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montessori monitor

Spring 2011

Summer Camp

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Although spring has just sprung now is the time of year parents start pulling out those calendars and begin putting the summer plans together for their children. Summer can feel like forever to a parent trying to fill the twelve weeks with fun, energetic, yet academic programming. For a child though, summer is never long enough! At Millhopper Montessori School we have developed a tried and true program that offers the best of both worlds! We have entertaining summer programs set in a fun and safe environment offering enrichment at the same time. The camps are open to children ages two through high school. Our Beginner’s camp (ages two through four) is held June 13 – July 15 and is led by Ms. Crystal Sorrow. Ms. Crystal, also the lead teacher during the academic school year, has been teaching our Beginner’s program since 2001. Our Preschool/ Kindergarten camp (ages three and a half to six) is held June 13 – July 22 and is led by Ms. Elizabeth Falls. This is Ms. Elizabeth’s thirteenth year teaching at MMS. Both the Beginners and Preschool/Kindergarten camps focus on the Montessori hands-on curriculum, weekly educational fun themes, arts and crafts, music, playground fun, dress up Thursday’s, and splash Friday’s.

Parent Teacher Association Wine & Cheese Silent Auction 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. Town of Tioga Clubhouse All Millhopper Montessori School Family & Friends are welcome! Tickets for sale in the front office: $30/person •$50/couple Adults Only

The elementary through high school enrichment camps are led by a variety of our elementary/ middle school teachers and are open to all rising first through twelfth grade students. The camps will be held June 13 – July 22. Children have the flexibility to choose from a variety of programming including: Digital Photography, Young Filmmakers, Football, A Bug’s Life, Woodworking, Basketball, Astronomy, Mad Scientist, Club Sports, All the World’s A Zoo, Invention/ Animation, Foot Related Sports, Recycled Arts & Crafts, Drama, Production Crew, Baseball, Aquatics, Teen Improv and Act Well Your Part! Middle school and high school students looking for volunteer credit hours are encouraged to register as a Junior Counselor. These students will be able to choose within which camps they would like to assist. They will participate under the supervision of our lead teachers, while being a positive role models and actively interacting with

the children to promote and encourage personal growth. The cost is reduced for middle school students and is free to high school students. For rising third through eighth grade students who have a strong interest in sports, our Wide World of Sports camp is for you! Each week will focus on a variety of activities and games, skill drills and even crafts relative to sports. Camps include: “Run Like Someone is Chasing You”, “Buzzer Beaters”, “Get a Grip”, “Ms. Sylvia Can I Fling Your Shoe?”, “There’s no Crying in Baseball” and “H₂OH Yea!”, which includes trips to Wild Waters, local springs and a voyage to Aquatica in Orlando. As always, the last two weeks of camp will focus on Drama with each week ending with a theatrical production. The first play will be, Munchkin Meditation: Conflict Resolution in Oz while the second play will be Geology Rocks. Both productions are open to all rising first through sixth grade students. Seventh through twelfth grade students are invited to be a member of the production crew and will be learning stagecraft, costuming, basic technical theater, choreography and directing. New this year is Teen Improv and Act Well Your Part! These camps will be held July 25 – 30th and are half day camps. Teen Improv is open to rising sixth through twelfth grade students only and will be held from 9:00 – 12:30 p.m. In this camp you will study the fundamentals of improvisation through exercises that help to develop strong ensemble and character work. You will develop stage presence as well as patience, self confidence, good communication skills and a respect for other performers and their creativity. Act Well Your Part! is open to ninth through twelfth grade students and will be held from 2:00 – 5:30 p.m. If you love to ham it up this studio is for you! You will immerse yourself in theater games, improv and prepare for one-act melodrama in five pun-filled scenes by Paul Leslie. On Saturday, July 30th the students from both of these camps will perform “A Night at the MMS Improv”. Millhopper Montessori School’s summer camp is open to the entire community. We invite you to come take part in our camp and learn why children love to come to school at MMS. Happy Summer!

STANDARDIZED TESTING Along with the warm weather of spring comes the time for school children to undergo standardized testing. Testing students should serve the purpose of evaluating and improving curriculum as well as learning the practical aspect of taking a test. Typically however, teachers do not get the precise feedback they need to improve the ways they spend classroom time. Often just the opposite occurs and the test leads the curriculum. Large amounts of time are spent on teaching the test which negates what a test was designed to do, which is to measure what children have learned through their observations and hopefully an experiential authentic curriculum. The stakes are very high with regards to test results in the public schools. Children are advanced or retained because of the results. It makes the importance of a year’s worth of learning meaningless when compared to a brief timed performance, in large part on knowledge-based multiple choice questions. Even though various subjects are covered, success all boils down to how well a child reads. Except for the computation and estimation sections of the math portion, everything is lead by reading comprehension. Science and Social Studies as well as word problems all unfold with one’s ability to comprehend what he or she has read. Little, if any, higher level thinking skills are required. The full picture of what students know or what ability an individual student has or hasn’t compiled in his or her years of schooling is not revealed. It is very important to learn the practical aspect of taking a test, therefore, I approach testing as a practical life skill at MMS. Because testing is a part of our society, it is valuable for our students to know how to approach a test without fear and stress. We do not administer the FCAT. We use the ITBS, Iowa test of basic skills, and test once a year from kindergarten through eighth grade We never put pressure on our students. They are not stressed throughout the several half days of testing but I must admit they are always glad to get back to business as usual. Testing students should serve the purpose of evaluating and improving curriculum. Despite the fact that the test scoring process does not allow the precise feedback necessary for evaluating the curriculum, it does allow for an understanding of what skill format is being used on the test to evaluate the students. For example, the spelling section gives the students a choice of one correctly spelled word mixed with those incorrectly spelled. This is an editing skill. It is important for students to learn this skill in life and vital in order to be successful with this test section. Being successful with the multiple choice format is also an important skill such as how to eliminate and narrow down a correct answer. It is important to keep in perspective that standardized tests are only one form of evaluating our students. On the plus side, it has the advantage of scoring large groups providing percentiles and norms. It is equally important to remember that teaching, learning, and evaluating do not become authentic if schools teach the test or model a curriculum around the questions. Ask any teacher.

