May 8

Hello parents,

I’m happy to hear that the sixth grade students had a wonderful time on their field trip.  I’m glad they are all home.

I wanted to let you know that state testing will resume this week with the math test followed by the science test the following week.

I want to thank the parents and guardians who helped with the Cinco de Mayo party.  We had a real Mexican pinata, plenty of guacamole and homemade horchata, enchiladas and tacos.  I want to mention that the students and parents exclusively got this together; I was absent on Thursday and I came on Friday to a well-prepared party!  Thanks for being so awesome!

We only have a few weeks left of school.  The only assignment students have left that involves parents is the state study.  Each student picked out a state to study and have been working on it in class.  It is due May 15.  They will present their state with whatever creative means they would like.  It doesn’t have to be a poster board but it can be.  They are welcome to bring any music, artifacts, visual aids, food that they would like to present.  It is also not required to bring any of that.  They just need to be able to tell us about their state and have fulfilled the rubric requirements.  This rubric has been done mainly in class but I will send a copy home tomorrow so you can have an idea of what they are suppose to do.  Most students do it in class so I hope it doesn’t impact your home life too much.  Just check in with them to see how they are doing and how you can support them.

On May 18, our class will be joining five other classes for an end-of-the-year store experience.  If your student says they need to get something ready for store, that is what they are talking about.  Please don’t feel like you need to spend any real money on this.  A lot of students draw pictures, bring in any unwanted items from home, make crafts, provide services and so forth.  Help your student come up with a feasible option.

Thanks,

Ms. Shanan

April 10

Hello parents,

I hope you had a wonderful spring break.  This week has some important details you should know.

  1. Your student will be participating in the SAGE writing test on Tuesday, April 11.  It has been a tradition that extra snacks are encouraged and gum is allowed.
  2. We are having our ice skating field trip on Thursday, April 13 at the Weber County Ice Sheet in Ogden, Utah.  We will need drivers to this field trip.  Please email if you can help.  Please also make sure your student has a jacket and long socks; thin gloves are also helpful.  We will be leaving for the field trip at 10:30 a.m. and return at 2:30 p.m.
  3. Mckenzie and Jack have snack this week.
  4. School Picture Day is on April 12.  

Thank you,

Ms. Shanan

March 21, 2017

Hello parents,

Fifth Grade Parents:  The last week of March is the Engineering Fair.  You will need to have your student’s invention and presentation ready by then.

All parents:

Check the snack schedule; it has been updated.

We are starting some new consequences in our room.  You might get a letter from a student if he/she has hurt your child emotionally or physically.  The student has to write an apology letter to you and to the person.  We’ve had an increase in teasing in our classroom. Thanks.

I anticipate a great week.

Ms. Shanan

 

March 6

Dear parents,

This is what this week looks like.

  1.  The school will provide a maturation lesson for fifth graders on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.  Parents are welcome.
  2. We have our first spring field trip on March 14, 2017, next Tuesday.  We are going to Crystal Hot Springs. We will need parents to volunteer to drive.  Email me with your plans or a need for a ride.  One permission slip will be coming home this week for all our spring fieldtrips; it is a new, more convenient system for forms.
  3. The snack sign-up has been updated; please check to see your week.  It has been a bit sparse lately.
  4. Students will be sharing the book they read at home from February this week at line times.  If your student has lagged on this, please help get them a book for March.
  5. Remember to be working on your home projects.  4th-Utah History, 5-Engineering Fair (By the way, this fair is not judged like the science fair.  It will be judged by me with a rubric.) 6- Free Choice.  Just because it is free choice doesn’t mean that they don’t have to do it.  They will be held accountable.  These projects are all due by March 27.  

Thank you to those donating to our gala basket.  Please feel free to bring items to me in the classroom.

Thank you,

Ms. Shanan

February 21

Avo and Baily have snack this week.  Thanks girls!

I’m taking the “Year at a Glance”  off this website; things have changed.  I knew they would.  Montessori is so fluid!  I will make an updated version.

Some students want homework.  If you student comes home with a packet, your student wanted extra work. They are required to turn it in on Friday.  Woo Hoo!

We are working on a field trip to Crystal Hot Springs in March.  A permission form should be coming home by the end of February.  Still working on the details.

