Bruno Upper EL Classroom

Hello Summer

The 2023-2024 school year has come to an end. This year had many highlights for upper students. New additions included JUNA, Robotics, STEM Lab, and Mr. Brendan. Upper students excelled in The Hunt for Milo Gato, The Lion King, The Living Wax Museum, the Art Show, and the Winter and Spring Concerts. The class went on field trips to The Birmingham Children’s Theater to see The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money. Students also attended the Birmingham Squadron game and the annual trip to Camp McDowell. While this is not an exhaustive list of the experiences Upper students had this year, they made the most of each experience. Many class activities and projects outside the work cycle promoted curiosity and knowledge retention through hands-on learning and self-exploration.

Our days remained busy during our final few weeks in Upper Elementary. Mr. Joel (a former Upper parent) returned to our class after a STEAM DAY presentation on User Experience. He challenged students to find a design error in something and decide what they would do to improve the design. Students identified design errors and proposed thoughtful solutions to improve the design.

As the last day approached, academics wrapped up in Cultural, Geography, Science, Writing, and our work cycle. Students cleaned their cubbies and lockers and packed up their belongings to take home for the summer.

Scroll down for more events…

Promotion Ceremony

We started a new tradition this year by organizing a promotion ceremony for our rising middle school students. The week before the ceremony, 6th-grade students wrote reflections on their time in Upper Elementary and shared fond memories. Some students gave speeches expressing heartfelt moments, friendships, feelings of acceptance, memories from Camp McDowell, and their favorite experiences with different educators. The speeches were well-written and thoughtful. Upper educators also addressed the group, highlighting what made their class unique to each educator.

Along with the new tradition of a promotion ceremony, rising middle school students were each given a Certificate of Superlative. Upper educators convened to determine the most fitting superlative for each student. In no particular order, the superlatives included:

Most likely to be a Primatologist.
Most likely to do something amazing, and never tell anyone about it. 
Most likely to play the piano at Carnegie Hall. 
Most likely to run a wildlife refuge. 
Most likely to win a landmark Supreme Court case. 
Most likely to be the next real estate mogul. 
Most likely to design the first jet for Mars.
Most likely to play in the Masters. 
Most likely to work on Broadway. 
Most likely to use their fame for positive change. 
Most likely to have a cartoon in the New York Times. 
Most likely to be a History professor. 
Most likely to have a piece displayed in an Art Museum. 
Most likely to be the next Sam Raimi. 
Most likely to read every book in the Library. 
Most likely to be the best sculptor (like no one ever was). 

Field Day

This year’s Field Day theme was “The Olympics.” Students from Lower through Middle school enjoyed participating in mixed groups. Each group chose a country and created a flag to represent their team. The variety of water games was the highlight of Field Day. Thank you to all the volunteers and the PTO for providing the snow cones! A new tradition added to the end of Field Day was the Volleyball Team challenging the staff to a game. Despite the staff’s best efforts, the Bruno Volleyball Team’s youthful skills led them to victory. (Pictures on Facebook and Instagram).

American Heart Society Fundraiser

One of our Upper Elementary students raised the most money for the AHS fundraiser. Their prize was throwing a pie in Coach’s face. Thank you for all the donations to the AHS and to Coach for being a good sport for a good cause!

The Last Day of the 2023-2024 School Year

Thank you to the Upper students and families for an amazing school year.

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The Final Few Weeks

The last few weeks of a school year are always a blur. Not long ago, there was the Living Wax Museum, Camp McDowell, and SAT testing. Everyone can feel that the last week of school is close.

This week was no exception in keeping students busy with activities outside our normal daily schedule. Students practiced for the Spring Concert and put on an amazing performance for the audience. Setting a beautiful scenery for the Concert was their highlighted artwork for the year. Each student’s individual creativity made a unique presentation for the Art Show. Thank you to Ms. Janelle, Ms. Lisa, Mr. Dana, and Mr. Greg for your time and effort to make the Concert and Art Show successful!

We ended this past week with the second annual STEAM Day. Parents, family members, and friends gave our students great presentations about their careers and how STEAM is used in their fields. Thank you to Ms. Melanie and Ms. Jessica for coordinating the event. Thank you to all presenters for taking time away from your day and creating presentations that students greatly enjoyed. We are already looking forward to next year’s STEAM Day!

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Camp McDowell Trip

Students from Upper Elementary traveled to the Bankhead National Forest for three days. While at Camp McDowell, they received many lessons from the environmental center staff, both indoors and outdoors. They explored wildlife, stream habitats, hiking, and rock wall climbing. This year was no exception—one of the best highlights of the school year!

Camp McDowell

Meanwhile, Back At Bruno

Students who did not attend the Camp McDowell trip could explore the pond on our campus. A new bridge by the pond was built as an Eagle Scout project by one of Bruno’s alumni (with the assistance of Mr. Dana). Adding a new bridge is another great step in restoring the pond area.

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Eclipse, Ramadan, & Wax Museum

Upper students have been very busy lately! On April 8th, we took advantage of a rare opportunity to observe an 86% solar eclipse. Fortunately, the eclipse occurred during Science class, so students reviewed information from the astronomy unit and made and recorded several observations throughout the afternoon. Students could observe the 86% eclipse despite the impending clouds and rain. Afterward, students shared their observations, such as the change in darkness/lack of sunlight, the temperature dropping, and a cool breeze forming. Thank you to Dr. Samal’s family for donating the solar glasses to Upper.

Students have been researching an individual who has contributed to our world, whether an inventor, scientist, or creative individual. The students wrote biographies about their individuals and dressed up as them for the Living Wax Museum. Students gave thoughtful presentations highlighting their achievements. Thank you to Lower, Middle, teachers, parents, and family members who were able to visit and support the Living Wax Museum.

One of Bruno’s many amazing qualities is a diverse student population and community. Two of our Upper students gave the class a presentation on Ramadan. Ramadan is celebrated as the ninth month of the lunar calendar and the holiest month for the Muslim religion. During Ramadan, Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset, which includes no water. While fasting, their focus is self-discipline, spiritual reflection, kindness, and growing closer to Allah. The last day of Ramadan is Eid-Al-Fitr, the final day of feasting. After Eid, Muslims have a large feast with their families. Thank you to the students who presented to the class.

While many things were happening in the classroom, our Drama students also wrapped up their production of The Lion King. All of the cast and crew put on an amazing performance, with beautiful singing and authentic language. Ms. Rachel and Mr. Brendan worked hard to ensure this production was the crème de la crème! Thank you to them for their dedication and the many parents who volunteered their time!

Solar Eclipse

Ramadan Presentation

Living Wax Museum

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It’s Already April!

