Montessori Happenings

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Crime Investigation Dinner

This cycle, in Natural World, our teacher, Ms. Larson, let us participate in a Crime Investigation Dinner. This was basically a simulation to help us understand how investigators solve crimes. In the scenario, students in each class took on the roles of different Italian family members having dinner at Mama Rossa's Restaurant. One member of the family, Pepi Rony, had just disappeared and most of our characters were suspects. 

We started by sitting around a table, as if we were at a real Italian Restaurant. Then we got our scripts and began the simulation. Throughout each of the three rounds, clues were revealed and we made predictions as to who we thought kidnapped Pepi. Eventually the kidnapper was revealed. This was a very fun and exciting activity and is just one of the ways Montessori makes learning fun!

 Aja, Eighth Grade Student

website crime_investigation_dinnerwebsite crime_investigation_student

Kindergarten Trip to Warner's Nursery and Willow Bend

The kindergartners from both classrooms at Sunnyside had the opportunity to visit Warner's Nursery and Willow Bend Environmental Education Center! It was a beautifully sunny day, perfect for learning more about plants and nature. 

We started the day at Warner's Nursery, where we were greeted with a creative sign welcoming us!

Ms. Kathy and Ms. Tree led us on a tour around the nursery, where we learned about the difference between perennials and annuals and about which plants like sun and which like shade. We also got to visit the many fruit trees that are growing at the nursery.

After the tour, the children were given a small pot and were invited to choose seeds to plant in their pot and take home! Ms. Kathy and Ms. Tree taught us a song about planting that we've brought back to the classroom and taught to the preschoolers!

Once everyone had planted their seeds, the children were invited to play in the playhouse on site at Warner's Nursery. Eagerly, the children ran to the playhouse, only to discover that it was locked! Ms. Misti, the store manager, cut the playhouse window screen and bravely climbed through the window to unlock the door! What dedication!

By midday, the children were very hungry and were happy to eat their lunches in the greenhouse among the plants!

After lunch, we said "goodbye" to Warner's Nursery and took a quick busride to Willow Bend. Inside the education center, Ms. Lauren talked with the students about using their five senses to explore their environment.

Then, we all headed out for a hike to put our senses into action! Ms. Lauren and Ms. Lisa encouraged the children to feel several rocks and talked about how the air bubbles in lava rocks make the rock feel rough. The children used their sense of smell to experience Ponderosa Pine trees in a whole new way!

We all walked as quietly as we could, in order to hear the many sounds of nature. The children heard birds visiting a birdhouse high above, the wind rustling through the plants and even a runner panting on the Urban Trail as he passed by! Ms. Lauren and Ms. Lisa gave the students paint sticks with many different colors on them. The children were challenged to find something in nature that matched their stick! It was fun to realize just how many shades of colors exist when you really stop to look!

In the gardens near the Education Center, our guides talked about how we use plants for beauty, medicine and even eating. The children were encourged to choose a leaf off of a rosemary plant and taste the somewhat bitter herb. Every student was curious enough to try and many enjoyed the taste....

...while some did not!

What a great day to spend outdoors, learning more about plants and nature! Thank you to Misti, Kathy and Tree at Warner's Nursery and Lauren and Lisa at Willow Bend for making our day so special!


Can you didgeridoo!?

As our semester-long culture study on Australia was coming to a close, we were very fortunate to have a special visitor in our classroom! Ms. Nicole, the mom of one of our students, has visited Australia and has her very own didgeridoo! She had been practicing her circular breathing and was brave enough to perform for our classes!

Ms. Nicole brought some photos of many of the elaborately decorated didgeridoos she saw during her trip to Australia. 

The students were able to accurately answer what the didgeridoo is made of: wood from the eucalyptus tree! The children were able to look closely at the beautiful designs painted on the didgeridoo and could feel the smoothness of the wood. Ms. Nicole took a deep breath and blew hard into the didgeridoo. The long, low buzzing sound made some of the children giggle, as it's quite unusual! Ms. Nicole did a wonderful job, giving the students a first-hand experience of traditional Australian music!

Thank you, Ms. Nicole, for sharing your knowledge of didgeridoos with our classes!



