Outdoor Fun & Learning

See pictures from our Outdoor Classroom


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Rocks, Sand And Water

Students are having a wonderful time in the Outdoor Classroom, as usual. January activities included painting river rocks and making rock dominoes (learning math skills in the process); working with sand and water; and working as “veterinarians.”


See more pictures on the Outdoor Classroom blog, and don’t forget to subscribe! (FMS Parents only).

Walking The Road of Peace

Students in P2 are learning about effective communication and other important life skills. From their blog:

“In our peace work this week, we revisited Black Elk’s vision that everybody walks the ‘road of difficulties’ at times, as well as the ‘road of peace’ at other times.

We went deeper into the stumbling blocks we all encounter on the road of difficulties (which are also there to teach us) and how to recognize the opportunity to transmute them into stepping stones.

It is a big and deep concept that the children seemed to really receive.  We are helping the children to verbalize their feelings and intentions in a more direct and effective way and giving them the vocabulary to express themselves.

Many of the children are learning the difference between saying ‘I am not friends with you’ and the more authentic desire of  ‘I want to work with someone else right now.’

We got to witness the interaction of one child very directly say to another child (who was crying after feeling rejected), ‘I don’t want to work with you now, but we will be friends forever.’

In turn, seeing the look of understanding, acceptance and healing wash over the face of the child who just moments before had been reduced to tears due to perceived rejection. The child was simply looking for a chance to work with someone else.

These are the life skills that give our children the opportunity to learn how to communicate and be in the world in a way that is respectful to themselves and aware of the impact that their words and deeds have on the collective.

We also coupled this teaching by introducing the ‘good deeds tree.’  A small tree that the children were taught to place a flower on once they have done a good deed for another person; such as comforting a crying child on the playground, letting another child go in front of them in line, or helping another child put their work away.

The tree has been full of flowers and gives all of us a visual reminder of the positive power created when the collective is attuned to the needs of the individual.”

For more pictures and news, check out their blog (FMS Parents only).

You Are Truly Brilliant

FMS Parents may be familiar with Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, which made waves in the fields of education and developmental psychology after it was outlined in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. 

Gardner, a renowned developmental psychologist and Harvard professor, maintained that intelligence wasn’t so black and white as traditional school assessments and public opinion would have us believe. A child who struggled through their mathematical exercises could be a brilliant poet; a child who struggled at all traditional subjects altogether may be a brilliant musician or athlete. No intelligence is innately superior to another, and every person likely has some form of all the intelligences, but may excel in one or two.

(Want to know what type of intelligence you have? Click here and here to take two unofficial tests.)

In 1999, Gardner added another intelligence (naturalistic) to his original seven, and has since proposed a ninth. The intelligences are musical–rhythmic, visual–spatial, verbal–linguistic, logical–mathematical, bodily–kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalistic. The ninth, which may or may not be an official addition at this juncture, is moral or existential intelligence. Check out this wonderful infographic by designer Diana Ziv below:

While the Montessori method  is not based on Gardner’s theory (Dr. Montessori began developing her philosophy in 1897), it does complement it in that it encourages students to develop their talents, feed their curiosity and learn more about subjects that they are interested in. Gardner is also a fan of student-directed learning and alternative forms of assessment. To learn more about Gardner’s theories and how they relate to education, check out this 1997 interview with Edutopia and visit the official website for information on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI).




Alumni Spotlight: Lauren

“I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t want to go to school. I was always excited to see what was in store for me that day.”


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Miro, Klee, Mehndi and More

In Art class with Ms. Angela, students have been creating works inspired by artists Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miro, Paul Klee and Hieronymous Bosch and by the artistry of Mehndi (henna).


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Famous Montessori Alumni

  • Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Co-founders of Google, Inc.
  • Yo-Yo Ma, United Nations Peace Ambassador and Renowned Cellist
  • Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, Inc.
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Former First Lady
  • Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, Nobel Prize Winner, Novelist
  • Anne Frank, Diarist
  • Julia Child, Chef, Author and TV personality
  • President Woodrow Wilson
  • Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia
  • Will Wright, Designer of SimCity
  • Katherine Graham,  Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Former owner of Washington Post
  • Princes Harry and William
  • Peter Drucker, Author, famed Management Consultant and recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Devi Sridhar, Youngest American Rhodes Scholar
  • Eric Cornell. PhD., Nobel Prize Winner

Click here for more information

Tomorrow’s Leaders

By cultivating creativity, critical thinking and lifelong curiosity, our students can lead the way towards a brighter tomorrow.


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Life of a Soldier

Middle School Head Teacher Ms. Erica became “Sergeant Sherlock” to show her students a day in the life of a Confederate soldier during the Civil War Era. Says Ms. Erica: “It was the greatest day of my entire teaching career.”
E1 Student Matthew Myers recounts the empathy lesson (“Confederate Instructional Training”) in a recent blog post:

“Tuesday came as a shock to all the middle school students when Sergeant Sherlock marched in. We all took it as a joke . We laughed but soon stopped when two kids were given laps (me and Hayden). Today was a day to see what it was like to be a soldier in the Civil War. Even though the  purpose of this activity was to see how bad the soldiers lives were, we still had fun. One reason it was fun was because of all the amazing parents that came out to help and our amazing teacher, Sergeant Sherlock, for putting this event all together.

Sergeant Sherlock divided the class into four regiments with five “recruits” in each regiment.  After marching from school to the park we had to make hardtack, a dense cracker made of flour and water. There were four stations.  My regiment’s first station had to set up a tent with a wooden pole, some stretchy fabric, nails, clothes pins, and rocks that would fit at least 20 soldiers and their gear. Second station we had to  create a sling for our wounded soldier with two broken arms. Next we broke for lunch.  We got to eat fresh hardtack which was exactly like its name. When soldiers would eat hardtack they would soak it in water to get bugs out of it and to soften it. Third station we packed our supplies and carried them about fifty feet. The backpack weighed on average 40 pounds for my group (the Charlie regiment). Fourth station we had to make a stretcher and carry our wounded soldiers to the “hospital.”

All through these stations we were given punishments like push ups or sit ups or even laps around the park for disobeying orders or failing at a task. If a real Civil War soldier showed weakness or tried to flee, they would be shot. At the end of the day we reflected how all of these brave soldiers fought for one belief. I could never imagine ever doing that.  I respect all the brave soldiers  and what they endured for their beliefs. Thank you parents and Ms. Erica for a day to remember.”

Additional thoughts from E1 Students: