Bruno Upper EL Classroom

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!


  • 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


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.


  • 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


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.


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.


  • 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!


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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!


  • 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


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.


  • 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!


  • 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.


  • 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

Science Fair Visitors: Parents, Family, and Family Friends

Science Fair Presentations to Middle, Lower, and Primary

Students were amazing in giving presentations, especially to the younger students. They took the time to try and explain things in a way they could understand and were patient with their questions.

Science Fair Presentations to Peers

A Few Random Pictures

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Peace Ceremony

It was nice to have the whole class together again after our trip to Camp McDowell last week. There’s been lots of math work going on recently: Students have been receiving math lessons with some new Montessori materials we’ve received, as well as working on statistics and graphing, stemming from our Pi Day activity. As students prepare for the Science Fair next week, they’ve continued to practice working on analyzing data from graphs and graphing data in Science class.

Our big event this week was the Peace Ceremony. The last Peace Ceremony we had was during the 2019-2020 school year, so this was a big deal for our community! It was wonderful to bring back this Bruno tradition, as we gathered together as a whole, Toddlers through Middle School. Each level did a wonderful job on its piece of the program.


  • Science Fair final presentation board due Monday, April 24 (4th-6th)
  • Science Fair parent presentations, April 26th, 1:00-2:30; open house style
  • The American Montessori Society will be visiting from April 30th-May 3rd
  • Standardized testing for Upper Elementary May 4th, 5th, 10th, 11th, and 12th in the morning. 
    • Please make your best effort to ensure your child is present during these days.
  • Art Show and Spring Performance, the evening of May 8th
  • Field Day, May 22nd
  • The last day of school is May 25th; dismissal is at 1:00

Daily Work Cycle

Peace Ceremony

Free Play

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Memories Made

It’s amazing how much we can pack into a short week! This week Upper Elementary students traveled to Camp McDowell for 3 days. While the trip was a bit soggy, students learned about many different aspects of the environment, while making memories of a lifetime with friends. From the Camp McDowell website:

“Our program provides outdoor learning experiences that can’t be found in a classroom for school groups. Learning takes place through exploration and inquiry in the forests, canyons, and streams of beautiful Camp McDowell. Participants are immersed in the beauty and splendor of nature, thereby learning the importance of taking care of the environment. We introduce them to problem-solving, team building, and ways we can make the world a better place.”

Students who chose to not attend the trip volunteered to help with cleaning and organizing. They helped with our Upper building, the Drama classroom, and with props and costumes from the play. They also assisted lower elementary students with reading, had an extra Art class, did a special activity in Library and Foreign Language, and spent time together in a relaxed, small group setting.

Before we left for the trip, students worked on creating their own island in Culture. They must take many different island characteristics into consideration, including shelter, and food sources, among other things. We also had a very important lesson prior to our trip: identifying the poison ivy plant.

Reminders for the week and near future:

  • Science Fair assignment #3 due for 5th and 6th year on April 19th
  • Peace Ceremony, April 21st
  • Science Fair final presentation board due  April 24 (4th-6th)
  • Science Fair parent presentations, April 26th, 1:00-2:30; open house style
  • Standardized testing for Upper Elementary May 4th, 5th, 10th, 11th, and 12th in the morning.
    • Please make your best effort to ensure your child is present during these days.
  • Art Show and Spring Performance, the evening of May 8th
  • Field Day, May 22nd
  • The last day of school is May 25th; dismissal is at 1:00

Culture Island

While Coach Was Away On The Middle School Trip…

Camp McDowell Trip

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin

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Springing into April

While we always have a great experiences in Upper Elementary, this week came with many great experiences! Students from K-8th grades rotated around campus for STEAM Day. Parents from our community volunteered their time to speak to students about their career, why they love it, and patiently answered questions from students. Students (and teachers) greatly enjoyed everything parents had to offer in their presentations. Students are already looking forward to STEAM Day next year!


