Montessori Happenings

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Joy Cone Factory Tour


webste joy_cone

On January 30th our outing for the week was to the Joy Cone Factory.   We piled into parent cars and drove all the way across town over by the airport to get there. When we got there, we went into the conference room to wait for our tour guides. While we were waiting we got to learn about the history of Joy Cone.  They make cones for companies like Dairy Queen, McDonald’s and Safeway.

The tour guide told us that the boy and girl mascots were named Joy and Joey.  If you have younger brothers or sisters, they can enter a coloring contest once a month sponsored by Joy Cone.  Just click on this link: Joy Cone kids page.

Once the tour guides were ready, we all split up into three groups to see the factory. When we entered the actual factory it was very loud. We got to see the ovens where the cones were cooked and the machine that folds or impresses the shape of the cone. Then we got to see where they store all of their flour.  We saw huge silos that hold thousands of pounds of flour. After that we saw how they wrapped the cones and put them in boxes. On the way out we got to taste test all the types of cones. Lastly, we saw where they stored all their cones, waiting to be shipped off. After we finished the tour, we went into the kitchen and got some yummy ice cream as a treat. I personally thought this was an extremely fun trip and I can’t wait for another one like this.

Madeleine, Eighth Grade Student

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Hands Only CPR


website hands_only_cprOn Tuesday, February 26th, we had a paramedic named Isabel and an EMT named Jordan come into our school and teach us about hands only CPR. They brought human upper body mannequins.  They were made for a real life simulation. First, they showed us how to check to see if the person needed CPR or not. You rub their sternum really hard and if they showed it hurt that means they are still okay. Then they showed us the proper way to hold our hands one on top of the other, then how to press down on the body. You have to keep your arms straight because if you bend them you are not giving the force needed to pump. It is good if you hear the ribs “pop”,  that means you are pressing hard enough. Your hands should come off the body completely to ensure blood enters and exits the heart properly. If you just keep pressing and you don’t remove your hands it will never bring blood back into the heart. A sponge is a good example of this, if you keep pushing, water just keeps leaving. But when you remove your hands completely it brings water back into the sponge. They even taught us a song with a beat to keep time when pushing. The song was “Staying Alive”.  You should check out the video at this link American Heart Association HANDS ONLY CPR Video.

 After we were finished with the simulation, Isabel and Jordan took us out to their ambulance. Inside they had all sorts of medical equipment that they would have in an emergency room. In the compartments on the outside of the ambulance they had tools, stretchers, air tanks, and much more equipment that saves lives.

I am glad that Jordan and Isabel came because they helped show us how to save lives and it was really fun.

Austin, Eighth Grade Student

December Community Connections

Community Connections: Switzer Campus

switzer-oneOn Friday I went to the Elementary Montessori School for community service. Ms. Cook was the supervisor of our group. I and two other students went to the upper pod (3rd-6th) to help with P.E. They had a day where they made up their own games for the P.E teacher. I helped in two groups. The first group played parachute switch up. The second group made up arc ball. In this game you have to kick a jelly ball and the other person had to catch it.

Then we switched so everybody got to do everything. So my smaller group went to the front area to help prepare crafts for the lower pod (1st-3rd) craft day. Then I went to read with some of the first graders. They picked out a book, and then they had to read it to me. After that I filled out a form for the teachers.

I think one of the many reasons we help our younger Montessori students is, so that they get used to the feel of this school, especially the new first graders. I know I enjoyed it and I’m sure the other people in my group felt the same way. I feel special inside after a day of community service. It doesn’t seem like community service when you’re doing it with your friends. Community service is really contagious. Especially at the Montessori School of Flagstaff.

Kaylee R., Seventh Grade Student


Community Connections: Salvation Army

Community Connections on December 7th a small group of about 10 students went to the Salvation Army Mission on Humphreys Street.  We organized the donations that were given for the children whose parents could not buy gifts for them. When I saw all the gifts that were given for the children I was amazed. It felt like there were 1000 gifts. I learned that it is not that hard to donate something. It sometimes takes some money but when you think of the good deed you are doing you don’t mind the cost. I found that someone donated a mattress for a family that has no beds.

 I realized how fortunate I am to have presents every year, but some kids are unfortunate and sometimes have no presents. Once all the toys were organized I felt as if I was doing something good for the kids who are going to be able to enjoy these presents. That was one of the community connections we did.

Riya, Seventh Grade Student


Community Connections: Sunnyside PreSchool

sunnyside-oneMy group went with Ms. Larson to Sunnyside PreSchool. We helped the community by cutting out pictures for the kindergarteners to put in their storybooks. We also moved  furniture to prepare for winter and keep if from getting damaged.

It always feels good to give back to the community and to help others when they’re in need. That’s why Montessori students participate in community service.

Ellis, Eighth Grade Student

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.


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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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