Ms Louise and Ms Laura
About Ms Louise
My name is Louise Reid. I am from the island of Puerto Rico. I attended the University of Central Florida where I received two Bachelors degrees; one in Psychology and one in Spanish. I did my Montessori training at the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University in Maryland where I also received a Masters Degree in Education. I have spent the last 16 years of my life as a guide in both lower and upper elementary programs. I used my training to follow my dream of traveling the world! After spending three years in Mt Dora, I moved to the Dutch West Indies, where I met my best friend and husband, Andrew. We traveled together to Wollongong, Australia, Chiang Rai, Thailand (where I started my own school with my dear friend Karen Crowe), Neuchatel, Switzerland (where I was able to continue studying French, got married and where our wonderful daughter, Nellie, was born), and Cozumel, Mexico. I was approached by my friend Karen to join her and start the elementary program at the International Montessori School of Prague. I gladly accepted and spent three wonderful years establishing the lower elementary program. We then returned to a school I had observed at 10 years before and had fallen in love with, The Virgin Islands Montessori School in St Thomas. We decided to venture out to the west coast of the US and worked in both Southern California and Northern California. In 2011, we decided to return to Florida to be closer to my family. I am in my second year with PHMA, in the Senior Elementary community. It’s been a great adventure and I hope to write a book about life as a Montessori expat one day.
About Ms Laura
My name is Laura Orellana.
I am an A.M.S. Certified Teacher in Early Childhood and Elementary Montessori Education B.S. in Business Administration
Languages: English, Spanish and Norwegian
I seek to create an educational environment that unearths and affirms the individual genius of each child. My diverse background along with my sixteen (16) years of teaching experience, enable me to utilize my time tested ideas and knowledge for the benefit and growth of the students at Palm Harbor Montessori Academy.
I firmly believe that the Montessori Method produces dramatic and exemplary results. I experience the positive growth within my own children, who have attended Montessori from an early age.
The following quote by Dr. Maria Montessori epitomizes my educational philosophy, “Our care of the children should be governed not by the desire to ‘make them learn things’, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within them the light which is called intelligence”.
“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.” Maria Montessori
Gothic writing and Florida History are the latest craze in our community! After having received the Great Lesson of Writing, the students have found the introduction of Gothic writing fascinating. Some have been dedicating a lot of time to learning and perfecting their letters in both capital and common form. The Florida History research is voluntary and can be completed in any way the student chooses to present it. We hope that by having set the expectations and standards throughout the year, your child will now know what is expected of him/her and will make an effort to learn about an aspect of Florida and share it with his/her classmates to the greatest extent of their abilities.
We continue to learn about and discuss Florida and its water. We have brought in many samples of water to look at through the microscope. Many students have been discovering the microscopic world! It is a lot of fun to watch them explore!
Pet sitters needed for fish, cray fish, guinea pigs (2) and Madagascar Hissing cockroaches for the summer! Please send in a note with your child if you are willing and able to care for our class pets. Thank you!
Apple Store trip coming up soon, please make sure your child has brought in their permission slip by May 17th, please. Thank you!
The 6th year’s Bowling Trip was a great success! The students had a blast and Ms Laura enjoyed spending time with them! Pictures coming soon!
Thanks Ms Laura, for arranging for the children to have a beautiful Mother’s Day gift ready for their moms! They did a great job with the German Napkin technique.
6th year trip!
Please remember to send in the permission slip and the fee for the trip ASAP. The children will be bowling next week.
Teacher Appreciation Week!
My Laura and I both would like to thank all the parents for making us feel so appreciated! We enjoyed the flowers, cards, lottery tickets, and gift cards very much! Thanks also to those parents who sent in very thoughtful gifts! Thanks also for the delicious goodies and breakfast!
More Published Poets in Senior Elementary!
Another wonderful group of poets have been chosen to be published by Creative Communications in their Spring 2013 Southern Edition! Some are being published for the second time this year. Congratulations to: Luis, Eli(2), Genesis, Bailen, Maya (2), Hailey(2), Gonzalo, Lauren (2), Cali and Sagen! 10 so far! For more information go to: www.poeticpower.com.
We will be going on a free field trip to the Apple Store. We need to leave the school by 8:15 am in order to be at the International Mall in Tampa by 9:00. We should be ready to return by 11:00 am. The students will be having their lunches on campus. The date for this trip will be emailed to you directly because this is not a secure site.
Thanks to all the parents (and grandparent) who volunteered to driving us to the mall!
6th year class trip! Ms Laura will be taking the 6th year students bowling! The trip will be from 11:00 to 2:00. The date will be sent via email as well.
We continue our research about Florida water. There are a few student interested in a going out. If you are available to drive 3 or 4 students to a local estuary, please let us know, I will be happy to give you more information about your responsibilities during a “going out” trip.
We are also studying the History of Florida! We have been discussing the 500th anniversary of the oldest city in the USA, St Augustine! If you are looking for ideas for fun road trips this summer, I highly recommend a visit to St Augustine!
