Middle School

The Middle School teacher is Mackenzie Nofziger.

Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Classroom blog is written by the students. 

 

November 16, 2018

An important piece of the Middle School curriculum is writing. This year, the 6th year have joined the middle school students for writing workshop. This allows for students to teach and guide each other in the writing process as they brainstorm and peer edit with each other. The 6th-8th students recently finished their short stories. They worked extremely hard on them and have shown great growth from their last narrative writing. At the end of each published writing, students share their work with each other and write compliments to show appreciation for each writer's hard work.

 

November 9, 2018

The middle school students have been working on developing short stories in writing workshop and they are almost complete. We are excited to share them soon! The students have chosen projects for our new science work. This week we gave lessons to upper students about Native Americans and we felt like they went really well.

 

November 2, 2018

We have a new cycle that we are starting and are doing a new science unit. In science we are learning about layers of the Earth and plate tectonics. Yesterday we went to Fort Meigs. We watched a short video about Fort Meigs to learn about the War of 1812. We went through the museum and got to see all the artifacts they found at the fort. We went outside and explored the blockades. This showed us that life at the fort wasn't always easy. We learned that the British and the U.S. tied the war, but the Native Americans lost because they were forced off of their land.

 

October 26, 2018

Using Elementary Materials in the Middle School This is a picture of Jeanette and Mali exploring a timeline of U.S history. After a humanities lesson, they chose to keep reading the timeline because they found many new events that were interesting to them. They were fascinated and spent extra time looking up events from the timeline. One way that Montessori materials are used in the adolescent classroom is through the use of timelines. Timelines are used to help give students a sense of where they are at history. They are mostly used in lessons and occasionally as follow up work where students can choose to explore more about events during a particular time period. We have timelines of Native American History, African American History, Mathematicians, Scientists, Exploration, etc

 

October 19, 2018

 

Curriculum Focus:  Humanities in the Middle School

Humanities mainly consists of history, culture, art, and literature. It is tied to a theme that links to the students' science and personal world work. This cycle's theme is exploration and kicks off our study of U.S. history. Students are studying Native American culture, European exploration, and early English colonies. One type of humanities work is shelf work. This is usually teacher made manipulative work where students practice their learning in a more Montessori way. Another type is readings. Students practice reading textbooks and articles and have a choice of taking notes or answering questions. This helps to prepare students for more challenging readings in high school and technical manuals for future jobs. Lastly, students have a project that is central to their studies. The middle school students current project is creating a lesson on a Native American tribe that they will later teach to the upper students.

 

October 12, 2018

The middle school students have been enjoying their service learning time at Carter Farms. Recently, they had the task of chasing chickens to catch them and put them in a cage. This was a fun and exciting chore that they participated in. The caught chickens will later be killed and prepared for a special dinner at the farm. Some of the students were surprised about this, but learned that killing animals for food is part of life at the farm. They are learning where their food comes from and gaining valuable knowledge of the whole process. 

 

September 7, 2018

The past weeks have held many new and fun experiences for the middle schoolers. The first cycle of the year is about exploration, and we have been doing just that: We started a science unit on geology and are currently exploring topographic maps and Google Earth. We have decided on our “passion projects” and will start exploring and researching them this week. We are also exploring possible careers in Personal World.

On Wednesday, we had our first trip to Carter Historical Farm. We will visit every other Wednesday from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. to spend time outside, complete farm chores, and see the animals. This time, we fed the chickens and goats and watered the herb and flower garden.

In Writing Workshop, the sixth to eighth graders are working on personal narratives, annotating, and observing other writers’ work. We meet every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On Tuesday, Miss Mackenzie read us a short story by an accomplished author. The next day, we paired up, read over the story again, and picked out parts where we thought the author did an especially good job with details, descriptive words, show don’t tell, tone, and any other influential aspect of writing. We also spend at least half an hour every day just writing.

 

 

 

May 18, 2018

May 17- This week in the middle school classroom we have been working out in the garden to prepare it for planting.  We started by fixing up one of the garden boxes by replacing its sides, which were rotting and falling off (eww). Then we had to bring a bunch of bags of soil from Miss Mackenzie's car to the garden in our three wheeled wagon which was a very interesting experience.  After that we filled in the beds that needed more soil. Soon enough, the classrooms will be able to go out there and start planting! This week we have also all been working on our book reviews, cycle reflections, and humanities project. For our humanities project we have the freedom to make whatever we want as long as it includes information about the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Age of Exploration, Scientific Revolution, or the Age of Enlightenment.  It’s been very fun!

May 4, 2018

May 3- Hi friends!  This week was the middle school classroom’s very last time visiting Carter Farms for they year.  Sadness. :( However, we had a lot of fun! We started out by getting to walk the goats...we tried to bring them back to the woods, but they were very stubborn and instead just ate some of the grass and plants/weeds near the garden.  After we put the goats away, we play a game called “Kick the Can”. You start with the person that is “it”, and they stand by the can and count to ten while everyone else goes to hide. Then when the person that is “it” finishes counting they must search for the people hiding.  The job of the people that are hiding is to try to successfully kick over the can without the person that is “it” seeing them. It was very fun and even involved some strategic planning among the “hiders”. After we finished the game, we collected the eggs from the chickens and saw the not-so-baby chicks for the last time.  This week in class we have continued learning about the Renaissance. We have had lessons on the impacts of the Renaissance and the scientific revolution. We have been continuing to read the Slave Dancer.  We are at a point in the book where the slaves are now on board the ship and Jessie is disgusted at the way they are treated and mad that he has to be the one to “make then dance” by playing his fife.  That’s all we have for you this week, and we hope you have a wonderful weekend! Note: Yay for May and the warm weather!

April 27, 2018

April 26- Hello blog readers and happy almost May!  The middle school students have finished up their last science cycle and have now started working on humanities.  For this humanities cycle we will be studying the Renaissance. We will also be doing a group read, and have just started a book called the Slave Dancer, about a boy named Jessie who gets kidnapped off the docks in New Orleans and is forced to work on a slave ship.  This week we also started to work on getting the garden ready for planting. Some of the things that we have done so far include weeding the beds, ripping out the raspberry plants, and pulling out the dead herbs.  We also plan to rake the beds so that we can get all the rocks and pebbles out of them. Last week we went to Carter Farms and had very good weather! We started off by holding some of the new chicks and observing how much they have grown.  Then we went outside and helped to clean up the grounds (rake, pick up sticks) so that it looks good for spring and summer. A couple weeks ago we also had a dance troupe, named Bernard Woma, from Ghana visit our school and they performed some dances for us and even let us dance with them.  It was so cool getting to watch a traditional African dance and listen to traditional African music! Alsi be sure to check out the MSBG News episode this week! We demonstrated how to make a delicious spring treat! That’s all we have for you this week, bye!

April 6, 2018

 

April 5- Hi there friends!  This week in middle school, we have been exploring light and sound in our different lessons.  On Monday we got to use prisms to help us understand how rainbows form and how light travels through things, which was very fun.  We also got to do a fun experiment that related to how sound travels. We held a tuning fork and hit it on the prongs with a rubber mallet.  Than we put the tuning fork in a beaker of water and got to see how the invisible sound waves coming from the fork were transferred into the water and created waves that we could see.  We also held the tuning fork against the wooden table and in a glass tube to see how the sound would change. It was very neat! And on Wednesday, we got to go one of the middle schooler’s most favorite places, Carter Farms!!!  First, we took a survey that helps the people who run the farm come up with idea on how they can improve it/get ideas of what people like doing. Then, we got to the hold the baby chicks (which definetly weren’t as small as they were a couple weeks ago).  We enjoyed finding silly names for all of them! And after that, we played a round of 1934 Edition Sorry. It was so fun and most of us got pretty competitive! And finally, before we left we got to go collect the eggs from the chicken coop. And as we were collecting the eggs, we got found a lovely little surprise...a fairy egg!  Fairy eggs are small eggs that are typically laid by hens that have just started laying.

 

March 30, 2018

 

Hello hello everyone!  This week the middle schoolers have continued to learn about weather and climate in science.  On Tuesday we had a lesson on global climate/water and on Wednesday we had a lesson on air masses and fronts.  And today, Thursday, we had a lesson on climate change. To go along with our lessons, we have been completing very fun experiments as follow up work.  The experiments have demonstrated many different things, such as: how salt water moves in ocean currents and how clouds form. This week in personal world, we read a couple more pages from the book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens”.  We learned more about Habit Number Two: keeping the end in mind. We also started to learn about budgeting and we each got to pick a career and find out how things such as insurance and other expenses can affect your salary. And on Monday, we joined the fifth and sixth graders in Oberheu and got to show some of their parents what we have been working on in music class.  Well, this is all we have for you guys this week and we hope you have a wonderful weekend! Byeeeeeee!!!

 

March 16, 2018

 

March 16- Hola amigos!  We hope everyone had a fantastical spring break!  Middle school students came back from their break ready to start their new and final cycle of the year!  Our new cycle’s theme is Power and Influence, and as you can imagine we are going to be learning about the different ways people can be influenced by power.  In science, we will be learning about: weather and climate, light, sound, and properties of waves, and astronomy. In humanities, we will be learning about: the renaissance, reformation, and the age of the enlightenment.  And in personal world we will be focusing on: being a good friend, taxes, budgeting, and drugs and alcohol. It should be a great cycle to round off our year of learning! So far this week, we have kicked off the science portion of our cycle by learning about the layers of the atmosphere, air pressure, and air quality and climate change.  On Friday, we also got the chance to go to Eppler at BGSU with Miss Antonia for P.E.! It was very fun and we even got ice cream afterwards (which we were all very thrilled about)! We have also been painting the corn hole boards that we are making for the Gala next week. It has been very fun planning out how we want the boards to look and then putting our plan into action.  This is all we have for you this week, and we hope you have a wonderful weekend! Bye!

 

March 2, 2018

 

March 1- Happy March everyone!  The middle school classroom has been learning so much lately!  For the past few weeks, we have been learning about ancient China and Japan, and have focused on things like the geography, religion, and influences from other countries.  Another thing we have learned about are Haiku poems, which are short poems that were very popular in ancient Japan.  Haiku’s only have three lines...the first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the third and final line has five syllables, just like the first line.  An example of a Haiku that we have read is:

“In the misty rain

Mount Fuji is veiled all day

How intriguing!”

 

In addition, us middle schoolers have learned more about figurative language and identifying it in poems.  Some of the of the figurative language that we have learned about is metaphors, similes, and personification.  All the middle schoolers have also been working hard on a project that compares and contrasts medieval and modern China or Japan.  Some of the topics that we’ve had to research for the project include culture, religion, government, and economy.  Overall, the middle schoolers have had a great last couple of weeks!  Have a wonderful spring break, everyone!  

 

December 15, 2017

This week the band had a winter performance with the Early childhood. Middle school students got to watch the movie Aladdin and compare it to the Arabian Nights story they read. The newest Montessori News was played in the lobby on tuesday and if you want to see to see it for yourself on the Montessori Facebook page. The middle school students coming to an end for their second cycle of the year and after break they will start their third cycle.

 

December 8, 2017

This week the middle school helped the kindergartners write out their book fair wish lists. We have also  have been practicing for the winter informance happening this Friday. We will be going to the mosque in Perrysburg because we are studying the religion of Islam.

 

December 1, 2017

This week the middle school classroom visited Carter Farms and got to walk the goats feed
chickens and help out at the farm. Middle School is starting to learn about the Arabian Nights
and they are starting Research project on the religion, Islam. In personal world the students are
reading the book Who Moved My Cheese.

November 17, 2017

Hello all!  This week in the middle school classroom has been pretty relaxing.  Many of us have been working on our science projects related to water quality.  It has been fascinating to see each others projects and what they have been working on.  We have also been working on our fall camping trip project which we will be displaying at Curriculum Night.  We are so excited for all of you to see it!  Another thing that most of us are excited about is riding on the float in the BG Holiday Parade (we might also be excited about eating some of the candy as we through it to the parade go’ers).  We just hope that it doesn’t rain on Saturday!  Well…that’s all we have for you this week.  It hasn’t been very action packed here in middle school.  But, we hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Break!  

November 10, 2017

November 8- Namaste, friends!  This week has been pretty chill for all the middle schoolers.  On Tuesday and Thursday we started working on water testing.  On Thursday we tested and compared water from behind the school and from the ditch at Carter Farms.  It was very fun!  And speaking of Carter Farms, we went on Wednesday!  We got to walk all the goats (or more like they walked us!) and give them all kinds of attention.  It was very fun and we all took some silly pictures!  We also played with the kitties because when can we not go and play with them?  Oh, and how could I forget to tell you?!  We provided some entertainment for car passersby as we attempted to get a small sample of water from the ditch without falling in.  Eventually, Jeanette was victorious!!!  Anyways, that’s all we have for you this weeks.  Punardarśanāya (goodbye in Sanskrit)!

