Posts

Hands-On Learning in Middle School

Sheila Higgins gets Middle Schoolers hands dirty with hands-on learning

In my experience, middle school students naturally resonate with the open-ended structure of hands-on learning. They’re more excited about, engaged with, and invested in the learning process when they’re given the freedom to actively create their own knowledge, rather than passively consuming it.  Hands-on learning is an immersive experience that enhances a student’s ability to think critically and take ownership of their inquiries. Hands-on projects offer a safe space to make mistakes and learn organically through trial, error, and iterative thinking.

I love this approach to teaching because it creates the conditions for play, which is such a natural (and important!) way of engaging in authentic learning. While a hands-on model can take many forms, it’s essentially “learning by doing”–a practice that not only develops competency, but also strengthens the
qualities of curiosity, creativity, and collaboration within the learner. Students retain more
information about experiences that are memorable; for instance, investigating Newton’s Laws of Motion becomes much more engaging–and impactful–when they are physically explored in the context of a design challenge…rather than a traditional textbook lesson. In my 8th grade class, students design Balloon-powered Race Cars for a competitive engineering experience. Through this, their learning becomes a dynamic process in which scientific principles are explored in a real-world, immediate context.
I believe that learning is a lifelong process. Through hands-on projects, I hope to cultivate a sense of wonder and empowerment in my students’ approach to school.
Click here to watch Sheila’s Middle School class in action!

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

Find out about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Top 10 Achievements from Maharishi School

Teacher’s Holiday Party 2020

 

 

 

Top 10 Achievements for 1st Semester
2020-2021
Outside is the joy of the drop. Inside is the joy of the ocean. —Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
richard beall
Head of School Dr. Richard Beall
1. During the summer of 2020, prior to the opening of school, we formed a COVID task force to prepare the learning environment. Dr. Beall confirms that we met our commitment to make informed, data-driven decisions and preparations for the coming school year.
Families were given a choice: students could attend in person, online locally, and online internationally. Our website describes these detailed decisions and preparations in the “Return to Learn” plan required by the Iowa Department of Education.
We are proud to say that we got through 2020 without a single case of COVID.
Niche Ranking, woohoo!
4. In 2021, Maharishi School ranked #1 in FIVE categories through Niche.com: #1 Most Diverse Private High School in Iowa, #1 Best College Prep Private High School in Iowa, #1 Best Private High School in Iowa, #1 Best Private K-12 School in Iowa, and #1 Best Boarding High School in Iowa. Click to see our success!
Harmony Exists in Diversity
6. Being ranked as the #1 Most Diverse Private High School in Iowa (of 51) is a huge benefit for our students as they prepare to navigate through our multicultural society and world. In our dorm alone we currently have boarding students from China, Korea, Germany, India, Vietnam, and the US.
“Lets talk about race” Book Club
8. Our Diversity-Equity-Inclusion (DEI) Committee sees a strengthening in our DEI programs with new diversity curriculum and workshops, resilience surveys, and expanded counseling services.
Beautification in the School
10. We have successfully completed renovations of all three levels of the Hopson Building. New colors, flooring, and other visual features have brought our main building into the 21st century. Notice the social-distancing decals?
montessori in elementary school
Montessori in the Elementary School
2. The Lower School successfully integrated a half-day Montessori curriculum into the 1st and 2nd grades, and also brought kindergarten into the Lower School building this year. The Lower School also lengthened the school day to provide Social Studies and Science lessons on a daily basis. Click here to read more about this.
Cooking in the Maharishi School Kitchen
3. The Middle School Team works closely together to provide a wide variety of hands-on, project-based learning experiences, from science labs—in the kitchen—to communication skills shared with the community.
Student Council meeting
5. The Upper School Student Council has provided outstanding leadership during the pandemic, organizing weekly safe social activities to sustain school spirit and social-emotional well being. Pictured above is a New Year’s party organized by Student Council!
Acts of Kindness
7. Raise Craze, our biggest fundraiser of the year will officially become a new annual tradition. Students asked friends and family to donate to Maharishi School, and as a way to pay their generosity forward, they performed Acts of Kindness for others. Surpassing our goal of $15,000 we were able to purchase much needed COVID supplies and increase technology for online instruction.
#GivingTuesday
9. Maharishi School is deeply grateful for the support shown during our December “Season of Giving” campaign. Our Development Team together with your help, raised $37,000 through Giving Tuesday and Matching Funds–more than we ever thought possible.
Thank you all for your wonderful support!
Cheers to your good health, happiness, and abundance in 2021!
Maharishi School | www.maharishischool.org | 641-472-9400