Congratulations to the Senior Elementary students for their excellent Science Fair projects! We were very impressed with your ideas and boards. Thank you parents, for your assistance and involvement. It showed! Congratulations as well to our students for having a wonderful attitude during our Earth day celebration. You did a great job in your performances and with the May Pole. Kudos my friends!
May 3rd Book Report #16
May 17th Book Report # 17
May 31st Book Report # 18
Come join us after Earth Day in the Senior Elementary community! We will be presenting our Science Fair projects. We will be presenting to the Junior Elementary in the afternoon!
Congratulations to our published poets! Eight students were chosen by Creative Communications to be published; six in the Fall 2012 issue that was just published, and two have already made it into the Spring 2013 issue, to be available in June/July 2013! Well done: Anna, Maya, Lauren, Elia, Hailey, Nellie, Sagen and Cali!
We will be going on a free field trip to the Apple Store (Reschedules!). We will be needing to transport 23 students to the International Mall, volunteers requested, please! Thank you!
Science Fair projects are due April 24th! You are invited to see the fair on the 26th, after our Earth Day celebration at school. The rest of the school’s community will be viewing the fair on the 25th.
We are studying the state of Florida’s water and the efforts, from water management, to conserve, preserve and educate, as part of our Earth awareness month. If you have something you would like to share with the class, concerning this subject, please email us, and come in and share!
We are working on our BASH project this week! So far the students have done a great job! Hope you all have a chance to see the projects and bid on them during our school’s biggest fundraiser, BASH.
We would like to thank all the parents that were able to come to our MMUN Open House! We hope you enjoyed the appetizers, the presentations and the movie! Once again, congratulations to the delegation! You were superb during your conference!
MMUN Open House!! Come see and hear about our very successful trip to Indiana as the PHMA Moroccan Delegation to the Montessori Model United Nations! When? April 5th What time? 8:45am – 9:45am Where? In the Senior Elementary Building!
We will consolidate both our Earth Day Project and our Science Fair! Our science fair’s theme this year will be The Earth! Your child can do anything having to do with the Earth; ecology, biology- botany/zoology, solar system, weather, topography etc.
DUE: April 24, 2013
Science Fair Project Instructions!
Here are some sites you can visit for ideas:
Please make sure the topic is emailed to me by March 27th and that it is approved, before you start working on it. No written research project due separately. Traditional Science Fair format expected.
Congratulations to our class poets! Maya and Lauren who co wrote a poem, Eli, Hailey, Anna and Nellie were all chosen to have their poems published in the next issue, Fall 2013, of Creative Communication/Florida 4th-6th Grade edition. We are very proud of our students’ accomplishment! The book should be out in April!
Spring Break! Enjoy your family time!
March 19th -22nd
SAT test this week! Due to the fact that our delegates and teachers arrived at 12:45 am on Monday, we did not start our testing process until Tuesday, March 19th. Thank you for your understanding. We will be testing all week. Please make sure your child receives plenty of sleep and a hearty breakfast, lots of brain food!
Book Report #13 and Wordly Wise Lesson 7 are due on Friday, March 22nd.
I want to congratulate the MMUN delegates for a job well done! They were well prepared, confident, and talented! Lauren won the t-shirt contest, Maya, Genesis, Lauren and Skylar brought down the house with their “Waka Waka” dance, and Nellie was asked to sing again at the closing ceremony! The delegates made an impression on all present. I am very proud of them and their hard work. Congratulations to them all! I would also like to thank Ms Lisa, Maya’s mom for all of her help. We could not have done this with out you, and Mr Allen, Maya’s dad and Dr. Joe, Alessandra’s dad, for having the patience to travel with 10 children. My hat goes off to you both, gentlemen. It was a pleasure to watch them shine! We will be sharing our experiences in the near future! Keep an eye out for date and time!!
All dressed up and ready to solve the world’s problems in 48 hours!
MMUN dlegates in the paper!
The students will be presenting their research to the primary, and lower elementary communities on Friday, March 1st and Monday, March 4th! We are also inviting parents to drop in on the morning of Monday, March 4th to enjoy our student’s presentations; from 8:45 to 10:00 am. We look forward to seeing you!
The MMUN Delegation is very close to their departure to Indiana. We have turned in our position papers, have started rehearsing by doing mock MMUN committee meetings, and will be making our poster board research on Morocco next week. All delegates should be working on their minute and two minute speeches. A final parent/delegate meeting of MMUN, before our departure, will be held on March 5th at 6:30 pm; last minute questions will be asked and answered and information will be given about: travel, ground transportation, final fees, attire, personal electronics, travel snacks, itinerary of the conference, our meal plan and activity schedule. Hope to see you there, delegate parents.
For more information on MMUN, go to:
We are putting together a Family Night Basket for the BASH. Please contact Mrs. Kisha Gainey for information on what and how to contribute. Thank you so much to those of you who have already sent something in. Thanks for your cooperation. We will be preparing our art project for the BASH in class.
Parent Conferences are on Friday, March 8th. Please call Ms Shelley to schedule your conference. Thank you! We look forward to talking to you about your child’s progress!
On Wednesday, February 27th, we will be going to the Book Fair! At that time, the Senior Elementary students will be allowed to shop. Please send in money, in an envelop or zip lock, with your child’s name on it, if you are interested in buying books.