This week was business as usual, which is a good thing! Students continue to work in our newly renovated classrooms during the morning work cycle while receiving lessons on the Promethean Board in Culteral, Geography, History, Science, and Writing. In Culteral class, students discussed myths and stories associated with eclipses throughout history, which is perfect for the eclipse that will take place on Monday, April 8th. Geography class used the Promethean Board to play a game about the U.S. States, which is the topic they have been discussing. In science, students learn about different types of waves associated with sound and light and other ways waves are useful for technology. In writing class, students learn to use the five W’s (who, what, where, why, and when) to write a news article.

As the end of the school year approaches, many exciting things are happening. Pay attention to the school calendar and emails so you can stay on top of important information.

Reminders:

  • Vocabulary unit 15 is due on Monday, and the test will be on Friday, 4/12
  • Early dismissal at 1:00 on Thursday and Friday, 4/11 and 4/12, for Parent Conferences. No aftercare.
  • The Lion King Spring production is Friday, 4/12
  • The Living Wax Museum will occur on Monday and Tuesday, 4/15 and 4/16.
  • Camp McDowell is 4/17-4/19
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Using Materials and Creativity

Students in Upper Elementary have many opportunities to use materials outside of the work cycle. In a properly prepared environment, this allows students to be more engaged and retain more information. Montessori materials have a control error of design, meaning they enable self-correction. Self-correction allows students to develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Students are often encouraged to work in groups, while the educators model appropriate social and collaborative interactions.

Below are pictures of Upper students working with materials during Science and Geography. Students in Science are studying electricity and using materials to explore how electric circuits function. Students used the material to create a circuit allowing electric current to properly flow in a series or parallel circuit. They can further explore by adding a resistor or switch into the circuit. The control is the power source working (light bulb, buzzer, motor with fan). In Geography, students used the cubing material to create their topographic map. The Promethean Board was the perfect tool to show students examples of a topographic map and how one is constructed.

Just as in the case of the solid insets, the control of error over such exercises [geometry cabinet] is absolute. A particular figure cannot be put anywhere except within its own corresponding recessed plaque. A child therefore can carry the exercise out by himself and perfect his perception of various shapes. – Maria Montessori

…it is not imitation. This may be shown even in the way that the child uses the material: he becomes so attentive to what he is doing and so immersed in his work that he does not notice what is going on about him but continues to work, repeating the same exercise dozens of times over. This exemplifies that phenomena of concentration and the repetition of an exercise which is connected with a child’s inner development. No one can concentrate through imitation. – Maria Montessori

Students in a Montessori environment are encouraged to use their creativity. In 6th-year History, students presented information on a topic related to WWII. They used Google Slides, dioramas, presentation boards, written reports, constructed materials, or brought in family memorabilia to present their chosen topic. Students could showcase their creativity in how they presented their research.

The chief symptom of adolescence is a state of expectation, a tendency towards creative work and a need for the strengthening of self-confidence. – Maria Montessori

This week, Upper and Middle school students went on a field trip to the BJCC. They watched a Birmingham Squadron basketball game to celebrate Literacy Week with other schools in the greater Birmingham area. Though the Squadron lost, students still enjoyed the game!



Reminders:

  • Unit 14 vocabulary is due Monday, 3/18. The test will be on Friday, 3/22.
  • Report cards for the 3rd quarter will be posted in FACTS Thursday, 3/21
  • Watch your email later this week to sign up for parent conferences, April 10th-12th.
  • No school March 25th-29th for spring break
  • Early dismissal at 1:00 on April 11th and 12th for parent conferences. No aftercare.
  • The Lion King play is on Friday, April 12th.
  • The Living Wax Museum is on April 15th and 16th
  • Camp McDowell trip is April 17th-19th

Squadron Basketball Game

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March, In Like A Lion

This week was amazing. Students had the opportunity to visit the Scholastic Book Fair, where Bruno receives a portion of the sales for fundraising. Students were excited to browse new books and take home new adventures for their imaginations. Upper students returned to their normal work cycle, using both classrooms. Students enjoyed using new spaces to do their studies. We have new counters with stools, area rugs, new movable tables, and plenty of floor space. Out of the entire remodel, one of the most exciting things we received was a Promethean Board for each classroom. The boards were used for interactive lessons in history, culture, geography, and science during our work cycle and for games during transition times. We’re excited about the advanced learning opportunities the boards will bring to Upper!

Reminders:

  • Field trip forms and payment must be returned on Monday! The field trip is on Tuesday.
  • No vocabulary is due Monday, but the unit 13 test is on Friday, March 15th.
  • 6th year history projects are due Thursday, March 14th.
  • No school for Spring break, March 25th to 29th.
  • Spring parent conferences are April 10th-12
    • A sign-up list will be emailed before Spring Break
  • There is a 1:00 dismissal on April 11th and 12th for parent conferences
    • No aftercare
  • The Lion King spring production is Friday, April 12th at 6:30

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Leaping Into March

Another busy week and month has passed by in Upper. Last week, the students selected the materials they wanted to present for Parent’s Night and started practicing to give their lessons. They spent the week practicing by giving lessons to each other and educators. Students delivered excellent presentations and enjoyed teaching their lessons to a diverse audience, while families who attended got to see our newly renovated classrooms. Mr. Dana spent significant time and effort renovating our classrooms, paying attention to every minor detail, resulting in a stunning appearance. The final touches were added to our classrooms at the end of the week. The stools for our new work counters arrived, and Mr. Dana installed our Promethean Boards! Upper is the only division with a Promethean Board besides the STEM Lab, and we have two, one for each classroom. We immediately began using the boards to explore their features during Geography, History, and Science classes. Incorporating new technology in our classrooms will enhance student engagement and cater to different learning styles.

Reminders:

  • Send in donations for the Upper golf basket to be auctioned at the PTO Trivia Night
  • Vocabulary unit 13 is due Monday
    • The test will be on Friday, March 15th
  • The Book Fair is this week, March 4th-7th
  • Mandatory Camp McDowell meeting on Thursday, March 7th, at 3:15, for 4th-6th
    • The trip is April 17th-19th
  • No school on Friday, March 8th, for the AMS Convention
  • Field trip to see the Birmingham Squadron Basketball Team on Tuesday, March 12th
  • No school for Spring break, March 25th to 29th.
  • Spring parent conferences are April 10th-12
    • A sign-up list will be emailed before Spring Break
  • There is a 1:00 dismissal on April 11th and 12th for parent conferences
    • No aftercare
  • The Lion King spring production is Friday, April 12th at 6:30

A Summary of Our Week

Parent’s Night

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A Short But Bustling Week

It’s amazing how much can be accomplished in just four school days! On Tuesday, we returned to school to see our amazing new floors. On Wednesday, students spent time preparing and practicing for Parent’s Night, then had their Specials classes on Thursday. Friday, we had a field trip in the morning, and we’re back to lessons in both classrooms for the afternoon.

