Category Archives: Homework

Famous Montessorians

Stephen Curry

I’m a huge NBA basketball fan and a huge Montessori fan.

So is Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors:
“Montessori gave me a lot of confidence at a young age,” says Curry. “I used to love it when I’d come to school because there was something new I was going to learn every single day.”

Says his mother, who founded the school:

“Montessori for my family has really been the staple of everything,” she says. “I love Montessori for the fundamental aspects that it affords children … independence, the intrinsic love for learning, responsibility, respect for yourself, for other people.” 

Stephen Curry credits Montessori with instilling in him the skills to learn at his own pace as well as to harness his strengths, work on his weaknesses, and develop a sense that he could achieve anything.

The Spring Biography Project

What are your hopes and dreams?

What will be YOUR special gift, YOUR contribution to our world?

How will YOU make the world a better place?

Who are you? Where did you come from? What will you do with your life?

As we explore these questions, we must start with all the gifts that the universe has already given us!

Over the next three weeks, we will hear our second Great story, and you will choose a topic for your SPRING BIOGRAPHY PROJECT:

1. Read a chapter book biography (50-100 pages in length) about a person who has helped to make our world a better place. You may read the book by yourself, with a parent, or a parent (older sibling, mentor, friend) can read to you .

2. After Spring break you will give a 1-3 minute presentation. In which you will share:

A) What was this person’s gift or contribution to the world? What can we learn from her?

B) What obstacles did this person face on the way to achieving this contribution? This reminds us that all success in life comes from failure, losing is a part of winning, and making mistakes is essential to learning.

C) What relationships and influences helped this person? Tell us about this person’s childhood. How was she helped by by her parents, other great minds at the time (fellow artists, scientists, leaders), or other people?

D) You must have a visual: this could be a prop, a picture, a drawing, a diarama, a costume, or anything that we can see. If your topic is an artist you could also share a poem, song, painting or example of their work. If your topic is a scientist, you could share a diagram or model of their work.

E) For Betas and Gammas: I would like a timeline or a map as well.

In preparation for this project, Mr. Peter will be making presentations on the following Great Minds:

1. Theodore “Ted” Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

2. Harriet Tubman

3. Mark Twain

4. Maya Angelou

5. Mae Jemison

6. Malala Yousafzai, Education Activist in Pakistan

Here are some resources to start your search:

Biographies for kids:

Read a biography and take a quiz here: Turtle Diary

1. Ducksters

2. Mr Nussbaum

3. Garden of Praise

4. Time For Kids: Black History Month

5. Time for Kids: Women’s History Month

6. Raz Kids biographies

Choosing a book:

Any of the “Who Was…” or “Who is…” books are acceptable chapter books to read. They are available at your local library:


Hennepin County Library

Any child who doesn’t have a book by March 23rd will be given one by Mr. Peter on that day. Please help your child to be responsible with the book that they borrow. It should be returned undamaged after Spring Break.

Writing your presentation:

You don’t have to write an essay. You can make a speech, pretend to be the person and sit for an interview, or anything else you can imagine. You just have to talk/read for 1-3 minutes. Here is a sample from Time For Kids:


Writing Practice

When I was in 2nd grade, I wanted to be a writer. I wrote stories about superhero I created called “Risk Man.” Later, I wrote a story in 5th grade about a hero named “Dark Silo”. (It was a direct copy of the Star Wars Saga and Darth Vader / Luke Sky Walker). When I was a child, I was obsessed with super heroes and science fiction. It wasn’t until much later that my interests became much varied. I did not have a Montessori education and so i wasn’t exposed to as much History, Geography, Geology, Geometry, Grammar, etc as your child was at such a young age.

However, many teachers have encouraged me to write throughout my life and I am grateful. I’ve been writing ever since. It wasn’t until I lived in Taiwan from 2010-2012 that I got a job as a writer. I wrote for a monthly magazine called Rainbow Time. The stories were aimed at Taiwanese elementary school children learning to read and speak English. As a published author, my opinion is that if you want children to love writing, they have to write about what they love. If you want students to hate writing–or anything for that matter–force them to do it. And make them worry about spelling and length and start counting the words.

Starting Monday, I met with children in small groups to help them hone in about what they are passionate about. The great thing about children under the age of 12 is that they are generally passionate about something. THAT is what I want them to write about. Later, in the 2nd draft or 3rd or 4th draft we will talk about spelling and periods and capital letters. But I want the first draft or “freewrite” to be free of worry so they enjoy the process.

Starting in January, children will have regular instruction in the writing process. This starts with writing practice. Before children can write a polished final draft of a poem, story, or essay they need to start with a “freewrite”. This means that they write in a journal without having to worry about length, spelling, or anything else. Just write. I don’t need all children to share my dream of being a published author, but I do want them to love writing, just like I want all children to love reading, Math, and History.

How can you help as a parent? Ask what kind of writing your child likes to read–that’s what they should be writing. 

Leaf Shapes

The Gammas are studying leaf shapes. A fun project students of all ages is to go on a leaf hunt.

Can you find a cordate shaped leaf?

What shape is  maple leaf?

What trees do you have in your backyard?

Feel free to press leaves in a book at home and bring them in to school to share.

Leaf shapes:

Leaf kinds ( tree identification):