 

November 3, 2017

November 2- Hello, hello!  This week has been very fun for all middle school students.  We started the week off being introduced to the theme of our new cycle, which is movement.  We did some fun “kick off” activities and then got to work.  This week, we also worked in the garden on Wednesday afternoon trying to clean it up so it is ready for the spring when we start to plant new plants and flowers.  It took a very long time, but we had some fun chats about possibly starting a new Montessori News run by the middle schoolers.  Also happening this week is the beginning of our new science studies, and we found out that we will be studying water, which has been pretty enjoyable for us to learn about.  So far we’ve learned about the hydraulic cycle and watersheds.  During our watershed lesson we made a landscape with “mountains” and “rivers” and other physical features and then covered it with plastic.  After this, we pretended to “make it rain” on the landscape and watched to see where all the water would collect.  It was very interesting!

 

October 20, 2017

October 19- Hello and happy October!  Even though we are already more than halfway through October, it doesn’t matter, because you haven’t read a new blog since before October! (And yes, that’s because we haven’t written one...but who could blame us?! We’ve been quite busy here in middle school.)  At the beginning of October we went on our fall camping trip to Hocking Hills and we certainly had a ton of fun, so today we would like to share some of that fun with you!

 

We started out our trip by driving down to Hocking Hills, which was like a seriously long drive.  And we apologize to anyone who had to hear some of those weird conversations or see our awful dance moves.  Anyways, once we got to Hocking Hills we hiked at the Cantwell Cliffs and had lunch.  Most of us enjoyed this, but it was kind of terrifying because we were up very high and there was a lot of stairs (little did we know those stairs were just the beginning of it).  Then we went to the Rock House which was so cool!  We had fun climbing in the little caves in there and seeing how far back we could go.  Soon after this we went and hiked a small gorge trail and at the end skipped some rocks in the small “pond” that was end.  After we finished hiking we went to our campsite and had a bit of a competition to see if the boys or the girls could put up their tent the fastest.  The guys won because the girls couldn’t figure out how to work the rain cover.  We finished setting up camp and then had our seminar on nature, which was fun.  Then we made “hawty dawgys” over the fire!  Which everyone enjoyed.  At the end of the night we walked down to the lake which was a short distance away and admired it under the moonlight.  Then we went back to the fire and told some “scary” stories.  It was interesting...I think the scariest part was that we were actually able to come up with these stories.  Finally, we went to bed and it’s safe to say we were exhausted.

 

On Thursday morning we woke up, ate breakfast, and left for our naturalist hike at Old Man’s Cave.  It was rather enjoyable besides the fact that it was raining on us the whole time and we got pretty wet.  We ate lunch and then prepared for our trail cleaning service learning, but were pleasantly surprised to find we couldn’t do the trail cleaning anymore since it was so wet.  Hahahaha, you could say we were happy.  So the nice naturalist got the parks owl, Houdini, and did an awesome presentation on Great Horned Owls.  After this we went back to camp and had “relaxo” time until we had to go ziplining.  Ziplining was awesome and we all especially liked being able to scream at the top of our lungs as we soared across the ground beneath us.  When we got back to camp we made pizza sandwiches in the pudgy pie makers and it was delicious.  It took forever for us to cook our sandwiches though because we kept putting the fire out in our mad dash to eat.  And once again, we were exhausted so we went to bed with little difficulty.

 

When we woke up the next morning we ate breakfast and then went on one last hike to Cedar Falls, which was beautiful!  We all skipped rocks (the middle school classroom may have an obsession with skipping rocks) and climbed across large rocks and logs in the water.  Even though we were in danger of falling in the water and getting soaked we didn’t care and luckily no one fell in.  Then we went back to the campsite, packed up and headed off on the way home.  On the drive, most slept, but there was a select few who stayed awake, telling jokes, singing songs and playing “Find the Big Fat ‘Merican Fill in the Blank”.  Which I’m just gonna say, is a very fun game.  Well, that’s it for now!  Hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures!

 

September 29, 2017