Home Projects from the middle of February until the middle of March are as follows:

4-  Utah History Fair Research Paper and Visual Aid

Your student must pick a topic from Utah history and do an in depth study of it.  They must write at least a two-page research paper and have a visual aid to put in our history fair display.  It could be anything from a poster, an artifact, an art project and so forth.  The student must be able to explain the visual aid with at least ten accompanying facts placed on the poster or put on an index card when the student presents their project.

5- Engineering Fair Project

An engineering fair is similar to the science fair.  The student must go through a process of trial and error while making an invention.  If you go on science buddies it will explain the process.  Your student will be learning this week the steps.  Your student will bring home a packet with the details.  You have until the middle of March to get it ready.

6- Home Project of Choice

Your student make pick any topic of interest but it must include a four-page research paper with citations and references.  They must also include a visual aid.  Topics need to be checked by myself before the student goes forward on the project.  Remember, this is a home project to be done with parents or guardians.  This will not be given time at school to do.

January 29

Hello parents,

I hope your fifth graders had a good time at JBiztown; I got good reports.  Let me know any insights you might have for next year.

Sixth graders really need to rally with their science fair projects.  The science fair is February 8.  I will do all I can in class to support this endeavor this next week.

We’ve decided as a class during a class meeting (student-led) that we will not be having a specific genre for our book that is read at home each month.  The student may pick the genre of his/her choice but it must be one that they don’t choose all the time (adventure/fantasy).  I felt good about this as long as the choice each student makes is deliberate and he/she can identify the genre.  It’s time to pick your student’s book for February.  I will be giving them until the end of this week to have chosen a new book.  If they are already in the middle of one, they just need to check in with me and let me know.

I’m planning the field trips for spring.  We usually have one to two a month.  Please let me know if you have any ideas.

This next week should be a productive week.  I will not assign IXL or Utah Compose for homework anymore.  I think the home projects and reading is enough.  If you would like to have your student do it of course feel free. I know it would be beneficial but I will leave it up to your discretion.

I would like to clarify something.  A Montessori classroom is a fluid, living organism that grows, evolves, changes, experiments, returns again and learns.  We all have given each other a lot of room for mistakes.  If it seems that my policies or ways of doing things keeps changing or there is a feeling of inconsistency is because here at the school we are a class-family.  We have class meetings and decide together what is working and not working in our education.  We adapt what we think could be improved and we keep what is working.  What was working last month may not be working this month.  The fundamentals stay the same but you will see new decisions made (by myself and the students together) may alter some of the details.This should liberate you as a parent because you never need worry if you aren’t doing something right or if you’ve missed something.  We will let you know what matters and what doesn’t.  Right now what matters is the Science Fair and getting a book for February.

I would also like to announce that I just started my first week of my master’s program in Advanced Montessori Methods.  I will bring a lot of what I’m learning into the classroom; I’m really excited!

I hope you know how much I want your children to succeed at life and at school.  I will work tirelessly for them.  I appreciate you all.

Ms. Shanan

January 16

Dear parents,

Please don’t worry about IXL or book reports this month.  The month has been too irregular with all the days off and snow days.  We will resume in February.

The only matters of concern are the upcoming Science Fair for sixth graders on February 8 and the 5th grade field trip to JBiztown on January 25.

The sixth graders should have each brought home a science fair packet to help with the process.  Even though this is a home project, we are spending some quality time at school in this endeavor.  It is up to your student, however, to complete the experiment and prepare his/her board at home.  They are also suppose to be keeping a science fair log notebook with all their notes and data collection.  The judge for the science fair will want to see it.  If you are new to this process will you please email me and we can discuss the process further.

The fifth graders each year go to a small “town” that is by the Gateway Mall in Salt Lake City.  It is a fun day learning about how businesses run.  Each class is in charge of two or three businesses.  We are in charge of Chickfila, Salt Lake City School DIstrict and City Hall.  Within the infrastructure of this field trip is that a few parent volunteers come to help the students with their businesses.  The parents get trained the day of the field trip at JBiztown.  This is fundamental to the experience.  We need three parent volunteers to join us.  If you think you can help drive to the field trip and help for the day, will you email me.  A field trip form will be coming home Tuesday, January 17.

Our class has been doing great since after the holidays. The students had an art project inspired by Bob Ross.  They are learning keyboarding down at the computer lab.  They are practicing their writing using Utah Compose.  We have weekly class meeting to discuss agenda items the students bring up in our class.  We learned about Martin Luther King Jr.  and listened to his speech.  This week in botany we are going to repot some of our plants.  If you have any extra pots laying around we could use some.  The students are progressing in math and we are doing an intensive study on measurement this week.