Reminders:

  • No vocabulary is due on Monday, but the review unit test is this Friday, March 1st
  • Parent’s Night is Tuesday, from 6:00 to 7:00 PM in the Upper building. You’re welcome to visit other divisions, too!
  • The Community Open House is Sunday, March 3rd, from 2:00 to 3:30 PM.
  • No school on Friday, March 8th, for the AMS Convention

New Floors!

While everyone was off for Presidents Day weekend, our new floors were installed and are beautiful! Mr. Dana, again, worked all weekend to keep our Upper makeover moving forward by putting the final touches in both classrooms.

When we returned to school on Tuesday, there was a massive task ahead (refer to last week’s pictures of all the furniture, bookshelves, and materials in the hallway). Educators and students assisted in cleaning the furniture and materials as they were placed back in the classrooms. Students ensured all the Montessori material was handled with care. In Montessori, this type of activity is called Caring for the Environment in Practical Life, and it looks different at each developmental stage. Including students in this process gives them a sense of pride and responsibility for their environment.

“The children love to do these things [practical life activities] for themselves and they learn to be careful and precise in their movements. This is both education of movement, because there is a refinement of muscular co-ordination when the work is carefully done, and education through movement, because these activities involve judgement and will, self-discipline, and an appreciation of orderliness.”

– Maria Montessori

Back to Work

Tuesday’s hard work gave us one fully functional classroom, which means on Wednesday, we could get back to work during the work cycle. Students chose the jobs they wanted to present on Parent’s Night and practiced giving presentations with the materials.

Parent’s Night is Tuesday evening, 6:00 to 7:00 in the Upper building. Make sure to come and see our beautifully redone classrooms and visit with students eager to present their favorite lessons.

By Friday, we got both classrooms set up and functional for lessons.

Field Trip

We ventured downtown to The Birmingham Children’s Theater on Friday morning to see Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money. The play is based on the book by Christopher Paul Curtis, the first African-American author to win the Newberry Medal. His first book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham, received the Coretta Scott King Honor Book Award and the Newbery Honor Book Award, in addition to numerous other awards.

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Valentine’s Week

This week, Upper had a fun time! In Geography, students hid stones on our campus last week. Students used the cartography skills they had learned to create a map of their stone and then traded maps with others to follow the map. In Literature Studies, students recently began their third group rotation of reading Holes, Maniac McGee, or The BFG. Ask your child which novel they’ve enjoyed most and why.

Midweek, we celebrated Valentine’s Day with a board game in the morning. Students enjoyed socializing with their friends while learning new games or having a chance to play an old one.

We ended the week much differently than any other week. Mr. Dana has been tirelessly updating our classrooms for weeks. He and a parent volunteer have been putting some finishing touches and adding surprises to both classrooms. This weekend, since it’s a three-day weekend, our old tile floor and carpets will be pulled up, and we will have a beautiful new laminate floor laid and ready for when we return to school on Tuesday. To work in such a tight timeframe, Mr. Dana, Mr. Zech, and Mr. Fox cleared both Upper classrooms of all furniture so the flooring work could start Friday afternoon. We ended Friday afternoon sitting in one of our empty rooms, fascinated with how large the room appeared. Students are looking forward to returning on Tuesday to see our new floors.

Reminders:

  • No schools Monday, 2/19, in observance of Presidents Day
  • No vocabulary is due, but the review unit test will be on Thursday
  • The field trip to The Birmingham Children’s Theater is Friday, 2/23. Return permission forms and payment ASAP
  • Play practice resumes this week
  • Join us for Parent’s Night on Tuesday, 2/27. It will be a great opportunity to see our updated classrooms completed.
  • Sunday, 3/3, Community Open House
  • Week of 3/4, Spring Book Fair
  • No school on Friday, 3/8, for the AMS convention
  • Saturday, 3/9, PTO Trivia Night and Dinner Fundraiser

Work Cycle

Valentine’s Day and Other Fun

Upper Classroom Progress

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Beautiful Week in February

This week, the Upper renovation continues. Mr. Dana has worked tirelessly to ensure our classrooms are beautifully redone by Parents Night on February 27th. A few new surprises are being added to our classrooms, but we can’t share that intel yet. While we’re all excited to have our rooms remodeled and the change in scenery, we will also be excited when we return to our normal routines and classrooms. Students and other educators have been flexible as we use other classrooms and areas for quiet places to have lessons or to do work.

In Culture, students have been researching notable individuals for their Living Wax Museum. Students are composing a list of the top individuals they find the most interesting and what their contribution was to society as a whole. We can’t wait until April to see how students use their strengths and individual styles to present their notable individual. 

Up-Coming Reminders:

  • The vocabulary review unit is due Monday, 2/12
    • The review unit test will be the following Friday, 2/23
  • Monday, 2/12: PTO meeting and no play practice
  • Valentines Day, Wednesday, 2/14: See weekly email for details
  • Monday, 2/19, no school in observance of President’s Day
  • Friday, 2/23, Upper field trip to The Birmingham Children’s Theatre.
    • Permission slips will be sent home later this week.
  • Parent Night, Tuesday, 2/27. Division times TBA.
  • Sunday, 3/3, Community Open House… Bring a friend!
  • Week of 3/4, Book Fair
  • No school Friday, 3/8, American Montessori Society (AMS) annual conference
  • Saturday, 3/9, PTO Trivia Night and Dinner Fundraiser

Outside Play

Work Cycle

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Groundhog Week

This week we switched classrooms with Mr. Dana, as our Upper renovation continues. One of our classrooms now has a fresh coat of new paint and other aesthetic improvements. Mr. Dana still has lots of work to do, but there is already a lot of visible improvement! Mr. Dana is still scheduled to have the new floors laid on Presidents Day weekend.

We wish Mr. Brendan safe travels as he and Ms. Rachel travel to a Theater Festival in Bequia, a small island in the St. Vincent and the Grenadine Islands. While there, they will share the magic of the theater with local low-income children on the island. We can’t wait to hear about their trip when they return!

In science, students explored electricity and the flow and build-up of electrons through producing static electricity. They learned about the transfer of electrons and how that leads to atoms having a + or – charge. Their knowledge was put into action as they rubbed balloons on their hair, causing static electricity in their hair and also causing the balloon to cling to the wall or ceiling.

We were able to spend extra time outside this week. After experiencing freezing temperatures recently, it was nice to enjoy recess and PE outside. Geography class was also able to enjoy the temperatures while sitting at the outdoor theater. Perhaps Punxsutawney Phil was right, and we will have an early Spring!