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Beginners Ms. Crystal Sorrow, Ms. Elizabeth Sheehan & Ms. Lonnie Phillips

March is always Gardening month in the Beginner’s Class. Our class is lucky enough to have a wonderful garden area adjacent to the building. The gardening unit is a great sensorial unit for the students. Each student plants 6 flowers, which he/she cares for during March and April. Each student also brings herbs to plant, which the class uses as a whole. The students mulch the garden, water the flowers, release ladybird beetles (to act as natural defenders), have an earthworm check, and arrange cuttings in the classroom during the unit study. Below are pictures from our Planting Day, a favorite day of the year!


Ms. Renee Brohamer & Ms. Lily Tajalli Since our return from the winter holidays we have been very busy and time is flying by. We began the New Year with our science unit on simple machines. The children built and explored many examples of these useful tools. The children experimented with wheels and axles, gears, pulleys, incline planes, screws, levers, and wedges. They built model sets of each type to gain first hand experience of how they work and how they make every day jobs easier. The children were also introduced to the terms gravity, force, effort, load, push and pull. In art the children explored paintings by some of the masters like Renoir, Monet and Degas. We also looked at some of the work done by Georges Seurat and everyone tried their own hand at the technique of Pointillism. We have been combining our weekly cooking projects with our social studies. We explored all the continents of the world and we had a wonderful time making a dish to represent each continent. We cooked and sampled food from all over the globe. We made and ate “Columbian Arepas” representing South America. We had “Lentil Rice” to represent Asia, This was a dish Ms. Lily learned to make while living in Iran. We had “Pasta with Red Sauce” to represent Italy and Europe, Moroccan “Vegetarian Couscous” for Africa, and “Anzac Biscuits” for Australia. This month we are learning about the Caribbean, we made and ate “Bahamian Coconut Candy”, fried Grouper, “Jamaican Banana Bread” and Caribbean Lobster. Yum, yum, learning about the world is delicious!

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Preschool Ms. Christina Eckstein & Ms. Martha Dolan

Invention Convention 2011 During the month of February, the children explored many inventors and their inventions. At the conclusion of the unit, the students were encouraged to create their own inventions or to research an inventor of their choice. The children were inspired to invent something that would solve a problem, something that would make life easier, or something fun or something made from recycled materials. It was amazing to see the thought process and creativity behind their inventions. Check out these incredible inventors! Above: Andrew created a dolphin parachute.

Left: Charlotte invented a special lawn cart with sticks in the front of it. The sticks pick up leaves and put them in the cart. The cart was made out of clay and pennies were used for wheels. Below: The Lap Harness by Ori - “ If you sit on daddy’s lap and you almost fall down, the harness helps bring you back up to sitting on daddy’s lap, because daddy can pull the handle. I thought about this idea when I was sitting on daddy’s lap. I was swinging and almost fell.”

*Students not pictured who also participated were Evelyn, who researched the stethoscope, and Sofia, who made a house out of raisin boxes.

Left: After researching the traffic light, Emya created an edible one out of graham crackers and M&Ms.

Below: Jackson invented a homemade nightlight. Above: The car craft carrier, invented by Jeremy. Below: Seoyon invented a bicycle with wings so she can fly.

Left: Flynn researched the Kisii Filter Bucket Right: Molly researched the razor scooter invented by Gino Tsai in 1999.


Ms. Elizabeth Falls & Ms. Widline Senecharles January and February found us EXTREMELY busy in the classroom! In January, we celebrated the 100th day of school! We started this special day with our traditional 100th day breakfast! After eating this nutritious breakfast, the children worked on the number 100 all day (i.e., 100 board work, writing to 100, creating a 100 bead necklace, counting by tens, etc.!). The children also brought in their collection of 100 items and presented them to the class. Everyone enjoyed looking at all the different collections! It hardly seems that we have been in school for that many days! On February 12th, we had our final Parent Night of the 2010-2011 school year. The children were especially excited about this Parent Night because we presented work that they are presently working on in a different format than in the past. As well as the students demonstrating new work since our last Parent Night, I presented small group lessons on math and reading. I also explained our Line Time activities and large group lessons (including how our daily Journal writing is presented - importance of and how it is tied into our current curriculum). This format represents a better idea of what a more typical morning work cycle looks like in our classroom. We had 100% participation and the feedback on this format was very positive! Thank you all for making our last Parent Night so special! After our Parent Night, we were able to relax a little bit by celebrat-

ing Valentine's Day on February 14th. The children exchanged valentines with their classmates and made very special plaster heart molds of their hand for their parents! During the week of February 21st, we celebrated Presidents' Day. This year the children were very interested in learning about George Washington and especially Abraham Lincoln. We read about what life was like during George Washington’s time. Mr. Chris from the Hogtown Reptile Shop made a visit to our classroom on Thursday, March 10th to show us some creatures from South America. The children have thoroughly enjoyed our Unit Study of South America. They are looking forward to seeing some of the animals that we have been studying in person! Additional Classroom Activities Since Our Last Newsletter: - Dynamic (concept of exchanging) Addition, Subtraction and Multiplication - Use of the Montessori Stamp Game (more abstract exchanging, +, -, x, á) - Telling Time and Money Value Concepts - Math Word Problems - Beginning Sentence Analysis; Nouns, Verbs and Prepositions - The Art of Story Writing - Reading Comprehension Skills - Sight Word Activities

