Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Exchange Student from Chile

 Valeria Mery
Valeria arrived here on September 15, 2014. Her father is a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame and Valeria came to spend this time with him during her break from school in Chile. So what would any adolescent want to do during their vacation from school? Well, find a new school in a foreign country to attend with a group of strangers, of course! But Valeria and the students in the Junior High weren't strangers for long. In fact, after her first day in school, she was invited to join the volleyball team, was given gear to wear and could be found in the gym at her first practice. She says she is very happy and has lots of friends. At school, her classmates are always kind and try to help her. Sometimes it is a little difficult for her because English is her second language, but that hasn't been a big problem because she feels she can understand more every day. And on the day of our first snowfall, she repeatedly got up to ask Mr. Kelly if she could go outside. You see, she hadn't seen snow since she was four years old. And her new friends in the Junior High were more than happy to accompany her. She has quickly become one of the Junior High family. The students and teachers are so happy to have her and we’ll really miss her when she has to leave us this week! 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Three, Two, One, Launch into Science

The Junior High students, under the direction of Mrs. Hill, launched rockets made in our own science lab. We used materials from kits provided to us, followed step-by-step instructions, and in groups, we decorated our rockets with our own artistic finesse. Some of us flew our rockets high into the sky while others caused the audience to gasp due to malfunctions and wayward trajectories.

Both the lower and upper elementary classes came to enthusiastically support the event. The kids enjoyed counting down before each launch. Some parents of the Junior High students came and watched as well. One of the last rockets to take off flew a wee bit off course and landed in one of Montessori’s neighboring yards. We thought it might have been headed down a Montessori parent’s chimney. The creators of this malfunctioning rocket ran after it as the crowd of children watched in awe. Overall it was a very enjoyable and educational experience.

-Thanks For Reading,

-The Junior High :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Supreme Court of the Junior High

This week, in the Junior High classroom, there were two Supreme Court cases presented. Luckily, it was just a mock trial and nobody got arrested. The two cases that were re-enacted were TLO v. New Jersey and Yoder v. Wisconsin. The first case was about a teenage girl in a high school who was smoking in the girls’ restroom. A teacher caught TLO and her friend and took them to the principal’s office. Her purse was searched at which time marijuana was found. The Supreme Court sided with TLO on this one, because the evidence found was inadmissible due to the Fourth Amendment and the exclusionary rule.                             

The Yoder v. Wisconsin case was about an Amish man named Jonas Yoder and the Old Order Amish Religion. The Old Order Amish Religion wished to remove their children from school after the eighth grade. The state of Wisconsin, however, had a compulsory school attendance law requiring students under the age of 16 to attend school. The Yoders won because the state of Wisconsin would be violating the First Amendment which allows free exercise of religion if they forced these children to go to high school.
We had Mr. Stephen Drendall, a local attorney who knows the law very well, acting as the Chief Justice and Ethan Lindley acted as an associate justice. The rest of the class was separated into four groups. There were four people to a group and we presented our cases. Thanks to the parents who came to watch our presentations and to Mr. Drendall for taking the time to help us learn about the law, our constitution and the Bill of Rights.

This concludes the Supreme Court edition of the Junior High blog.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Five Foundations for Success

When the Junior High class visited Camp Tecumseh, we learned about the Five Foundations for Success. These foundations are trust, communication, self-confidence, leadership, and problem solving. The Camp Tecumseh staff taught us these foundations through a series of fun and exciting activities. Through the trip we were encouraged to utilize these foundations in a productive way. Below, some Junior High students shared their reflections on how they learned to use these foundations.

            “Trust is the chief component in teams, marriage, and most friendships. Gaining the respect of others by treating them in a responsible way is the true meaning of trust. I learned that I could trust people to a certain extent and some more than others. This foundation was used at Mt. Wood, the climbing wall. We had to trust our belayer and the crowd below for foot and hand holds. We also had to trust our partners in the optimist’s challenge. The optimist challenge was an obstacle course that one blindfolded person had to maneuver by following their partner’s instructions. I improved my level of trust between my classmates and myself.”
-Joseph Kawauchi

            “As far as my leadership skills go, the field trip to Camp Tecumseh really put them to the test. It was pretty hard for me to maintain a decent manner when trying to instruct other people in what to do, especially when my entire group of 8 people tried to stand and balance for two whole choruses of Row, Row, Row Your Boat standing on a very little box. It was hard because you can’t just shriek at them if they don’t do what you want them to. They aren’t your brother. You see, I have a bad habit of not thinking before I speak,, so whenever I feel like I have a great idea, I just say it out loud, not bothering to listen nor are for anyone else’s. When my idea turns out to be wrong or dumb, I just sit there like an idiot saying something like “oops”. But overall, I enjoyed working alongside my peers and listening to their ideas. I’ve learned that not everything has to be the Sydney way.”
-Sydney Anzelc

Problem Solving
The rock wall was also a time when I needed problem-solving. Whenever I was stuck I had to find the best place to put my foot or hand so that I could get to the top. Not only did I have to help myself, I had to help the other people climbing so that they could get to the top. We had to help them and encourage them. This really helped improve my problem-solving skills and will help me later in life.”
-Ammaar Basher

“Communication is very important when working with a team. The sharing of ideas from one to another in an understandable way is always key. I learned that I could share my idea for a situation that might help make progress. Communication of our ideas was very important in the team building course, the optimist challenge, Mt. Wood, and obviously in the communication station. I need to improve on this tremendously because I am very outspoken and when I do talk, I talk with a flare to it.”
-Joseph Kawauchi

“Self Confidence is a huge issue for a lot of teenagers. They often they don’t look right, or wear the right things, or listen to the right stuff. When I got to Camp Tecumseh, I wasn’t expecting to develop a new found self-confidence. A time at Camp that I really felt self-confident was when my group was doing the Survival Simulation. I was in charge of the making of the fire, I failed, but people were encouraging me, and believing in me, so I felt confident in my ability to light a fire. It felt good to know that people believed in me, even though I failed, they still gave me things like, ‘Good effort’ or ‘I wouldn’t have gotten near what you did’.  That boosts your confidence levels a lot.”

-Cameron Pierce

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Book Fair Fiesta

Book fairs are highly anticipated events at TMA. Soon after school resumes in August, students start to ask, “When is the next book fair?” Our first book fair of each year is the December Book Fair Blizzard.

The wintery d├ęcor of a Book Fair Blizzard. 

Our second book fair of each year is in May; it has a warm-weather theme.

Students enjoying Book Fair Carnival, one of our previous May book fairs.

Our May 2014 theme is Book Fair Fiesta
Preparations are under way and Fiesta decorations and supplies are taking over the Library!

Our Book Fair Fiesta will be open 
Monday, May 5, through Saturday, May 10, 2014.

Please join us for this celebration of reading!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Thanks to your support of our micro-business, Pizza Fridays, we were able to donate $2000 to the American Red Cross to help rebuild the lives of many people. We asked that the Red Cross designate $1000 to the rebuilding efforts associated with the damaging storms that hit the Midwest. 

We also donated $1000 to aid in the relief of the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. 

Thanks again for supporting our business and please continue to do so in the years ahead.
The Junior High 

Tornado damage in Washington Illinois can be seen in this picture taken November 17, 2013. 

The destruction across a chain of Philippine islands leaves authorities with a relief operation both urgent and complicated, and of a scale exceeding any other in the history of this disaster-prone nation.