Reminders

  • Vocabulary unit 12 is due Monday, and the test will be on Friday, 2/9
  • The vocabulary review unit will be due on Monday, 2/12
  • PTO meeting Monday, 2/12
  • Valentine’s Day will be a board game and social work cycle. Lunch and the afternoon will be our normal schedule.
  • No school on Monday, 2/19, in observance of President’s Day
  • Friday, 2/23, Upper field trip to the Birmingham Children’s Theater
  • Tuesday, 2/27, is Parent’s Night at Bruno

Static Electricity

Outside

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The First and Last Full Week of January

It’s difficult to believe we’ve made it this far into January before there was a full week of school, yet here we are! We continued to work together in one classroom, but on Friday, we were able to return to two classrooms during our work cycle! Mr. Dana has finished all he can on our one classroom, for now, so we were able to use it before he begins on our other classroom next week! Our classrooms will be fully completed on Presidents Day Weekend when our new laminate floor is laid.

The other big news this week came from our JUNA students. Led by Mr. Fox, our seven 6th-year representatives of Chile ventured to Oxford for a two-day event with our Middle school and other schools in Alabama. Team Chile had several achievements: passing the Committee with a counterweight argument, Outstanding Boy Delegate award to Zayden, and Honorable Mention award for Best Resolution to Chile. Our middle school teams also had some achievements too! Considering this was Bruno’s first year participating in JUNA, they did amazing! What makes Team Chiles’s achievement more special is that the founder of JUNA Alabama is our own, Ms. Susan! We are all so proud of the hard work team Chile put in and for being amazing delegates to represent Bruno!

Reminders:

  • Vocabulary unit 11 is due Monday, 1/29. The test will be on Friday, 2/2.
  • Vocabulary unit 12 will be due Monday, 2/5.
  • Monday, February 12th, PTO’s Trivia Night fundraiser at Jubilee Joe’s
  • Wednesday, 2/14, board game, games, and Valentine exchange during the work cycle.
    • Normal lunch and afternoon
  • No school Monday, 2/19, in observance of Presidents Day.
  • Friday, 2/23, Upper field trip to the Children’s Theater
  • Tuesday, 2/27, Bruno’s Parent Night

Classroom Renovation

Inside and Outside Recess

JUNA

Sacrifices for Our Students

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First Full Week of 2024 (almost)

Our first full week of 2024 turned out to not be a full week, due to a day off for a severe weather threat. Aside from the weather excitement, Upper students received some other exciting news: Our two classrooms are being renovated! Mr. Dana is actively working on our Language/History classroom, and when he’s finished, will redo our Math/Science classroom. He’s repairing, spackling, painting, among other labor intensive things. Both classrooms will be receiving new floors, along with some other new surprises. Projects like this, the STEM room, and other renovations would not be affordable without the talents and dedication of Mr. Dana. When you see him, let him know how much he’s appreciated! Since one room is being renovated, we are all working in the same classroom during the work cycle. Students have enjoyed working with different friends and the change from our normal routine.
Students in Ms. Rachel’s gardening classes welcomed author Claire Datnow to speak about her experiences as a writer and, more specifically, her book, The Whale’s Lament, an Eco-Adventure. A few students volunteered to be part of a readers’ theatre portion where they read excepts from the book. Special thanks to Isla’s mom who helped arrange this event and who, along with Claire Datnow, donated several copies of The Whale’s Lament to Upper’s library.

Reminders:

  • No school on Monday, 1/15, in observance of Martin Luther King, JR.
  • Vocabulary Unit 10 is due Tuesday, 1/16
  • Progress reports will be distributed for the second quarter on 1/16

Author Visit

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Welcome to 2024!

With 2024 starting, we’re about halfway through the school year- the second quarter ends next week! Educators returned Tuesday for a Professional Development Day. We welcomed students on Wednesday as they returned to start 2024.

The Upper schedule has changed to incorporate the addition of a STEM class and Technology class (4th year only). Library class has changed to check-in/out only. Because of the addition of STEM and Technology classes to Upper, Lower, and Middle, our Specials morning has changed from Wednesdays to Thursdays. On Thursday, students had the opportunity to attend their first STEM class in our new STEM Lab. Mr. Dana worked tirelessly to transform the conference room into our amazing new lab. Ms. Jessica has also worked hard to ensure everything was ordered and ready in the Lab, and she is also taking professional development courses for our STEM curriculum. If you want to see the new STEM Lab and learn more about the curriculum, please attend the Grand Opening. It was a short week, but students picked up where they left off during our work cycle. Next week we will be back to our (new) regular routine!

Reminders:

  • On Monday, we will introduce the next Vocabulary unit. It will be due next Tuesday, 1/16.
  • Monday is the end of the 2nd Quarter.
    • In their new format, Report Cards will be released Tuesday, 1/16.
  • The STEM Grand Opening and Open House is on Thursday, 1/11.
    • Visitors are welcomed 10:00-11:00 AM or 5:00-6:00 PM.
  • No School on Monday, 1/15, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the Classroom

The New STEM Lab

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Last Week of 2023!

It was our last week of 2023, and it was a memorable week. Students had their Winter Concert final rehearsal and performance. Everyone performed fantastically! We then had our Upper Second Annual Holiday Feast Day! We had an extended social morning and heard a story from a professional storyteller (yes, Mr. Zech is a professional storyteller), followed by an extended lunch for our feast. Ms. Susan and Ms. Rachel (our counselor) joined us, and other educators stopped by to visit as well. Thank you to all who sent in delicious food! This year was once again a success, and we look forward to continuing the tradition next year! We ended the week with a pajama, movie, and board game day. Some students chose to watch either The Grinch or The Polar Express, while other students enjoyed a variety of games or simply chatted with friends.

It was a wonderful week to end the 2023 portion of the school year! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! We will see everyone again in 2024!

Holiday Concert Rehearsal

Holiday Feast Day

Last Day of 2023

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The Last Two Weeks of 2023

Students in upper elementary are wrapping up different subjects and activities as the end of 2023 approaches. This week, they continued to practice for the Holiday Performance, had a visit from St. Nicholas, talked about family traditions for this time of the year, and are finishing up their last work plan for 2023! We have a busy week ahead, so please read the weekly email carefully so nothing is overlooked!

Reminders:

  • The Vocabulary review unit workbook pages are due Monday, December 11th. There will not be a test for this review unit!
  • The Holiday Program will be on Tuesday, December 12th, at 7:00 PMStudents arrive at 6:30 PM. Refer to Ms. Janell’s email for student performance attire.
  • The Upper Annual Holiday Feast will be on Thursday, December 14th. If you haven’t signed up for a dish, see the link in the weekly email.
  • Upper movie, board game, and pajama day on Friday, December 15th.
  • December 15th is a 1:00 PM dismissal, with no aftercare. 
  • No school December 18th, 2023 to Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024
  • Students return on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024

Work Cycle

Saint Nicholas

Ms. Carmen presented the German tradition of children leaving a shoe outside on the eve of December 6th so St. Nicholas could leave some treats. Upper students left a shoe in the hallway, and St. Nicholas left everyone a treat!

