Showing posts from 2017

Spirit Week and Candy Engineering

We apologize for the delay in sending this link out to everyone.  Our sixth graders have planned a busy spirit week, as you can see by the flyer they created for everyone to take home. One of the activities they chose was to make gingerbread houses. We ask if everyone can bring in needed items such as, graham crackers, frosting, or even old Halloween candy. The gingerbread house decorating will be tomorrow,  December 20,2017.  If we don't get enough supplies, we can postpone it until Thursday.  Please click on the link to specify what your child will be bringing, to ensure that we have a good balance of supplies.  If you have any questions, please let us know!

Our Christmas shop fundraiser is going very well, and new items continue to be added.  Thanks for your support of all of our children's fundraising efforts to pay for all aspects of our big trip to Camp Surf!

Wax Museum Tips

We are noticing this year that several of our newer students have had a hard time gathering sufficient sources on their topics.  Sometimes, a difficult or obscure group was selected, while others simply lack enough background knowledge in certain subjects related to history and geography to be able to fluidly and deeply explore their chosen civilization.  We encouraged all of our students to watch videos over the weekend from reliable sources such as BBC, PBS, National Geographic, Nova, Khan Academy, etc.  We also recommend taking a look at reliable youtube channels (crashcourse, CGPgrey, veratasium, etc) Watching such presentations will help students gain the background information needed to fluidly discuss their topic during the wax museum.  
We do not want students to read from their reports, but to be well-versed enough to look at their board and discuss the concepts they have studied with visitors, using their own words.  While we have had several discussions about expectations, o…

Camp Surf Meeting is Tomorrow!

We hope that everyone is able to attend our Big Trip Meeting that will take place tomorrow, in Mr. Larry's Room.  We will discuss ongoing fundraising plans for the bus at 4:30, and then continue with details about the trip itself at 5pm.  Childcare for siblings will be provided and students are welcome to attend with their parents if they wish.
We have recently updated our class contact list.  If you haven't received any announcements from us, please send an email to to send us your current information.  snack calendars were also sent home today, but they aren't posted on the blog.  We continue to remind all students to write their snack day in their planner and promptly share with parents.

Also, tomorrow is the last day to submit orders for our Popcorn Palace Fundraiser.  So far, we have raised over $500 to cover the bus to Camp Surf with this fundraiser, which is a third of the way toward our goal, after adding our previous fundraising efforts.  Thanks…

December Dates

Ms. Kathy and I have really been enjoying watching every child show off their work during student-led conferences.  We look forward to seeing more parents next week as well.  We are so close to our goal of 100% attendance at conferences.  There are still plenty of times left on our schedule for anyone who missed signing up.  
We have a lot going on in the Month of December, so please mark your calendars!

December 4th Deadline for popcorn palace fundraising orders.  We have a friendly competition with Mr. Larry's class to see who is able to submit the most orders.  I am planning a huge art activity for the winning class.  Remember that half of the order totals will go toward paying the cost of the bus to go to camp surf.
December 5th We are holding a meeting in Mr. Larry's room to discuss our fundraising efforts for camp surf at 4:30, and will transition into discussing the specifics and logistics of the big trip at 5pm.  We will be finished no later than 5:30pm.  Childcare is pr…

Please Sign Up for Parent Conferences

We hope that everyone takes a moment to choose a conference time in the book in the office. We offer conferences as late as 7pm this Wednesday, and are willing to go later if needed. We are also willing to do phone conferences or open up alternative times to ensure that we get to see everyone. We are planning a special group activity at school if we get 100 percent participation. We hope to see your child with you and offer free childcare for siblings as well as free childcare before the meetings start after school.  Please let us know if you have any questions about conferences. Thanks so much for supporting our classroom!

November/December Activities

We are sorry for the delay in getting our November newsletter out to everyone.  Our class has been so hard at work on a variety of topics and our classroom veterans are becoming skilled at managing their time. Please read below for more information about the activities we are taking part in during the months of November and December.
Candy Statistics Our class collected data on their Halloween candy haul and created bar graphs and pie charts with their results.  We also collected data and made a class wide graph. They will be presenting this project along with other written work during student-led conferences.
Holiday Fundraising  Our Upper Elementary classrooms are participating in multiple fundraisers including, our Christmas Shop, Candle-making, carline treats, as well as holiday craft projects led by parents.  We will also hold a raffle and silent auction and sell cookbooks further on in the year.  If you would like to help us out with fundraising with donations of time or items, plea…

Wax Museum Coming Soon!

Wax Museum Coming Soon!
This announcement was also sent via email and we ask you to check your inbox to ensure we have your email address in our system.  Ms. Kathy and I have been receiving error messages with some emails.  We will put all of our class announcements online at and will send them electronically in the future and we want to make sure everyone is up to date on the latest news in our classroom.   If you did not receive this in your email, please send us an email at so we can make sure you are accurately added to our list!
Over the next few weeks, the upper elementary will be researching ancient civilizations will create a living wax museum on (12-14-17).  Students will have time to work on this project in class, and will also have the opportunity to go to the library to find quality sources.
Students will need 3-5 scholarly resources, two of which must be books. 
 We are planning to visit the library in small groups this week and n…

October Fun

We have a lot of activities coming up this month and hope that everyone is able to fully participate.  Please mark these events in your calendar and let us know if you can help us out in any way.

