Montessori Happenings

Welcome to the Montessori School of Flagstaff School Blog. To filter by campus, use the links on the sidebar (desktop) or below (mobile). Want to check out a campus? Contact us to schedule a school tour.

Lava Tubes

 website photo_lava_tube_2

On November 30th, a group of about 14 students set off to the Lava Tubes.  I, being a Wisconsin girl, have rarely experienced anything so spectacular. It was unreal, the cave yawned above you and if you looked close enough, you could barely see the start of stalactites. I have to admit the climb down was a bit challenging for me, because I had to hold my flashlight.

website photo_lava_tubeOnce actually down into the cave though, my mind was blown. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was gigantic! As my group and I continued on, we came to a fork in the road. My group, being the adventurous kind, took the more challenging route, for the two tunnels met up after a hundred or so feet. It was a tight squeeze, but worth it. Once the two groups had met up again in the tunnel, I spotted something white and fuzzy on the ground. We had no idea what it was. All we could gather was that there were sunflower shells scattered near it. Perhaps the fungi had grown off of it?

We continued on our journey and once everyone was in one place we tested to see how dark it would be if everyone turned off their flashlights. Of course, it was pitch black and if I waved my hand inches from my face, I couldn’t see it. We all were cracking jokes about this being where Gollum lived, for we had just finished reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Once in the very back and end of the cave, as we called it; Gollum’s cave, we again turned off the lights and told riddles in the dark.  There were a couple of jokes and stories thrown in there too. The hike back seemed much shorter, than the hike there, for we were all in a hurry to get back and eat lunch.

The cave had been truly amazing, and I would definitely recommend it to others. I learned that truly fungi can grow in almost all places. Also I learned that what our world can create is truly amazing, and lastly that although caves might be a bit freaky, they are truly one of the most astonishing things I have ever seen. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, a word for the future: bring lots of flashlights and dress really warm.

Sophie, Eighth Grade Student

November Community Connections

Sunnyside PreSchool Community Service Project

sunnysideOn  community connection Friday, November 2nd, a group of students from the Montessori Middle School went to the Montessori Sunnyside Pre-School. There was a lot of work to be done there. We went through piles and piles of clothing making sure that all the children had an extra pair of socks, undies, a long sleeve shirt, and warm pants. Only about six students had all the clothing.  If they had too much clothing or were missing something we had to staple a note to the bag of clothing  saying that they needed to bring some things home or they needed to bring home one of the clothing items.

micah sweepingWhile we were sorting through clothing the other students were sweeping the leaves off the playgrounds. There were a lot of leaves and they did a very good job of making it look nice.  Speaking of the playground, once the little people were outside it was hectic. I don't know how many time I heard "don't climb the  outside of the structures!".  The teachers worked hard to keep the students safe.

We also cut out pictures from National Geographic magazines. They used these pictures and glued them on paper and the children wrote a story about the picture.

The overall experience was very cool. It felt good to do something for the community that actually had an impact. And that place did need some help. Everybody at the Pre-School greatly appreciated our work. That is what we did for community connections Friday.

---Katie, Seventh Grade Student

 Cedar Closet Thrift Store Community Service Project

The following is an excerpt from a letter the students received from Suzanne Golub,  Cedar Closet Manager regarding their November 2nd Community Connection outing:

I had a very hard time keeping ahead of you, and in the end, ran out of jobs. I am accustomed to working with older volunteers who share your enthusiasm, but lack your energy.  Thank you for hanging, steaming, and getting clothing out onto the sales floor, for cleaning glasses, carrying boxes, sorting out ski boots, and putting together Christmas trees.  

I can't begin to tell you just how much your labors are appreciated. We hope that you will return to us on one of your future community service days.......

 Salvation Army Thrift Store Community Service Project

salvation army


On the second of November, I went over to the Salvation Army, and participated in community service with my school. I enjoyed the experience because I was able to learn some things about the business and socialize with friends. When I was at the store I tested lights so they could be sold and used for the Holidays. After we were done with the lights, we went on to price tagging the other products. Price tagging the merchandise was fun. I learned that in order to have a successful business, you must have devoted and nice workers.

Sean, Eighth Grade Student

When the students returned to the Middle School, Ms. Larson led a discussion on why we perform community service and  how it makes each of the students feel.  They also brainstormed possibilities for future trips.  The students expressed why certain community service projects have special meaning to them. 

Cycle I Immersion at Dead Horse Ranch State Park

What a terrific time the students had on their first immersion trip!

relaxing at the organic farm

The first day was spent at Willowbrook Organic Farm which was both productive and fun.  The students sorted garlic, prepared planting beds for winter, and harvested watermelon.  There was an old fashioned tree swing that everyone took turns on. The picnic lunch under the shade trees was a great end to their time at the farm. The photo to the right is the group in a huge belly laughing chain.





 Group Photo & TuzigootAfter the farm, it was off to Tuzigoot National Park.   At the park, the students split into two groups.  One group explored the visitor's center that is filled with pottery and original artifacts.  The students viewed displays on how the ancient tribes traded with southern and northern tribes. The other group went on a ranger led tour of the ruins.  One of the student highlights was finding a walking stick insect on a tree at the park.  The photo to the left is a group at the top of the ruins on the ranger led hike. 

Next the group traveled a short distance to Dead Horse Ranch State Park and began setting up their home away from home.  They were able to take a hike on the first night by the river and do some exploring.  Tents were set up and a delicious dinner was prepared.  A football game was part of the first night's recreation as well.

Photo of Student FishingTuesday was spent exploring. Some of the discoveries were javelina  tracks, tarantulas, a beautiful sunrise over Tuzigoot ruins (Ms. Larson's favorite) and the lovely cottonwoods. Two students  were lucky anglers, each catching blue gills. To the left is a photo of one of them fishing in the lagoon at the State Park.

In the evening, the students and teachers preformed some hilarious skits.  While Mr. Vest spoke to the audience about his confidence in the student's good behavior, several students pantomimed chaos behind a sheet. Two students performed a  parody of how "over prepared" some students might be for their immersion trips.  One of the girls. sang a song from Aladdin, the musical.  There were many more skits and talents shared as well. 

classroom at ClemenceauOn Wednesday they broke camp and headed to  the Clemenceau Heritage Museum in Cottonwood.  There they viewed a miniature train display, a replica of a one room school house, early 20th century home interiors, and memorabilia from the heyday of mining and ranching in the Verde Valley.  
The students ate lunch on the lush lawn of the museum and played games as well. 

The last stop before returning to school was a hike in Sedona at Midgely Bridge.  The students found a small spot in the creek where they could "slide" and many of them, including Ms. Cook, had to ride back to Flagstaff in wet clothes.  The switch back trail was amazing and it is always great to find a creek to play in. 

Many memories were made on this first immersion of the school year. Now all the students are working hard on their academics to participate in the next one. 


Montessori Philosophy

Montessori PhilosophyThe Montessori Philosophy encourages children to develop their observation skills through activities that use the five senses, kinetic movement, spatial refinement, small and gross motor skill coordination, and concrete knowledge that leads to later abstraction.


Arizona School Tax Credit

Arizona School Tax CreditThe 2015 Arizona School Tax Credit lets your donation go directly to a public school of your choice! A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax liability. Any Arizona taxpayer may contribute, regardless of whether your child is attending school.

Donate Now...

Enrichment Programs

Montessori Schools of Flagstaff Enrichment ProgramsTo meet the needs of working parents, we offer a before- and after-school program designed for children 18 months–12 years. The older children can sign up for the many special classes offered after school such as drama, art classes, and music lessons.

Learn More...