Early release Monday, thank you, and 4th grade field trip coming up.

Dear parents,

This Monday is an early release day; school finishes at 1 pm. Please make sure you have made arrangements to collect your children at this time.

Thank you to all the parents that drove and chaperoned on the Freedom’s Light field trip on Friday. Although there were slightly less booths than the last time, the students all had a great time!

The next field trip is a 4th grade only one, going to the American West Heritage Center near Logan. This is an all day field trip for Thursday October 4th. We will be leaving the school at 8:30 am by School Bus, returning for 3 pm pick up. Students will be receiving their permission slips on Monday and they should take a sack lunch, strong shoes/sneakers and clothes for cool, possibly wet weather.

Thank you!


Work to be finished at home

Dear parents,

Many students failed to complete their work at school left over from last week and this week. Therefore, they will have been sent home with a combination of some of the following work:

  1. An essay based on a totem pole ceremony, where they are to describe the ceremony and the different animals chosen by them for their totem. They may expand the essay by describing the totems of their family.
  2. Scholastic News magazine. The students receive a scholastic news magazine at the beginning of the week and have a series of comprehension questions and quiz to complete by the end.
  3. Native American regions – reading and questions.
  4. Simile and/or onomatopoeia worksheets.

Our aim at the school is to foster independent learners and for some, this can be quite a change from what they have been used to. The essay and Native American regions were given out last week and we are encouraging them to focus on their work, so that they can complete their work in a timely manner and avoid taking work home.

Please email me if you have any questions.

With thanks – John

Drivers still needed for Friday’s field trip

Dear Parents
We have the Freedom’s Light field trip THIS FRIDAY to Bountiful.  We still desperately need at least two drivers.  You DO NOT need to stay for the entire time, but you are welcome to stay and chaperone as well.  Please sign up through the following link: https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/event/435155
When you sign up, please leave a note saying your student’s name and how many children you are able to take.  This helps us to ensure that everyone has a spot in a car, for example: “Peter+3”
If you are willing to drive your own child, but circumstances prevent you taking another child, please comment with the child’s name and the number 0: “Stephanie+0”
Thank you all for helping to make this trip a success!


Field trip Friday – drop off and pick up and other information

Dear parents,
Please remember to be at North Shore parking lot at 8:10 on Friday morning. We aim to leave by 8:15-8:20. Students will be back at school for the 3 pm pick up.
We have also been provided this information regarding the field trip on Friday:
  • Please plan to meet us on the northwest end of the park and the southwest end of the parking lot by the blue Tardis.  We will give you a map and a short orientation.
  • Please have your students organized into groups of about 8-10 students if possible.
    The weather should be lovely but you may want some sunscreen!
    There is food for sale from $1.00 to $5.00 and of course everyone is welcome to take a lunch or snacks as well. 

Thank you!

Snack, field trip and track it forward. Home projects

Dear parents,

My apologies, but I have misinterpreted the school snack policy. Parents are asked to sign up for providing snack to the classroom once a week. The link to sign up is through the “Track it forward” site, which is the site that the schools uses to register volunteer hours, snack and car pooling and Parent Teacher Conferences. Here is the link: https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/events. When you go to the site, you will see a month, then a list of teachers who are advertising snack on Mondays. Click on “Mr. John’s snack sign up” and then follow the instructions. If you haven’t signed up for the site you will be prompted to do so.

What can I provide for snack? The school asks for healthy snacks to be provided, for example:

  • Mini bagels with cream cheese
  • Fruit (ex. apples, clementines, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, cucumber, melon – cut at home, grapes, cherry tomatoes)
  • Cheese Sticks
  • Veggies (e.g. carrots, broccoli, celery)
  • Crackers with cheese (pre-cut)
  • Granola Bars
  • Fruit Leather
  • Mini-muffins
  • Whole Grain bread with jam

Please DO NOT send popcorn, cereal, chips and salsa or ranch dressing, and colored drinks.

At the moment, snack sign up has been set up till the Christmas break. As soon as it is open after Christmas, I’ll let you know.

Likewise, for Friday 21st on Track it Forward, Ms. Alisha will be advertising for carpooling for the “Freedom’s Light” field trip. Alisha will be emailing you in the near future about this.