- Dot, Dot, Dash – Advance Code Phonogram Activities - Reading Buddies with Ms. Crystal's Class: This experience is enjoyed by everyone - from listening to stories to encouraging fluency and confidence in the new emergent readers! - Science Buddies with Mr. Richard’s 2nd - 3rd Grade Class: Every Thursday afternoon we have Science Buddies with students from Mr. Richard’s class. The children have enjoyed doing experiments that have focused on such topics as jet propulsion, making carbon dioxide, gravity, liquid density and simple machines. In March and April our unit studies will focus on the Solar System, Spring Time and Birds. Science: Each year the students work on and present to the class a mini research project. This is the beginning of learning basic research skills and helps the children to become more comfortable with "public speaking". This year's research focused on animals from South America. The children did a beautiful job on their projects! A big “THANK YOU” goes out to the parents for helping your child with their project! We learned so much from all the information the children presented to the class. The children also learned how important it is to Save the Rain Forest; for it provides many products such as rubber and spices as well as provides a home for all the animals! We are going to miss our South America Unit Study but the children are excited to move on to learning about the Solar System!

Story Time: During our South America unit study we read two chapter books: Amazon Fever andAfternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House Series). During Presidents’ Week, we read the Magic Tree House Book, Civil War. In addition to learning what the Civil War was about, the children enjoyed learning about the nurse, Clara Barton. We are currently reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Developmental Arts: Projects included: plaster hand prints, push-pinning of South America, sun prints, watercolors (The Dot) and sponge painting. Birthdays Celebrated: Ivo, Sienna, Avery, Karson, Jordan, Mia, Madalynn and Chase. Happy Birthday to all of you! Upcoming Special Events: Kindergarten Mid-Year Testing (IOWA testing) will begin on March 14th. Spring Egg Hunt Annual Sewing Project Annual End-of-the-Year Class Play

We want to wish everyone a Happy Spring Break! Love, Ms. Elizabeth and Ms. Widline


Ms. Jackie Johnson & Ms. Kathleen Bastien The children returned from Winter Break at peace and eager to learn. Over the last couple of months they have shown incredible growth with their focus and interest and an equally impressive growth in academic and motor skills. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, there is a pervasive satisfaction and joy accompanying their many activities.

Parts of an egg

Cockatiel Raising

Cockatiel Visit

In January, as part of our solar panel dedication, we did a small unit study on energy, focusing on solar energy. We did a number of experiments showing how hot air and water rises, and cold air and water sinks. We also discovered the effects of color on light absorption and temperature. In February, our class began an in-depth, two month unit on birds. The focus of our early lessons was on the general properties of birds such as having a back bone, having two wings, etc. We also talked about a bird’s life cycle and explored the internal parts of an egg (see photos). We learned the differences between altricial birds (nest leavers) and precocial birds (nest lodgers), nest and egg variation with different species, and the importance of camouflage. We have actual eggs from different birds for the children to study and identify. The children are learning how to identify many different species, and for some species, identify them by sound alone. Variation and adaptation in birds was illustrated by focusing on bird feet and beak variation. Feet type vary as a consequence of how those feet are used, specifically whether the bird is primarily a percher, grasper, climber, swimmer, wader or scratcher. Beaks also vary as a consequence of how they are used which was demonstrated with some inter-

active hands-on experiments. The children were presented with a number of tools which mimicked different types of beaks as well as a variety of food stuffs and were asked to try them out (see photos). The children learned that beaks, like tools, optimally function to find and extract some types of foods over others. We are doing a lot of fun activities with the children for this unit: bird watching, bird identification wheels, and bird related crafts. We also did feather study looking at types of feathers (e.g., flight, downy), feather parts (e.g., blade, rachis), and coloration, with children bringing home their very own peacock feather. Several cockatiels visited our classroom courtesy of Miriam and Sergio Cartagena who raise these beautiful birds. In March, we will have a more focused study on several types of birds such as song birds, Florida’s beautiful water birds, and birds of prey, especially owls. Our owl focus will include learning about the food chain, and owl pellet dissection (each child will have their own food pellet to dissect and will bring home the bones of their little prey). We also will have had Ms. Tina Brennan visit to share live specimens including owls, kites and hawks. The children have been doing beautiful art inspired by well known artists using a variety of media. They also have been doing process art, which is art that focuses on the process over the product. This helps children break boundaries about what constitutes art and just enjoy the process of working with their hands.

Cockatiel Delight!

Bird Beak Study

Feather Study

For literature we read Charlotte’s Web and ended it with popcorn and a movie. Endless fun!

