We love to PLAY!

Playing outside with friends is integral to every child’s development. It improves cognition, encourages mental and physical development, reduces stress, reinforces social bonds, enhances creativity and confidence … and of course, it’s just plain fun. The best memories from childhood are usually the ones involving interactive play with others in the great outdoors.

Richard Louv in his landmark book Last Child in the Woods discusses the fundamental need for children (and adults) to spend time outdoors. Instead of our weekly look inside a classroom, let’s join the children of E3 while they enjoy the interactive Science Playground, the open field and the Las Vegas winter sunshine just as children were meant to do.

And of course, nature can inspire great works of art. You are invited to visit the E3 classroom in person to view a gallery of artwork inspired by Georgia O’Keefe’s flower studies, incorporating watercolor, pencil, ink, tissue paper and collage pieces.

See many more pictures of E3 by visiting their classroom blog!

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Congratulations Ms. April!

Ms. April, Head Teacher in E4, has been chosen as our new Staff Spotlight.

“Ms. April is a positive thinker. She would always acknowledge me even if I got something wrong. She has a great sense of humor.” — Hank (former E4 student; currently in E5)

You can read more about Ms. April below.

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Help E1 Win The Reel Math Challenge

A group of students in our E1 classroom have entered the 2012-2013 Reel Math Challenge. This is a nationwide competition where teams of four work together to creatively solve a math problem and make a video.
Videos are posted online; those with the top votes will advance to the next round. The top team will win $1,000 scholarships for college. Students do it on their own with absolutely no teacher assistance. We invite you to view the video and vote for our E1 students. A note from a student:
“Hello; This year, some of my fellow classmates and I have created a video. This is a math video we made for a contest called Reel Math Challenge. We have submitted it onto the website, but have no chance of winning without your votes! Please visit the website below, and hit vote! Every vote counts. Thank you for you time!” – Noelani
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Primary Students Explore Space

Through the month of January, our Primary classrooms are learning about space by exploring the planets, solar system, sun and constellations.

Says P4: “The children will explore what each planet looks like and the contents that make up the different planets. There are many different works out in our Science Area which allow the children to continue to learn all about our wonderful Solar System.”

P4 students also learned a “planet song” and did a special art project involving the sun with Ms. Angela.


In the Practical Life Area, there are new works on the shelves such as shoe polishing, plant washing and wood polishing. These beautiful materials encourage independence and order while enhancing fine motor skills, focus and level of concentration.

Says P3: “It is wonderful to see the high level of concentration that the students exhibit while working with these materials.”

P3 students also worked on drawing their self-portraits. “Some of our Kindergarteners have taken on the ‘job’ of leading the other children through their self-portrait work,” P3 continues. “This helps to build on communication skills between the children and helps to make them responsible for the jobs within our classroom.”

Read more and check out lots of pics under Classroom News!

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A Look Inside the Window of E5

E5 students are starting the year off right, getting right back into downward dog!


We have resumed our morning yoga ritual. Beginning our day with a rested and focused mind has been helping each of us. Deep breaths and getting ourselves centered has been an amazing way to start our day. Thank you Ms. Joanie!!!!


We launched our Pioneer unit with a visit from a real life “mountain man.” Scott Sorenson told stories, shared animal pelts, and sang us beautiful songs of our past. We listened and were intrigued with his choice to live like the Mountain Men of our past, like Jedediah Smith and Kit Carson. We researched several men from Nevada’s past and gained an understanding of why they were here and how this is an important part of our state’s history.


We will be working on publishing writing that involves creative fictional narratives. We will rely heavily on our schema from books we have read in the past. This is always an exciting unit and the students are looking forward to the process.


We are still in our Ecology unit and are moving into adaptations and animals. You can talk to your child about camouflage and behaviors that animals display to help them adapt and survive in their environments.

Spelling Bee

Special congratulations to Matthew as he will move forward in the Scripps Spelling Bee competition. He will represent the sixth grade class and compete against two middle school students. Way to go Matthew!!!

You can read more from E5 and get tons of information and pictures from all the classrooms by visiting the Classroom News page. Check it out often — and remember to Subscribe!

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Ms. Arlene Gets An Unexpected Letter

One of our teachers, Ms. Arlene Dreitzer, received an unexpected letter from a former student recently.

Dear Mrs. Dreitzer;

Greetings to you from Washington, D.C. I hope that you and your family are well. I have wanted to contact you for quite a while to express my sincere appreciation for your influence and role in my life … you were my 6th grade teacher at P.S. 235 in Brooklyn, NY! The other day at work I was called into a “brainstorming” meeting — you came to my mind immediately because you were the person who introduced me to brainstorming nearly 30 years ago. The great memories from our 6th grade class came flowing back: the “Bear Necessities” vocabulary wall; The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck; Animal Farm; and how could I forget Damn Yankees, our class play! So many years have come and gone, but you stand out as one of the best educators that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Indeed, I started out with the aspiration to teach! I was a student teacher in a middle school in Harlem and used Lord of the Flies as my first text! (Thanks for paving the way.) I later turned to international development and am working and living in Washington with the World Bank. I’m so grateful for the chance to express my thanks and affection to you, dear Mrs. Dreitzer! “Many women have done well, but you excel them all!”

Says Ms. Arlene: “I believe I had this student in 1983. I taught in a magnet public school for gifted and talented children. I recall that it was a 6th grade class of 40 students and I taught every subject. The school was called The Lenox School or P.S. 235. The program was called the Soar Program and students took an entrance exam to attend.”

Ms. Arlene has been at Foothills Montessori for eight years as a Middle School Language Arts Teacher and Reading Specialist. She has 41 years of teaching experience, a MS in education, and has completed an additional 30 credits above her Master’s degree. She loves literature, etymology and teaching, and has made a positive mark on many students throughout her long career as an educator. We are so lucky to have Ms. Arlene at Foothills Montessori.

Introducing “Window Wednesdays”!

Every Wednesday we will spotlight one of our Classroom Blog posts to give you a little glimpse inside our busy classrooms. To kick it off, let’s look into the window of E1. (This news is a little bit old, as we are just getting back from the holidays.)

[h4]Inside E1 — Week of December 21[/h4]

  • Two students win the Scripps Spelling Bee
  • We make snowflakes to send to Newtown, Connecticut
  • For our Element Personification project, we create comic strips, children’s books, clay models, stop motion videos and more to make the elements come to living, breathing life!
  • We make muskets and try out for the state militia as part of Thrilling Thursday in history class


Simply click on the link below and enter your password to see the rest of the posts and more fabulous pictures. We hope you enjoy!


(If you forgot your password, please contact the front desk at 702-407-0790. And if you haven’t done so, remember to Subscribe to your child’s classroom blog — you’ll get instant updates sent to your email inbox and never have to worry about remembering to log in!)