Autumn is Fading Fast


THIS FRIDAY: Halloween Eve. The 6-9 Class will be celebrating "Historical Halloween" by dressing up as a favorite figure from the past. The 9-12 will be presenting their play "Robinson Crusoe" on Friday as well. NONE OF THE CHILDREN'S HOUSE CLASSES WILL BE IN COSTUME. We have experimented with allowing this in the past, and it never ends well, and runs counter to the Montessori focus on reality over fantasy for development on the First Plane. Please save your dressing up for Halloween itself on Saturday.

PTO MEETING: November 12th at 3pm in the middle school classroom (upstairs Norwood). We will be discussing upcoming fundraisers and sharing thoughts/opinions from Autumnfest. Everyone is welcome. Come join the team and get to know some parents and teachers and get in on the plans for this upcoming season.

THANKSGIVING BREAK: School will be closed Wednesday - Friday (11/25-27) for Thanksgiving. See below for info on ordering your Thanksgiving PIE from our in-house caterer Dianne!

FURTHER OUT - WINTER BREAK: School will be closing at 11:30 on Friday, Dec. 18. We will be closed until we all come back on Monday, January 4.

Middle Schoolers get out in Nature...

Some older 9-12ers joined the middle schoolers on an authentic "back o' the truck" ride up to the trailhead at Nature Conservancy site Bluff Mountain.
In the past month, middle schoolers have become citizen scientists by taking on the role of water quality monitors for Howard's Creek, a tributary to the New River. Samuel Kovach, from the New River Conservancy, came out to give a lesson on how to test pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and other important metrics of water quality.

Using simple machines like pulleys, inclined planes, and levers, we studied force, work, acceleration, mechanical advantage, and potential and kinetic energy.

We learned how to give effective feedback, then put it to use after each middle school student gave a science presentation on a topic of their choice.  After revising their presentations based on the feedback, they then presented to the 9-12 class.

They often work together on a daily history word problem, such as figuring out the price per acre the U.S. paid to Russia to purchase Alaska (1.9c per acre), or the percent reduction in cases of polio after the polio vaccine was introduced.

Just last week, we took a field trip to Bluff Mountain Nature Preserve in Ashe County to hike and learn about the incredible biodiversity on this one mountain, which is home to a high mountain wetland, called a fen, and to rare species such as reindeer moss.

Middle schoolers continue to explore their world physically, while learning intellectually why and how things work the way they do.
Scenes from: Bluff Mountain - Sugar Maples, Mountaintop "Fen" - an almost one-of-a-kind low alkaline wetland, the rocky lower peak of the mountain...

And from the top of Table Rock on our Linville Gorge overnight...

Mountain Pathways Farm Camp is officially an "ASAP" (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) farm! Check it out:

More from 9-12...
What a beautiful fall we're having! It was the perfect end to our last three weeks of hard work and rainy days.
We have had two great days on the farm. The garden and greenhouse are clean and ready for some light fall work before we put it all to bed. We harvested 12 pounds chard,  lots of celery, onions, tomatoes, fennel, peppers, and pak choi. 12-14 have been at the Farmer's Market selling our beautiful produce! 
In science news we've discovered that there was a scientist 10 times weirder than Newton by the name of Henry Cavendish and he was responsible for figuring out how much our planet weighs. We are also planning a field trip to the Geological Museum on ASU's campus for more on the formation of the earth to coincide with our geographical studies. 
We have also covered the three largest oceans and why the study of the currents is so important. 
In mathletics we have finished our basic review of functions and diving head first into all the in's and out's of decimals. 
Art will coming in through ASU on Thursdays until November 5. Students are in the process of creating their own imaginary world. 
The 9-12 will be put to task writing and directing their own play based on Robinson Crusoe. They will perform their play Friday the 30th around 10:30 and parents are always invited. They (some do, some don't) do not yet know that this is their week of Halloween fate and it is such a good exercise for them to sort out jobs (writing, directing, set design, costumes) and choreographing a short play based on something that they are learning. We'll keep you posted on their progress!

Thank you everyone for giving us your children and have a great week! 
Kristy and Emily
 Parents- Be on the lookout for our next "delectable" fundraisers! First up, Dianne's Delicious Dessert Sale. We will be sending out ordering forms next week for pies to take to your Thanksgiving party.

Also, be on the lookout for a Stickboy cookie dough/coffee sale coming up soon.

We hope to fill the holidays with goodies and earn some much needed funds for the school.
VIEW FROM THE TODDLER ROOM..... “Education should not limit itself to seeking new methods for a mostly arid transmission of knowledge: its aim must be to give the necessary aid to human development.... If ‘the formation of man’ becomes the basis of education, then the coordination of all schools from infancy to maturity, from nursery to university, arises as a first necessity: for man is a unity, an individuality that passes through interdependent phases of development. Each preceding phase prepares the one that follows, forms its base, nurtures the energies that urge towards the succeeding period of life.” (From Childhood to Adolescence, p. 84)

Life is a constant balancing act. Finding an activity that challenges you as well as activities that bring comfort in a place of mastery. A balance of both activities bring confidence and strength to continue the journey of independence.
Adalyn is ready to take her place with the Meat Camp VFD.... They brought out the tankers and let us "put out fires" just before our Fall Break....

Action in the 3-6 Classroom...

We have had a wonderful and busy October in 3 to 6. We visited the apple orchard a couple weeks ago and learned about different kinds of apples and how to measure them. Our afternoon workers made apple muffins to serve for snack from the apples we got from the orchard. We will be working with apples more in the next couple weeks- tasting different varieties and learning how to cut and serve apples to our friends.
Last week the afternoon workers began to work with some students from ASU. They are elementary education students learning how to integrate art into curriculum. They worked on a project making pictures from shapes and then printing that design to make art work. Then, they had a gallery opening where the children could talk about their art and we had snacks. It was great, and we hope to work with them again in the spring!
Conferences are coming up beginning the first week of November. Please sign up and remember you must observe in the classroom before your conference.

Thank you for sharing your children with us!!

Ellen, Dianne, and Carson

Afterschool Nature Hike....

Remember.... INDEPENDENCE. Learning to do things for one's self brings self-reliance, self-discipline and self-worth.

Getting it all out at the Peace Pole....Have a wonderful Winter.... and keep an eye out for your "For Small Hands" catalogs, coming home soon....