MMA Montessori Moments

February 3, 2020

Message from our Director

Dear MMA Community,


I loved the chili cookoff that was held Thursday night. What a great community event. It is so beneficial to me to have activities like this so that I can get to know our educational community better.


Our students are the best. I have found so many qualities that are exemplary of very successful individuals. To know that grace and courtesy are such an important part of the curriculum that is taught here is comforting. The students have been so friendly and polite. Definitely a skill that is appreciated in today's world.


We truly love working with our students. They are what makes the school such a great place to be.


Best regards,


Mr. Mike

Chili Cook-off

Open Enrollment for 2020-2021 is now open!

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Re-enrollment for current students

We still have a few families who have not yet completed the registration process for next year. It is important to get an accurate count of returning students before we open enrollment to the public. Log in to your Aspire account now to re-enroll. If you are not planning on your student returning to MMA in the fall, please email adouglas@mariamontessoriacademy.org so we can make the proper adjustments.

Know a child that you think would thrive at MMA? Bring them to shadow your student on February 14 and Feel the Love!

Share the Love at MMA!

Come visit MMA on Valentines Day and take a guided tour and see if MMA is right for your family. Share the ❤️ of Montessori with your friends and neighbors! Children are welcome, but must be accompanied at all times by an adult guardian. To sign up for a tour, please RSVP for one of our scheduled tour times at the following link.

What does MMA have to offer for Early Childhood? (Pre-k and K)

Early Childhood education lays the foundation for all learning that will follow. Montessori early childhood education is unique in many aspects. It takes into account the developmental periods that children are passing through as well as focusing on the development of emotional, social and academic intelligence of the child. Some key aspects of Montessori early childhood education are

  • The practical life area of the classroom allows the child to develop their coordination, concentration, independence and sense of order. Often these activities are seen as play, but they are vital to the development of the child. One of the activities you will see in this area is food preparation such as making toast, hot chocolate and more. We all assume that the reason these activities are so popular is the product they result in. Montessori philosophy has a very different idea. Paula Polk Lillard said in Montessori a Modern Approach “Instead of opportunities for serious accomplishment in our culture, we supply our children with expensive toys, hoping that these will occupy them. . ..Instead of giving the child toys that have no meaning for him, the adult must prepare special activities within his environment that will aid in the child’s development. . . The parent must observe the child closely, and watch for the kinds of activities he chooses spontaneously . . . and then make them more available with variations and expansions of them” (p. 116).

  • We refer to the activities in our classrooms as work. Maria Montessori explained why the work of a child is so important. “A child’s desire to work represents a vital instinct since he cannot organize his personality without working: a man builds himself through working. There can be no substitute for work. . . a man builds himself by carrying out manual labor in which he uses his hands as the instruments of his personality and as expressions of his intellect and will, helping him to dominate his environment . . . work becomes fascinating and irresistible and raises a man above his diverted self . . . enabling him to express his own individuality” The secret of childhood p. 186.

Another Montessori’s core principle is the concept of choice. In a Montessori classroom children are free to choose what they would like to work on – within limits. There are two basic ground rules: you have to have had a lesson and the material has to be available. Maria Montessori said “These children have free choice all day long. Life is based on choice, so they learn to make their own decisions. They must decide and choose for themselves all the time . . . they cannot learn through obedience to the commands of another”. In Angeline Stoll Lillard’s book Montessori: the science behind the genius she talks about the many studies that have been done that support the idea that having choice is a great benefit to education, learning and desire to learn more. Let me share just one with you. A study was done where children were asked to play a computer math game. Half of the children were able to choose the name of their space ship that took them through the game and half were not. The children who were able to choose the name of their space ship liked the game better and played it more than the children who did not name their space ship. They also choose more challenging tasks in the game and asked for fewer hints. They showed greater improvement from pre-test to post-test. “Having a sense of control over one’s environment is associated with better learning and better performance in children. A wide range of positive outcomes stemmed from a very simple choice manipulation” (Lillard, p. 84). Many parents often confuse “choice” with “no limits”. These two could not be more different. The choices we offer to children need to be appropriate, direct and simple. One example might be “Sally which shoes do you want to wear today? Your tennis shoes or your sandals?” Note that not wearing shoes was not one of the options given. We empower our children when we offer them appropriate choices.


