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Classroom and student supply lists are up!

Go to the top of the page, click on “supply lists” and scroll down to find links to the PDF of the list and some Amazon shopping lists for your convenience!

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Last Week

It’s that time of the year again! Our last week together before summer takes hold.  Remember that Monday is the only full day of school this week, Tuesday through Friday are all half days, so we will dismiss at 1 PM.

Some things to note:

This week is parent teacher conferences.   Please be aware these are COMPLETELY student led, so plan to have them there.  Students have been working hard putting together portfolios and have some beautiful capstone projects they are excited to show off. I still have lots of slots open, please sign up here:

Tuesday: https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/event/471698

Wednesday: https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/event/471699

Thursday: https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/event/471700


The end of the week is school spirit week.  We are only doing two days, and they are as follows:

Thursday, May 23th – Crazy sock and/or hair day

Friday, May 24th – Wear your favorite tie-dye and/or sports team attire


Parents and families of 6th graders are welcome to attend the Upper Elementary Bridging Ceremony.  It will take place Wednesday the 22nd at 10:30 A.M. in the addition gym.


We are back from the Redwoods, and what a time we had! From silly skits, to balancing banana slugs on our noses, to stepping out of our comfort zones, we had an incredible week of growth.  I feel so fortunate to have been able to see the 6th grader’s transformation.

But now, it is time to get back to business.  We are in our last week of FULL DAYS!  I can hardly believe it.   Some important things:

Field trip to Crystal Hot Springs is Friday.  Info sheet will be coming home tomorrow. WE NEED DRIVERS. I’m so sorry this is getting to you so late, but I didn’t get to it before we left.  PLEASE SIGN UP HERE IF YOU CAN DRIVE.   All are welcome, but please be aware that adults will need to pay their own entrance into Crystal Hot Springs.  This field trip is a blast and one of the favorites of the students!  We need a minimum of 8 drivers (assuming an average of 4 seats per car).  https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/event/474030

Students will be participating in Model UN on Wednesday.  I received many emails while I was away about students needing more time.  I will be checking in with EVERYONE on Monday and making a plan for us to be prepared for that.

Maria Market is on Monday the 20th.  Students will need to bring in a good or a service to sell.  Goods and services must be approved by myself and students must be able to do it without parental assistance. (so for example, if your child wants to do cotton candy but cannot run the machine without your help, they need to pick something different.)  Deadline to have approval is Thursday the 16th by end of day.

Next week is parent teacher conferences.   Please be aware these are COMPLETELY student led, so plan to have them there.  Students have been working hard putting together portfolios and have some beautiful capstone projects they are excited to show off. I still have lots of slots open, please sign up here:

Tuesday: https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/event/471698

Wednesday: https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/event/471699

Thursday: https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/event/471700

Any questions let me know!

Sign ups have been created.  Please follow the link to sign up!


Please remember that these conferences are student led, so bring your child along.  They are excited to show you what they have been working on.

Last Week of April

I can’t even believe how fast the time has gone this year.  We are down to our final few weeks of school.  This will be a run down of next week and what to expect in May!

Please make sure students are working on their Model UN projects.  They are coming due in two weeks.

Next week: We will be testing for language Monday and math Tuesday.  Please make sure students are prepared with a good nights sleep and a good breakfast.  Students are allowed to have small snacks and gum during testing, so please be prepared for that.  We did great with our science test two weeks ago – thank you for helping them prepare for that.

May 1: Elementary spring concert – 6:00 PM

Sunday, May 5 to Friday, May 10 – 6th graders (and myself) to the Redwoods.  Mr. C will be joined by Ms. Carolyn during the week for the fourth and fifth grade

May 8 – 5th grade writing RISE test.

May 13-17: school spirit week, stay tuned for more info about that.

May 15: Model UN and box top store

May 17: Crystal Hot Springs field trip.  You have already signed a permission form for this field trip, stay tuned for chaperone sign-ups.  The more the merrier.

May 20: Maria Market.  Students have been earning “money” to spend.  On the 20th, students will be able to bring a good or service to school to spend their hard earned cash on!  We have been discussing this in class already, and more info will come as it gets a little closer.

May 21-24: early release

May 21-23: Parent Teacher Conferences

May 22: Upper Elementary Bridging 10:30 AM.  Please feel welcome to attend to watch your 6th grader graduate from Upper Elementary into Junior High

May 24: Last day of school!

Any questions, email me.  Thank you!


I sent home a letter today concerning our Model UN project.  We were doing this as an in-class project, but due to our internet permissions being changed, this has gotten more difficult.  As such, I am turning this project into more of a take home project.  Please find a copy of the letter that I sent home below:

Dear Upper Elementary Parents,

Our classroom has been working on a wonderful project connected to the United Nations called Montessori Model United Nations.  This being our first year in creation, students’ projects have been somewhat simplified and very focused.

Before Spring Break, students were asked to research their assigned country, and they are now being asked to research a particular United Nations topic focus.  This year’s topics are: Clean Water for All; Ending Racism; Climate Change: Protecting and Developing Energy Resources; and Biodiversity Preservation.  Each student chose a topic and a country.  You can find this information on this page, along with some questions needing response. (See below)

I have made the computers and books in my classroom available as much as possible for students to perform the necessary research. We now have run into a difficulty and need your help.

