Week 10

We are entering our 10th week of school!  Time is going quickly and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  I am feeling so good about this school year.  I love your children!  They are working hard and learning every day.  We are having a great time.

Just a quick reminder that it is a short week and there will be no school on Thursday or Friday.  I hope you enjoy some time as a family.  I am looking forward to it!

This week we have the 4th grade field trip to the Dinosaur Park on Tuesday.  Ms. Amanda will be working at school with the 5th and 6th graders.

Picture day is coming up on October 22nd.

Book reports were due on Friday.  Thanks to those of you who made sure those got turned in on time!  I look forward to having the rest come in on Monday.

We would appreciate any help we can get with snack.  We have been lucky enough to have some other classes provide us with some of their excess snack and it has been wonderful!  If you feel like you can provide snack for our class, please sign up here:  https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/events  We only have 22 students and don’t need anything fancy.  Some crackers, apples, or pretzels work great.  Thank you!

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  kgonzales@mariamontessoriacademy.org.


We’ve made it through the first 6 weeks of school!  It has been such an amazing and positive experience.  I am really loving this school year.  I’m excited about all of the things that we are learning and working on.  I love your children.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of their educational journey.  The end of the first six weeks marks the end of our Normalization period.  If you are interested in coming to observe the class or volunteering, please let me know.

In Language Arts, we have been learning about writing informative essays.  We have had some fun lessons on how important it is to use proper punctuation when writing.  We have begun our spelling/vocabulary groups.  We are doing dyad reading a few days a week.  The 6th graders have had some lessons on all of the types of pronouns and how to use them properly.  All of the students are working on grammar and parts of speech.

We are working on a wide range of topics in Math, from place value and rounding to square root to prime factorization.  I love that in addition to learning the core math standards as grade level groups, Montessori also allows students to work more individually in the areas that are appropriate to the development of that child.

Our class does not currently have a room parent.  If that is something you would be interested in taking on, please let me know.

We would love to have more parents sign up to bring snack for our class.  We currently have 22 students.  If  you can help, please sign up here:  https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/events

The students were assigned a book report home project a couple of weeks ago.  I sent home a paper listing 3 options the students could choose from.  I understand that not all of those papers have made it home.  If you have not received this assignment, please let me know and I will send a digital copy through e-mail.  This home project is due on October 11th.

As always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns!  kgonzales@mariamontessoriacademy.org  Have a fantastic weekend!




Weekly Update

Things are moving right along in our class!  We are full swing into our lessons and work cycle.  We have had lots of grammar lessons.  We are working on sentence editing.  We started spelling groups.  We are using our Scholastic News magazines to work on our reading and comprehension skills.  Our math assessments are all complete and we have our math groups all figured out.  We have been refreshing our memories on some things that were forgotten over the summer, but we are moving forward and working hard!  We are having history and science lessons.  We currently have some truly disgusting microorganisms growing in Petri dishes.  I am truly excited about the learning happening in our class!

One of the students in our class suggested that we have a student council for our class.  We agreed that it was a great idea!  We decided that we would elect a representative from each grade level.  The students who chose to, gave speeches to their classmates and we held elections.  Everyone did a wonderful job!  I was so proud of the thoughtful speeches the students made.  We had a truly beautiful moment with our 4th graders.  One of our 4th grade students wrote a speech, but when it was time to present it, they were too scared.  They stood in front of their classmates and couldn’t say anything.  I tried to offer words of encouragement, as did the other students, but they were still too afraid.  One of the students offered to stand next to the scared student for support.  Then another student went and stood by this student.  Soon every 4th grader was standing next to their classmate.  The student was able to give their speech and did a wonderful job!  I loved seeing the students come together to offer support and encouragement to one of their classmates that was struggling.  It was really heartwarming.

Information about our next home project will be coming home this week.  It is a book report and will be due October 11.  Please check with your student for the paper with more details.

Thanks to those of you who have been providing snack for our class for the past few weeks.  I believe we only have someone signed up  for two more weeks for the entire school year.  If you can help with snack, please sign up https://www.trackitforward.com/site/38952/events.  It is really important to the students.  We have 22 students in our class.  I noticed it says 30 on the sign up sheet.  I will need to edit that!

Papers went home last week about our upcoming Boosterthon fundraiser.  Students are able to order a free t-shirt in preparation for this event.  Please check backpacks for this paper if you haven’t seen it.  Here is a copy just in case your student misplaced theirs.


Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your child’s life!  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


2nd Week Update


We had a beautiful 2nd week of school!  We started work cycle and the students were ready to go!  Most of them knew exactly what to do and got right back into their work routines.  It was great to see!  We had a lot of grammar lessons to review the parts of speech.  We started practicing close reading with our Scholastic News magazines.  We did a few math assessments to see what the students remember and what we need to review.  We did the first Montessori Great Lesson about the Birth of the Universe.  We also had some lessons about grace and courtesy and continued to discuss and practice our class routines and expectations.  We continued to do some team building activities and games and had a lot of fun!

We read “The Important Book” by Margaret Wise Brown and used it for a few different lessons.  We used to style of the book as a model to write our own page about what is important about our class.  This is what we came up with as a class:

“The important thing about our class is that we are respectful.

We are kind and helpful to our classmates.  We work hard and we’re smart.  We listen to our teachers.

But, the important thing about our class is that we are respectful.”

We talked about how if we are being respectful to ourselves, the people around us, and our environment, then we will eliminate a lot of the issues that may arise.  I was really proud of how thoughtful and reflective the students were as they were thinking about what was important to them and what they wanted from their experience in our class.

Thank you to those of you who were able to join our class for a picnic and games on Thursday!  We had a great time and it was wonderful to see students, parents, and teachers interacting and enjoying each other’s company.  We have a wonderful community and I feel blessed to be a part of it!

Our student planners were delivered yesterday and some of the students were so excited they did a happy dance!  The planners are such an integral part of our daily routine.  We started using them today to plan work and get it signed off.  The students should be planning out their work for the day each morning.  As they complete a work, Ms. Amanda or I will check it and sign it off with our initials.  The planner should go home every day and get signed by a parent or guardian and come back to school the next day.  There is a small line at the bottom of each day for a parent or guardian to initial.  The planners are a great way for you to see what work your student is completing each day.  It also teaches the students how to make a good work plan, use their time wisely, and be responsible.  Please ask your student each day to see their planner and make sure it come back signed the next day.

I was excited to see some more presentations today about the students in our class!  If your student hasn’t brought in their presentation yet, it’s ok!  I would still love to see them come in next week.  If it is an issue for your family to get a poster board or print pictures, please don’t worry.  Your student can just write some things about themselves on a piece of paper that will help us get to know them better.

We are off to a great start!  I’m really excited about this school year!  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your child’s life.  Please let me know if you have any concerns or questions! (kgonzales@mariamontessoriacademy.org)


First Week!


We had a wonderful first week of school!  We have a great class full of amazing children.  Ms. Amanda fit right in and we are so lucky to have her as our co-teacher this year.  I’m so excited for this school year and all of the ways that we will learn and grow together.  Much of our time this week was spent learning procedures, getting to know each other, and doing team building activities.  Many of the students are already asking about when they can get back into work cycle.  They are eager for the normal routine and to get back to work.  Let’s hope they keep that enthusiasm as we get to work this coming week!

If you haven’t had a chance to sign up for snack yet, please use this link to sign up:  https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/events  Snack is an important part of our day and the students really miss it when we don’t have it.  At this point, we have 25 students, one of which has a gluten allergy.

I’m very excited to invite you to be a part of our school day this Thursday from 12:00-1:00 PM!  Please come to the school with a blanket and a sack lunch and join us for a fun picnic and activities on the field.   This is a wonderful opportunity to build our community and for parents, teachers, and students to get to know each other.  We have an amazing school full of truly great people!  I really hope to see you there!

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns (kgonzales@mariamontessoriacademy.org)


2019/2020 School Supply List

Here are the supplies for the 2019-2020 school year.  Please feel free to use supplies you still have from last year if they are in good shape.  The students will be keeping their own supplies. Please label everything with your child’s first and last names.  The binder should be labeled on the spine.  It is helpful if supplies are unpackaged before the students bring them to school.  The loose leaf paper and page protectors can be put into the binder.  The pencils, scissors, etc. can be put into the pencil box.  If you are unable to purchase these supplies, please let me know.   

