students took part in an activity to discover the scale of earth's history. They rolled out a roll of fabric while measuring the length with a meter stick. Using ratios of evolutionary events to the totality of earth's history, students placed representative models along the fabric in positions relative to each organism's amount of time on earth. This gave the students a physical representation of the abstract concept of millions of years. See here for more photos.
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High School Sky Top Trip

High School students enjoyed a trip to Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock, NC this past Friday for bonding over apple picking. Photos from the trip can be found below and in this album with photos from senior Abby Keenan and High School Director, Paige Miller.
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Middle School Mandalas

As part of their study of world cultures and religions, Middle School students in Mr. Saunier's History class created Buddhist mandalas. Mandalas are beautiful, spiritual, geometric configurations of symbols that are traditionally designed and constructed out of sand. After being on display for a short period of time, the sand from the mandala is ritually brushed together into a pile to demonstrate the impermanence of life. For more photos of the students' mandalas, see this album of shots taken by senior Abby Keenan.
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Toddler Three Works

These Toddler Three friends are doing some of the works around the room. In the center picture, one friend is doing the feeling cards work by imitating the faces she sees on the cards. Mrs. McLeroy caught her imitating "happy!"

Cub Scout Fire Safety

MSA’s Cub Scout pack 997 visited the Anderson City Fire department to learn about fire safety this week.
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Outdoor Art

On Wednesday this week, Middle School students in Mrs. Maynard's Art class ventured outside to draw landscape scenery.


After learning about hardtack in their High School History course with Mr. Ramey, through which they learned that it was used for centuries on sailing ships and by armies in the field including by both sides during the Civil War, and learning the science and history of bread in their STEAM lesson with Mr. Saunier, the students asked to have the opportunity to make some hardtack. They got that chance this Thursday and succeeded in making some delicious hardtack!
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Paper Airplane Flights

Students in Mrs. Miller's High School Geometry class continued their investigation into paper airplane wing size relative to flight patterns this week. They charted results from test flights, shortened the wingspans of the planes, and compared results from subsequent test flights. See below and this gallery for images from their flights taken by senior Abby Keenan and Mrs. Miller.
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National Yearbook Week

As part of National Yearbook Week this week, students were challenged to post a photo to social media of their favorite yearbook team-building activity. The students got creative and posed a mock game of Bananagrams full of spoilers for this year's yearbook theme. See the posted image below and this gallery of photos by senior Abby Keenan from the making of the social media post.
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The students' Wednesday challenge for National Yearbook Week was to find a photo they love from an old yearbook for Way Back Wednesday-- they chose this photo of the Primary-High School Director of Admissions and College Guidance, Amber Lockhart seen alongside her photo from last year's yearbook. Order your yearbook today in the front office or at this link!
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Garlic Preparation

Students in Mrs. Patch's Lower Elementary Horticulture class took apart heads of garlic in preparation for planting them. Look forward to more to come after the break!
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Peace Garden Gardening

Students in Mrs. Patch's Middle School Horticulture class help to keep the Peace Garden and areas around the school looking nice by weeding and pruning plants.
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Meals on Wheels Volunteers

Here are this week's Upper Elementary Meals on Wheels volunteers!
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Alumni Catch-Up: Alex Aviles

Alex Aviles is currently attending Valdosta State University where he is working toward his bachelor’s degree in Astrophysics. When he is not studying, he is also working a part-time job as a Teaching Assistant for Valdosta’s Astronomy Department Head.

Alex came to Montessori School of Anderson as a freshman in high school. Even though he was only here a brief time (compared to so many of our “whole lifers,” meaning 16-18 years at MSA), he built up some great memories including the time spent during his last year working on his senior project: The Solar System. In his words, “I spent months researching the planets and NASA, which culminated in two weeks of all-nighters looking at the stars through my homemade telescope. I could not have done that without the help of several of the MSA teachers and parents. They helped me build the telescope, do research, and even stayed into the early morning hours while I scanned the skies taking pictures.”

To the MSA students, Alex recommends: “The human mind is a terrible thing to waste. Never stop learning and never stop growing. Keep looking up.”

As far as thoughts to our MSA parents: “Montessori will open your children’s hearts and minds. They will grow both as people and as intellectuals. Your children will have the most enriching experience at Montessori.”

To my teachers at MSA: “I owe most of my life to you. If it were not for you, I would never have found my love for Astronomy and Physics. You all made such a huge positive impact on my life; I can never repay you. Thank you.”

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and Shred Day

The fall 2019 National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and Shred Day event will be held Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at AnMed's North Campus. See the image below for more information.
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New Montessori Matters Readers

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Montessori School of Anderson

Our mission is to nurture the whole child, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, preparing students for academic excellence, lifelong learning and responsible, caring lives.