Inly Alums Return for High School Senior Internship

Tucker and Chris address the 8th grade students about life after Middle School.

Tucker Meehan and Chris Ribaudo address the 8th grade students about life after Middle School.

Inly alums, Tucker Meehan ‘11 and Chris Ribaudo ‘11, both seniors at Thayer Academy, are spending 3 weeks at Inly School as part of their final high school internship experience. During their time on campus, they have worked with students at all levels, but most extensively with the students in Upper Elementary.

“Our first thought in returning to Inly was honestly, ‘wow, everything seems to much smaller!’” Chris remarked. “It’s also interesting to see things through a different, older lens now. The faculty members feel more like peers and it makes you realize how cool they are.”

“You also see how purposeful the programming is,” said Tucker. “You can see that it’s a long process from start to finish and that each child is constantly building on his own knowledge throughout that process.”

“I’ve also noticed that seeing all of the classroom materials again has sparked so many memories for me,” said Chris. “And it’s amazing how all of the lessons come back, too.”

Tucker will be attending Colby College in the fall and hopes to study Economics and/or Biology. Chris will be attending Northeastern University and plans to pursue Chemical Engineering. The two also spoke to Inly’s 8th grade class about what to expect in high school, how the transition can feel, and anticipating the change in workload, sports, and other student activities. “Inly teaches you because it prepares you,” Tucker states. “I don’t think any Middle School has a class called “Independent Thinking” but that’s exactly what you take away from your time at Inly. And you can apply that to anything going forward.”

The Importance of Creativity and Innovation in Schools

by Donna Milani Luther

8th Grade students tinkering at NuVu

8th Grade students tinkering at NuVu Studio

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build the youth for our future.” This is the imperative for schools in this century.

There is a great deal of buzz in the world of education right now about creativity and innovation and why these skills should be incorporated more into K–8 school curricula to build for the future. We are preparing students of today for the jobs of tomorrow—jobs that don’t exist yet, in fields that will be created to meet the demands of an ever-changing world. And yet many schools are still using what Sir Ken Robinson describes as the “industrial age factory model” for education, which doesn’t meet the growing demand for creativity and innovation.

Interestingly, a number of schools are adopting a more Montessori-inspired classroom model to help meet this demand. The AltSchool in California, for example, founded by a former Google engineer, is described as “Montessori 2.0” with a strong focus on technology. Closer to home, a former MIT graduate, Saeed Arida, created NuVu “The Innovation School,” a full-time magnet innovation school in Cambridge. At NuVu, students learn in a hands-on environment with coaches who help guide the creative process, from inception to completion. NuVu’s pedagogy is based on the architectural studio model and geared around multi-disciplinary, collaborative design projects. Within each multidisciplinary Studio, students explore problems rigorously by focusing on one project for two weeks. A Studio Coach mentors students to develop their project through an iterative process over the course of the Studio. Students confront the small and large contexts within problems as they are exposed to complex, ‘messy’ situations. The NuVu Team continuously evaluates students through deskcrits and final reviews.

I am proud to say that our 8th grade students, for the second year in a row, have spent two weeks at NuVu. This spring, our students were assigned a project called  “Wheelchair Hacks” and asked to come up with creative modifications to wheelchairs. To see their clever creations, you can click here. Final projects included everything from a wheel-cleaning device to a height adjusting chair. It was exciting to see our students come up with clever modifications and explain how their process worked from beginning to end. They all hit road blocks but, like in real-life, figured out ways around them to get to their end goal.

AltSchool and Nuvu are just two examples of how education is coming around to the century old forward-thinking of Dr. Maria Montessori who took what had been in education and imagined what could be. Today at Inly, in the tradition of Montessori, we are imagining what can be in the world of education because we fundamentally believe in the power and potential of children. This is why we want to ensure our school environment fosters their capabilities, creativity, and innate desire to learn and explore.

