Category Archives: Field Studies

MMUN Reflection Excerpts

by Mia Bilezikian ’15

[This is part six in a series of 10 pieces of student writing about the Inly Middle School’s experience at Montessori Model United Nations in New York City.]

Q: What was it like collaborating with students you didn’t know before?

IMG_1716A: I don’t think it was easier or harder to work with people I didn’t know before the conference compared to working with people I did know before the conference. It was really awesome to hear a bunch of other people’s opinions on top of what my partner and I had already come up with. It was interesting to see how some people felt really strongly about one idea compared to another. By the third committee session I felt like I had a good grasp on the personalities of the people in my group. I knew who was going to say whatever they wanted to and who might need a little more motivation to share their idea. There was one girl in our group who was pretty quiet, so whenever I had a chance, I would ask her what she thought. She started to talk more toward the end of our time together, as we were getting ready for our presentation. I’m glad she opened up like that.

Q: What were some of your favorite non-conference parts of the experience?

A: Taking the photos and going to see Matilda were probably my favorite non-conference parts of the trip. As much as I loved the Guggenheim, it cannot even compare to the MoMA. I wish we had some more time to take photographs. It felt like whenever I saw something I really wanted to take a picture of, it was always on the other side of the street, or we were rushing. I liked having the assignments* about what to take photos of because it made me pay attention to smaller details that I usually would not really think about. I also think that going to Matilda was a pretty good break from everything else. Other than that, there wasn’t really another moment (besides meals) that we weren’t walking around the city or working hard at the conference.

*Each day, we had a photography assignment that challenged us to take pictures about different themes. One day, we all took photos of reflections and shadows. Another day, we all took photos of shapes and patterns and textures. Another day, we all took photos of cool typography. On the last day, we took juxtaposition-themed photos.

 

For more in this series, check out these links:

“Montessori Model United Nations: In Their Own Words” by Paran Quigley and Jen McGonagle, Inly Middle School Teachers and MMUN Advisors

“Montessori Model United Nations: Work Worth Doing” by Benjamin Bison ’16

“One Delegate, Two Model UN Experiences” by Jonah Lee ’15

“Developing a Global Perspective” by Alec Perez ’15

“Follow the Leader” by Emma Kahn ’15

“Are You My Mentor?” by Alexander deMurias ’15

MMUN Reflection Excerpts by Mia Bilezikian ’15

“When I Grow Up…” by Gaby Munn ’16

“Global Group Dynamics” by Marty Morris ’15

“How It All Stacks Up: MMUN Compared to Other Field Studies” by Justin Cokinos ’16

“New York, Model UN, and Middle Schoolers — What Could Go Wrong?
(Spoiler Alert: Nothing)” by Kathryn Goebel ’15

When I Grow Up…

by Gaby Munn ’16

[This is part seven in a series of 10 pieces of student writing about the Inly Middle School’s experience at Montessori Model United Nations in New York City.]

IMG_1576When my classmates and I were in Children’s House and Elementary, people would often come in and speak to us about recycling and planting trees to help the environment. At the time, environmental issues didn’t really hit me as serious problems. But looking back on these presentations, I see that they weren’t just about planting trees, or putting the right things in the recycling bin. They were about opening our minds and helping us see how we could make an impact on the world, no matter how small we are.

Over the past few years, online news sources have become a more prominent part of my life and I’ve gotten more interested in world news and current events. I like keeping up with world news, understanding what’s happening in other cultures, and learning about other peoples’ opinions. It makes me wonder about how I will make an impact on the world. After all, I’m bigger than I was in Children’s House and Elementary — but considering the scale of the whole world, I’m still pretty small.

Some of my friends want to be movie stars or athletes when we grow up, while others of us hope to become doctors or lawyers. No matter what we want to be when we get older, we all want to have some sort of impact on the world. As I get older, I’m learning more about the things that I strongly believe in, and I’m realizing that there are some problems in our world that I want to change. For example, the idea that some little girls can’t afford shoes while others are living in castles never seemed fair — not when I was five years old, and still not now. Different cultures have interested me since I knew what the word “culture” meant, and I love learning about how people live differently than myself. I care that even when things aren’t equal, they are fair.

Going to MMUN and working with so many people who have the same Montessori background as I do was an incredible experience. I loved learning about their perspectives, what they believe in, and how they hope to make an impact on the world. I like looking at situations from many different perspectives and through different mediums, like reading history text books, seeing photos from around the world, listening to the personal stories of other people, and having new experiences myself. It’s powerful to see people expressing themselves in hopes of making a difference in the world, and that’s what MMUN was all about.