Bird Beak Study

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First & Second Grades Ms. Anita Bender & Ms. Susie Long Spring is near and we are fast approaching some of the children's and parent's favorite events of the year. We celebrate Father's Day a little early with a Field Day so you'll need to put on your shorts and sneakers and get in shape for tug-a-war, balloon toss, relay race and much more! This is a wonderful opportunity to hang out on our beautiful campus with your child. It's a special day designed for dads or moms to come to school and have some outdoor fun and games with your child and his or her classmates. The first through the eighth grade participates in this fun event on Friday, March 18 th. Our Mother's Tea is another favorite event. Mark your calendars for a memorable afternoon event on May 5th. More details to come later about our Tea and Talent event. Recently, our class has been studying the Solar System. The children have created beautiful and very creative projects. Each child will be presenting his or her project to the entire class. This gives the child presentation skills practice. They are the experts after an in depth study and research. A visual aide is used to get the presentation across to the audience. The audience also gets participation points for asking good questions and taking good notes. This way the child presenter gets the full attention they deserve. We encourage a question and answer session and then the children are instructed to look up questions they could not answer during the presentation. At the end of the presentations everyone is an expert and it is truly amazing how much each child learns in the process. Our Space Projects will remain displayed in the classroom until Student Showcase. We encourage everyone to attend this event to see all of the great projects not only our class is working on but the wonderful things our Elementary and Middle School are accomplishing. Student Showcase is designed for parents and the community to walk through our elementary and middle school to see what is ahead in the coming years. Last month, we had a wonderful presentation by conservation biologists who work with fruit bats. The Pooler family do-

nated this wonderful event. The Lubee Bat Conservancy came into our classroom with two fruit bats for observing. These bats were eating and socializing as the children learned from the wonderful presenters. Through this event our class has adopted a bat named Venus. Check out the website, Our “Quilt of the Year� is getting started. Every year our class creates a one-of-a-kind quilt for our class auction. We

use the funds for purchasing new classroom materials, games and fun new works for the children. Every child in the class will make a quilt square and then hand-embroidery his or her name. It is always extraordinary when we put all of the squares together. We will display the quilt in the classroom when it is complete.

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Second & Third Grades Mr. Richard Aslanian & Ms. Suzi Rumsey

Welcome to the second & third grades class. It’s been busy around our classroom since returning from Winter Break. Our Science studies have been concentrated on Earth science. We had a great time researching, constructing and exploding volcanoes. We learned the different parts of a volcano and the types. Thanks to Ms. Sylvia for including our lessons in technology class and using Brain Pop to further our understanding. Next we took a close look at mountains, mapped the mountain ranges of the world and learned about the zones of a mountain. Did you know that the smallest mountain in the world is less than 200 feet tall? Our study of Earth will continue through the next term when we go under the oceans. We also were introduced to the Montessori Great Lesson on the Timeline of Life. This is one of the fundamental 5 great lessons in Montessori education that visually demonstrates to the students the rise of life on Earth and the different eras, ages and periods throughout time. It is quite amazing to see how small the existence of humans is when compared to ancient life. The second grade students have been enjoying the experience of visiting Ms. Elizabeth Falls’ classroom on Thursday afternoon. The students work together with the younger children as reading and science buddies. We thank Ms. Elizabeth and Ms. Widline for providing this opportunity to our class. They will come away with great memories and a stronger sense of leadership. The third grade students have been learning about government and the Bill of Rights. We were surprised to see how difficult it actually is for a bill to become a law. Do you know how many representatives there are in Congress? Some of our studies have also been focused on learning about the people and contributions during Black History Month and Women’s History Month. In Great Books the students have been focusing on identifying Literary Elements in stories. So far we have worked on plot and setting and will continue to work on characters and theme through March. We have had some funny and creative stories by the students.

Fourth & Fifth Grades Ms. Christina Miller, Ms. Susan Salvatore, Ms. Erin Sorel & Ms. Martha Horter In US History with Ms. Erin, fifth graders participated in a simulation of the American Revolution. Each student took the role of either patriot, loyalist, or undecided citizen, and chose a job such as lawyer, tax collector, indentured servant or merchant. These “colonists” had to face various choices as they participated in events of the Revolutionary War. In February, we learned about the US Constitution by comparing it with a 3-legged stool with its 3 branches making it more stable and lasting than the Articles of Confederation. Students then looked at the Bill of Rights, and created living scenes or tableau vivants using props and poses, which they presented to the class to help them remember each amendment. Fourth graders in Florida History have been working on their Florida Geography project. Students have been making and comparing maps showing a variety of information about the geography of our state. Each student is reaching a native animal of Florida which will also be presented with their project. Students have also been learning about the Civil War and Reconstruction period and how this affected life in our state. Fourth graders also enjoyed presenting their play about Ponce de Leon’s discovery of Florida for Spain to the younger grades. Fourth and fifth graders in Science class with Ms. Nia have completed their module on Mixtures and Solutions and did a great job on the end-of-module test. Students have now begun a new module about landforms. Students will be looking at ways to represent the features of the Earth’s surface at smaller scales, starting by creating desktop models of their schoolyard. They will be practicing using symbols to represent landforms, structures and other features of an area. The 4th/5th Literature and Composition class has been busy reading the novel, A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith. This book takes the readers on a journey back in time to pioneer Florida of the late 1800’s. We have learned what it was like to live in Florida during this time period including the food, clothing, jobs, hardships, opportunities and loses. Our favorite activity has been our Florida Cracker meal. Each student researched a recipe that would have been common in the 1800’s. The students wrote out the recipe, including an explanation of where they would have procured the ingredients. Many of the students chose to make the food items and brought them to class. We all enjoyed the delicious feast. Who knew that corn pone could be so tasty!? As a culminating activity to this book, we will be visiting Dudley Farm in early April. In addition, we have enjoyed learning to use the Acivexpression response devices in conjunction with our Promethean boards. These hand-held devices allow the students to input their thoughts and responses by way of text, numbers, multiple choice answers, true/false questions, sort lists and gauge how much students agree or disagree with a statement. These responses can then be displayed on the Promethean board for further discussion. Here is a picture of the device.