Jen Hall

Early Childhood Lead Teacher

What does MMA have to offer for Lower Elementary? (Grades 1-3)

Maria Montessori Academy has some amazing things to offer in the lower elementary setting, and the following are just a few that set us apart from other schools:

  • Teachers do not just teach children academics, but teach the whole child. They teach grace and courtesy, manners, acceptance and include all as a continual part of day to day activity and education. It is taught and modeled continually.

  • Our classrooms are mixed age, with 3 levels or grades in each room. Lower elementary consists of first, second, and third grades. This allows students to interact with children of many ages and learn with and from these children. It allows for many leadership opportunities for the older children as well as the younger children. Watching the dynamics of friendships among these different ages is an exciting part of being a teacher at this level.

  • Teachers are guides in the classroom who lead and teach but then allow students to take on roles as part of the classroom community. They are given jobs such as watering the plants, doing snack dishes, and sweeping the floor. They are encouraged to participate in these as a way of helping their environment and preparing to be part of all the different communities they will experience growing up.

  • The instruction is individualized for each student. Teachers don’t limit the child, but allow them to move at their own pace. Students are not kept from moving forward in any area if they understand what is being taught and are ready to move to the next thing. Students are also not pushed forward to new things if they are not ready to move on. If a student needs more time to practice something, they are allowed to continue working where they need, while still being taught grade level curriculum. After they are given lessons on work, students are allowed the freedom to choose from those works in the order that they want to complete them. This is all done with guidance from the teacher.

  • Lower Elementary classrooms are filled with many different hands-on materials for students to learn with. Children are taught from a very concrete way of doing things to abstract ways of doing things. There are a variety of materials to teach one thing, so if a student does not understand a concept with one material, they can be shown with others. Children are also taught the why behind the how.


Jalee Schofield

Lower Elementary Lead Teacher

What does MMA have to offer for Upper Elementary? (Grades 4-6)

Maria Montessori observed that all children go through distinct stages of development. At each stage, the child is sensitive to learning particular concepts in a particular way. Knowing these stages allows a Montessori guide to prepare their classroom environment with appropriate materials and activities that will enrich the educational experience and make the most of each sensitive period. Upper Elementary students are figuring out that they have a place in the world. They are starting to move away from their families and peer relationships become increasingly important. They are learning to be independent. These students are also in the sensitive period for developing morals and ethics. They are now using reasoning, logic, and their imaginations to explore the areas of study. The desired outcome is for students to develop a love of learning and to be given opportunities to pursue their interests. An Upper Elementary Montessori classroom is prepared in a way that encourages students and gives them every opportunity to learn and explore. Students at this age are encouraged to make their own appropriate work plan and actively participate in their learning with their teacher. They are given opportunities to work with their peers and solve problems together. They are able to be leaders in the classroom and mentor other students in their class, as well as around the school. They are encouraged to recognize that their choices have an impact on others, as well as themselves. They are part of a classroom community and play an important role in that environment. They all have classroom responsibilities that they are expected to fulfill. While education is the primary focus, a Montessori teacher also acknowledges their influence in developing the whole child. They desire to send a child into the world who knows that they play a role in the grander scheme of life and will take responsibility for their part in the world.


Kirsten Gonzales

Upper Elementary Lead Teacher

What does MMA have to offer for Jr. High? (Grades 7-9)

MMA’s Junior High Program is awesome! Miss Sarah is leading our drama and choir classes in a production of the musical “Annie”. Miss Dore’s College and Career Awareness classes are learning about video production and creating their own broadcasts. 9th grade ELA classes are taking the role of teacher and teaching important literary elements from short stories. Mr. Giuseppe’s classes are getting ready for science fair, and have some amazing experiments in the works. They are also writing research papers as part of their science displays. Miss Taylor’s Utah Studies class learned about the importance of our pioneer forebears and made pioneer cornbread to contribute to the chili cook-off. Mr. Craig’s math classes are making great progress and we are excited to see the gains that students are making. We are so proud of our junior high students and teachers!