 

For more in this series, check out these links:

“Montessori Model United Nations: In Their Own Words” by Paran Quigley and Jen McGonagle, Inly Middle School Teachers and MMUN Advisors

“Montessori Model United Nations: Work Worth Doing” by Benjamin Bison ’16

“One Delegate, Two Model UN Experiences” by Jonah Lee ’15

“Developing a Global Perspective” by Alec Perez ’15

“Follow the Leader” by Emma Kahn ’15

“Are You My Mentor?” by Alexander deMurias ’15

MMUN Reflection Excerpts by Mia Bilezikian ’15

“When I Grow Up…” by Gaby Munn ’16

“Global Group Dynamics” by Marty Morris ’15

“How It All Stacks Up: MMUN Compared to Other Field Studies” by Justin Cokinos ’16

“New York, Model UN, and Middle Schoolers — What Could Go Wrong?
(Spoiler Alert: Nothing)” by Kathryn Goebel ’15

Global Group Dynamics

by Marty Morris ’15

[This is part eight in a series of 10 pieces of student writing about the Inly Middle School’s experience at Montessori Model United Nations in New York City.]

In the NGO Forum, we spent a lot of our time working with kids from around the world. One of the cool (though hard) things about working with kids from different cultures is that they grew up learning different group strategies and different styles of leadership. This can be a challenge in a group of 10 people if all 10 are trying to communicate in 10 different ways—that doesn’t work so well. Our NGO group had a tough time navigating this, which made the start of our project a little slow.

IMG_1651In the brainstorming process, for example, many of us were practicing the kind of brainstorming we do at Inly a lot—the kind where we all add ideas, even if we don’t think they’re the best ideas, because the whole point is that there are no bad ideas when you start brainstorming. But some of the other people in our NGO group approached the brainstorming phase of our group work in a different way and got stuck on their first idea. They kept expanding their first idea, even when the rest of the group was trying to use those ideas to come up with new and better ones.

One cool thing about navigating through these challenges was that I saw everyone in my group, including me, come up with and try out different strategies to help us move forward. For example, we tried to take turns talking by raising our hands, and when that didn’t work, we moved on to “the magic marker,” where we passed along a marker and only the person who had magic marker could talk (yeah, not that exciting and very time consuming). It took a little while, but eventually, we realized that we had to start synergizing better. By the time we were done with our second committee session, we were working together like a well-oiled machine.

In the end, I think my group was actually fortunate to have so many different people with so many different opinions in the group, because those differences made for a great end product (even though our process was a little messier). Looking back, even though there were many rough spots, I absolutely would not change the people we had in our group. Although the strong opinions were hard to deal with at times, everyone’s opinions are valid and most of the ideas contributed to our group in some way.

Even though the conference is over, my group and I believe in the NGO we created so much that we have decided to actually put our project into action. We’re hoping that our NGO will make a substantial difference in the world by affecting many people’s lives in a positive way. Even though we faced hardships as a team, we made it through them, and now we have embarked a journey to make our difference in the world. Now, East Coast Solar Development Program (our NGO!) is working towards bringing more solar panels to our communities across the country and even across the world. I’m not sure we could have done that if we had smooth sailing and 10 people with all the same ideas in the first place.

 

For more in this series, check out these links:

“Montessori Model United Nations: In Their Own Words” by Paran Quigley and Jen McGonagle, Inly Middle School Teachers and MMUN Advisors

“Montessori Model United Nations: Work Worth Doing” by Benjamin Bison ’16

“One Delegate, Two Model UN Experiences” by Jonah Lee ’15

“Developing a Global Perspective” by Alec Perez ’15

“Follow the Leader” by Emma Kahn ’15

“Are You My Mentor?” by Alexander deMurias ’15

MMUN Reflection Excerpts by Mia Bilezikian ’15

“When I Grow Up…” by Gaby Munn ’16

“Global Group Dynamics” by Marty Morris ’15

“How It All Stacks Up: MMUN Compared to Other Field Studies” by Justin Cokinos ’16

“New York, Model UN, and Middle Schoolers — What Could Go Wrong?
(Spoiler Alert: Nothing)” by Kathryn Goebel ’15

How It All Stacks Up: MMUN Compared to Other Field Studies

by Justin Cokinos ’16

[This is part nine in a series of 10 pieces of student writing about the Inly Middle School’s experience at Montessori Model United Nations in New York City.]

IMG_1725I always like our experiential learning adventures, but Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) was simply the best trip I have ever participated in. During the conference we got to meet kids from Montessori schools all over the United States and all around the world. There were kids from 15 different countries.

