MMA Monday Montessori Moments

January 15, 2018

A Message from our Instructional Coach, Nicoletta Householder

Human Rights at MMA, Teaching the Whole Child

Human rights is modeled and taught at MMA through building community by respecting each child, addressing the needs of the whole child, teaching practical life skills, and lessons about grace and courtesy. This approach fosters independence, peace, respect and tolerance.

“The child is capable of developing and giving us tangible proof of the possibility of a better humanity. He has shown us the true process of construction of the human being. We have seen children totally change as they acquire a love for things and as their sense of order, discipline, and self-control develops within them.... The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.” (Education and Peace by Maria Montessori)

When you walk in the doors of MMA, there is a sense of warmth, a sense of community, a sense of peace. As you walk down the mixed aged hallways you see collaborative group activities, peer mentors, older students helping younger students open lockers, tie shoes, and walking youngers to class. You hear laughter and see smiles. You hear positive language. There is a sense of unity that flows down the halls and throughout the school. Unity is felt when individuals respect others and feel respected.

The faculty and staff at MMA are committed to guiding the leaders of tomorrow and establishing a culture of respect: respecting the environment, respecting others and respecting self. We are dedicated to teaching the whole child, which leads to the positive culture and climate of the school. Teaching the whole child is being aware and valuing the human spirit and the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs and growth of the child throughout the different stages of development.

Teaching practical life skills is unique to the Montessori method and addresses the needs of the whole child by establishing a culture of respect. Teaching grace and courtesy are a part of practical life skills, providing children with advice of how to understand and react to social situations and behaviors in the “real world” (classroom, recess, home, church, grocery store, playdate, restaurant, for example). The following are some of examples of how these lessons are taught and modeled throughout the school:

  • How to listen to directions
  • How to wait for acknowledgement
  • How to wait to speak after others finish
  • How to shake hands with teacher/adult
  • How to ask for help
  • How to greet a visitor
  • How to listen to a presentation
  • How to greet a friend
  • How to make an apology
  • How to admit a mistake and ask to be forgiven
  • How to give comfort to another
  • How to introduce friends
  • How to ask for a turn
  • How to ask to join
  • How to invite another child to play
  • How to refuse an invitation kindly
  • How to say “no” politely
  • How to say, “Stop! Stop!
  • How to ask someone to move
  • How to solve a disagreement
  • How to excuse one’s self
  • How to choose a work
  • How to use quiet voices
  • How to respect others’ work
  • How to use materials appropriately-
  • How to sit at the line

These grace and courtesy are lessons that contribute to building a community, a community that is in the classroom and spirals into a larger community. Individual students are connected to larger groups in several ways at MMA. At MMA, we have mixed age classrooms, mixed grade level hallways, peer mentors, Mountain Lion Mentors, student council and class representatives, school wide socials and grade level socials, student led fundraising with staff and parent support, student committees and teambuilding. This sense of community is what provides the safety net of the school. Students feel safe, accepted, responsible, worthy, independent, loved, intelligent, and feel they are a part of something.

“This is education, understood as a help to life; an education from birth, which feeds a peaceful revolution and unites all in a common aim, attracting them as to a single centre. Mothers, fathers, politicians: all must combine in their respect and help for this delicate work of formation, which the little child carries on in the depth of a profound psychological mystery, under the tutelage of an inner guide. This is the bright new hope for mankind.” (The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori, p. 15)

Did you know?

“Boy, those kids from that Montessori school sure do have an advantage.” My ears perked up at the high school counselor’s words.

“Oh yeah? Why’s that?” I said.

“Well, most of the students filling in here from the junior high schools come with 6 to 7 credits; your daughter has 12.”

When the counselor asked my daughter if she was planning on attending a university after graduation, she proceeded to tell him that she first wants to join a branch of the military, then the police academy, and then University.

I said, “When did you change your mind; I thought you wanted to train police dogs?”

She said, “Yeah, I still do, but if I join the military I can have help in paying for school and the experience so I can become a police officer, because I have to do all of that before I can train the dogs.”

“Wow!” I thought, “A girl with a specific goal and knowledge of how to get there.” The meeting with her counselor proceeded. Because of her 12 junior high credits, she will now be able to take classes that will help her to the goal of training police dogs. She also has so many choices that her older sisters didn’t have and, if all goes well, in the last half of her junior year and most of her senior year - she will have the option of taking more electives, college classes, trade classes or work study.

This is where it becomes emotional for me; Maria Montessori said that the adolescent years are best spent in discovery, acquiring and building talents and interests. I didn’t have that option and my older daughters didn’t have that option. It is no wonder so many students hate high school. If students come in with only 6 credits of the 27 required to graduate, they must spend the majority of time taking classes required for graduation, but not experiencing the real-world and the options they have when they graduate.

We all know how important a high school diploma is and that a college degree and or a trade is essential. Because of MMA Junior High, my daughter will have those choices before leaving high school and hopefully have a high school experience that will allow her to have the freedom to explore and find more interests and talents to pursue the rest of her life. If, along this journey, she should change her goal of training police dogs - there is no doubt in my mind that she will set another goal, research what she will need to do to achieve that goal, and take the steps necessary to get there.