Thank you for all your support with snack.  It has been wonderful.  If you have any concerns please email me..

Ms. Shanan

 

December 5

Hi parents,

How are you?!  I hope you are doing well!  I want to tell you how much I love and appreciate each one of you.  You each work so hard for your family.  I love being with your children each day.  They each bring something special and unique to our class community.  I sincerely thank you for all that you do.

So... I told the students they can do their IXL homework in class if they want and that way they don’t have to bring it home; a lot of students are doing this.  I told them that the only thing they need to worry about is their poster boards for the International Festival.  We will continue to take care of the rubric contents in class.  Please don’t worry about the rubric just make a great board. They can also read their genre book in class too.  December’s genre is folktales.  We have plenty of books in class for them to read.  I hope this lightens your load.  Let me know how I can help.  Your student can print stuff out here at school.  I can provide poster board if you need.  Also don’t worry if they didn’t get last week’s IXL done.  We are all just trying again this week.  The assignments are F.1, G.1, H.1, I.1 and J.1.  Please don’t let your student spent more than twenty-minutes on this.  Even if they haven’t finished just stop.  Your home-time is important!  I cherish and need mine with my own children.

These holiday times are fun.  We will be holding a class-meeting tomorrow on how we want to celebrate the holidays.  Usually, we bring festive-healthy snacks and have some crafts for the children to do.  We usually do some kind of gift exchange between the students but I want to think of a new way to do that without the expense.  Any ideas?  I also would like to do some kind of service.  I’m sure will get some good ideas from the meeting tomorrow and I will let you know.

This Friday is a half-day.

Again, thank you for all that you do.

Happy Holidays,

Ms. Shanan

October 17

Dear parents,

I felt like the fall festival went great; thanks to the parents who volunteered.  I have to tell you though that parent help was at an all time low.  Many of the games had to be shut down due to no parent help school-wide.  I want you to reflect on your own involvement with school activities.  The husband of one volunteer said that it is always the same dozen parents doing all the work.  I think that it would be wise to think about how you are going to involve yourself.  This school is a family and only is successful when everyone helps out. These activities that are planned are in place to benefit each one of our students.  Thank you.

The Waterfall Canyon hike is still on for Tuesday.  If you aren’t certain who is driving your child, you need to work it out soon.  We have a few parents who are willing to drive; please contact our room mom, Ms. Bethany, bethanyshinault@gmail.com. Remember, prepare for the weather and pack a sack lunch.  We meet at the school first to take attendance.  Thank you.

Parent-teacher conferences are this Monday-Wednesday.  School is out at one.  Check the blog for the sign up sheet.  I look forward to meeting with each of you.  We have much to celebrate.

There is no school Thursday or Friday.

If you want to reach me don’t email me through this blog.  It goes to an email that is rarely used.  Please contact me at Szollinger@mariamontessoriacademy.org.

Thanks,

Ms. Shanan

 

 

 

October 10

Dear parents,

Our wonderful room mother, Ms. Bethany, needs our support in relation to the Fall festival.  If you are new to our school, it is essential that parents are involved and help out with these events and field trips.  Our class is in charge of manning one game that is already organized and helping create another. Manning the station happens in half-hour increments.  She sent out a wejoinin sheet for you to sign up.  Please find that email and see where you can help.  I’m expecting each parent to help in some way.  She also needs donation items to make the second game.  It was kind of her to take on being the room mother; let’s support her.

The fourth grade field trip is this week on Wednesday.  Please have your child at school by 8:00 because the bus leaves at 8:15.  Make sure your student packs a sack lunch (no microwaves) and has a light jacket (is prepared for the weather).  Let your child know that there will be no access to the gift shop.

We need to finalize the rides for the students for the field trip on the 18th.  If you drive, you are welcome to hike with us.  You also can come back for your students.  If you think you can drive to this field trip will you email me.

The Fall Festival is this Friday, October 14.  Please come and have a blast!

The book of this month is fantasy.  Please get your student a book ASAP if you haven’t already.  It doesn’t need to be a large book; it could be between 75-150 pages.

Your student also has an ancestor project due by the end of the month.  Try to at least have who your student will be researching and have your student do the background research this week.

Thanks,

Ms. Shanan