Being in New York City was so amazing. We walked around Times Square, took the subway a lot, and explored the LEGO store one day on our lunch break. We had a lot of freedom to do the things we wanted to do, but knowing the teachers were close by, we felt safe.

Comparing this experience with the other field studies I have been on with my class (like Ferry Beach, Chewonki, rowing, the Middle School camping trip, and Project Week) there are some similarities, but also a lot of differences.

Similarities:

  • Stay overnight for a couple nights.
  • Stay with two to five of your friends from your classroom.
  • Meet new kids and teachers.
  • Practice teamwork with classmates.

Differences:

  • Usually, we stay in a tent. This time, we stayed in a hotel room.
  • At MMUN, we took showers everyday. Very different from camping.
  • There were nice bathrooms on this trip. Very different from Chewonki.
  • Usually, we have to make our own food (often over a campfire). This time, we ate at nice restaurants and had Ben and Jerry’s.
  • At MMUN, we had to dress in a nice suit and tie every day. At Ferry Beach and Chewonki we could wear whatever we wanted to.
  • At Ferry Beach and Chewonki, and also when we’re rowing or camping in the Middle School, we learn about nature by living in nature. At MMUN, we learned about climate change by conducting research and creating official organizations to help.

 

For more in this series, check out these links:

“Montessori Model United Nations: In Their Own Words” by Paran Quigley and Jen McGonagle, Inly Middle School Teachers and MMUN Advisors

“Montessori Model United Nations: Work Worth Doing” by Benjamin Bison ’16

“One Delegate, Two Model UN Experiences” by Jonah Lee ’15

“Developing a Global Perspective” by Alec Perez ’15

“Follow the Leader” by Emma Kahn ’15

“Are You My Mentor?” by Alexander deMurias ’15

MMUN Reflection Excerpts by Mia Bilezikian ’15

“When I Grow Up…” by Gaby Munn ’16

“Global Group Dynamics” by Marty Morris ’15

“How It All Stacks Up: MMUN Compared to Other Field Studies” by Justin Cokinos ’16

“New York, Model UN, and Middle Schoolers — What Could Go Wrong?
(Spoiler Alert: Nothing)” by Kathryn Goebel ’15

New York, Model UN, and Middle Schoolers—What Could Go Wrong? (Spoiler Alert: Nothing)

by Kathryn Goebel ’15

[This is part 10 in a series of 10 pieces of student writing about the Inly Middle School’s experience at Montessori Model United Nations in New York City.]

Throughout my two years as an Inly Middle School student, I have had the opportunity to travel all over New England with my teachers and peers. I have sailed from Boston Harbor to Connecticut. I have camped on the Boston Harbor Islands and rowed all over Boston Harbor. I will live on a farm in Western Massachusetts later this year, and I will create something at the NuVu Studio in Cambridge in a few weeks. But nothing has compared to this year’s Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) trip.

IMG_1707Working as part of the NGO Forum instead of as a Country Representative, I stayed with my closest friends and got to meet people from 15 different countries. I had the best time. In the conference, you could tell everybody wanted to be there and wanted to help change the world. While mostly all of my experiential trips were with Inly students and mostly Inly teachers, I got to step out of my comfort zone at MMUN. Collaborating has been a consistent theme over all of my Middle School experiential learning field studies, but collaboration and communication were heavily emphasized for MMUN. I could clearly see the difference between Inly students and other students. Inly students speak out. Inly students lead conversations. Inly students aren’t afraid to speak their mind and take an opposing view. While working with others was important, seeing my friends and classmates in action was pretty powerful.

Leadership is what I think Middle School—especially eighth grade—is all about. Other than experiential trips, we do special things around the school. We go to Middle School assemblies, the eighth graders help TH, CH, and LE teachers by teaching the students and we have more freedom than the younger kids. But we also are regular Inly students. We go to the Morning Shares, we go to the marionette shows and we perform in the winter concert. MS students are constantly the big kids, so we need to act like it. We need to set a good example, pay attention and not mess around. We lead and the younger kids look up to us. At MMUN, it’s a different type of leading. You can take charge of a conversation about solar panels or human relations in the Middle East. You can set the good example and the next generation (as well as the rest of ours) will follow.

I am very excited to announce that my group’s NGO (East Coast Solar Development Program) will be continuing past the conference. We are currently collaborating with Jim Sherlock of Reborn International. We plan to put solar panels in under-developed countries. To buy the solar panels, my group and I would like to hold benefits at our school to raise awareness and take donations. Overall, MMUN has been the most rewarding and powerful experience I have ever taken part in.

