A Grizzly Discovery (by Mason, 8th grade student)

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The Q?rius “A Grizzly Discovery” program (pronounced “curious”) is a hands-on forensic educational program. The goal to this is to determine whether bones found in the forest belong to a missing person who disappeared in that same general area. The instructors provide all of the bones and provide instructions and assistance in using them to determine if they belong to the person missing.

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The Cat Story! (by Nora, 7th grade student)

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img_5468The adolescent class of Mountainside Montessori School went on their Odyssey Camping Trip on September 14th. When they got there they started setting up the camp, and Rachael said, “Everyone be quiet”. There was a little kitten sitting right behind everyone. Everyone tried to get a little closer, but the cat kept on hissing and moving back into the bushes. Zoe suggested giving him food. The students gave the cat pepperoni for the first time, and he loved it. We also gave him tuna salad! That night he decided to stick around for dinner. For dinner he was served fresh hamburger, and then he ran into the forest. He came back later that evening while everyone was playing charades, and watched from a distance.

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The Odyssey Trip to George Washington National Forest

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The Odyssey Trip is a key component of the Montessori adolescent program academic and social experience.  The goal of the Odyssey Trip is to provide a rich educational experience for the students with a focus on learning and bonding.  The students focus on team-building, decision making, communication and cooperation skills, in a beautiful natural environment. These experiences provide the much-needed element of “bonding” as a community. The students live and work together for extended periods of time, which gives them the opportunity to forge strong working relationships with their peers. Continue reading

Adolescent Adventures (by Mason, 8th grade student)

 

img_5696Since there was no school on Monday because of Columbus Day, the first day of the week was on Tuesday instead. Everybody got to school and got off to a good start. All of the chores were done and everybody got to work. An exciting part of today, however, was meeting the baby goats that had been born just this past weekend. I cannot exaggerate how much our classroom loves baby goats. Who doesn’t? They’re cute, furry, and always fun to play with.

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Adolescent Odyssey

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On the final leg of their Odyssey trip, the adolescent students attended a “Small Ruminant Field Day” at Virginia State University, Randolph Farm in Petersburg, VA. They were by far the youngest farmers in attendance and gained quite a few glances upon entering the Pavilion. They patiently sat through some lectures on processing regulations. They enthusiastically participated in the breakout sessions on “How to Make Quick and Delicious Goat Cheese” and “A Small Ruminant Carcass Fabrication.” After lunch the students visited the displays and demonstrations on Body Condition Scoring and Market Readiness, hoof trimming, drenching, and vaccinations, as well speaking with some of the scientists who are heading up the scientific research at the University. The professors and other attendants were very impressed with the Montessori students who were engaged, knowledgeable, polite, and wise beyond their years.

Adolescent Odyssey

Preparing a Rabbit Meal in the Adolescent Class

And now, for the eating part! (As a quick recap, the adolescent class raised the first litter of the rabbit operation and harvested two fryers in preparation to learn how to cook rabbit.) Most of the class had never tasted rabbit before, and after our experience with the care and harvest of the rabbits, the general consensus about trying rabbit was somewhere between “I’ll try it, but I might not like it,” and “No way.”

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Lab Science is Fun, Hands-On Science!

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This post was written by Shannon Falli Lasser, one of our Mountainside parents. Shannon facilitated a cow eyeball dissection lab with the Elementary students.

“Is it going to explode on us when we cut into it?!” They asked the question with nervous excitement as we embarked on our dissection journey. “No,” I assured them, “it won’t exactly explode, but there will be plenty of vitreous humor to examine once it’s opened.” This question – and others that followed – made it clear that the children were very much engaged in the lesson at hand. All were eager to get down to the serious business of cow eyeball dissection! Continue reading

Horse Fundraiser at Copperfield Farm

At Mountainside, we have a unique mission: to support the natural spontaneous development of the child in a specially prepared environment. That mission includes programs in sustainable agriculture, and other programs that we know are needed to enrich the lives of our students, our families, and our community.

Just last year, our biggest fundraising event was a golf tournament. For the most part it was successful, but it never seemed to attract our families and friends as much as we had hoped. Starting a series of horse shows seemed like a better fit for Mountainside. Several of the staff and students rode; we had lots of friends in the equine world; and, simply put, Fauquier County is just full of horses and eager riders looking for some fun. It seemed like a natural thing to do. Continue reading