Middle School: Week in Review

Happy Friday, everyone! We sprang into May, the last full month of school before summer break. A lot goes on in the month of May in Middle School. One of the big highlights is 8th grade Expert Night. You should have all received an invitation in your email for Wednesday, May 18th @ 6:30 pm in the Commons. We are excited for them to present all of the hard work they have done since January!

We also had Newtown Strong Therapy dogs in the building! The Middle School students met 8 year-old Tiamo, and Maggie. They will have the chance to visit with the therapy dogs each Tuesday this month.


6th grade Humanities class continued to read Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai. As it follows an Afghan family fleeing Afghanistan for the U.S. just before 9/11, we learned about the impact of the Taliban on the Afghan people’s culture. Separately, during Poetry Tuesday, the class explored the poem, “The Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll. Students discussed the idea of creating a story that makes sense, even when the words are nonsense. The formation of the poem helps the reader develop an image, even though they have never heard of many of the words! The students drew a sketch of the poem using their own vision for the writing.

7th grade Humanities classes completed Animal Farm. They did a great job with this allegorical piece and discussing its context within Russian history. They learned about propaganda and worked on two activities in addition to reading: Humanities Rebellion and Who’s Who in Animal Farm? They arrived in class last Wednesday and were told that there had been a rebellion, and they overthrew Mrs. Lamb! Their job was to now take over the Humanities class. Together, without her intervention, they completed a plan. They were given the opportunity to execute their plan. Secondly, they completed the difficult task of comparing elements of the story to figures/events in Russian history and political ideas. For example, one of the main characters is a pig named Napoleon, and his role and personality is similar to Joseph Stalin. They are now drafting essays which will finalize their study of the novella. The class has been working incredibly hard.

8th grade Humanities class learned about the French and Indian War (The Seven Years’ War) and how it was one of the catalysts for the American Revolution. As a result of the war, the British implemented taxes and policies that would further anger the colonists. The 8th years completed a collective research presentation about these causes of the American Revolution. Finally, they have presented initial expert presentations in class for feedback and are continuing to practice!


6th year Earth Science students have been researching coastal areas and the tides that follow as part of their unit, Tides. Each student was asked to create a line graph which represented high and low tides throughout a day as it relates to the time observed. Students were then asked to hypothesize what tidal pattern came before and will come after, based on the data observed. As a class, we discussed how we can anticipate moon phases based on the fluctuation of tidal patterns in addition to forecasting how the range of high and low tide will vary.

7th year Physical Science students demonstrated early in the week how sound waves can form by causing friction between one’s finger and glass. To demonstrate this lesson, each student was able to test the theory on their own in class. Students were able to explain how a variety of pitches came from glasses, which held different amounts of water. Following this hands-on demonstration, students began to design and film their stop motion video depicting longitudinal, transverse, and noise canceling waves.
8th year Life Science students have continued their unit on the digestive system. Throughout the course of the week, we discussed the role each organ plays in the digestion of our food and how different foods are absorbed at different rates. Students conducted a starch test on several food items using iodine as an indicator. Students were asked to hypothesize whether or not certain foods (rice, apple, carrot, goldfish, gummy bears, bread) contained starch before applying iodine. If starch is present in food, iodine turns a dark blue/black. Ending the week, students began their dissection of a dogfish shark. Students were able to apply a hands-on learning approach throughout this activity which covered past lessons from their unit on the circulatory system as well as their current unit, the digestive system. Students are taking notes throughout the process in addition to careful and thoughtful discussion.
In Transition class, students continued to work with divisions in order to better understand rates and ratios. Two main ideas were the division property of equality and the ratio-comparison model for division. The class plan is to conclude learning of Chapter 9, and Ms. Sutherland encourages students to begin preparing for this assessment well in advance.
In Algebra class, students are excited to learn about systems of linear equations. Students talked about solving systems using substitution, graphing, and eliminations (additions and subtractions properties). Students will continue to use systems to solve real world problems and practice finding intersecting points on a coordinate grid.
In Geometry class, students concluded their learning of Chapter 8 titled, Lengths and Areas. This class learned about special right triangles, how to calculate the lengths of a circumference, and how to find the area of sectors within a circle. Students will begin exploring Chapter 9, which is all about three-dimensional shapes.
Math Joke: What are ten things you can always count on? ……………………..Your fingers.
Have a wonderful weekend!

So Much Happening Here At School!

Parents Association-Please consider joining our Parent’s Association for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year.