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Middle School Ms. Sherilyn Farris & Ms. Susan Hansen Middle School Internships

The seventh and eighth graders at Millhopper Montessori Middle School spent March 7th-11th interning in various classroom settings and in the business community. Internships offer the students the experience of working in a setting that requires them to put to use the skills and knowledge they have been acquiring in the classroom. My three main goals for the students are the following: To internalize knowledge When students take information they know and apply it in a new situation, learning becomes meaningful and purposeful To refine communication skills Learning to choose the appropriate behavior and language according to the situation is important in a wide variety of experiences. To enhance self-esteem Opportunities to contribute to society encourage students to give as well as receive from the community. Some of the eight grade internship sites include areas of medicine, law and genetic research. Internships have been wonderful opportunities for the middle school students to use the skills and knowledge they have acquired in the classroom and apply it in meaningful ways.

The MMS M3S Spelling Bee The crowd was hushed, the tension was high, and everyone did a great job! Congratulations to the winners of the first round of the Middle School Spelling Bee: 6th grade - Tiffany, 7th grade - Ashley P., and 8th grade - Courtney. Both Courtney and the fifth grade spelling bee winner, Gibson, represented MMS at the Alachua County Spelling Bee that was held on January 27th. Congratulations to all the students in fourth through eighth grades for taking part in the MMS spelling bee!!!

M3S Roxx the Bard We have hearkened back to days of yore during Literature. Both the sixth graders and the seventh and eighth graders studied William Shakespeare in a variety of different ways. Sixth graders read a historical fiction novel, The Shakespeare Stealer and read a abbreviated versions of Hamlet, Macbeth, and Julius Ceasar. Seventh and eighth graders were introduced to the great history Henry V. Culminating the Shakespeare Unit was the 4th Annual Shakespeare Festival at the Thomas Center. The middle school students presented their performance to a packed house of MMS students, faculty and parents. Thank you to Ms. Sylvia for all of her hard work rehearsing and guiding the students as they prepared for the performance. Also, thank you to Ms. Jeanne-Marie for all of her behind-the-scene help with costumes, props, etc. And “props� to Mr. Bill Hrivnak for his jestering skills!

M3S Attends the Alachua County Regional Science Fair Congratulations to Cristina de la Puerta & Alyssa Hanley, Ryan Dorsey, Ashley Frye and Jacqueline Kessler middle school representatives at the Alachua Country Regional Science Fair held on Friday, January 28th. Jacqueline Kessler won 1st place in the Behavioral & Social Science middle school division. Jacqueline also won the Florida Association of Science Teachers Award for Outstanding Science Research. Ashley Frye won 2nd place in the Medicine & Health middle school division. Both ladies will attend the state science fair in Orlando March 23rd – 25th. Thank you to Carol Fogelman for all her assistance with students’ science fair projects and paperwork, coordination of the MMS science fair and guidance to our attendees at the regional science fair.

All About…ME! The sixth graders have been writing about a very interesting topic – THEMSELVES. They have written in a variety of styles while learning to use their vocabulary words and focus on verb tense and other important writing skills throughout this project. They also compiled all of their work into a commemorative scrapbook with decorative flair.

Newest Addition to the MMS Family We are proud to welcome Christopher Scott Hansen to the MMS Family. He was born on December 26th 2010. Chris weighed 9lbs 13oz and was 20” long. Congratulations to his mom Ms. Susan Hansen, dad - David Hansen and big sister - Ella Hansen, who are all very happy that he has joined their family!

Move Fast & Have Fun! Sumba, Mambo & Salsa, not just a tasty garnish but a fun dance style that can really burn the calories, too. The

class has been trying out the Latin dance -fitness craze called Zumba. Zumba is Spanish slang for to “move fast and have fun”…and that’s what we’re doing! Muchas gracias to Dr. Ana MorosHanley, Jessica Milian and Ms. Sylvia for being such wonderful Zumba instructors. Thank you to Coach Cam for working Zumba into the PE schedule.

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Spanish Ms. Jeanne-Marie Clune-Hrivnak

Muchas Gracias Señora Karina We would like to thank Ms. Karina Newman-Altomare for teaching Spanish to Ms. Anita & Mr. Richard’s classes in January and February and for helping with our sixth grade Native Speaker Class all year long. Señora Juanita was teaching seventh and eighth grade Literature and Languages Arts and helping with the Shakespeare Festival while Ms. Susan Hansen was out on maternity leave. Señora Karina came to our rescue! She did an excellent job of teaching the students about the body, clothing, time, and many other conversational and cultural themes. The students loved her enthusiasm and her creative activities. Thank you so much!

Spanish with Señora Juanita (Ms. Jeanne-Marie) We have covered a variety of themes with accompanying vocabulary and grammar in all of the Spanish classes. The fourth and fifth grade students are currently working on projects to practice those themes, and will display them at the showcase this spring. The variety of projects reflects their diverse talents and interests. Some of the topics chosen were “My dream house”, “My clothing line”, “My sporting goods store”, “My town or city”, “A country landscape” and more.... The M3S students having been working diligently on a multidisciplinary project which requires them to do research in the areas of Spanish, technology, history, geography and culture. They are each creating their own website on a Spanishspeaking country. These will also be ready for your perusal at the showcase. In addition to this endeavor we have been reviewing basic vocabulary and grammar in a number of areas.