As many of you already know, Inly is currently planning to build an innovation lab, reimagined library, and six new classroom spaces next year. The innovation lab will be known as the “DaVinci Studio” and will be a central location for our robotics, 3D printing, digital video creation, and tinkering projects. Along with these offerings, the DaVinci Studio will have an idea space, which will have whiteboards on the walls and surfaces for students to imagine, draw, and plan. I believe this space will allow our students to expand and grow in new and exciting ways.

Creativity and innovation should be at the core of a curriculum and instrumental to the way children learn. Paramount to the continued success of schools is ensuring that learning spaces mirror the collaborative work spaces of the real world and enable students to problem-solve, think differently, and challenge the status quo. The authors of The Third Teacher put it succinctly when they said we should “design learning environments and use design thinking to strategize cultural, pedagogical, and organizational change.”

At Inly, our new building project will enable us to accomplish both things that Roosevelt charged educators to do: ‘‘build a future for our youth and build youth for our future.”

Experiential Learning at Inly: Learning By Doing

By Julie Kelly-Detwiler, Assistant Head of School

Education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment.” —Maria Montessori

As I walked through campus this week and felt the energy of our students and their drive to be outdoors in what has suddenly become summer, I am reminded anew of how fortunate we – and they – are to be in a school that values experiential learning.

Experiential learning (“learning by doing” or “hands-on learning”) permeates every part of the Inly curriculum at all levels. It is an approach to education that actively engages students in relevant, authentic experiences that reinforce academic lessons or teach life skills. These hands-on experiences deepen a student’s understanding and have a lasting impact. Through experiential learning, students make discoveries and experiment with knowledge on their own instead of relying solely on the experiences of others.

EllynAt Inly, we refer to experiential learning that happens outside of the classroom as “field studies,” and this is exactly how we approach and think about them. Our field studies are integrated thoughtfully into what our students are learning in the classrooms, and naturally extends their learning out into the world. And because we thoughtfully plan our year to move with and productively harness our students’ energies and passions, you will see our students outside as much as possible at this time in the year. You might see them gardening, conducting science experiments or treasure hunts, exploring the new trails on Sunflower Hill, or engaged in group initiatives on the low ropes course. You might also see the volunteer parent drivers and buses in the parking lot, prepared to take our students off campus for service learning or rowing, or to explore Boston, a museum, or an ethnic market.  At this time of year, you might also see a group of 8th grade students at the Greenbush train coming home from the MIT technology studio, NuVu, in Cambridge or some 7th grade students dressed in business casual outfits, about to set off for a day at their internship site. And soon, you’ll see our 3rd through 8th graders carrying duffel bags as they set off for their end of year excursions.

There is a natural and carefully considered progression to these experiences as our students mature. But each experience, from the very beginning, requires a sense of responsibility and independence. In this stretching of themselves, they become more independent, more self-reliant, more confident and more capable. This learning carries back into the classroom and into their lives.

This Year in Inly Sports!

Photo courtesy of Matt West

Photo courtesy of Matt West

Over the past two years, Inly’s athletics have really amped up, thanks in large part to Jabari Scutchins, Head Coach and Director of Inly Athletics. Jabari has worked hard to recruit more students to play Inly sports, increasing participation by 10%. In addition, he and other members of the Inly community including parents, faculty, and staff, have offered their athletic talents to coach new sport programs like Flag Football, Cross-Country, and Floor Hockey. Jabari also lobbied for Inly School to become the first Montessori school to join NEPSAC, the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council. Now, each athletic season includes games against schools in the MAC (Montessori Athletic Conference) as well as NEPSAC conferences. In addition, with the generous help from Inly parents, Andrew Sullivan and John D’Allessandro, Inly has also expanded the upper athletic field to make it a regulation-size soccer field. A new fence, donated by Mike and Stacey Grealish, will also help keep the balls in play in the coming seasons.

As a result of these collective efforts, Inly is establishing a strong foundation in athletics. As Inly’s athletic programs grow, it is our hope that our students continue to learn about teamwork, respect, competition, and many other valuable life lessons. It is also our hope that our participation in NEPSAC not only complements but enhances our existing athletic programming and gives students who crave additional competition the chance to challenge themselves.

Below you will find a few highlights from “THIS YEAR IN SPORTS.”

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Inly’s soccer team

Inly Soccer:

Inly’s soccer team had more than just fancy official team uniforms to add to their resume this year. They also had a great season. Most notably, one player scored a record 7 goals in a single home game.

Inly Basketball:

Flag football fall practice

Flag football fall practice

With the record snowfall this winter, Inly’s basketball season was brief but still exciting. Player highlights included 20 points scored in a single home game, 14 rebounds in one a single away game, and 10 assists in a single away game.

Flag Football:

Flag football has had two very exciting fall and spring seasons this year at the South Shore YMCA. This spring, there is a 7–9 team and a 10–13 team. Inly is proudly one of the most co-ed teams in the league and both male and female players alike have been dominating the field with touchdowns, tackles, and sacks.

Cross-Country:

Inly runners at their first meet vs. Kingsley Montessori

Inly runners at their first meet vs. Kingsley Montessori

Inly cross-country has been logging miles and crossing milestones over the past few seasons. They had their first meet against Kingsley Montessori in April along the Charles River Esplanade. In addition, students have been competing in local 5K’s on the weekends, some event earning top spots in the kids divisions. The Cross-Country team would also like to extend a special thanks to the After School Project “Juice Bar” for making them delicious juice creations for some post-run fuel!

Montessori Model United Nations: In Their Own Words

by Paran Quigley and Jen McGonagle, Inly Middle School Teachers and MMUN Advisors

In this series of articles, the Inly Middle School Model UN Team describes various facets of their experience at Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) in New York City.

IMG_1804When we pitched this assignment to the team, we were expecting some groans. After all, the students had already done a lot of writing—from the fully researched and formally written and cited action plans they wrote before going to the conference, to the daily reflections they completed while we were in New York City, to the official conference evaluations they filled out after the event—the team had already done a lot of work.

Much to our (pleasant) surprise, rather than groaning, the students embraced this article project, excited to articulate and publish their MMUN thoughts. They eagerly commenced brainstorming and dividing up the topics to write about, including:

  • How the conference works
  • Their reflections on leadership and group dynamics
  • The value of having experts as mentors
  • How they kept track of their spending
  • What they did in their “down” time in New York City
  • Why teenagers might be able to better solve the world’s problems than all the adults who are working as paid ambassadors, delegates, and entrepreneurs
  • What it was like to be part of a huge gathering of Montessori Middle School students from around the world

IMG_1602Even with all these great articles, there’s plenty that the team didn’t write about, including:

  • The major commitment of joining the team (two hour meetings after school every week for three months, plus plenty of work to complete in between meetings)
  • Rigorous academic demands (keeping up with all their regular school work and managing the workload of an additional writing- and reading-intensive elective)
  • Navigating around the city (every time we needed to get somewhere outside of the hotel, one student was given a paper map and tasked with the challenge of getting us to our destination)
  • Being away from home and mixed into so many new social dynamics
  • The four-day moratorium on social media (a big challenge for some of our more electronically connected teens)

IMG_1803While we’re impressed with the work our students do in the classroom, seeing them at work out in the world is always particularly powerful. Whether they’re interning in a discipline they may wind up pursuing as a career, pushing themselves to new physical limits while on Ocean Classroom or at Heifer International’s Overlook Farm, or working with their peers to solve major world issues, we’re always impressed with our students’ field studies work. This year’s Montessori Model UN team was no exception. We hope you enjoy hearing about it in the students’ own voices.

 

 

 

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

 

Montessori Model United Nations: Work Worth Doing

by Benjamin Bison ’16

[This is part one 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_1580This year, 10 Inly Middle School students traveled to New York City to attend Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) as part of the NGO Forum. MMUN is a conference where kids from all over the world can go and participate in a simulation of the actual United Nations. Groups either go representing the perspective and interests of a specific country or having created an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) about a particular issue (this year that issue was climate change). Our whole Inly team separated into groups of two to create a total of five different NGOs. Our NGOs covered a wide variety of topics ranging from wind farms to seawalls.