Show-Me Night: Thursday, October 5th We invite you and your child to come into our classroom any time between 5 and 7 to show their work in the classroom and perhaps even give a Montessori Lesson or two.  They will also talk to you about their story boards. Childcare is available for younger siblings. Tutoring will be canceled that day because of show-me night.
Mercado: 5-7 PM, Friday, October 27th This year, our first big fundraiser will be our Halloween Mercado, where our students will be able to earn real money to help us pay for the bus to Camp Surf.  Everyone has planned some high quality products and activities that will be available to the general public.  Please invite your friends and family to what will be an unforgettable experience of food, games, crafts, and creepy Halloween fun! …

Moving into September

It's hard to believe that September has arrived.  We have been busy in multiple creative endeavors in the classroom.  Last week, our students filled their portfolios with poetry and this week they have been collaborating with a partner on creating a script for a short play, skit, or commercial.  The partnerships were carefully chosen to expand every child's circle of friends and build a more cohesive classroom community.  Our students will be performing their plays next week in class.  We are able to record the performances and place them on the homeroom app for those whose parents have a photo release on file.  We also began more formalized Spanish and art lessons this week, which have been received with enthusiasm.  We have talked about how learning a second language is able to change the structure of the brain to make greater connections in language, math, and even music.  Everyone was introduced to our new artist brushes and their purposes for creating various types of lin…

Activities for the School Year

Important Dates and Activities for 2017-2018 Activities take place during the school day unless otherwise noted August 4 Open House 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. August 7 First Day of School – school starts promptly at 8:30 a.m. August 24 Curriculum Night 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
September 8  Field trip to ASU Natural History Collections September 21 Show Me Night 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. September Field trip to Library (students need a valid Mesa Library card)
October 27 Fall Mercado in the evening October 31 Storyboard Presentations, morning and evening
November Trip to library for science research November 13 Parent Conferences begin November 22 Thanksgiving Feast in class
December 8 No school, Parent Conferences December Science fair presentations December Concert December 11-15 Student-Made Holiday Shop open for business
January Field trip to library for ancient cultures research January 18 Moving up/Big trip parent meeting 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. January 17 Field trip to symphony hall
January/February Trip to Musi…


Dear Parents,

Our Curriculum Night was so well attended that we ran out of chairs!  We are so glad that so many of you were able to take time from your busy schedules to support our work in the classroom.  For those who missed it, we have sent handouts home.  I have also attached the handouts via email from our meeting.  The document also includes important dates and activities for the remainder of the school year. Other handouts being sent home include a permission slip for our next field trip, a going out permission slip, and a Camp Surf form. We are happy to meet individually with any of our parents, particularly our new ones, who need more guidance. 
Going Out Forms This year, our insurance company requires that you submit your insurance information with  your permission for going out.  Goings out, are trips planned by small groups of children to the library, pet store, and other places for further research and exploration.  While most of our students have a signed permission form, v…

Our Big Trip to San Diego

Dear Parents:
We are pleased to announce the dates for our “Big Trip” to Camp Surf in San Diego have been solidified for the week of April 23rd thru April 27th, 2018.   
Camp Tuition cost per student will be $300.00. Transportation fee is approximately $100.00 per student.  We will be traveling to and from Camp Surf on a charter bus.  
Fundraising opportunities will be available for students to help defray the cost of transportation.   Camp fees can be paid for with Arizona State Tax Credit donations ($200.00 per individual or $400.00 for married).  All fees are due on April 2, 2018.  Payments of $50.00 per month can be made as installments.  Chaperone camp tuition fees are $150.00 per adult chaperone.
Please indicate below if one or both parents would be interested in chaperoning, or assisting in fundraising opportunities.
Thank you,
Ms. Liza, Mr. Larry, Ms. Adrienne, Ms. Kathy and Ms. Ally
Please return bottom portion by August 31, 2017 -----------------------------------------------------…

Thank You for Attending our Curriculum Night!

Our Curriculum Night was so well attended that we ran out of chairs!  We are so glad that so many of you were able to take time from your busy schedules to support our work in the classroom.  For those who missed it, we will send handouts home.  I have cut and pasted the handout from our meeting.  Other handouts being sent home include a permission slip for our next field trip, a going out permission slip (for small trips to the library, pet store, and other places) and a Camp Surf form.  We are happy to meet individually with any of our parents, particularly our new ones, who need more guidance. Thanks again for supporting your child's Montessori education!

Upper Elementary Curriculum Night2017-2018 Practical Life The hallmark of the Montessori philosophy centers around practical life.  In primary, the first lessons a child is taught come from the practical life shelf.  In upper elementary, the  first assigned homework given to your child was in the area of practical life.  This inc…