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Happenings in the Adolescent Program!?

Youth Outing Explorations (and Opportunities)

September

  • Back to School Kickball Effigy Mounds
  • La Crosse in the Park
  • AppleFest Parade

October

  • Saturday School History Hunt
  • Color Run

November

  • Grocery Store Math Project
  • Random Acts of Kindness at Kwik Trip
  • WE Day

December

  • Veterans History Museum and Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, WI
  • Tree Identification With Army Corps
  • Bowling at Pla-Mor Lanes in La Crosse, WI

January

  • Urban photography and interviewing in La Crosse, WI

So what happened this past semester?

Fall Semester, 2015-16

The Adolescent Program has been hard at work, implementing big changes and even bigger plans! The semester began with a somewhat new teaching staff: Mrs. H taught history and engineering, Miss Kelsey taught math and science, and, new to this year, Mr. Joseph taught literature. This is but a paraphrasing of the array of classes they actually taught.

The year opened with our two-week S-term (or soft start), an interdisciplinary approach to understanding a specific culture. This year, we focused on American Indian communities in North America, covering a timeline that stretched back to the first recorded history of American Indians in North America some 50,000 years ago. In covering traditional family structure, spiritual needs, modern history, and more, students garnered a strong understanding that American Indians is a group term for distinctly different sub-cultures. Students also learned how biomes interact with the development of cultural differences. This experience culminated with a school-wide presentation of a specific American Indian community.

The year progressed into our standard classes and teachers, parents, and students found an adjustment to the accustomed culture. While given similar amounts of study hall, students are expected to act more independently as more schoolwork is assigned. Without too much imagination, it is possible to complete the workload in class and during study halls, but, nevertheless, students quickly realized flaws in time-management skills and adjusted. This promotes particularly strong skills in independence and time management in preparation for postsecondary opportunities, particularly college.

Throughout the semester, students completed a number of projects, allowing teachers to explore their (young) wavering emotions as they flowed from stressed to proud upon completion. They handmade board games to compare and contrast proactive and reactive behavior, solved and graphed inequalities using a "super computer" that responded with pattern-based input variables, researched and made an art-piece on a survivor of child labor, developed an art portfolio that explored various techniques, wrote a personalized encyclopedia for Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, identified trees with an forester with the Army Corps of Engineers, and engaged in student teaching experiences to make students throughout the school aware of the AP workload. This is but a sampling of the projects they all completed throughout the semester, not to mention our students completing honors level courses and independent studies.

With heartfelt goodbyes and embracing welcomes, our classroom has seen some changes, but our Montessori culture has remained and, with that, we returned from winter break and said "Hello" (my ode to Adele) to J-Term (January Term).

January 2016 presents AP students an opportunity to reengage in hands-on, project-based learning in highly-specialized classes. Students may be currently enrolled in Film Studies, Digital Media Manipulation, or Forensic Analysis II. Other students are completing independent studies in computer programming or 6-Decisions. And many students are concurrently engaged in recap courses and specials, the latter of which focuses on writing resumes, developing business etiquette, practicing interview skills, and working through job shadow opportunities in preparation for M-Term (May Term).

In this upcoming final week of J-Term, students will complete an entirely independent project for each of their courses. I don't want to ruin any surprises, but I know that all of our AP students and prepared and up for the challenge!

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