Other Fun Parts of Upper’s Week

During our morning meeting, students had the opportunity to share a dish that was special to their family. Some students had stories to go along with their dishes, and others were dishes that students thought were unique or a special treat for their families. See if you can guess which dish your child might have shared! (Also, some ideas for the Holiday Feast).

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The Last Three Weeks of 2023

This week, students had a variety of activities and opportunities for learning. On Wednesday, the Altamont School Orchestra visited our school for a performance. In addition to their fantastic performance, they demonstrated that each instrument has its sound, and Bruno students had the opportunity to guess its name. Speaking of music and performances, students have also been practicing for perfection for the Holiday Performance with Ms. Janell’s guidance. Please encourage other members of your family and family friends to attend!

In the classroom, students are wrapping up a variety of topics in classes as we prepare for our Winter Break. Most new lessons will slow down until we return in 2024, but students are still expected to work hard during the work cycle.

Reminders:

  • Vocabulary unit 9 is due Monday, December 4th, and the test is on Friday, December 8th.
  • Vocabulary unit 10 will be due Monday, December 11th
  • Coffee Chat with Ms. Susan on Tuesday, December 5th
  • The Holiday Program will be on Tuesday, December 12th, at 7:00 PM. Students arrive at 6:30 PM.
  • The Upper Annual Holiday Feast will be on Thursday, December 14th.
  • Upper movie, board game, and pajama day on Friday, December 15th.
  • December 15th is a 1:00 PM dismissal, with no aftercare.
  • No school December 18th, 2023 to Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024
  • Students return on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024

Work Cycle and Altamont Performance

Outside and Inside Fun

Even though the weather took a frosty turn in the mornings, students were still able to enjoy warmer temperatures on the playground in the afternoons (in this case, warmer refers to above 40 degrees).

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Thanksgiving is Coming

This week, students had extra time to work on their work plan. This allowed some students to work on their own paths and for others to catch up. Ms. Janell worked with Upper students to practice their Holiday performance in the gym, and they will continue leading up to their performance on December 12th. Students also voted for their new group leaders, who will manage their group jobs for the next month. This is an important position, as they need to assign each person a job, monitor that the job is being completed, and fill positions for absent students. Students interested in being the group leader give a short speech to the group before voting.

We hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving break and enjoy the time with your families. We look forward to seeing everyone on Monday, November 27th.

Reminders:

  • No vocabulary assignment is due over the break!
  • Vocabulary unit 9 will be due on Monday, December 4th
  • Coffee Chat with Ms. Susan on Tuesday, December 5th
  • The Holiday Program will be on Tuesday, December 12th, at 7:00 PM
  • During the week of December 11th, we will have our Holiday Feast and Holiday party.
  • Early dismissal is on Friday, December 15th, at 1:00 PM. No aftercare.
  • Winter break begins December 18th, 2023 and students return Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024

Work Cycle

Positive Discipline, Morning Meetings

A thank you from the Middle School for the food donations.
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Goodbye October, Hello November

This week was packed with various fun activities and learning! On Monday and Friday, we had our regular work cycle. Of course, Tuesday was filled with lots of fun. We enjoyed seeing the whole school gather on the track for the parade, an event that had not happened for a long time. In our class, we enjoyed various board games, a movie, a special lunch, and time spent chatting with friends. Students enjoyed the break from our regular routine! On Thursday, we ventured downtown to The Children’s Theater to see Peter Pan. By coincidence, this was also the Spring play, so students could make many connections between the similarities and differences in the storyline, character traits, and artistic presentations of the set and props.

In Geography, students continued to build their marshmallow structures. After testing their small structure in a mock earthquake last week, students expanded their structures. They built their structures higher and broader, trying to keep the best earthquake design strategies in mind. In Science, students put their air-resistant designs to the test in hopes of slowing the effects of gravity to protect their eggs from cracking. The students had some great designs! Afterward, students discussed their design and what worked well or improvements that could have been made. Students in Cultural have been studying the Olmec civilization. They have been working on writing a tabloid article, using facts learned about the civilization to create an interesting fictional story.

Reminders:

  • Vocabulary unit 7 is due Monday, 11/6. The test will be this Thursday, 11/9
    • Vocabulary unit 8 will be due Monday, November 13th
  • Safeguarding Your Child with Social Media, presented by Shelby County COMPACT on Monday, 11/6
  • No school on Friday, November 10th, in observance of Veteran’s Day
  • Children’s Choir informational meeting, Tuesday, November 14th at 6:00 PM
  • No school November 20th-24th for Thanksgiving Break
  • The Holiday Program will be on Tuesday, December 12th, at 5:30 PM
  • Early dismissal on Friday, December 15th, at 1:00 PM. No aftercare.
  • Winter break begins December 18th, 2023 and students return Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024

Work Cycle

Halloween

Geography

Science

Alabama Children’s Theater

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Last Full Week of October

Students were extra busy this week with lessons, class activities, and extracurriculars. In Geography, students have been studying plate tectonics and earthquakes. Students created structures out of toothpicks and marshmallows, and then the structures were tested on a mock earthquake simulation table. Students will reevaluate their designs, make necessary changes, and then test their new designs. Students in Science have been studying gravity, gravitational force, and resistance, and their relation to the solar system. To understand the effects of gravitational force and resistance, students are using ingenuity to protect an egg cracking from gravitational force using air resistance. Their designs will be put to the gravitational force test next week when they’re dropped with an egg inside.

Students in the drama club invited others to view their dress rehearsal of The Hunt for Milo Gatto. Their effort and hard work were demonstrated as they had an excellent dress rehearsal performance. Student performers also did amazingly at Friday evening’s main show. Thank you to Ms. Rachel, Mr. Brendan, and all of the parent volunteers for helping to make the show successful. Traditionally, more than half of Upper students are involved in the play somehow, so we always appreciate and recognize the hard work it takes for a successful show.

Reminders:

  • Permission slips and payment for our field trip to the Children’s Theater are due by Tuesday.
  • Permission slips to watch movies on Halloween are due by Tuesday.
  • The Halloween parade will be on Tuesday on the track, and parents are welcome to attend
  • Halloween is a board game and movie day.
  • The vocabulary review unit test is Friday, November 3rd
  • Vocabulary unit 7 is due Monday, November 6th
  • No school Friday, November 10th, in observance of Veteran’s Day
  • No school November 20th-24th for Thanksgiving break.
  • Information about our holiday feast coming soon.

Our Work Cycle

Fourth-year students received a lesson on triangles and angles. They learned how to identify the types of angles (acute, obtuse, and right). They then learned how to use a protractor to draw a triangle with specific angles.