Due to a variety of reasons, the server at MMA (and thus the internet permissions) is being heavily refiltered to ensure the greater safety of our students’ internet access.  As we go through the transition, students do not currently have the ability to freely use the internet to continue their research.

Therefore, we are asking that you would allow and assist your student in completing the research and writing their position paper.  The paper should be a titled, double-spaced, bulleted notes page on the topic chosen.

Due: May 6th, Morning.                            Date of school wide MUN event: May 15th

Please email any questions you have concerning this project! Thank you



Committee: [Your Committee Title]
Topic: [Your Topic]
Country: [Your Country]
School: [Your School]

Topic Background

What is the definition of the topic? Where does the topic take place? Who is involved? How many people does it affect? Where, and in what ways? Why is this topic important?

History of this Topic in your Country

How has this topic impacted your country? What has your country tried to do about this topic? What types of policies would your country want the UN to adopt (or not adopt) on this topic?

Possible Solutions

What specific plans would your country like the UN to undertake to address this issue? What specific plans would your country like Members States to undertake in their own countries? Why would your ideas work? Give specific plans.

Hello all,

Thank you for bearing with me as I was out of the classroom last week taking a couple of sick days.  I am feeling much better and ready to get back into the classroom. This week we have our RISE Science test for all three grades.  Please help your child prepare by making sure they get plenty of sleep the night before and a good breakfast before coming to school.

I will allow students to bring gum, snacks, and water with them into the test.  Please remind your child that their gum will need to be thrown away at the end of the test.

I will be gone again Thursday/Friday to finish my final observations for my training.  I will be available via email if you have any questions or concerns.

Greetings all! I hope everyone’s break was restful and restorative.  Please be aware that this will be a long post due to the end of the year being upon us, but it is full of important information pertaining to the next two months, so please read it carefully.

From administration:
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 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.”

Our testing dates are as follows:

  • Science: Wednesday, April 17
  • English: Monday, April 29
  • Math: Tuesday, April 30
  • Writing (5th grade only): Wednesday, May 8

We will be spending the next week reviewing material in class, but you can help your child prepare at home too.  This website has some great ideas as to help your child prepare for these tests: http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/parent-tips-how-help-your-child-prepare-standardized-tests

Remember that your child is still learning to take tests like these, and often feelings of anxiety and assumed inadequacy can come from testing. If your child is suffering from any testing anxiety, please let me know so that we can support your child through this together.

April and May’s Calendar at a Glance:

April 15: Redwoods Meeting, 5:30 – 6:30 PM.  All 6th graders and their parents need to attend this meeting as we will be going over final preparations and telling students which cabins they are in.

April 22: Early Release.  We were going to have a field trip this day, but plans have changed.  I will get in touch as soon as the replacement field trip has been scheduled.

May 5-10: 6th graders on Redwoods Field Trip.  I will be attending this field trip with the 6th graders, school for 4th and 5th will be as usual.

May 13-17th: School Spirit Week

May 17: Crystal Hot Springs field trip/ 9th grade graduation

May 20: Early Childhood bridging

May 21: Early Release, Lower Elementary Bridging, Parent Teacher Conferences

May 22: Early Release, Upper Elementary Bridging, Parent Teacher Conferences

May 23: Early Release, Parent Teacher Conferences

May 24: Early Release, LAST DAY OF SCHOOL.

As always; questions, comments, concerns? please email me at lhughes@mariamontessoriacademy.org


From now to the end of the year, students will be working on a Montessori Model UN project.  This is a group project.  They have chosen a country to research and will spend the next week gathering information on their country.  After spring break, they will be working on a position paper in preparation of the Model UN conference that will happen closer to the end of the school year.

Because this is a group project, I will be offering time in class to work on this project.  Students are welcome to take their packet home and do the research for their country at home.  Students were sent home with their packets and country assignments today, but they have not had a chance yet to meet with their groups and plan out division of labor.

The first part of this project is due Friday the 29th.  I need them to research the answer to all questions found on the first page of their packet.  As I said before, class time will be provided for students to work with their groups and divide this labor. Each student will then create a document that contains the answers to ALL questions found in the front of their MUN packet. I am not requesting that students use full sentences or proper grammar here.  This document is for their own benefit – so note format (bullet points, incomplete sentences, etc.) is fine AS LONG AS THE CHILD CAN UNDERSTAND IT.

I am aware that the first deadline is only a week away – as complete sentences, etc. are not necessary and the child will be provided in class time and support to complete this assignment, I believe it is possible for the entire class to be successful.  It is ESSENTIAL to the process for this research to be completed. Please check in with your child daily in the coming week to make sure that progress is being made.

Please be aware as you look through the packet with your child that Model UN is for students between 4th and 12th grade.  The packet is written closer to a 10th grade level than a 4th grade level.  We will be going through the packet in depth together, but your help will be vital for the student to be successful as we work our way through this project.

Thank you for your support as your child undertakes this final project.  It will challenge them in ways they haven’t been challenged yet this year, and it might be a painful growth process for some, but I know my class will rise beautifully to the challenge.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

This Week

Hello all!

Looking forward to getting back into the week.

Please remember that we have a field trip Wednesday morning.  We are looking for a couple more chaperones/drivers for that trip.  If you are able to drive please follow this link to sign up: https://www.trackitforward.com/site/389525/event/465331

We will be leaving from North Shore at 8:30 to head to Lantern House.  While there, we will drop off our hats and scarves and take a tour of the facility before heading back to school at 11:30.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

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