Pre-School & Kindergarten

“La Hora”

“Las Comunidades”

“La Tierra”

“Las Herramientas”

Physical Education Coach Cam Parker No one appreciates the return of the good weather like the P.E. teacher! Coach Cam and the students are happy to be back outside on a regular basis after a frigid and rainy return from holiday break kept us indoors during much of the basketball unit. However, the Rope & Rhythm unit that followed more than made up for it. All middle school students were required to develop a routine consisting of jump rope and/or dance. The routines were spectacular in both creativity and technicality. The majority of Ms. Tina’s class also produced routines. Meanwhile Mr. Richard’s class was introduced to Tinikling and Ms. Anita’s class learned the basics of jump roping. All of this culminated in the fourth annual jump rope extravaganza. It was a great competition. Stay tuned for the winners! A Throwing & Catching unit will lead us up to the Presidential Physical Fitness testing. Coach Cam truly thinks our school has a shot at the state award for highest percentage of students receiving Presidential status. Ask your child about what exercises Coach has encouraged him or her to work on to help him or her get excited about fitness! Spending time as a family outside being active is great for all parties involved. Thanks so much for all the support.

5 Points of Life On a beautiful February morning, nearly 40 MMS students gathered on the University of Florida campus to participate in the 5 Points of Life Kid’s Marathon. In conjunction with their running efforts on site at MMS, the students will run a full marathon over the school year. However on this day each student only had to run 1.2 miles, still quite the achievement. Each student was given a t-shirt and will receive a medal at the end of the year to acknowledge their effort and achievement. To top off the day, Millhopper Montessori School won the award for highest percentage of student body participation! MMS was granted a $500 prize for the P.E. department. It was a great acknowledgement of the kids effort and they LOVED getting up on stage and being handed the giant check. Who knows, maybe next year our group can grow to the point where we take down the total participation prize as well. Great job runners and Go Knights!

Sports Leagues Basketball season has come and gone and once again the Knights of MMS fared very well. Led by valiant coaches our teams stormed the gym every week and took on opponents from schools all over town. By the end of the season no school was left without a loss at the hands of the mighty Knights. It was quite amazing to watch the development of our students both individuals and as a team. Nothing beats watching a kindergartener score his or her first basket after weeks of trying. Kudos to all the students and especially the coaches; Jennine Brandt, Deeta & Bobby Adkins and Wayne Meyerson for a great season. Flag football games and girls volley ball games will start in early April, come on out and cheer on those mighty MMS Knights.

The MMS Thespians, Troop 88928, earned an Excellent Rating for their 20 minute ensemble performance of Gumshoe High: A Totally Teen Mystery performed at the National Performing Arts Festival in Disney World. Three thespians: Gwen, Nay and Ashlyn won Outstanding Performance Medals. The National Performing Arts Festival is held every year in New York, Orlando and at a Bahamas Cruise. Rehearsing Poolside! Thespians from all over the world compete in these competitions. This year seven schools and performing arts companies from Georgia, Colorado, Michigan, Wyoming and Virginia were in attendance. It was a team effort preparing The Spotlight Kids for this national award. This rating was earned with the help of Ms. Sherilyn, Mr. Richard and Ms. Amilda and our backstage crew MMS Alumni: Dominick and Laura. They all volunteered countless hours working behind the scenes to help Parents came to support us! the Spotlight Kids shine. Ms. Sherilyn and Mr. Richard helped with various tasks, (too many to name) as well as giving the actors tips to enhance their performance. Ms. Amilda handled all the paperwork and bookkeeping. Mr. Richard, Ms. Sherilyn and Ms. Amilda thanks for always being there!!!!!! The trip would not have been possible without the help of our drivers and chaperons: Ms. Sherilyn, Ms. Amilda, Mr. Richard, Jessica and Ernest Milian and Irma Alvarez. The girls were especially beautiful because of the hair and make-up Our ten minute blocking, before our Posing after our performance in front done by Jessica Milian. performance. of the theater. Thanks to all our parents for rearranging schedules and making sure that their thespian attended rehearsals. Special Thanks to Ms. Jeanne-Marie for her help with snack at so many rehearsals. I am proud and overwhelmed of all the support the Spotlight Kids receives from the PTO, to the teachers, to the staff. IT IS EXCELLENT! Our motto says it best! ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL, TOGETHER THE SPOTLIGHT SHINES BRIGHTER! Our Spotlight glowed thanks to all Awards Ceremony at Planet Hollywood. of you!

Students in first through eighth grade have been reciting the works of Shakespeare. In Ms. Anita’s class students emoted Shakespearian insults and compliments. The drama continued in Mr. Richard and Ms. Tina’s classes as they chose scenes from the Shakespeare “Can Be Fun” Series written by Lois Burdett. This series mimics the Shakespeare’s prose written in iambic pentameter by writing the stories in rhyme. “Viola thought she’d seen a ghost, My brother was lost just off the coast.” - from “Twelfth Night”

Arianna, Brant, Christina, Ty, Marianna and Alex are Montagues and Capulets

“As Hermia awoke from her slumber deep, Titania, the fairy queen wanted to sleep.” - from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Fourth and Fifth graders also created their own short story or poem using some familiar Shakespeare phrases.

I once saw a man. He seemed in a pickle. He would not budge an inch. Probably because he was dead as a doornail. It seemed to be foul play, as he was stabbed with a dagger sharper than a serpents tooth. The man had surely seen better days. - Gibson, fifth grade Matt, Shreya, Anna and Sumin pose after their scene from “Twelfth Night.”

As Luck would have it… thou blinking idiot took my gingerbread. Thou green-eyed monster is sharper than a serpent‟s tooth, without rhyme or reason I said, “ I think my shoe is too small!”I know I will never hold a candle to thou laughing stock. With my own flesh and blood, I yelled, „What the dickens!” and then vanished into thin air. As the man stood on ceremony, he gave me no elbow room for goodness sake! - Becca, fourth grade

Sixth through eighth grade students immersed themselves in a scene from one of Shakespeare’s plays. They studied Continued on next page

Zach and Mary Kai portray Romeo and Juliet

The cultural times, themes and re-wrote a scene and presented at the Thomas Center Spanish Court on Friday, February 11, 2011.