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

Find out about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Day In the Life at the Children’s House

Watch a Day In the Life at Maharishi Preschool

Preschoolers develop responsibility through routine

maharishi preschoolAt Maharishi Preschool we are cultivating within each child a sense of independence and capability.  When the children enter into the gates of our playground carrying their lunch and wearing their backpack, a sense of responsibility, independence, and capability is enlivened in them. They know where to put their belongings and they know where they are when they need them or when it is time to go home. During their time at school, they make many choices and their sense of capability grows each day. They are following their internal drive to master skills, grow, and learn, and by allowing them to be responsible for their own belongings, these qualities will continue to be reinforced.  The sense of pride when children feel responsible in these small but significant ways is such a beautiful thing to witness!

Taking precautions in the preschool

children house preschool montessori

When entering the school area all children will get their temperature taken, temperatures at 100 degrees or higher will be sent home.

Masks

Teachers will be required to wear masks while inside, or while down on children’s level outside. Face shields are


Hand washing
 recommended, especially for toddler teachers. Masks will be required while inside for all children 3+. Masks will not be required for children under 3.

Children will wash hands upon arrival, before and after eating, when entering from outside, when seen with hands in mouth/nose, and a minimum of every 2 hours. Washing is completed with soap and water for 20 seconds.

Social distancing

Drop off times are arranged by class so that there are no traffic jams between parents and children. Transitions into the school house for class will be staggered to avoid congestion in the hallways.

Changes to the environment

preschool environmentThe children each have a cubby where they can store their shoes and backpacks. Cubbies will be outside of the classrooms in the hallways so children do not enter the classroom with outside shoes and backpacks. There is only one child per table in all classrooms, unless the table is very large. The classrooms with ages 3 and up will have sanitizing stations for the children to clean their own work, under adult supervision as needed. Water and soap will be used for plastic, metal, and glass materials and natural disinfectant spray for wooden materials. When a toddler completes a work, they will return it to a special shelf to be cleaned between use. A teacher will sanitize the work items and return them to the shelves with available work.

The protocol for Maharishi School’s Children’s House was created with reference to DHS requirements and CDC recommendations, and with approval from IDPH

If you would like to learn more about the Children’s House, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

Find out about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Meet Our New Teachers: Michael Fitzgerald

Meet our new teacher

micehal fitzgerald computer teacherMichael Fitzgerald came to Fairfield in 2012 to attend MIU for his Bachelors in math with a computer science track and finished in 2016. Over the next several years he worked for a digital marketing company and went back to school to get a masters degree in software development. Michael saw that Maharishi School was looking for someone in tech support, however as soon as his skills became evident to the administration, we realized he was overly competent for the job. He was asked to teach a computer course, which he has now introduced to the middle school students as Technological and Digital Literacy 101.

 

What is Technological and Digital Literacy?

This is not your traditional computer science course. Technological and Digital Literacy focuses less on why computers do what they do but how to computer lab at schooluse and manipulate what’s in them for efficacy in learning. TDL is a class that teaches students how to interact in the tech world and use what’s already available in order to become fluent in technology. This is so important as we go further into schooling entirely online. Michael explains, “this course will prepare you for life. I look at this course as a woodworking, or home economics class, because once you learn that skill you will have it for the rest of your life. The more tech literate you become, the more you will understand new technologies with ease.”

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

Find out about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.