  • No School Monday, April 10th
  • Unit 15 vocabulary test on Tuesday, April 11th
  • Camp McDowell trip April 12th-14th
  • Science Fair assignment #3 due for 5th and 6th year on April 17th
  • Peace Ceremony, April 21st
  • Science Fair final presentation board due (4th-6th) April 24
  • Science Fair parent presentations, April 26th in the afternoon
  • Standardized testing for Upper May 4th, 5th, 10th, 11th, 12th.
  • Art Show and Spring Performance, May 8th

Outdoor Fun


Classroom Learning and Work Cycle

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Pre-Spring Break

It was a great week to welcome Spring! During the work cycle this week, students continued their Pi and polygon studies by measuring “human polygons.” Students created groups of 3-5, measured each “side” in inches and centimeters, then calculated the perimeter of the polygon they created. We will continue more work on this when we return from Spring Break. Students also spent time during our work cycle finishing and editing the stories they started in Junior Great Books. This led to a cool end to the week- The Upper Cafe, where students read their stories, or read for a friend, while sipping on a drink with a sweet treat. It was an excellent way to end the week!

Ramadan Mubarak to our Upper Elementary families observing.


  • Our Spring Break is March 27th-31st. The school will be closed!
  • STEAM Day is April 4th
  • No school on Monday, April 10th
  • Our trip to Camp McDowell is from April 12th-14th
  • Science Fair is on April 26th

Human Polygons and Work Cycle

The Upper Cafe

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Polygons, Pi, Author Visit, and Shamrocks

What an exciting week that was had in upper elementary! Pi Day was used as the theme of the week as students explored polygons, parts of a polygon, and measuring polygons. As the week progressed, students learned how measuring a circle is different than a polygon and why it is measured differently.

We also had a visit from local author Dr. Anita Saxena, who spoke about the inspiration and process behind her books, The Price of Ice and Double Axel or Nothing. Dr. Saxena is also an optometrist and competitive ice skater, who shared her struggles growing up and how she used writing as an outlet.

In Science, students began the experiment for the Science Fair. Fourth-year students collected data on the growth of their plants, that are simulating a microgravity environment or a few varieties of gravity. The plant growth already showed differences, and students will gather their final measurements, data, and observations to analyze the results. Students in Junior Great Books have been composing a fiction story, focusing on the development of the different elements of story writing. Next week students will share their final stories with one another.

Congratulations to the cast and crew of Peter Pan! Students worked tirelessly to perfect their performance, and it was an amazing production. Thank you to all staff and parents who helped make the play such a success!


  • Vocabulary unit 14 is due on March 20th. The test will be on March 24th.
  • 4th-year only: Assignment #2 for the Science Fair is due on Friday, March 24th.
  • .Progress reports will be sent on March 22nd
  • Our Spring Break is March 27th-31st. The school will be closed!
  • No school on Monday, April 10th
  • Our trip to Camp McDowell is from April 12th-14th. Please return the forms and payment asap.
  • A list of Summer Camps that will be offered by Bruno’s staff during the summer break has been released.

Polygons and Pi’s

Author Visit

Science Experiment: Growing Plants in a Microgravity Environment

Beautiful Weather, Beautiful Campus

Daily Work Cycle

St. Patrick’s Day

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Busy, Busy Week

We had many activities packed into one week! The week began with move-up day, where the 3rd-year students joined upper elementary for the morning work cycle. Our upper elementary ambassadors acted as great hosts welcoming and assisting 3rd-year students as they navigated our work environment. We enjoyed their visit! Our 6th-year students will join the middle school for their move-up day on Tuesday, March 14th.

On Tuesday, we joined the 3rd-year students and middle school for a field trip to see the Birmingham Squadron basketball team play the Santa Cruz Warriors. Students from different area schools also joined us to celebrate the second annual Literacy Day event. What could make this day more exciting? The Squadron won!

The rest of our week continued as normal. Some students enjoyed visiting the Book Fair while others were wrapping up final rehearsals for the Peter Pan play. Students in Geography continued their trading game in different time periods. Students in 6th history wrapped up their studies on WWII by giving presentations on their research on different aspects of the war.