The restrictions of operating school during the pandemic left us without our traditional Parent Association. For those of you who are new to FWM, it is our Parent Association that is the beating heart of Fraser Woods.

Our Parent Association members volunteer and work tirelessly to promote a sense of community among our families. They are also the communication link between the parent community and the school (both faculty and administration). The time and talent our parents volunteer to FWM at essentially ALL of our school’s events, allow our school and our students to thrive.  Parents and teachers together, make the Fraser Woods Montessori School the warm, welcoming, and inclusive community that we are.

Please consider joining our Parent’s Association for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year. Please contact

Paromita Dutt-Kunzweiler or Director of Admission and Parent Relations at


Newtown Strong Therapy Dogs

Newtown Strong Therapy Dogs are coming to FWM! We will have two handlers and two Golden Retrievers on Tuesdays from around 10:00 am to 11:30. They started on April 26th! Therapy dogs have been around for years, and according to research, the value of therapy dogs is this:

The companionship of a therapy dog facilitates real chemical changes in the body of the patient. It has been proven that most patients with therapy dog experiences have lower stress levels, increased calmness and happiness, and are less likely to feel lonely or forgotten.

Sandy Hook resident and professional dog trainer Ann Marie Cioffi is our contact facilitating the visits. The students and staff who visited with the dogs had a wonderful experience.


Teacher Appreciation

Each year the National PTA designates this week in May as Teacher Appreciation week. Looking back into the history of Teacher Appreciation Day, I learned that discussions for a day to honor teachers started in 1944. Then in 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded the 81st Congress to declare a National Teachers’ Day. Finally, Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day. It was in 1985 when the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May.

Through all the challenges we’ve faced over the last two years, educators and families have stuck together to show students a bright path forward.  Our amazing Class Parents worked  on a lovely surprise for all of our teachers in honor of Teacher Appreciation! They delivered handmade cards and pictures made by the children. In addition to herb plants and gift cards, our staff also enjoyed a lovely breakfast and a luncheon in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week.



Lower El’s Week

A Newtown Strong Therapy Dog visited our classroom on Tuesday! Maggie is a 7 year old Golden Retriever and with so many animal lovers in the class, they were thrilled to spend some time with her. Maggie will return to class each Tuesday morning for the next several weeks.

With the weather warming up, we will be spending more time outside. If you wish, please send in bug spray with your child’s name on it. We will keep it here in school for the remainder of the year.

As a reminder, next Thursday 5/12 will be Moving Up Day for the third graders. They will spend half the day with Upper Elementary. On Wednesday 5/11 the Kindergarten class will join Lower Elementary during an hour of the morning work cycle. This will be great practice for the first and second years to practice their new mentor role. We are looking forward to it!

We All Got Acquainted at Aquila’s!

On Sunday, May 1, Fraser Woods Montessori School hosted our Annual Spring Get-Together and Auction: Let’s Get Acquainted at Aquila’s!

What a special event!

Because of the pandemic, it has been three years since the FWM community last came together to celebrate. Getting through these last two years has taught all of us the meaning and the importance of community. A sense of belonging to a greater community improves your health, and happiness. When you see your connection to others, there is comfort in that.

Our Fraser Woods community is so very special.  Coming together and celebrating the greatest thing we share in common – the children and the experience they have at Fraser Woods, created an energy that was clear to see amid the smiles, laughter and good time had by all. 

We have built a strong sense of community at FWM and you made it so. THANK YOU!

Thank you to all of you who joined us to celebrate FWM!! Thank you for your generosity and support. Thank you to everyone, who could not be there in person, but participated digitally. We have so much to be grateful for and we are so excited for the momentum that this event has built.

This year’s fundraiser supports FWM’s Fund-A-Need campaign: FWM’s new Fabrication Laboratory or FAB LAB. 

Each year the Fund-A-Need is an initiative that carefully creates a curated experience or physical space for our young learners that reflect the Montessori philosophy and optimize child development. Please take a moment to click on the link below to see a video presentation for the FAB LAB. 

Because of the generosity of our FWM community we raised:


Celebrating together with our current families, alumni parents, grandparents, trustees, our faculty and staff, sponsors, and friends of the school is always tremendously meaningful.  

On behalf of Fraser Woods Montessori School, we would like to thank you for your generosity, support and your commitment to the children and our school community.

Please click on the bottom link below to see some pictures from Let’s Get Acquainted at Aquila’s. 

2022’s Fund-A-Need Video: FAB LAB

2022 Spring Get-Together Photo Show

Mrs. Doyle’s Class: New Places, New Friends and New Experiences!