Some fifth and sixth-year students were given a lesson on using our new, updated material hands-on equations. This material helps students work out the value of a variable in an equation.

All students had a group grammar lesson. They were shown how symbolizing a paragraph does not have to be an overwhelming job. In the lesson, students were shown how they could break down a paragraph and symbolize different parts of speech one at a time, which led to being able to quickly identify the parts of speech of other words.

Earthquakes and Structure Engineering

Gravitational Force and Resistance, Designing Process

The Hunt for Milo Gatto, Dress Rehearsal

Who stole the Neil Diamond?

Perfect Weather

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Fall Festival Week

The cloudy, misty weather on Sunday didn’t stop the PTO’s annual Fall Festival from being a success! Even though it was too chilly to dunk Mr. Fox and Mr. Zech, there were still many fun activities and delicious food to keep students and families happy and busy! If you did not have the opportunity to see our Upper scarecrow, The Lorax, pictures are below. We drew a random name for a student to take The Lorax home and use as a decoration for their home. Students did an amazing job of designing, cutting, sewing, stuffing, and putting the final details on the Lorax. Well done!

In 5th-year history, students presented their Native American dioramas to their class. Students chose a Native American tribe, researched the tribe, and presented the information and their diorama to their class. They did a fantastic job! Students in Geography are constructing structures that can withstand an earthquake, and in Science students are exploring the effects of gravity by experimenting with an egg.

Reminders

  • The Book Fair will be all next week
  • The vocabulary review unit is due on Monday, 10/23
    • The review unit test will be on Friday, 11/3
  • Early dismissal at 1:00 PM on Thursday and Friday, 10/26 and 10/27, for conferences
    • No aftercare
  • Friday, 10/27, The Hunt for Milo Gatto play, 6:30 PM
  • Tuesday, 10/31 Halloween parade, board game day, movie, and special lunch
  • Thursday, 11/2 field trip to the Children’s Theater
  • Friday, 11/10, No School in observance of Veterans Day

Fall Festival and The Lorax

Work Cycle

5th-Year Native American Dioramas

Enjoying the Fall Weather

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Fall Break, Part 2

Educators and staff returned on Monday for a professional development day, while students enjoyed an extra day off for Indigenous Peoples’ Day. On Tuesday, we returned together and resumed our normal routine. This week was the end of the 1st quarter, so look for progress reports in your inbox next week. Our literature studies groups have finished the novel their group was reading, so this week we rotated groups. Students started their new novel: Holes, Maniac McGee, or The BFG.

Students used their creative side and talents to help create our Upper Scarecrow for the Fall Festival this Sunday. No spoilers, so you have to come see what students created! Pictures of our scarecrow and the Fall Festival will be posted next week. If you’re unsure if you want to attend, perhaps having the opportunity to dunk Mr. Zech or Mr. Fox in a real dunk tank will persuade you to come! Do you think Ms. Leeann will cheer for them to stay dry or be in line to dunk them?

Reminders:

  • Fall Festival, Sunday, 10/15, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
  • Vocabulary unit 6 due 10/16
    • Unit 6 test 10/20
  • Report Cards released, 10/18
  • Book Fair, week of 10/23-10/27
  • Early dismissal at 1:00 for Fall ConferencesThursday, 10/26 and Friday, 10/27
    • No aftercare
  • The Hunt for Milo Gatto play, 6:30 PM, Friday, October 27
  • Halloween Parade and board game day, Tuesday, 10/31
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Fall Break

This week’s Fall-like weather was a perfect lead-way into our Fall break! Students enjoyed plenty of time outside on the playground, gardening, and testing their sundials from Science class. Our Literature groups have finished each of their novels, and we will rotate groups so each group is engaging in a new novel. The group that read Holes, by Louis Sachar, finished ahead of the other groups, allowing them time to do an activity with the book. The group wrote and acted out a trailer to demonstrate their understanding of the book through a creative outlet. Next week, 5th-year History students will present their Native American dioramas.

Reminders:

  • No school Monday, 10/9, Professional Development Day
  • Friday, 10/13
    • Vocabulary unit 5 test
    • 5th-year History diorama presentations
  • Fall Festival, Sunday, 10/15, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
  • Report Cards released, 10/18
  • Book Fair, week of 10/23-10/27
  • Early dismissal at 1:00 for Fall ConferencesThursday, 10/26 and Friday, 10/27
    • No aftercare
  • The Hunt for Milo Gatto play, Friday, October 27
  • Halloween Parade, Tuesday, 10/31 

Art and Gardening

Work Cycle and Morning Meeting

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Last Week of September

While Fall’s cooler weather makes our outside time more pleasurable, students work diligently each day during our work cycle. As we finished our second month of school, students in Upper are mostly set in their daily routines, knowing how they will tackle their work plans each day.

In Cultural, students worked on creating their own pictographs, just as depicted in cave art. Students in Science class are exploring the earth’s orbit and rotation. They crafted sundials, which they will use next week to track the earth’s rotation. In math, students received a square root lesson with new materials we received at the end of the last school year. The Montessori curriculum works best when we have all of the materials to support our students, and we are thankful for the PTO’s monetary donation for new materials.

Reminders:

  • Unit 5 vocabulary work due Monday, 10/2
    • Unit 5 test on Friday, 10/13
  • Coffee Chat with Ms. Susan, Tuesday, 10/3
  • Fall Break, no school Friday, 10/6 or Monday, 10/9
  • End of the 1st quarter, 10/11
  • Fall Festival, Sunday, 10/15
  • Book Fair, 10/23-10/27
  • Early dismissal for Fall Conferences, Thursday, 10/26 and Friday, 10/27
  • The Hunt for Milo Gatto play, Friday, October 27
  • Halloween Parade and Board Game Day, Tuesday, 10/31

New Student

Our new student now has a permanent home in our class, thanks to one of our generous families donating the materials needed to keep our new friend comfortable. We went through a process to name our new student. First, students wrote down their own suggestions, followed by listing all of the suggestions on the board. Students then voted from the list, and we chose the names with the top votes for a final voting round. After one name won by just a vote, we compromised on a middle name. Meet our new friend Gregamy Spike!

Pictographs

In Cultural class, students are studying cave art. Students created their own pictographs to communicate a message or story, just like the cave art examples they’ve explored.

Fall Weather

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Week of September 18th

This week, students continued to stay busy! In Language, students continued to receive lessons on grammar analysis, nouns, adjectives, and verbs. In Geometry, students worked on angles, area, and volume. Our history classes currently explore the Revolutionary War, Native Americans, and World War I.

It has been wonderful to spend time outside on the playground and not fry from the sunlight and swim through the humidity. Students have also enjoyed spending more time outside during PE class due to the break in the heat. Fall is definitely coming soon!

