Molly Bernhardt

Morgan Avina

Bluebird Room is a Lower Elementary classroom for levels 1-3 on the Toledo Campus. Morgan Avina Molly Bernhardt are the classroom’s co-teachers.

On May 25th, third level was able to enjoy a wonderful day at Put-in-Bay. The weather was beautiful, and we learned so much! Here are a few highlights from the trip and some facts that we learned:

  • Perry’s Cave: We learned that for a stalactite to grow an inch, it takes about 400 years. We saw many different formations in the shapes of different animals. There is an underground lake that rises and falls with the levels of Lake Erie. The cave was said to have stored Commodore Perry’s weapons and ammunition during the War of 1812 and to provide a clean source of water for Perry and his troops.. There are actually 28 caves on Put-in-Bay, but only four are open to the public.
  • Perry’s Monument: Perry’s Monument is the third highest national monument. It rises 352 feet above Lake Erie, making it even taller than the Statue of Liberty. It is a monument honoring those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Although Commodore Perry is not buried here, there are six soldiers buried underneath. The memorial also celebrates the lasting peace that remains among Britain, Canada, and the U.S.
  • Crystal Cave & Heineman’s Winery: We learned that due to shorter springs and longer fall seasons on the island, along with the water and temperature of the lake, it makes for great grape growing. There are many vineyards and several wineries on the island. We were able to walk through and hear about the process of how they make grape juice; samples of grape juice were enjoyed by most, even though the taste was slightly different than store-bought juice (due to the fact that Heineman’s does not add sugar or water as most others do). On the same property, we walked through Crystal Cave. While digging for a well for the winery above, workers ran into something different than they expected. They found it to actually be a giant geode, now known as the world’s largest geode. The average size of a geode is about the size of a baseball; this one was about the size of a small room. Thinking that they struck it rich, they found that the mineral could not be mined and polished for expensive jewelry. The cave is made up of Celestite, or Strontium Sulfate, which is used in fireworks because of its ability to burn bright red.

A great time was had by all, and we enjoyed our time with the third level students before we must send them off to Upper Elementary. See the photo gallery for some pictures of our day.


Picnic Bagged Lunch

Dear Lower Elementary Parents,

It is so hard to believe that the end of the school year is quickly approaching. On Tuesday, May 31st, we would like to extend the opportunity for you to enjoy a picnic-style lunch on our playground with your child. The children will have their regular lunches; feel free to bring blankets and your bagged lunch to enjoy with your child. We will be having the picnic lunch during our regular lunch/recess time from 11:30-12:15. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thank you,

Lower Elementary Teachers



Right to Read Week was an exciting time for our students! Reading Shore is Fun was such a fun theme for the week, and the students really loved it!

On Monday, April 18th, we went to see a play at the Valentine Theater! We had the opportunity to enjoy Charlotte’s Web. Later that day, we had a Right to Read Week Opening Ceremony to get the children excited about reading and about the events of the week! What a great way to kick off Right to Read Week! See below for a few pictures before Charlotte’s Web started!


Most of our lessons (in math, language, and culture) were started with a children’s book. We then talked about different topics with each book. For example, we started off a first level lesson about the senses with a book about a day at the beach and the senses used (breathing in the air, feeling the sand, hearing the waves). We then did a senses sorting activity. Another day, we read a book about the beach and used the text to go along with our word study. These are just a couple of ways that we incorporated books about the beach into our lessons.

On Thursday, we attended a presentation by an award-winning illustrator! Michael Glenn Monroe told his story about when he received his first art set, how he came to love drawing wildlife, and the process he goes through to illustrate a book. He showed us many of the books that include his illustrations and went on to demonstrate the creation of a humbug (from the book The Christmas Humbugs, which his wife wrote and he illustrated). The students were free to draw any kind of humbug, whether it was holiday related, food related, etc. The students were so inspired that we had humbug drawing going on in our classroom for days!

On April 21st, the students had the opportunity to become teachers at the Lower Elementary Materials Night. The children chose some of their favorite works and gave lessons to their parents. The students really enjoyed showing loved ones what they do in the classroom on a daily basis.



Over the last couple of weeks, the children have been studying parts of an annelid, learning more about the segmented worms, finding them around our own campus, observing them to identify the different parts, and creating habitats for the worms to survive. Due to their excitement about the earthworms, Grandparents’ and Special Friends Day in Bluebird was centered around Annelids. We started off our Grandparents’ Day with a reader’s theater that was adapted from the book Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin. A couple of students worked on taking parts of the book, turning it into a script, and adding some facts that they had learned about annelids. This showed grandparents and special friends what our students have been working on in our classroom. Also a part of our morning was snack, which was a healthy version of dirt pudding. Throughout the week, the students were involved in making the pudding and the gummy worms. Some real live earthworms made an appearance at a station in which the students, grandparents, and/or special friends could observe and identify the parts of the annelids. It was a great time had by all! See below for some of the pictures.




Field Day: Monday, May 23rd from 12:45-3:00

Third Level Trip to Put-in-Bay: Wednesday, May 25th  (letter to come in Friday Folders this week)

Enjoy a Picnic Lunch with Your Child on the Playground: Date TBD and details to come

May 25, 2016

Dear Third Level Parents,

Our trip to South Bass Island is quickly approaching. We will be leaving school on Wednesday, May 25 at 8:45 am and traveling to the Miller Ferry by bus. We are hoping to board the 10:00 am ferry. The Tour Train will pick us up from the ferry and give us a tour of the island. We will then visit Perry’s Cave. From there we will head to De Rivera Park for a picnic lunch. After lunch we will be touring Perry’s Monument and International Peace Memorial. Our last stop will be Heineman’s Winery where we will visit Crystal Cave and learn about locally grown grapes and the process of making grape juice! We are hoping to catch the 3:00 pm ferry back to the mainland which will put us back at West Side Montessori at around 5:00 pm. We are looking forward to a fabulous third grade field trip. We can’t wait to share all of our pictures with you on the blog!!


Items Needed for the Trip:



Disposable lunch and water bottle

Comfortable shoes and sweatshirt

Sunscreen and hat



Lower Elementary Teachers


Due to poor expected weather conditions, we are cancelling the trip to the Toledo Zoo.  We are hoping to reschedule to trip.  We will inform you if another date has been set.


The Lower Elementary teachers