We are now studying the continent of South America in our classroom.  South America is pink on the Montessori map and a topic of great fascination for the children.  It is a beautiful region of our world with vibrant cultures, traditions and has a wide range of climates and terrains.  South America is the fourth largest continent in our world and is comprised of twelve individual countries.  It is connected to North America by the Isthmus of Panama. An isthmus is one of the landforms we are currently studying.  The largest country in South America is Brazil and the major languages spoken are Spanish and Portuguese.  The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world and contains 40% of the world’s animals and plant species.

On Tuesday, Maggie a Golden Retriever from Newtown Therapy Dogs, visited our classroom.   Each Tuesday, for the next several weeks, a therapy dog will be spending time in our classroom.  Our older friends will get to read quietly for a short time with a therapy dog.  Reading to dogs is a unique, calming and comforting experience that everyone truly enjoys. Our younger friends will spend some quiet time each week with a dog as well.  The children asked some great questions to get to know Maggie better.  They wanted to know how Maggie became a therapy dog, where she lived, what she ate and how old she was.

This week, the Kindergarten children welcomed a few friends from the toddler program for a short visit. Many of our Toddler friends will be moving into Primary next year.  While the Primary classroom they visited is not necessarily the one they will be in next Fall, it does allow them to have a concept of what it looks and feels like.  The highlight for me was when I asked a Kindergarten student to give a lesson to one small visitor and his reply was ” I can’t give any lessons right this second because I’m too buys chasing this guy!”

Wishing you a week filled with peace and love.

Michelle & Liset

Art Show on Display!

Students from Toddler through 8th grade have been hard at work creating and finishing up their artwork for our upcoming  all-school Art Show! The show will be on display starting Monday May 9th through Friday May 20th. Parents are welcome to come view the exhibition between the hours of 9am-2:30pm. The Art Show will be set up around the walls of our Zen Garden. You will see artwork as you enter, beginning along the walls of Mrs. Semmah and Mrs. Lopes’ classrooms, in the glass display cases in front of the Zen Garden, and continuing through the hallway past Lower Elementary towards the Commons where the show ends.

Putting together an Art Show is an all-encompassing creative experience for our students that addresses many aspects of Art such as; the making of the artwork itself, learning about masterworks, preparing artwork for showcase, titling artwork, collaborating, viewing and interacting with artwork, and understanding art display within an architectural space.

I hope you find a time to visit and see the children’s beautiful works on display! Bravo young artists!

Mrs. Lopes’s Class: April Showers Bring May Flowers

The quote, “April showers bring May flowers,” has always been my favorite way of explaining the weather during the early stages of spring. As we started May this week it felt like we had more rain and clouds than sunshine, but it is important to remember the beauty that emerges after the earth drinks up all that rain! As May comes into view, so have the colorful blossoms of flowers and vibrant green buds on the trees. Without those April showers, none of these things would be here for us, which is one way of remaining positive during those dreary, rainy days.

That rain also keeps us inside the classroom longer during our morning work cycle. Sometimes it is hard for the children to sit and concentrate without releasing some energy outside, but this past week has been filled with some amazing moments of focus and perseverance.  The children have been so engaged in their work, some days they forget about going outside and lose themselves in the activities around them. Their ability to work for longer periods of time just goes to show how much they have grown over the course of the year. The children are confident in themselves and excited to continue to learn and grow as individuals.

You could say that these April showers have made our children grow, and soon bloom, as we head into our final full month of the school year, May!

You will see in the photos the kindergarten children had two exciting events this week.  We had our toddler moving up visits on Tuesday.  A couple children from Mrs. Wilson’s class joined us and the kindergarten children showed them around the classroom.  We also had the Newtown Strong Therapy dogs visit us and the kindergarten children had the opportunity to read a book to Teamo.

Wishing you a beautiful week,

Amanda & Heather

Mrs. Wilson: Grateful Hearts!



Hello Families,

Mrs. Crumb, Miss Bethann, and I want to express our gratitude for all the love and sweet surprises we received this week. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

The children have observed that our caterpillars have turned into chrysalis over the weekend. I love how quietly they go over to the butterfly house to visit them each day.

The children have been enjoying the new lessons on the shelf. Pets object and picture language cards, posting wooden carrots from thickest to thinnest and using our tongs to gently transfer delicate birds from one nest to another.

Food Tasting: This week the children tasted a cucumber. They all seemed to have liked it. Thankfully we had plenty of cucumber for 2nd or even 5th for some children.