Reminders:

  • Unit 4 vocabulary work due Monday, 9/25
    • Unit 4 test on Friday, 9/29
  • Coffee Chat with Ms. Susan, Tuesday, 10/3
  • Fall Break, no school Friday, 10/6 or Monday, 10/9
  • End of the 1st quarter, 10/11
  • Fall Festival, Sunday, 10/15
  • Book Fair, 10/23-10/27
  • Early dismissal for Fall Conferences, Thursday, 10/26 and Friday, 10/27
  • The Hunt for Milo Gatto play, Friday, October 27

Work Cycle

Outside

New Student

Ms. Jessica brought us a little friend she found in the library. After observing for a few days to see if it would drink or eat some tasty insects, our new friend finally felt at home and chowed down on some ants! Our new friend’s name? To be continued…

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Week of 9/11

Students were back to normal this week with a full week of the work cycle. In Language, students are learning to identify different types of nouns, adjectives, and indirect objects in sentences, based on their level. In math, students are working on angles, area, volume, and other math lessons to meet individual needs. Students in Cultural class discussed the fundamental needs of humans, while in Geography, students learned about tectonic plates. In Science, students learned about comets. The week was the peak viewing week for the Nishimura Comet, a green comet with a 50,000-year orbit that will pass between the Sun and Mercury.

Reminders:

  • Makeups for Picture Day, Wednesday, 9/20
  • Vocabulary review units 1-3 test on Friday, 9/22
  • Fall Festival, Sunday, 10/15
  • The Hunt for Milo Gatto play, Friday, October 27

Work Cycle

9/11

We started our week by discussing the events of 9/11/01 and how they have permanently affected American culture. Mr. Fox shared how confusing the day was for him as a child living on an army base in Germany. Ms. Leeann shared the fear of living in New Jersey and hearing the news while in class at college. Mr. Zech recalled the tone of disbelief on his college campus that morning when the news was first heard.

Outside

New Group Leaders

Part of the Montessori philosophy is for students to care for their own environment. This week groups A and B students chose their new group leaders. Group leaders oversee their groups by assigning cleaning duties and ensuring their group follows through with their duties.

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Labor Day Week

This week was a short week, to begin with, and picture day took a bit of extra time from our work cycle, too. We still had plenty of time to get work completed in class. In Cultural class, students explored the Timeline of Civilizations. The timeline gives students a visual presentation of the layout of human civilization and the breakdown of those civilizations’ active periods. Students continue to receive lessons throughout our work cycle in math and language.

Reminders:

  • Vocabulary review units 1-3 due Monday, 9/11
  • Unit 3 vocabulary test on Friday, 9/15
  • PTO movie night, Friday, 9/15
  • Makeups for Picture Day, Wednesday, 9/20
  • Fall Festival, Sunday, 10/15
  • The Hunt for Milo Gato play, Friday, October 27

Work Cycle


Other Weekly Events

Other events that took place this week were our weekly positive discipline morning meeting, a storytime from Mr. Zech, Drama, Music, and the Model U.N. had their first meeting and lesson.

Picture Day

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Last Week of August

We’ve completed our first full month of the school year. Students are in their work cycle groove, and they understand the expectation of being a year older and the work and responsibilities accompanying it. Students are deep into lessons in math and language during the work cycle. In Science, students have been exploring the solar system and putting the size of planets and distance from the sun into perspective. In Geography, students observed a demonstration on convection and how it affects the world’s ocean currents. Ask your child about both of these topics!

Reminders:

  • No school on Monday, 9/4, in observance of Labor Day
  • Unit 3 vocabulary due Tuesday, 9/5
    • Unit 3 test on Friday, 9/8
  • Picture Day for Upper, Friday, 9/8
  • PTO movie night, Friday, 9/8
  • Fall Festival, Sunday, 10/15
  • The Hunt for Milo Gato play, Friday, October 27


Grace and Courtesy

There is a great sense of community within the Montessori classroom, where children of differing ages work together in an atmosphere of cooperation rather than competitiveness. There is respect for the environment and for the individuals within it, which comes through experience of freedom within the community.

– Dr. Maria Montessori

Outside Fun

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Third Full Week

Students have made it through their third week of school! It was hot this week, but let’s hope it was the hottest we’ll experience this school year.

We continue to work through our full work cycle each day. Students are learning to prioritize their work plans and receive new lessons. Educators are reinforcing the expectations of students during the work cycle. When students advance to the next grade level, there is a learning curve with new materials, lessons, expectations, and roles. Students who are new to Montessori or transitioning from Lower to Upper have the highest learning curve, followed by rising 5th-year students and students who transferred from another Montessori environment. Students who are 6th-year or in their third year of upper elementary are learning their unique role in the Montessori prepared environment. Multiage groupings encourage younger students to learn from older students and experience new challenges through observation. Older students reinforce their learning by teaching concepts they have mastered, developing leadership skills, and serving as role models. Educators encourage and guide leadership and role modeling to all students; however, more effort and focus are directed toward our oldest students. Click here for more information about the importance of Montessori multiage groupings and a three-year cycle.

Reminders:

  • Vocabulary unit 2 is due Monday, August 28th.
    • The test will be on Friday, September 1st.
  • No school on Monday, September 4th, in observance of Labor Day
  • Vocabulary unit 3 is due Tuesday, September 5th.
  • The cast list for the play has been emailed. Practice starts this Monday.
    • Note the play practice calendar and days your child must be present.
  • Extracurriculars are starting- send forms and payments in with your child.
  • As extracurriculars start, remind your child in the morning if they have an extracurricular or are a car rider. If there is a mixup, drop-in aftercare is not an option.
  • Family Movie Night, hosted by the PTO, will be held on Friday, September 8th.

Work Cycle

Ms. Susan Visit To Our Classroom

Ms. Susan joined us one morning during our daily morning meeting. She introduced herself to the students, spoke about her goals for our school, and then opened the floor to students for questions. She asked what students liked and didn’t like and engaged in conversation to discuss the reason behind students’ feelings.

Inside Recess and Morning Arrival

Since the heat index was close to 110 degrees throughout the week, we could only bear an outside recess one day. The forecast for next week is looking more promising for some outside time!

The Tree of Friendship

Ms. Carmen and her Foreign Language students created this beautiful friendship tree.

Beautiful Campus

The next time you’re on the Bruno campus, take some time to appreciate the nature and architecture on our beautiful campus.

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Second Week of School in 2023-2024

This week Upper students had their first full week of the work cycle. They’re becoming more familiar with our daily routines, schedules, work materials, and work plans. Students have received many lessons and refresher lessons from the educators, but have also helped one another with reminders, material location, and other necessary information. While the start of the week was too hot to think about being outside, the rest of the week brought beautiful weather that allowed us to enjoy some time on the playground and the option to eat lunch outside. Next week we will continue building on our lessons, introducing new materials to our new students, and working during our work cycle.