A new option this year is to purchase your school supplies using Amazon Smile. This method helps give back to the school.  Please use this list as a reference when searching for supplies.   https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1A8Q4Z22JURA7?ref_=wl_share


White 1 1/2″  three ring binder  (New students only.  Returning students should use their portfolio from last year.  Please make sure you bring it back to school if you brought it home over the summer.)

50 page protectors

1 package loose leaf notebook paper

1 or 2 packages 24 Ticonderoga pencils (These are the only pencils that hold up!)

1 package 24 colored pencils

6 wide ruled composition notebooks

1 pair scissors

1 ruler

erasers (either pink erasers or the kind that go on the end of the pencil)

1 pencil box

glue sticks

2 plastic 3 prong folders with pockets (any colors)

*indoor shoes (slippers, Crocs, etc.  No characters)*

reusable water bottle

wired headphones (over ear or in-ear)

lunch box


These supplies are optional but appreciated and helpful in the classroom:

paper towels

handheld pencil sharpener

3×5 index cards

graph paper

white printer paper


*Please do not bring any markers of any kind

**We use storage cubbies in our classroom for the students to store their supplies.  Many of the storage bins are getting very worn.  If your student would like to bring a new fabric cube storage bin that they can use for as long as they are in our class, that would be fine.  Otherwise, they are welcome to use the ones that we already have.  Please purchase a neutral color such as cream or tan.   Blue, green, or gray would also work.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  I prefer that you use my school e-mail (kgonzales@mariamontessoriacademy.org) to communicate, rather than replying through the blog. I am so excited to see all of you and embark on this journey together!


End of the year info.

Well, the last two weeks of school are upon us.  I find it hard to believe!  Here are some important things that you should know.

On Tuesday, May 14th, we will be making up our RISE assessments.  Please help your child come to school well rested and with a tummy full of healthy food.  A water bottle would be great, too.

Upper Elementary field day is May 17th from 12-2pm.  Students may wear appropriate athletic attire this day.  You may want to send sunscreen if it is a sunny day.

On Monday, May 20th, we will be participating in Maria’s Market with other upper elementary students.  The students may set up a booth and sell items that they have made or no longer want.  They may not sell candy or sodas.  We love you parents, but you are not invited to stay and attend this fun activity.   The students have been earning Maria Montessori money in class for the past couple of weeks in preparation for this market.  I will be sending home more information next week.

May 21st, 22nd, and 23rd are parent teacher conferences.  Please bring your child with you to the conference so that they can show you all of the things that they have been learning.  Also plan to attend the book fair while you are at conferences.  This is my favorite fair because it is buy one get one free!  You can sign up for an appointment here:


May 21st-24th are early out days and school will be dismissed at 1:00pm.

May 22nd is our 6th grade bridging ceremony at 10:30am.  Please come celebrate the 6th graders as they complete elementary school and move on to junior high.  The parents of 6th graders are invited to come have breakfast with their students before the ceremony at 9:30am.  This is our way of celebrating the 6th graders as well as thanking their parents for their love and support.

May 23rd is crazy sock and/or hair day

May 24th is wear tie dye or your favorite sports team attire day

The last day of school is May 24th.  Students who ordered a yearbook will receive it that day.

I hope I remembered everything!  Please let me know if you have any questions.  kgonzales@mariamontessoriacademy.org


RISE testing

UT state standardized assessments (now called RISE and Aspire Plus) will be on the following days for our class. These assessments are important to us for several reasons.

The state assessment data are important to your family because the results are one way to communicate how much your child has learned in English language arts, writing, math, and science. At MMA, we know that these tests are but one indicator of a child’s progress in these content areas.

The state assessment data are important to us because determining what a student knows or does not know is a vital cornerstone in individualizing learning experiences, which is the basis of a Montessori education. The results help us to identify needs for new and additional materials, tailor professional development for teachers, and determine where to best invest school funding.

Taking tests is a practical life skill, required for college entrance as well as many professions. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, contractors, nurses, and cosmetologists (to name just a few) all must take tests in order to enter their professions. Standardized testing in school provides a valuable opportunity to practice taking tests in a low-stakes environment, better preparing our students for future assessments – which is why we encourage all students to participate.