 

For more in this series, check out these links:

“Montessori Model United Nations: In Their Own Words” by Paran Quigley and Jen McGonagle, Inly Middle School Teachers and MMUN Advisors

“Montessori Model United Nations: Work Worth Doing” by Benjamin Bison ’16

“One Delegate, Two Model UN Experiences” by Jonah Lee ’15

“Developing a Global Perspective” by Alec Perez ’15

“Follow the Leader” by Emma Kahn ’15

“Are You My Mentor?” by Alexander deMurias ’15

MMUN Reflection Excerpts by Mia Bilezikian ’15

“When I Grow Up…” by Gaby Munn ’16

“Global Group Dynamics” by Marty Morris ’15

“How It All Stacks Up: MMUN Compared to Other Field Studies” by Justin Cokinos ’16

“New York, Model UN, and Middle Schoolers — What Could Go Wrong?
(Spoiler Alert: Nothing)” by Kathryn Goebel ’15

Inly’s Service Learning Curriculum and the Season of Giving

by Julie Kelly-Detwiler, Assistant Head of School

DSC_0136

UE students visit with the elderly at the Scituate Life Care Center

Each year at this holiday season, we take a moment at Inly to give thanks for family, friends, and community, and we look for ways to contribute to others from this place of abundance. We teach our students that service to others and developing an understanding of ourselves in relationship to a larger community and world, are central to personal development and fulfillment.

Seeds of service learning

The seeds of our service-learning curriculum are sown in our toddler program, take root and grow through each level of the school, and extend into our alumni community. At the heart of this curriculum is Maria Montessori’s mandate to empower children to become agents of change, and our personal mission to create global citizens. The goal of the service work we do at all levels at Inly is to promote the development of life long lessons in empathy, hard work and cultural awareness, while giving students a sense of belonging to a community.

Service learning through the years

As you walk the halls at Inly, you see examples of service. Our Toddlers and Children’s House students learn to recognize the needs of another and to offer help and support through our formalized grace and courtesy curriculum. In Lower Elementary, our students are coming to understand our shared needs as humans though their study of fundamental needs. In Upper Elementary, students go out into the community through a formal service learning program that takes place each Friday. In Middle School, our complete 20 hours of service each year as a part of their program of study. For the third year, our graduating 8th graders and high school alumni will have the opportunity to travel to Guatemala to participate in a two-week service learning program. And for the second year, the adults in the Inly community have the opportunity to touch lives in our own community through the small moments campaign.

School Wide Fundraising Project: Heifer International

Additionally, this year our school wide project is supporting the work of Heifer International (www.heifer.org). Led by the Community Service representatives for the Inly Parent Committee, each classroom from Children’s House through Middle School has chosen a target goal. In Children’s House, students are bringing in change to purchase ducks, chickens, a goat and a pig. Lower Elementary Classrooms are working to purchase sheep, rabbits and a heifer. The Upper Elementary Classrooms have set the goal of raising funds to subsidize a community health worker,  to purchase a llama, and to buy assorted trees for reforestation projects. While Middle School students are committed to sending a girl in a developing country to school.

Throughout the year, our students will engage in a multifaceted Heifer curriculum to deepen their understanding of the work of development, to learn more about different regions of the world, and to connect more closely to the lives their gifts will impact. Already, some classrooms have reached their first goal and have adopted another.  Students from 4 to 14 are talking about ways they can earn and then donate their money to this worthwhile cause, and some have shared that they have asked for gifts to Heifer for Christmas. This feeling of giving is contagious, and our community is marked by it.

As you share this winter break with family and friends, we encourage you to keep this conversation alive with your children. Support them in recognizing the needs of others, create the opportunity for them to give from a sense of abundance, reflect on the connection we all share as humans, and celebrate together that most precious gift of relationship. 

Inly 8th Graders Attend NuVu, Center of Innovation, Technology and Hands-On Learning

Last month, we wrote about a new, experiential program that Inly 8th graders would be taking on later in the spring at NuVu studio in Cambridge, MA (you can read the previous article here:  Inly 8th Grade Students Get Crash Course in Real-World Problem-Solving).

Our students have since attended NuVu and had an amazing, enriching experience. They were each tasked with designing a prosthetic hand for a child that would assist him or her in something playful. For example, a prosthetic hand that would help the child throw a ball, or play an instrument.

To watch a video recap of our student’s experience, please watch the video below.

To read about each student’s project and see sketches and animations of their prosthetics, click on the following link: DIY Prosthetics.