IMG_1626Once at the conference, we began working and collaborating with kids from all over the world. We shared our NGOs and worked on perfecting them. We also had the option to team up with other kids with similar NGOs to create one big organization. At the end of the conference, we presented our NGOs to everyone in the NGO Forum part of Model UN. In addition, we watched the country delegates have their final voting ceremony in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations building.

The conference is held in New York City, so the MMUN team had the opportunity to do fun, non-conference related things while on the trip. This year, we explored Times Square and its shops, along with the Rockefeller Center and the Guggenheim Museum. We also went to various restaurants and watched the award winning Broadway show Matilda. In addition, we honored those affected by past tragedies by visiting memorials to both the trans-Atlantic slave trade and September 11th.

A major transferrable skill from this trip was money management and budgeting. Each team member had to bring around $300 cash to pay for food, transportation, and other things during the trip. We had to decide what to spend our money on and when to spend it, and we had to make those decision ourselves without the help of our teachers. Some people spent very little on the trip and came back home with large amounts of money. On the other hand, some participants spent a lot and only came home with a few dollars. To help us stay conscious of what we were spending, we all completed a reflection at the end of each day where we looked at exactly how much we spent and what we spent it on.

MMUN was a fun trip. Although there was a lot of preparation work and joining the team was a big commitment, all the hard work pays off in the end. I encourage any student who is interested in current events to partake in MMUN if the opportunity ever presents itself, as it is a fun, memorable, unique, and worthwhile experience. I am looking forward to going again next year as an 8th grader.

 

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

One Delegate, Two Model UN Experiences

by Jonah Lee ’15

[This is part two 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_1710Having attended Montessori Model United Nations now twice, I’ve observed several differences between the NGO Forum and other parts of MMUN. Last year, I represented The Republic of Guatemala in the MMUN Security Council, with a goal of solving two problems. The first problem was nuclear proliferation, or the increase in the presence of nuclear arms in the world. The other problem involved disputes between the State of Israel and the State of Palestine. This year, I participated in the MMUN NGO Forum, with a goal of developing a non-profit organization that would address the global issue of climate change.

Obviously, the problems I addressed in these two years are different, but in a lot of ways the processes that the NGO Forum and Security Council go through are similar. For example, in preparation for MMUN 2015, I wrote an action plan, a statement of my goals and ideas for solving climate change. For MMUN 2014, I created a position paper, which presented my country’s (Guatemala’s) goal and ideals when speaking about the presented problems. During the conferences themselves, in both 2014 and 2015, I worked with large groups to address our problems.

IMG_1618For the Security Council, I worked closely with other non-nuclear capable countries to create a system of taxes for countries that did possess nuclear weapons. That system of taxation was outlined in our Resolution 1.1, On Nuclear Non-Proliferation. There have been disputes between the State of Israel and the State of Palestine for a very long time. The countries are different in many ways, yet they both want control over several areas of their regions. Honestly, I don’t remember how we solved that problem.

All in all, the preparation for, the process of, and the product that came out of these two experiences were quite similar. Some pros of the country study are that in Security Council, delegates are really able to participate in an authentic UN experience, whereas in the NGO Forum, that might not necessarily be the case. In the NGO Forum, however, your work is a lot more free-form, while in Security Council that might not be the case.

There’s one last point I’d like to introduce: time. In a four-day conference, time is limited. In MMUN 2014, when I represented The Republic of Guatemala, four days was plenty of time to create well-written, effective solutions for our problems. On the other hand, it felt like we could have used more time while we were participating in the NGO Forum this year.

Overall, both of these experiences were interesting and exciting. I’m sure I’ll keep drawing from my MMUN experiences as I continue into high school, and I’m confident that they’ll keep making the conference better and become better over time.

 

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