If you choose to opt your child out of testing, please complete the Parent Exclusion from State Assessments Form. This form must be handed from you to either Ms. Lana or Ms. René, who will take 5 minutes to review this form with you. We ask that these forms are submitted no later than April 12th. Thank you for your cooperation and support.

RISE Science testing will be on Wednesday, April 17th from 12:00-3:00 PM

RISE Language testing will be on Thursday, April 25th from 9:00-12:00 PM

RISE Math testing will be on Thursday, May 2nd from 12:00-3:00 PM

*5th graders only*  The RISE Writing test will be on Wednesday, May 8th from 12:00-3:00 PM

Please do everything possible to make sure your student is at school on these days and that they come well rested and with healthy food in their bodies.

Speaking of food, we have had a parent volunteer to provide breakfast for our class on May 2nd before our Math test!  If you would like to help with the breakfast, please contact Christopher Garcia at photodogman@yahoo.com.  I’m really excited about this!



Model United Nations

All of the Upper  Elementary classes in our school are coming together to hold a Model United Nations in May.  This is an exciting opportunity for the students to learn more about other countries around the world and the struggles and problems that they face.  More importantly, it is an opportunity for the students to contemplate these struggles and work to find solutions.  Our class will be representing six different nations in the Model UN.  Each student has been assigned to research one of these countries to get some background information before we delve more into the problem solving aspect of this experience.  We have started doing this research in class, but the students will need to spend some time completing their research at home.  I would like to have the research completed and all of the questions answered by no later than April 12th.  Thank you so much for your support!

Here’s a list of which student has each country in case they can’t remember:

Russian Federation:  Ava, Gabe W., Ashley, Wyatt, Avyana

Republic of Uzbekistan:  Gen, Christian, Mason, Alya, Evan

Republic of Poland:  Corbin, Caiden, Denver, John, Isaiah

Federative Republic of Brazil:  Amira, Ariane, Sienna, Tahlin, Gabe R.

United Arab Emirates:  Dustin, Lucian, Henry, Enrique, Melody

Republic of Tunisia:  Kasumi, Addy, Josie, Sophia, Kimbrie


Here are the questions they should be researching for their country:


This Week

This week is Literacy Week!  I have always loved reading and look forward to focusing on literacy this week.  I hope to get the students excited about reading and sharing some of their favorite books.

A beautiful tree has been put up on the wall in the front of the school.  Each time a student reads a book, they get to add a leaf to the tree.  Please encourage your children to spend time at home reading good books!  We want our tree to sprout a lot of leaves!

Each of the students should be coming to school this week with a printed picture of the cover of their favorite book, along with a brief summary and what they liked about the book.  If printing a picture is not an option for your family, the student may draw a picture of the cover instead.

On Tuesday we will have an assembly with a local author named Julie Lee.  She shares a message of self-acceptance and mindfulness that I am excited to hear!

Tuesday night is also Literacy Night.  Please come with your family and enjoy fun games and activities, as well as an Usborne book fair.  It is at the school from 5:30-7:00 PM.  Come dressed as your favorite storybook character and have fun celebrating literacy with us!

This doesn’t have anything to do with Literacy Week, but Thursday is March 14th, which is Pi Day!  We have already started preparing by learning about circles.  The students look forward to this day every year because it means we get to eat pie!  If any of you are willing and able, we would be happy to accept donations of a variety of pies on Thursday.

Friday we will have a read-a-thon from 10-11:00 AM.  The students may bring a blanket and one stuffed animal to help them enjoy their reading time.  They should also bring a book from home if we do not have a book in the classroom that they want to read.

Friday is also an early out day.  School will dismiss at 1:00 PM.

Please don’t forget to look over and sign your student’s reflection sheet and return it to school tomorrow.  I really feel strongly that helping students learn to break down their expectations, make a plan, and follow it is vital to their success.  These are life-long skills that will come into play in all areas of their lives.  Your support is an important part of the process.  We’ll keep working on it!

I appreciate the opportunity to spend time with your children every day.  We have our issues, and I am definitely not perfect, but it is wonderful to learn and grow together.  I am constantly reflecting on how things are going and what I can improve within myself to help everyone have the best possible experience while we are at school.  I always have things to work on!  Despite my flaws, I love and appreciate your children and want to do everything I can to help them succeed and be happy.  I know I can speak for Petra and say that she feels the same.