One Man's Trash...


On Tuesday, April 9th, the Montessori Students participated in a bartering simulation organized by social studies teacher Stefan Vest. In the simulation students were allowed to bring in items they no longer used or needed and trade them with other students and teachers. The school was arranged like an old time flea market. The students were only allowed to trade goods or services, with no exchange of money. This got really hectic. There were items that everyone wanted, so the value would go way up.

Also, if a student wanted to acquire an item and the seller wasn’t interested in their item for trade, they would have to obtain a different item first.  Then they would go back to the original seller and see if they wanted to trade for the new item. This is what most of the students were doing during the simulation.

One lesson that this simulation taught was that if you are very persuasive, you can achieve a lot in batering. For example, Mr. Vest stared out with ordinary junk and ended up with quality items. Overall, this was a very fun learning experience for the students of the Montessori Middle School.

Cypress, Eighth Grade Student





Serenaded by Strings

Violinist with students

Our Very Own Violin Concert!

Westside students in Ms. Leah and Ms. Meghan's class were treated to a special musical demonstration on Monday afternoon. A fellow classmate performed on the violin and wowed his audience with such songs as the “Kangaroo Song” and “Lightly Row”, a folk song.

He demonstrated how the violin is played with a bow and taught the community about its various parts. It was interesting to learn about the construction of this beautiful instrument and exciting when his classmates learned how to pluck the violin's string. After an encore the children gave a standing ovation and practiced courteous “Bravos”. It was a fun time for all!


Back-To-School Night in Back Classroom

Children from the Back Classroom were eager to share lessons they are learning with their parents at Back-To-School Night on Thursday, April 18. Thank you to all of the visiting families who made this event a success! Take a look at some of the busy workers.


Back-To-School Night

Thank you to all of the parents, grandparents, siblings and friends who attended our Back-To-School Night on Wednesday, April 10! The children were very eager to share the lessons they've been practicing and we had a great turn-out! We hope everyone was impressed by all the work that was presented!

Here are some memories from the night from Ms. Cindy's, Ms.Vikki's and Ms. Bethany's classes:


Thanks again for making it such a successful night!

Shake! Shake! Shake!

The primary classes continued their study of nutrition with a cooking project from the dairy group. First, the classes talked about what sorts of items fall into the dairy category -- some of their favorites like cheese, yogurt and milk. The teachers posed a question: "If butter is a dairy product, that means it comes from cows, right? But how is it made?!" The students were amazed the butter-making process was so simple and they enjoyed their fresh butter with a cracker for snack! Here are the directions we followed if you'd like to try it at home!

 1. Pour a pint of heavy cream into a mason jar and close it up tight!

 2. Add a few marbles. We used three.

 3. Shake! Shake! Shake!

That's it! With everyone's participation, the cream turned to butter!


Kindergartners Explore Measurement

Together during kindergarten work cycle the children explored measuring in inches. Ms. Jill and Ms. Leah's classmates paired up with friends and were given a specific length. As a pair the children worked together exploring the classroom for objects that matched their assigned length. Check out the objects they discovered during this measuring activity.


Kindergarten Field Trip to Guardian Medical Transport

Students at Guardian Medical

 The kindergarten children went on a winding adventure while walking to Guardian Medical Transport.  At the station, we learned about the duties and daily lives of the paramedics and focused on 911 education.  Thanks to one of our paramedic parents we had an extra special tour in Guardian’s one of a kind Braun Super Chief Type I Ambulance.  The children learned about emergency response and how paramedics are helpful people that they should not fear.

Each child got on the gurney, which was lifted up and down, got to see the lights of the ambulance up close and learned about the safety clothing and gear each paramedic needs during an emergency response. After the tours in the vehicles were complete we learned about CPR and practiced this life saving skill on a manikin. 

To end this amazing field trip, Paramedic Alicia and Paramedic Dave showed us to their living quarters so we could see where they make their meals between calls and even let us walk through Guardian's dispatch command center where all the local 911 calls are received. Needless to say, many children ended this amazing adventure saying "When I grow up I want to be a paramedic so I can help people!"




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.

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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.

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