Students recently brought home information regarding Heart Heros. Please consider donating to this organization and looking into Hands-Only CPR. This fundraiser will run from March 6th-17th.


If you are a STEAM professional and are interested in volunteering to be a guest speaker for Bruno’s STEAM day on April 4th, please email Ms. Chris. (STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). 


  • The rescheduled move-up day for all 6th-year will be on Tuesday, March 14th
  • Vocabulary unit 14 is due on March 20th. The test will be on March 24th.
  • Assignment #2 for the Science Fair is due on Wednesday, March 15th (5th and 6th-year only).
  • Progress reports will be sent on March 22nd
  • Our Spring Break is March 27th-31st. School will be closed!
  • No school on Monday, April 10th
  • Our trip to Camp McDowell is from April 12th-14th. Please return the forms and payment.

Move-up Day and Birmingham Squadron Field Trip

More Fun Times

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February into March

Students in Upper Elementary wrapped up February by preparing and practicing their materials for Parent’s Night. We entered March continuing our regular work cycle and routine before we head into another busy week.


  • The Book Fair will be held in the library all next week.
  • Monday, March 6th, will be a move-up day for all students regardless of enrollment status for 2023-2024.
  • Vocabulary unit 13 is due on Monday and the test will be on Friday.
  • Tuesday we have a field trip to see the Birmingham Squadron basketball game.
  • The Peter Pan play is next Friday and Saturday, March 10th and 11th, at 6:30.
  • No school for Spring break March 27th-31st

Upper Elementary Parent’s Night

Thank you to our Upper Elementary family members who attended Tuesday evening. Students worked hard to prepare their lessons so that they were aptly prepared to present their work to their own families and any other interested party. We hope everyone enjoyed visiting as much as we enjoyed hosting!

Enjoying the Outside

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President’s Day Week

Short school weeks don’t slow down our learning in upper elementary! Like every week, we continue our Positive Discipline meetings to support social and emotional growth in individual students and the upper elementary community. Students make thoughtful and meaningful contributions to our discussions, and we have seen positive results in our culture throughout the school year.

Students in Science turned in their first assignment for the Science Fair project. They’ve been exploring the Scientific Method, how it is used professionally, and how it will be used in our classroom. Next week we will begin preparing materials to start our experiment in the classroom. The problem question for our classroom experiment (and the 4th-year Science Fair topic) is, “How does microgravity affect plant growth?” Information for all upper elementary levels is posted on Google Classroom, under Science.

Students in Geography have been exploring continental US time zones and the layout of the world based on a game. The objective is to gain control of different countries through import, export, and other relations. They will continue exploring the game through next week.

Students in 6th-grade history continue to explore WWII. This week they viewed a video of a Holocaust survivor speaking about their experience in the Auschwitz concentration camp and how they were able to escape. Students also explored other events and real journal entries surrounding the Holocaust time period.

Students in Culture are exploring early China, including dynasties, and the three early philosophies that influenced Chinese culture (Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism). Next week they will further explore each philosophy, including infamous Confuscious quotes.

In Foreign Language, Ms. Carmen guided middle school students through research on Carnevale, an annual celebration in Italy, which is similar to French Mardi Gras. Middle school students then gave presentations to upper elementary students on their research about Carnevale.

Thank you to our PTO members and families who assisted with and donated to the auction! A special thank you to our room parent Gisela for organizing the upper elementary’s Game Night basket. Also, a special thank you to upper elementary parents, owners of Jubilee Joe’s, and PTO president Sharmeen and her husband Kashif for organizing and graciously hosting this fundraising event. A great variety of items were donated to the auction and dinner at Jubilee Joe’s was amazing! Any money raised is a success, and our small community always comes together to generously support our school. If you or your company ever feel the need to donate to our school, our 40th Anniversary Fundraiser is still open, or you can send a check directly to the PTO itself. To stay updated with PTO discussions, you can look at their PTO minutes.