This year the festival was full of foretellings, revenge, banishment, betrayal and victory. In the Middle Schools’ interpretations, Hamlet is portrayed as a wide receiver for GSH (Gainesville State High), acting unpleasant to his girlfriend, Jamie. In Macbeth’s re-write, a familiar tale of good versus evil with a dark lord and three scary holograms will come to life. Meanwhile in Julius Caesar, the tale of the betrayal by Cassius and Brutus is told through a “Glee,” inspired Halloween party as two friends vie for the popular spot of “Queen Bee.” In the historical play, Henry V - two very different scenes are presented, In the first scene aliens take the place of Englishmen and King Henry is Queen Alex on an over caffeinated planet, and the chorus is a “wanna be” alien gangster... YO! In the second Henry V scene, the players modernize the language and tell the Shakespearian tale. The scene depicts King Henry disguising himself as one of his soldiers, and winning the battle of Agincourt. During the second scene the Chorus invites you to imagine powerful monarchies, vast battle fields, and relentless armies.

by: Ms. Sylvia Aslanian Kindergarten through Eighth graders have been learning research skills utilizing safe search engines and the Alachua County Library website located on Millhopper Tech. In Brain Pop, Jr. Kindergarten through Third grade students have enjoyed learning about: George Washington Carver and Harriet Tubman in celebration of African American History. They have also learned about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington for President’s Day. In addition to the above: Kindergarteners looked up Rain Forest animals to help them gather information for a research project assigned in Ms. Elizabeth’s Class. We discussed encyclopedias and reference books, and how it is important to gather information from various sources. To enhance our science curriculum the students have been working in Edmark’s “Sammy’s Science House.” This program teaches early skills in critical thinking in five fascinating

activities. Students build early science skills and practice important scientific processes. Students also expand their science vocabulary as they learn about plants, animals, seasons, and weather. First Graders researched the Solar System utilizing safe search engines and also did a solar system web quest, located on Millhopper Tech. Second Graders and Third Graders have been learning about volcanoes and created their own volcanoes at They also learned some basics of using Microsoft Word.

Fourth and Fifth Graders created a newsletter using MS Publisher 2007 based on their Literature questions. Fourth graders :“Number of Star” by Lois Lowery. Fifth graders: “Seer of Shadows” by Avi Check Millhopper Tech under your students grade level to view the newsletters.

Kindergarten students working on President’s Day Activities

Middle School students are designing a website for a Spanish project using Weebly for Education - campus edition. Weebly for Education Campus Edition allows school administrators to centrally manage all student accounts from within a single, unified interface.

With Ms. Sylvia Aslanian

ActivExpression ActivExpression turns question and answer into query, communicate and check comprehension. Full text-capability enables students to respond in full sentences as well as in numbers, symbols, math equations, true/false, Likert scales and more. Self-Paced Learning allows teachers to assign full quizzes of varying difficulty and gives students the opportunity to register answers at their own pace. Teachers can alter the assignment’s length of time to challenge learners.

Fifth Graders enjoy using the activexpression.

A big thanks to Ms. Martha for taking the webinar to learn how to implement our activxpressions in the classroom. They also work with the Brain Pop series.

Our new document camera has been receiving rave reviews from students and teachers alike. The document camera allows the user to place any document (book, science experiment, project, etc.) under it, and the object will be projected on the Promethean board. For example, as a book is being read to the class, the pages can be displayed on the screen so everyone can see the details of the illustrations. Or, in science, an experiment can be performed under

the document camera so the entire class can see it from anywhere in the classroom. On one occasion our 4th and 5th graders created comics to represent the plot of a story. The art work they created was beautiful, and with the document camera we could present each one so the entire class could enjoy them. Ms. Nia has used the device during several of her science classes to present lessons. We are continually finding more uses for this wonderful device.

Some ways we use


Practice Skills using a mouse in (Mouse Skills) Practice Keyboarding Skills in (Keyboarding) Practice Researching by using safe search engines located in (Research) To help Ms. Liz’s class with their project on Rain Forest animals the students Visit Brain Pop, Jr. each week to view the free movie of the week. Visit the National Audubon Society Website located under (Science) To enhance Ms. Jackie’s study of birds, students in her class learned about bird migration and bird sounds on Brain Pop, then visited the National Audubon Society website.

Second/Third Grade

Practice Researching by using safe search engines located in (Research) Visit Brain Pop, Jr. each week to view the free movie of the week. Practice Keyboarding using Typing Pal (user name and password needed) Check out the Webquest on Presidents.

First Grade

Practice Keyboarding Skills in (Keyboarding) Practice Researching by using safe search engines located in (Research) Visit Brain Pop, Jr. each week to view the free movie of the week. Check out the Solar System Webquest located in (Webquests) Practice Math Skills in (Math) Math Magician is recommended by Ms. Anita Practice Language Skills Learn About Communities Visit Ranger Rick

Fourth/Fifth Grade

Visit Brain Pop each week to view the free movie of the week. Use Glogster to create online posters Practice Keyboarding using Typing Pal (user name and password needed) Visit the Lessons area and see all lessons. Check out the Jeopardy Game used to help study for the Science Test Check out Literature Webquest

M3S Practice Researching by using safe search engines located in (Research) Use Royalty Free Clip Art for projects located in Use Cool Tools offer free online tools for projects Research using Alachua County Website Prepare for High School Practice Keyboarding using Typing Pal (user name and password needed) Use Weebly to create website (username and password required) Use Gaggle to email and store work using online locker (username and password required)

What is Gaggle ? Gaggle has been providing safe online learning tools for the K-12 market since 1998. Their focus is and always has been on student safety, so educators can have the confidence to allow learners to take advantage of current technological tools for communication, collaboration, and productivity. is accessed through

Gaggle's Student Email and Collaboration Tools are a 2010 CODiE Award Finalist in the category of Best Instructional Solution in Other Curriculum Areas.

management of assignments and digital lockers provide the easy storage, sharing and versioning of projects. Shared calendars, message boards, blogs and online chat create collaborative platforms.