Last week, the students were setting up their first home project in school with the expectation of finishing this off at home. The due date is October 3rd and they have been asked to research and produce a presentation on one of the five Native American tribal regions of North America (Eastern Woodlands, Southeast, Great Plains, Southwest and Northwest Coast). Here is a breakdown of the rubric, detailing the areas they should be concentrating on (a focus on at least one of the tribes in the region will be necessary):

  • Name of Native Region (6pts)
  • Label each category (6pts)
  • Housing (13pts)
  • Transportation (13 pts)
  • Food (13pts)
  • Weapons/Tools/Crafts (13pts)
  • Customs/Beliefs (13pts)
  • New Vocabulary Word (13pts)
  • Overall Neatness (10pts)
  • Total (100pts)

As usual, any questions please email me.

Thank you!  – John

Emails, snack, open day

Dear parents,

Thank you for all those parents that donated food for the salsa last Friday. It was delicious! And, talking of food, this year I would like to use a “snack by choice” policy. If your child wishes to eat a snack in the morning, then please provide them with something suitable and relatively healthy. Please, no chips, candy, soda, or drinks with bright coloring (this is due to carpet staining when they are spilled).

We already have three volunteers for driving on the field trip on 21st, but ideally we would need three more. Ms. Alisha would like to advertise this through “Track it forward” which is a site that the school uses for volunteering. To make this effective she would need your email addresses. Please let me know by Thursday, if you DO NOT want me to share your email address with Alisha.

This Thursday September 13th is the school’s Open Day, or Back to School Night. There will be talks  offered by Ms. Lana, the assistant principle, and Ms. Rene, the principal. From Ms. Rene: This will be open house style, but with two opportunities for parents to attend a meeting that Ms. Lana and Ms. René will lead. Parents will be invited to attend a meeting at 6pm and the same meeting again at 7pm. The parent meeting will be 15-20 minutes and take place in the addition commons area (in the new Junior High building). Outside of those times, parents are invited to visit each of their children’s classrooms.

In the classroom I will be providing similar information to the “Sneak a Peak” that was held in the week before school started, along with information that has been covered in the blog. However, I am happy to explain any area of the classroom environment, classroom rules and expectations, field trips, home projects, snacks, planners and using track it forward. If you specifically wanted to discuss matters regarding your child, then I am open to that as well, as long as we can have some privacy. Of course, depending on circumstances, that may not be possible.

Thank you and have a great week!


Classroom policies and information


Dear parents,

Here is an outline of the classroom policies and information:


Please try to ensure that your student is on time for school. We start the day promptly at 8:30 and move straight into circle time where the day ahead is outlined to the students and any whole class activities are commenced.


As you are aware, nearly all communication regarding our classroom will be done through the class blog. Therefore, it is important that you subscribe to the blog in order to stay informed about field trips, homework and home projects etc… To subscribe, scroll down the page and on the right side you will see: “Subscribe to Mr John’s blog by email.” You have to follow the link in the email for this to then work.


You, or your students, may have heard the adage ” we don’t get homework in Montessori.” That is not strictly true. Students who do not complete required classwork will need to bring it home for completion. Likewise, once the online math program, IXL, is up and running, then students will be expected to use this at home, along with regular reading and spelling work and sometimes the online writing program, Utah Compose. Also, every 4-5 weeks, students will have a home project to complete. The first home project this year will be on Native Americans. 

Dress Code

If your student violates the school dress code policy, then a report will be sent home. The school’s policy can be found at:  https://mariamontessoriacademy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Dress-Code-Policy-MMA-signed-04.08.14.pdf

Field Trips

There are field trips for each grade scheduled through the year (American West Heritage Center – 4th grade; JA Biztown – 5th grade; The Redwoods – 6th grade) and we will endeavor to provide other field trips as the year progresses. The next field trip is the “Freedom Light” festival in Bountiful on September 21st. Permission slips will be sent home tomorrow (Thursday). Please make sure that you sign them and return them ASAP.

For our field trips we are usually reliant on parents volunteering to drive and chaperone our students. If you can help, then please email our Room Mom, Alisha Coakley, at eventhair@yahoo.com, and she will arrange the rides. We usually take the Frontrunner and Trax for at least one field trip as well.


Each student at MMA was given a planner in the first week of school. Planners are a tool provided by the school to develop your student’s planning and time management skills. Therefore, all students are expected to use planners to plan and record their work each day. As parents and guardians, please review their planner and question them about what they are doing. Then initial in the space provided at the bottom of the page. If a  student loses their planner, then it is a $15 cost to replace it.

Every Friday, each student will get a Weekly Work Evaluation to complete. This will allow them to see where they need to improve and what help they require from the teacher.  This evaluation will come home with their planners every Friday.

Again, please email me if you have any questions about your student or the class.

With thanks – John