I would much rather my child struggle though the first years of adolescence in our Montessori environment than struggle later in her life. Here at MMA, the teachers care, the teachers know, the teachers help, and students are accepted. My daughter, my nieces, and my friends’ children who have attended Maria Montessori Junior High School have a firm knowledge of who they are and what kind of people they want to be.

If you want to see what a Montessori education can do for your child, come to the bridging ceremonies, come to the sixth grade graduations, and please come to the ninth grade graduation.

Maria Montessori Academy is not just a charter school; it is a community. The people here care, they believe, they see the value of a Whole Child philosophy to education. We know that our children are our future; we are striving to teach them to find the strength within, to be peaceful, and to be the change in the good in the world. When you see the students at the ninth grade graduation, you will know that the future is in excellent hands.

Jill Blazer

Teacher, Parent, and Friend of MMA

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Attention 5th and 6th Grade Parents!

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Fundraising Updates

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Wanted: Parents interested in helping with fundraising for 2018-2019

We are in need of a Chair and Co-chair to organize our fundraising for the 2018-2019 school year. Committee members are also welcome! Funds raised go towards all grade levels. We have streamlined things quite a bit so that there are only 4 major fundraising events throughout the year instead of one a month, and we have had an incredible community response in donations to these events. The skeleton is pretty well in place- we just need parents to take it and run! If you are interested please contact by Feb.1. We would like to meet with everyone as soon as possible so that dates can be set for next year's events and assignments can be given on things that need to be started on to give the committee a head start for next year. If you have questions, please contact Jenna Beers at (801)695-5864.

Vases Needed

MMA Jr High and MAPA are looking for help with their upcoming Valentine's day carnation sale. They are looking for several single flower vases. If you have any that you would be willing to donate, please drop them off t the office as soon as possible. Donating a vase can be counted toward your hours on Track it Forward! They re also in need of adult volunteers Jan 29-Feb 9 before and after school assisting students selling carnations and also on Valentines day delivering orders. Go to to sign up.
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MMA Construction Update

Calendar Of Events

Student Intent Forms Due!

Friday, Jan. 19th, 12am

This is an online event.

Early Childhood Open House

Wednesday, Jan. 24th, 6:30pm


Bring your friends and learn all about Early Childhood/Kindergarten curriculum. Adults only please.

Chili Cook Off

Wednesday, Jan. 31st, 6-8pm


Parent Survey

We would love your feedback. Please take our annual Parent Survey.
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Keep track of your volunteer hours with Track It Forward

Maria Montessori Academy Parents Association (MAPA) is very excited to announce that effective December 1, 2017 we will be using Track it Forward to schedule and record volunteer hours.

We feel that using track it forward will help us provide the most positive experience possible when signing up for and recording volunteer hours. This program will allow families to track their hours on their own electronic devices, send out reminders for sign ups, and help us become a more centralized Montessori family.

Families are asked to donate 40 volunteer hours a year per family to the school. As a member of MAPA (all parents are automatic members) the MAPA presidency is trying to provide as many opportunities to complete this act of service yearly and Track it Forward will allow families to sign up to volunteer.

In sending your children to a Montessori school you are taking the initiative towards bettering your children and families. MMA’s mission statement is “Education for a better world” and by volunteering you are providing opportunities to help make this a better world.

The reason I volunteer is to provide my children with opportunities they may not get at other schools. “Only a life lived for others is worth living.” — Albert Einstein. By volunteering you are giving of yourself to your children and the children of others. Volunteering does not have to be a big sacrifice of time away from the family or money spent, many teacher at the school offer opportunities to volunteer at home and MAPA has opportunities to volunteer where you can bring your children.

Ways you may be volunteering and not even know:

· Attending a MAPA meeting

· Room mom calls and asks you to cut something out or bring something to the class

· Coming into the school and reading with children

· Bringing in food for an activity

MAPA in cooperation with the MMA is trying to say “thank you” to those that have sacrificed time and volunteered this year by giving those families with 10 service hours completed an “act of service.” The details are still in the works but we want everyone to know that we appreciate and value all of those that have volunteered.

How Track it forward works:

You can sign up in one of two different ways. On the website or email with your family’s last name and the names of your children and we will send you an invite. Once in you can track your family’s hours and sign up for volunteer hours.

Again we appreciate all that our wonderful MMA families do!!!

Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” — Elizabeth Andrew

Save the date! Don't miss out on this year's gala!

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Teacher Spotlight! Ms. Krista (Lower El)

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How did you find out about Montessori Education? 12 years ago, a friend told me about Montessori and I discovered that this method was exactly what I was looking for.

How long ave you been at MMA? Since it opened in 2010.

What is your favorite thing about MMA? The relationship that I develop with each of my students over the three years they are with me.

What is your favorite food? Indian and Mediterranean.

What is your favorite color? Red or Purple

What is your favorite movie? Jane Eyre

What is something that people would be surprised to know about you? My son was born in Hong Kong, China

Pizza Form Reminder

Remember pizza money is due Wed by 9:00 am. If money is received after 9:00 am, it will be applied to the following week.
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