Gaggle's Student Email and Collaboration Tools are awarded the 2010 Technology & Learning Award of Excellence for Best Upgraded

Ms. Martha is using with the students showing them the proper way to use the Gaggle system to teach her Literature students how to send an email. The students have emailed her homework assignments.

Gaggle’s Web 2.0 collaboration tools are specifically designed to promote and facilitate collaboration in and out of the classroom. The suite enables anytime access for teachers and students to collaborate on assignments, projects and events. With Gaggle Office students can safely create and share documents, presentations and spreadsheets. Homework Drop Boxes enable the electronic

In Middle School the students blog their Literature assignments and also use the email system to coordinate yearbook assignments and email homework. We a re currently in the process of incorporating more of the Gaggle Apps into our curriculum.

What is Typing Pal ?

Typing Pal Online is a 100% webbased keyboarding tutor tailored to students and teachers needs. Stimulating, captivating, flexible and highly effective, it will boost your students’ written communication skills! Typing Pal is accessed through

What is Weebly for Education ?

Weebly for Education Campus Edition allows school administrators to centrally manage all student accounts from within a single, unified interface. All the student accounts managed under a Campus setup have Weebly's standard and pro features automatically activated. Currently the Middle School students ae creating Spanish Websites in a collobartive project with Technology and Spanish Class. Weebly for Education is accessed through

Friday, June 3, 2011 • 5:30 p.m. PK Yonge Performing Arts Center We are now accepting Playbill Ads and One-liners for our production of, Disney’s The Jungle Book, Kids!

Special thanks to Sponsors: Piesanos Stone Fired Pizza Johnston Photography Solar Impact A 441 Mini Storage The Hrivnak Family The Beecham/Botha Family/ Dr. Botha at North Florida Women’s Physicians Healthy Steps Pediatrics/Dr. Ana Moros-Hanley The Phillips Family Eye Associates of Gainesville Pomodoro Café VIEW OUR BROCHURE ONLINE AT WWW.MILLHOPPER.COM

You are Cordially Invited Parent Teacher Organization

Wine & Cheese Silent Auction

Saturday, May 21, 2011 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. Town of Tioga Clubhouse All Millhopper Montessori School Family & Friends are welcome! Tickets for sale in the front office: $30/person •$50/couple

Adults Only

Father’s Field Day

Calendar April 2011 Tuesday, April 5

Elementary/Middle School Student Showcase – 6:00 PM

Wednesday, April 6

Drama Club Studio Meeting 3:45-5:45 PM

Thursday, April 7

Fourth & Fifth Grade Visits Dudley Farm. Leave MMS at 9:00 AM – Returning at 1:30 PM

Friday, April 8

MMS Relay for Life at the school

Friday, April 8

Drama Club Studio Meeting 3:45-5:45 PM

Saturday, April 9

Drama Club Studio Meeting 1:00-4:00 PM

Monday, April 11

First through Eighth Grade Report Cards mailed

Monday, April 11Thursday, April 14

Presidential Physical Fitness Testing

Tuesday, April 12

Teacher Work Afternoon – 3:30-5:30

Thursday, April 14

Ms. Crystal Sorrow’s Parent Appreciation Picnic 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Friday, April 15

Drama Club Studio Meeting/Relay for Life 3:45-7:30 PM

Monday, April 11

Vocal Ensemble Rehearsal 3:30-4:30

Wednesday, April 13-

5th Grade goes to Camp Crystal

Friday, April 15

Spotlight Singers Vocal Ensemble/Theatrical Choir Performs at the Relay for Life Time: TBA

Friday, April 15 – Saturday, April 16

Relay for Life Event at Santa Fe College

Monday, April 18

Vocal Ensemble Rehearsal 3:30-5:00 PM

Tuesday, April 19

Vocal Ensemble Rehearsal 3:30-5:00 PM

Wednesday, April 20

Vocal Ensemble Performances in the Big Room: Performance for Early Childhood – 9:30 AM Performance for 1st-8th Grade – 10:30 AM Evening Performance – 6:30 PM

Thursday, April 21

Ms. Crystal Sorrow’s Class Egg Hunt - 11:30 – 12:15

Friday, April 22

Drama Club Studio Meeting 3:45-5:45 PM

Friday, April 22

Ms. Jackie Johnson’s Class Egg Hunt - 9:00-9:45

Friday, April 22

Ms. Elizabeth Falls’ Class Egg Hunt – 10:00-10:45

Friday, April 22

Ms. Renee Brohamer’s Class Egg Hunt – 1:00-1:45

Friday, April 22

Ms. Christina Eckstein’s Class Egg Hunt – 1:45-2:30

Monday, April 25 Friday, April 29

First Grade through Middle School ITBS Testing

Friday, April 29

Drama Club Studio Fun Day 3:45-5:45 PM

MMS Montessori Monitor, Spring 2011  
MMS Montessori Monitor, Spring 2011  

MMS Montessori Monitor, Spring 2011