December 9

Dear parents,

We had a class meeting and decided to have our winter holiday class party on Monday, December 21th from 9-12. Students were each asked to bring a holiday snack to share.  They also voted on having a secret Santa exchange.  Each student got the name of another random student in the class.  I told them to talk to you about your comfort level and feasibility with this but they will purchase or create a gift for their secret Santa to not exceed 5-10 dollars.  If you have a problem with this, please let me know and I can help your student out with this task.  I know Christmas time can be financially stressful.  Just email me if you have concerns and I will handle it.  The reason it is on Thursday morning is that the International Festival fills up the rest of the week.

  • Tuesday 12/19 Junior High 1-2.30 (Gym)
  • Wednesday 12/20 Upper El 9-11 (Kiva and classrooms)
  • Thursday 12/21 Lower El 1-2.30 (classroom)

I would also like it if some of you could help me plan some fun holiday crafts for our party.  If you think you can prepare one for our class will you please email me.

Thank you so much,

Ms. Shanan

November 6

Hi parents,

There are just a few things to go over.

  1.  Congratulations on the home projects!  They were awesome!  It was a great start to our year.
  2. The next home project will start November 15 and be due December 10.  Each student will be given a country to study.  They will be given a rubric for this; I will post it next week.  There is an international festival for the whole school in December.  They will present their country study at this festival.
  3. Our Thanksgiving feast will be November 17.  I will send out a wejoinin sheet for you to pick what you want to donate for your student’s feast.  Preparations for the feast will start around 11 and students will be eating at noon.  You can just send your donation with your student that day.  More information will come later.
  4. This week I’m doing a few projects and wondered if any of you could bring some of the following:  Oatmeal packets (peace leader’s favorite food) and fruit (botany study).
  5. Your students have a studio Friday activity where they can cook anything they want Friday afternoon, but they have to bring the ingredients.  I’m sure they will be letting you know what.


Ms. Shanan

October 16

Hello parents,

We are halfway through October!  Amazing!  Thank you to those who helped with the field trips.  Waterfall Canyon was cold but fun!

Remember your student has an October home project due in a few weeks. Remember 3 pages of notes, a 2 page paper and a visual aid to present.

Parent conferences are this week.  I see that most of you have signed up.   I look forward to seeing you.  I would like it if you came to the conference having reflected on what you personally want for your student this year.  I would like for us to make a goal together as partners in your child’s education.  Be thinking about what your child could most work on or needs most from school from your perspective.  It doesn’t have to be academic.  It could be emotional, social, physical, time management and/or even creativity.

I’m still working on our fall party.  Please let me know if you think you could help with a craft.


Ms. Shanan


October 9


Dear parents,

We have two field trips this week- a fourth grade field trip on Thursday and a class field trip on Friday.  The first field trip requires no chaperones because students go on a bus.  We do need drivers for the Friday field trip.  If you think you can drive/attend please email me.  Ultimately it is each parent’s responsibility to find his/her child a ride, but we will help facilitate a ride for your student the best we can.  Please meet in the North Shore parking lot while your student comes into the school so we can take attendance.

Our class fall party will be on Monday, October 30th.  It is a potluck and family is welcome.  We will need each student to bring a potluck item to share plus a pumpkin to carve along with pumpkin carving tools.  We will need willing parents to organize crafts for the party.  Please let me or Shanna Graves know your interest.  A field trip form will be coming out to attend this fall party at my family farm in Tremonton, Utah.

Parent teacher conference is October 16-18.   These are half-days.  School will end at 1:00 p.m.  Please sign-up for a conference slot at the link below.


Ms. Shanan


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.


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