Andrea Eggett

MMA School Counselor


Emergency Kits

MMA is partnering with our Parent Organization (MAPA) to upgrade our classroom emergency kits. Because of the number of allergies and dietary restrictions we have, we are asking you to send 2 non perishable snacks for your student. Ziplock bags with more details will be sent home this week. Please return these bags no later than February 18.

Famous Montessorians

Did you know that the founders of Google Sergey Brin & Larry Page credit part of their success to their Montessori education?

You can’t understand Google unless you know that both Larry and Sergey were Montessori kids. ... In Montessori school you go paint because you have something to express or you just want to do it that afternoon, not because the teacher said so. This is really baked into how Larry and Sergey approach problems. They’re always asking ‘Why should it be like that?’
— Marissa Mayer, former VP of Google

Google Founders Talk Montessori

Time to order yearbooks!

Don't miss out on your chance to purchase a copy of our 10th annual yearbook! They are just $20 for a lifetime pf memories! To personalize your book add $3. Orders must be placed on or before March 27. The office will not have extra copies available on the last day of school. Get yours now!

All questions regarding yearbooks and pictures must be made through Life touch. The office does not receive any information about orders. Please call 800-453-9764 with questions.



Click on the link below to order and enter our school ID code 13283720

Junior High Fees

We still have quite a few students who have an outstanding balance for Junior High student fees. Please remit payment to the office as soon as possible. 100% of student fees go toward purchasing textbooks, equipment and field trips for Junior High students. If you need payment arrangements please contact Ms. Autumn in the office.

HOPE Week February 18-21!

Our Junior High HOPE Squad will be participating in National HOPE Week. More details coming soon.

Weather recess guidelines

MMA believes that outdoor time is crucial even during the colder months. The CDC reports that recess can help students increase their daily activity and contribute to getting the 60 minutes of physical activity they need. Recess is also an essential part of students' school experience that contributes to their normal growth and development. Recess helps students practice social skills (i.e cooperation, sharing communication) helps them positively engage in classroom activities and enhance cognitive performance. It can even help their immunity.


Unless the weather is extreme, or the air quality poor, it is our policy that students will go outside each day. Even when it is raining and snowing. Please make sure your student is dressed for the weather and has access to a coat, waterproof boots, snow pants, gloves and a hat for daily recess.

It's flu season!

Flu season is upon us. We have had a few students who have recently tested positive for Influenza B. We do have some students and staff members at MMA who are immune compromised. Please remind your children to wash their hands often and thoroughly. It is important to follow our school policy and keep your children home until they have been fever and vomit free for 24 hours without the use of medication. Please help us control the spread of these illnesses.

Don't miss the WSU Storytelling Festival!

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Messages from MAPA

Sports Club is currently full

At this time the after-school sports club is full. MAPA is working on creating a wait list. If you would like more information, please email MAPA at Mapa@mariamontessoriacademy.org

Save the Date! Our 10th Annual Gala is coming soon!

MAPA's 10th annual Gala is just around the corner. This is adult only evening is MMA's main fundraiser and the proceeds are used for the benefit of all students. School purchases from Gala proceeds in the past include the playground structure, computers, classroom grants, safety equipment, crosswalk signs and our new sound system. We can't do it without you. You wont want to miss this event.

MAPA meeting this Friday!

Join our MAPA board for their monthly meeting this Friday at 8:45 am!
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February

6 Science Fair

7 MAPA Meeting, 8:45 am

11-MMA Board Meeting, 5:30 pm

17 President's Day- No School

18-21 Hope Week

20 Redwoods Chaperone Meeting, 5:30 pm

21 MMA Family night at Classic Fun Center, 5-9:00 pm

24-28 Literacy Week

25 School wide Spelling Bee

27-MMA Literacy Night, 5:30-7:00 pm

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