Summer Fun in Las Vegas

There is absolutely no excuse for sitting at home and being bored this summer. Put down the video game controller and get outside! Here are some activities and camps around town — from Shakespeare to fencing lessons — that will keep your children active, busy and making friends all summer long!

And the list goes on.
Don’t forget, you can always join us on the Foothills Montessori campus for sports, games, arts and crafts, outdoor fun and more! Camps include tennis lessons and swimming at nearby DragonRidge Country Club. Call 702-407-0790 to enroll today!
Foothills Montessori School is a private Montessori school serving families in Henderson, Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.


The Great Technology Debate

In the April 2013 issue of The Atlantic, author and national correspondent Hannah Rosin takes a long look at The Touch-Screen Generation: the current under-10 set who are just as familiar with Angry Birds as they are Goodnight Moon.

While attending a California conference for developers of children’s apps, a rapidly expanding industry that has some jumping on the “digital education is the future” bandwagon and others longing for less tech-trendy days, she pontificates:

“What, really, would Maria Montessori have made of this scene? The 30 or so children here were not down at the shore poking their fingers in the sand or running them along mossy stones or digging for hermit crabs. Instead they were all inside, alone or in groups of two or three, their faces a few inches from a screen, their hands doing things Montessori surely did not imagine.”

After interviewing various experts, researchers and psychologists — and conducting informal experiments with her own toddler — Rosin ends up echoing the beliefs of Dr. Michael Rich, a pediatrician who directs the Center on Media and Child Health. As quoted in this 2010 New York Times article, he says “with media use so ubiquitous, it was time to stop arguing over whether it was good or bad and accept it as part of children’s environment, ‘like the air they breathe, the water they drink and the food they eat.'”

In other words, stop setting time limits and stressing out, and just let them touch, tap and swipe away. But then, some say toddler iPad addiction is a very real thing, while studies are suggesting that too much tech time can lead to behavioral and relationship problems.

The debate goes on, even at The Atlantic. This month’s issue revived the roundtable via an interview with longtime tech executive Linda Stone. In “The Art of Staying Focused in a Distracting World,” she claims that tech overload can lead to a condition that is “worse than autism”, a lack of empathy, and even “a kind of sociopathy and psychopathy.”

But the app-happy parents and entrepreneurs at Rosin’s conference whimsically quote Montessori (“The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence”) and emphasize their wares’ educational potential. After all, whether they are tracing a “C” on a screen, in the dirt, or on sandpaper, the end result is the same.

Others assert that technology is essentially and fundamentally Montessorian, in that it allows the individual to learn at his or her own pace, unimpeded. The world’s knowledge is, after all, at your fingertips, and the tablet is a powerful, interactive tool that arguably has its place on Montessori shelves as well as in the home. Everyone from the 2013 Ted Talk winner to forward-thinking educators agree that we need to integrate technology to prepare students for the future, as well as to empower and equip them in new, never-before-seen ways.

Somewhere there is an ideal balance to be found between hands-on, person-to-person learning, time spent playing outdoors, and Toca Tea Party. It’s up to us as parents and educators to find it.

What do you think? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Foothills Montessori School is a private Montessori school serving families in Henderson, Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.

What We Learned

FMS Middle School students had a busy year, learning everything from electromagnetism to etymology.

From building (and then knocking down) a periodic table of elements, to re-enacting the WWII D-Day Normandy Invasion, to dissecting cow eyeballs, to traveling the Oregon Trail, to discussing Lord of the Flies and 1984 … the list goes on.


Here is a partial list of the 2012-13 Middle School curriculum and activities:


  • Colonization
  • Road to Independence
  • American Revolution
  • Current events
  • War of 1812
  • Westward Expansion
  • U.S. Geography

Physical Science

  • Matter
  • Periodic Table of Elements
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Acids, Bases & Solutions
  • Motion & Forces
  • Work & Machines
  • Energy
  • Electromagnetism


  • Algebra/Pre-Algebra


  • Spanish
  • French
  • German
  • Farsi

Language Arts

  • grammar, etymology, vocabulary, spelling
  • reading comprehension/critical thinking
  • 1984, Lord of the Flies, The Pigman, Fahrenheit 451, and more


  • Rhythm: composing and notating complimentary rhythms, utilizing rhythmic improvisation as the melody over ostinato accompaniments, swing feel vs. straight classical feel
  • Melody: explore Renaissance music via Alto recorder, improvisation over modal music with shifting cords
  • Form: ABA, rondo, canon
  • Rhythm: poly-rhythms, poly-meter, compound meters 5/4, 7/8, 12/8
  • Melody:  from improvisation to composition – creating melodies
  • Form: 4 part canons, theme, & variation Rondo, ABA, ABAC

Physical Education

  • Kicking Skills/Throwing Skills
  • Cooperative Games/Team Building
  • Net Ball
  • Lacrosse
  • Softball
  • Yoga & Aerobics
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Track & Field


  • Self-Portrait and Environmental Studies
  • Techniques used by artists: Euclide, Nicholls, Millet, Duchamp, Calder , Rickey, Escher, Termes, Rembrandt, Dolci
  • Develop skills using: Ink, Pastel, Acrylic Paint, Sculpture, Metal, Pencil
  • Identify elements of art: Radial Balance, Symmetry, Texture, Positive/Negative Space
  • Literature, Social Concerns, Visual Culture Studies
  • Techniques used by artists: Escobar, Dr. Seuss, Judi Chicago, Britto, Johns, Warhol, Picasso, Shulte, Ocampo
  • Develop skills using: Mixed Media and Found Materials
  • Identify elements of art: Perspective, Dimension, Space, Texture, Value

Partial List of Field Trips

  • Techatticup Mines (history and chemistry)
  • Mt. Charleston Rope Course (community building)
  • New York New York roller coaster (physics)
  • PALI (adventures and skill-building in California)
  • Opportunity Village (community service tradition)

[button url=”” target=”_blank” size=”small” style=”coolblue” ]Our Favorite Lessons[/button]

[button url=”” target=”_blank” size=”small” style=”coolblue” ]List of 2013 Graduates[/button]

[button url=”” target=”_blank” size=”small” style=”coolblue” ]Middle School Memories[/button]

Foothills Montessori School is a private Montessori school serving families in Henderson, Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.

Middle School Memories

“In 20 years, when I have a job that I enjoy and look forward to everyday, I will look back to my upper elementary and middle school years, and will give thanks for everything I had.”

— Noelani, 2013 FMS Graduate

[button url=”” target=”_blank” size=”small” style=”coolblue” ]MORE MIDDLE SCHOOL MEMORIES[/button]

Foothills Montessori School is a private Montessori school serving families in Henderson, Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.