Reminders:

  • Vocabulary unit 1 is due Monday, 8/21. The test will be on Friday, 8/25.
  • Vocabulary unit 2 is due Monday, 8/28.
  • The first PTO meeting of the school year is Monday, 8/21 at 5:30 PM in the conference room
  • Play auditions are this Monday and Tuesday, 8/21-22
    • Make sure your child returned the permission form to audition
  • Check your email for important information about extracurriculars and aftercare.

Morning Arrival

Work Cycle

Cooler Temperatures

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That’s a Wrap for 2022-2023

How could we possibly sum up the amazing school year we had? We’ve had so many great days, special events, trips, activities, new friends, not to mention the leaps and bounds student made academically throughout the year.

Many, many thanks to the amazing Upper Elementary families who helped make this year great. We’ve never had a shortage of volunteers to help with special events, volunteer time, offer expert advice, or any other need. We are thankful to have such supportive and appreciative families in our Upper community. We are looking forward to a new school year in August!

Reminders:

  • Have a safe and amazing summer!!!


Field Day

Students enjoyed many great activities on Field Day! Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped make the day happen and to be special!

Drama Class Productions

Students in Drama Class performed grade-level plays on Tuesday. They worked on creating and writing the plays throughout the school year, and their final performances were amazing! Students chose their own role in the production, and it was great to see students act in roles that fit some and were completely different for others! Students put a lot of effort into their plays, and they were all impressive!

Rock, Paper, Scissor Champs and 8th Grade Graduation Rehearsal

Congratulations to our champs and to the 8th-grade students moving on to high school!

The Fun, Laughs, and Tears of the Last Day of School

We wish our 6th-year students the best as they move up to the middle school next year. While we’ll miss seeing them in the classroom daily, we’re thankful they’ll still be on the Bruno campus.

We wish the handful of students who are not returning good luck as they transition to their new schools in August. They will be missed!

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Last Full Week of School

Students had their last full work cycle this week. In Drama class, students practiced several times this week to prepare for the plays they have been working on throughout the school year. Culture and Geography classes combined in between drama practice so students could wrap up their collaborative efforts to create and run their own countries. Ask your child about their country! Upper students also visited Primary classes for a special presentation. More information and pictures below.

Reminders for the last week of school:

  • Field Day is Monday
  • Students perform their Drama plays Tuesday
  • Ms. Chris’ retirement and farewell on Wednesday
  • Upper class party on Thursday
    • Send in $5 cash for ice cream and treats
  • The last day of school is Thursday! Dismissal is at 1:00 and there is no aftercare.
    • Progress reports released

Classwork

Primary Presentations

Students in Primary researched and studied information and used their art skills to recreate different areas of the world in the classroom. Ms. Kim and Ms. Kelsey’s class studied Egypt, Ms. Andrea and Ms. Cristina’s class studied the ocean, and Ms. Sarita and Ms. Kathy’s class studied the rainforest. Not only did student in Upper enjoy browsing through the hard work of primary students, students who attended Primary themselves enjoyed reminiscing in the classrooms and with the materials their once little hands enjoyed exploring.

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Countdown to Summer

With only 9 more days of school, students are feeling the summer break itch. Upper students chose their best artwork from the school year to showcase for the Art Show. It was amazing to see each child’s individual art personality and their perception of color, shapes, and the abstract. As if their art was not amazing enough, students in Lower, Upper, and Middle blew the audience away with their musical showcase. It was an amazing evening to see our students shine in their areas of interest and talents! Thank you to Ms. Lisa and Mr. Jonathan for their hard work to prepare the students for these events.

This week was a short work week due to OLSAT testing, so students were able to spend extra time outside to have a much-earned mental break.

Thank you to the PTO and parents who helped make Teacher Appreciation Week special! We appreciate you all taking the time to think of us and acknowledge the hard work and dedication we pour into your amazing children.

Reminders:

  • Field Day is Monday, May 22nd
  • We will have a classroom party the last week of school- date and details TBA
  • The last day of school is Thursday, May 25th, 1:00 dismissal

Art Show, Upper Masterpieces

Art is one of the many ways children express themselves. Art is a way for children to communicate their feelings. It is through art that children develop their fine motor skills.

There should be music in the child’s environment, just as there does exist in the child’s environment spoken speech. In the social environment, the child should be considered and music should be provided.”

-Maria Montessori

Work Cycle

Outside Play

There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony, and the beauty in nature.”

“When children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.”

Maria Montessori

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AMS Visits

The week students and staff have been diligently preparing for finally arrived; a team representing the American Montessori Society visited our school this week to evaluate our school for reaccreditation. The team was highly impressed with our students, beautiful campus, and the interactions they witnessed between adults and children. We are thrilled the team was able to witness how amazing our school community is!

The rest of the week students worked on their yearly SAT testing. One of the perks student receive when there’s testing is extra outside and free choice time! Fortunately the rain held off just enough for us to get time playing outside. Let’s hope the same is true for testing next week!

Reminders:

  • Art Show and Spring Performance, this Monday, May 8th; Invite family and friends
    • Art show begins at 5:00 and the per dance begins at 6:30
  • Standardized testing for Upper Elementary: 10th, 11th, and 12th 
    • Please make your best effort to ensure your child is present during these mornings
  • Field Day, May 22nd
  • The last day of school is May 25th; dismissal is at 1:00

Work Cycle and Free Choice

Outdoor Fun

We were able to enjoy extra time outside time this week, due to testing. Fortunately the rain held off for us!

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Science Fair Week

Our big event this week was the Science Fair! Students have been preparing for this week since February. In preparation, students used the Scientific Method together as the 4th-year students planned and executed their experiment on Growing Plants in Microgravity. This gave all students the opportunity to see how the Scientific Method works so they could apply their knowledge to their own investigation. Students gave presentations to parents, family members, friends, students in Middle, Lower, Primary, and one another.

We are proud of the well-thought, well-planned, and well-executed science experiments students presented. They were able to effectively speak about their experiments and also answer questions, which demonstrates thorough understanding. The Upper Elementary Educators received many compliments about how amazing the students (not us) did with their presentations, and you should all be proud of your child! Thank you to all of the family members who were able to attend, the Educators who stopped by, and the Educators who changed their schedules so other students could attend.

Reminders:

  • The American Montessori Society will be visiting from April 30th-May 3rd
  • Standardized testing for Upper Elementary: May 4th, 5th, 10th, 11th, and 12th 
    • Please make your best effort to ensure your child is present during these mornings
  • Art Show and Spring Performance, the evening of May 8th; Invite family and friends
    • Students must be present in the evening for the Spring Performance
  • Field Day, May 22nd
  • The last day of school is May 25th; dismissal is at 1:00

Individual Projects