Literacy Week Promotion


We are looking for community members to read their favorite books aloud to our students. Come dressed as your profession to promote the idea that everyone reads! On March 1st, police officers, nurses, pilots and customer service representatives, homemakers and more, can share their love of reading with children by signing up at the following link We’ll even supply the books if you have too many favorites to choose from

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 16

Dear parents,

The Christmas Party is on December 20, Tuesday from 10-12.  Please let me know if you can provide a craft.  So far, no one has signed up.  The International Festival is this Monday from 9-11.  Please remember that a healthy snack would be appreciated for our Christmas party (Eggnog is fine! (;)

December 12

Dear parents,

Due to some good feedback I have made a page on the blog with the due dates and expectations for the month of December.  I will do this every month from now on.  It will include all field trip information, due dates for assignments and any other pertinent information that involves the class.  I hope this is helpful so you don’t have to search through past blog posts to find important information.

Your students have decided they want to do a secret Santa exchange this holiday.  They will be getting a name of a student tomorrow, Monday.  This exchange will happen on December 20.  The gift should be simple and no more than $5.  If you would not like to participate in this or are having difficulty with this, please shoot me a quick email and I will make sure your child will have a gift to exchange with their secret Santa.  I know how tight money can be around the holidays.

We will also be having a our festive snack and craft time on the 20th.  We need about 4 crafts.  If you think you could help our class with a craft, could you email me?

Will and Lincoln have snack this week.  Thank you!

I hope your families are healthy and well.  Thank you again for all that you do.

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

November 14

Hello everyone,

The home project for November is a continent/country report.  It really isn’t due until December 19 for the International Festival held at our school.  The students have been given a rubric but this rubric is intended to be done in class with outside class time if desired.  Your responsibility is to help with the presentation of the material for the International Festival.  A display board or other visual aid is required along with any artifacts or food samples from the country if possible. I will be sending out a home-rubric for the display board closer to December.  Right now, the best thing is just to have fun with your student.  Sit down sometimes and explore the country/continent with your student.  Find out what animals, plants and people are there.  It shouldn’t be a to-do list of requirements.  We just want your student to become curious about the rest of the world.

How our class celebrates Thanksgiving is each student is responsible to bring one thing to share for a Thanksgiving lunch held this Friday, November 18. This wejoinin sheet is where to pick what you will bring.  Please feel free to bring what you want.  If someone already chose pie, you can too; there is no sign-up limits.  The expectation is that every family will participate.  Please let me know if this is not possible for you right now, otherwise, we will be looking for your name on the sign-up list.  Your student can bring the food with them to school in the morning.  We have the capacity to keep things warm here at the school.  Thank you so much for all you do to make all the students in the class have great “memory-moments”.

The book of the month is nonfiction.  There is no requirement for a book report or any visual aid.  I do expect the book to be at least 100 pages in length.  They will share the book they read at the end of the month.  Thank you.

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, 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


Ms. Shanan