On Thursday, February 28th our Black History projects will be due. The students will be presenting their research to the primary, and lower elementary communities on Friday, March 1st and Monday, March 4th! We are also inviting parents to drop in on the morning of Monday, March 4th to enjoy our student’s presentations; from 8:45 to 10:00 am. We look forward to seeing you!
Recorder lessons are underway and going very well. Ms Ingrith works with our community on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Science Fair has been moved to April, exact date TBA. This project can be combined with the Earth Day Project or done independently from the Earth Day Research, which is also due in April.
We still need volunteers to lead fundraising efforts. We can use ideas too! Unfortunately, if we do not get volunteers the fundraising efforts will cease and each student will have to pay full price for this trip. We have a car wash to schedule for the near future. Mrs. Gainey had graciously volunteered to lead this fundraiser.
What is happening?
Welcome to our Senior Elementary Class Page! We are very excited to have this forum to assist in our weekly communication. Please come back every week to stay informed about what is going on in our community.
This Friday, December 21st will be our yearly Holiday Potluck. Each child should bring something to share. Please let us know what you are planning on bringing so that we do not end up having too much of one thing and not enough of another. Traditionally we attend school in our pajamas that day. Pads, pods and smart phones are allowed on that day. They may also bring their stuffed animal if they want to, not mandatory (lol!).
If you are leaving early, please make sure you keep a travel journal to share upon your return in January. We are looking forward to hearing about your adventures!
We hope you have a safe and joyous holiday season! Happy 2013! See you all on January 7, 2013, our first day of school.
Laura & Louise
Have you Heard?
The Senior Elementary community at PHMA will be sending a delegation, for the very first time, to the Montessori Model United Nations. These chosen delegates will be researching and representing the Kingdom of Morocco. They have all been hard at work , preparing for this very challenging conference, since Ms Laura and I came back from our training. In order to assist these students financially, we are conducting fund raising activities during the next three months. One of our ongoing fund raisers is Q-Bean Coffee, “Coffee with a Purpose”. This coffee helps support children in our own communities as well as help us raise funds for this amazing experience. Please contact us for more information or go online to:
We all thank you for your support!
Friday, Jan. 25th – Book report #9 due & Holidays Around the World Project Due. Students will make their own groups of 1, 2 or 3 people and research a holiday celebrated in another country or celebrated by a different religion. It must be done in essay format in their Cultural Notebook, and presented orally. Visual Aid is required for the presentation.
The spirit of poetry is in the air! Many of our students submitted poems at the Poetic Power poetry Contest. We are all looking forward to knowing if any of them will have the privileged of calling themselves a published poet in the near future. Exciting stuff!
Our trip to the Mahaffey Theater was wonderful! We all enjoyed “Santa’s Holiday Review” very much. It was just the thing to put us in the holiday mood!
We would like to thank the parents who have helped us with our class trips off campus. Without you, we would not be able to provide these amazing experiences to our students. Our sincere appreciation to you all!
Thanks also, to all the parents who came out to spend the morning with us at our Winter Open House! We enjoyed your company. We hope you enjoyed our entertainment. Next time feel free to join us on the dance-floor! We are looking forward to doing it again!
Our class US History Research, will continues into the new year. There are so many amazing facts to learn and so many great stories to tell that we decided to have it continue to evolve throughout the year. We will have smaller lessons, activities and projects every few weeks. More details will follow, along with due dates and expectations!
We went on our first field trip! We attended a showing of “Vote?” at the Ruth Eckerd Hall. The students all got to vote on Election Day, and as on Election Day, Obama won there too.
We had a blast at our Annual Senior Elementary Sleepover! This time we went to the Florida Aquarium! We explored all the exhibits, dissected a squid, tattooed ourselves with squid ink, had a behind the scenes tour, and ate pizza! The following morning we awoke to sharks overhead. It was amazing, eerie and cool at the same time! Our guides were so impressed by our students’ behavior that they arranged for us to shop before the aquarium opened and allowed us the privileged of feeding the stingrays, something that is not part of the regular aquarium program. Well done Senior El!
The very next day we were singing in English and Spanish at the Turkey Trot! Our students shared what they were thankful for and pinned their thankfulness leaf on the Montessori Tree.
We really enjoyed learning about all those brave souls that have explored high and far, deep and wide! Our Explorers Research was very enlightening. Our students enjoyed sharing their knowledge, in full costume, with their buddies in the Junior Elementary. Our thanks to Ms. V and Ms Nicole for making that work so well!
We had a fun time carving pumpkins with Ms Laura this year! It was a beautiful blue sky afternoon in October!
Our community enjoyed, as usual, our art classes with Ms Espe! We have complemented our cultural work with beautiful artistic expressions! Here is one example:
Vejigante masks – An African tradition in Puerto Rico, part of our Hispanic Heritage studies in the month of September.
During the summer:
Congratulations to last year’s “Florida’s Outstanding Scholars”! Two of our scholar classmates, Nellie and Maya, attended the festivities in Miami. They were able to get on the Miami Marlins’ field and even got to be on the Jumbotron!