  • The vocabulary review unit is due on Monday and the test will be on Friday, March 3rd.
  • Vocabulary unit 13 will be due next Monday, March 6th. 
  • Parent’s Night is on Tuesday, February 28th.
  • Return field trip permission forms asap. We will see a Birmingham Squadron game on Tuesday, March 7th, and the cost is $35. 
  • All Science Fair information and resources are posted on Google Classroom under the Science section. Any information or resources missed in class will be posted in a timely manner for makeup or reference. 
  • The 6th-year WWII History project is due Tuesday, March 7th. Presentations will be on Thursday, March 8th. 
  • The Peter Pan play will be on March 10th and 11th at 6:30. 
  • Congratulations to our upper elementary basketball team for a great season and for placing 3rd in the league’s division! 
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Week of February 13th-17th

Despite the crazy weather this week, students in upper elementary had a great week! Students in Geography studied hard and competed in the final round for the countries of Asia Geography Bee. Our class did a nice job of cheering each other on. Students in 6th-year History have been exploring the Navajo language in an activity to use clues to decipher a code, just as the Navajo Talkers did during WWII. We cannot forget the fun we had on Valentine’s Day. Students enjoyed a morning of games together, exchanging cards, and enjoyed a few treats at lunch.


  • No school on Monday, February 20th, in observance of President’s Day
  • The vocabulary review unit is due on Tuesday, February 21st
    • The vocabulary review unit test will be on Friday, March 3rd
  • The PTO Dinner and Auction is on Thursday, February 23rd
  • Parent’s Night is on Tuesday, February 28th
  • Our field trip to see the Birmingham Squadron is on Tuesday, March 7th
    • Please return permission slips and payment
  • The Peter Pan play will be on March 10th and 11th

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First Full Week of February

Student’s enjoyed the nice weather this week and were able to spend more time enjoying the fresh air. We continue to use Positive Discipline strategies in our classroom to maintain a positive culture and relationships in our upper elementary community. Our morning meetings allow open discussion of issues affecting students, then students vote on a strategy to help resolve the issue. Our students have continuously offered well-thought solutions for resolution.

In 5th-year history, the class has been exploring the Revolutionary War. This week, students discussed the Boston Tea Party, then made “tea crates” as a STEM extension. The objective was for the crate to float and keep the tea bag dry. Ask your 5th-year student what happened to the crate they constructed. In Geography, students have been studying the countries of Asia and are in the final round of the Asian Geography Bee.


  • Vocabulary unit 12 is due Monday and the test is on Friday, February 17th.
    • The next vocabulary unit is a review unit. It will be due Tuesday, February 21st, and the test on Friday, March 3rd.
  • Tuesday is Valentine’s Day. More info in our class email.
  • No school on Monday, February 20th, in observance of Presidents Day.
  • The PTO Dinner Fundraiser and Silent Auction are on Thursday, February 23rd.
  • Parent’s Night is on Tuesday, February 28th.
  • Please return field trip permission slips and payment to see the Birmingham Squadron basketball team in March.
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January into February

Cold, rainy days kept us inside most of the week, but that didn’t hinder our learning inside! We made some changes to our afternoon classes, mixing up individuals in groups for Culture, Geography, and Science. One of the staples of a Montessori classroom is having students in a 3-year cycle within the same plane of development, which in upper elementary is 9-12 years old. Dr. Maria Montessori stated, “The main thing is that the groups should contain different ages because it has a great influence on the cultural development of the child. This is obtained by the relations of the children among themselves.” She also stated, “Our schools have shown how children of different ages help one another. The younger ones watch what the older ones are doing and ask all kinds of questions, and the older ones explain. This is really useful teaching, for the way that a five-year-old interprets and explains things is so much nearer than ours to the mind of a child of three that the little ones learn easily, whereas we would scarcely be able to get through to him. There is harmony and communication between them that is not possible between an adult and such a young child. There is a natural mental osmosis between them. A child of three is also quite capable of taking an interest in the work of a five-year-old because, in fact, the difference in their abilities is not that great.” Although she specifically mentions 3 and 5-year-olds, the same interactions and relationships occur at each plane of development (elementary 6-9 and 9-12). We’re thankful we were able to rearrange our schedule to fulfill Dr. Montessori’s philosophy.


  • Unit 11 vocabulary is due Monday, February 6th and the test will be on Friday, February 10th.
    • Unit 12 vocabulary will be due on Monday, February 13th.
  • No school on Monday, February 20th, in observance of President’s Day.
  • The PTO Dinner Fundraiser and Auction is Thursday, February 23rd.
  • Parent’s Night is Tuesday, February 28th.
  • The Science Fair project will be due on April 18th, and parents can visit on the afternoon of April 19th. An information packet will be sent home next week.

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Week of January 17th

Monday was a day to observe Martin Luter King, Jr., therefore it was a short school week. The rainy weather at the beginning of the week brought us beautiful weather by the end of the week. Students were able to spend some time in our outdoor theatre for a Geography lesson. There are some great pictures of upper elementary students posted on Facebook and Instagram, on our school page. If you are not following our school on one of these social media platforms, it’s another great way to stay updated and see other pictures of our daily school life.

In foreign language, Ms. Carmen has been exploring the Chinese culture and language, to align with the Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year is January 22, and it is the year of the rabbit. We are fortunate to have Ms. Carmen with us, as she spent several years living in China and therefore had an authentic experience with the Chinese culture and language. Ms. Carmen also fluently speaks German and Italian. Her native country is Italy, where she still has family, and she has also lived in Germany, which is her husband’s native country. Her worldly experiences bring so much to our foreign language program.


  • The vocabulary review unit 7-9 test will be on Friday, January 27th.
  • The unit 10 vocabulary work will be due on Monday, January 30th.
  • No school Monday, February 20th, in observance of President’s Day
  • There will be an upper elementary science fair on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 19th. Parents will be invited to attend. More information to follow for project guidelines.

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First Full Week of 2023

Things around Bruno didn’t miss a beat as we returned from our break. Students are back to their daily routines, work cycles, and extracurriculars. We’ve helped students to prioritize their work plans and to manage time so they can make the most of their work cycle and progression.

In the pictures below, you will see a few examples of voting during our morning meeting time, and this is an example of how we use Positive Discipline in our class. Positive Discipline is a Montessori approach that teaches students self-discipline and problem-solving skills. In our classroom, we have the “Grievance Goblet,” effectively named by our students. Students write down concerns, problems, or areas that need improvement and place it in the goblet. We discuss a concern during our meeting, students share how they’ve been affected by it, offer solutions, then vote on how we as a whole can use that solution to make our school culture improve. This positive guidance has helped students to be more aware of their responsibilities as a citizen and has had a major impact on building positive relationships in our classroom this year.


  • No school on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • The vocabulary review unit, 7-9, is due on Tuesday, January 17th.
    • The vocabulary review unit test will be on Friday, January 27th.
  • Progress reports for the 2nd quarter will be sent on Tuesday, January 17th.
  • Extracurriculars are in full swing! In the morning, please remind your child if they have an activity after school that day.
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Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2023 and the second half of our school year! Our short week became unexpectedly shorter, but it gave students enough time to catch up with their friends. During our Tuesday morning meeting, each student shared how they spent their winter break, and it was interesting to hear what each individual thought was the best part of their break. Students were straight back to work in each subject area and fell back into their routine during our morning work cycle.

Things are also getting back into full swing with extra-curricular activities. Ms. Melanie has sent emails regarding several clubs, the Peter Pan play, and spring soccer. It’s not too late to join any club. If your child auditioned for Peter Pan, be sure to check your email for casting and the practice schedule.


  • Vocabulary unit 9 is due Monday, 1/9, and the test is on Friday, 1/13
  • Vocabulary review units 7-9 will be due on Tuesday, 1/17.
  • If your child is in an extracurricular activity, please double-check dates and times and be sure to communicate to your child where they should go at dismissal each day.
  • No school on Monday, January 16th, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • January 17th- Second quarter progress reports are released.