News and Announcements

November Thank Yous!

posted Nov 29, 2016, 8:44 PM by Reina Honig   [ updated Nov 29, 2016, 8:50 PM ]

Hello Families,
Wow! What a wonderful feast and fun games! Thank you all who were here to celebrate this great IS community. It was a really happy day. Our bellies are full, our hearts are warm, and we are thankful no on broke a leg playing Capture the Flag!

I've attached a few photos of the fun as well as some from the classroom activities.

We finished up our Pumpkin Decomposition project today with only a few brave souls who included smelling the pumpkin mush as part of their observations. We noticed that there really wasn't much change to the whole pumpkin after 2 weeks but the yeast had a huge impact on the breakdown of the pumpkin chunks. The students wrote and illustrated their observations for their Science journals - check them out next time you visit the classroom!

The kids did a wonderful job "trotting" around the track for the Turkey Trot and fun was had by all! The ice pops were well deserved!

On Tuesday we read another fabulous Tomie De Paola book, The legend of the Indian paintbrush.   We created our own "animal skins" by tearing paper bags, 
(great for fine motor development). Then we drew and painted  symbols to tell a story just like the character Little Gopher did in this inspiring piece of literature. 

Thank you for all who have volunteered for a shift with the Goodwill truck. 
If this weekend was not available for you,  we hope you consider donating your time or some supplies to help our IS sponsored holiday wreath booth at our annual Mountain School Holiday night on December 9th. See the attached sign up sheet that is also posted on our door.

Have a lovely weekend.

Reina and Kim

November News

posted Nov 9, 2016, 8:21 PM by Reina Honig

Hello all,

Here are some pictures and info about our classroom days Friday, 11/4 and Tuesday, 11/8.


The class took a walk through the school garden looking firsthand at the role that decomposition plays in the world. They followed up by starting an indoor experiment comparing the decay of chunks of pumpkin with and without yeast to an intact pumpkin.


We had fun playing a new class made taboo game.  The students worked with buddies to create game cards for a waterform or landform which included 5 taboo words. Then in teams , students tried to guess the mystery word with a description that could not include any taboo word choices.

With our guest parent, Simon's mom Robin, students used ballots to vote for their choice of Tomie de Paola book. The Night and the Dragon was the clear winner. Robin then did a fabulous read aloud.

In art we created these awesome mixed media geodes.

In music with Sheila we learned some new words and movements to a folk song.

See you next week!

October News

posted Oct 10, 2016, 1:02 PM by Reina Honig

Dear IS Families,

Can you believe that October is already upon us? We’ve been very busy in the classroom these last 2 weeks and hope your children have been coming home with exciting new information and experiences to share with you.

Please see below some important dates including Attendance Month 2 is due THIS FRIDAY, 10/14/16. I’ve included a link here to the plan book for the week of 10/11 & 10/14 but please note that the afternoon on Friday will have Math Games with Tania Ryan instead of CA History.


Monday- Friday, 10/10-10/14 6th Graders are at Outdoor Science School & it’s the last week for Drive for Schools Tickets

Wednesday 10/12 MANDATORY Coloma Chaperone Meeting 5:30-6:30pm

Friday, 10/14 by 3PM: Attendance Month 2 is due - please include weekly learning logs, a signed and completed attendance log and 4 original work samples (with at least 1 from Math, and 1 from Language Arts.)

Friday, 10/14 Movie Night Mountain Parents Club will host our second movie night, a showing of “Hotel Transylvania 2” at 6:30. Dinner is BYOP (Bring Your Own Picnic), so please bring your picnic dinner, warm blankets and low-back chairs to enjoy a Halloween themed movie treat. This is such great community bonding time---we hope you can make it.

Wednesday-Friday 10/19-21 4th & 5th Graders on a field trip to Sacramento & Coloma

Tuesday, 11/1  No Classroom Enrichment day. Staff development day for all Mountain school teachers.

Tuesday, 11/1Screenagers” movie playing at Scotts Valley middle school. Highly recommended!

Wednesday, 11/2 Parent meeting in IS room 6:30 to 8 PM.

Thursday, 11/10 Attendance paperwork due.

Friday, 11/11 Veterans Day No School

Friday-Sunday 11/18-20 Goodwill Truck -  We will be bringing back the donation truck on Friday, November 18 Sunday, November 20th this year.  Start saving your items!  The Parents Club earns $1,250 every time we fill a truck, and you get to pass on gently used unwanted items.  They do not accept appliances or scrap materials, but everything else in good working condition is fair game.  There will be shifts for sign up to help the effort---thank you in advance for this easy way to support our programs.

Wednesday-Friday, 11/23-25 Thanksgiving break No School

For those of you who were not able to attend our first parent meeting, here are some of the important topics that were discussed:

  • Classroom & school safety: during school hours, students are not allowed to play on the dirt hill near our classroom. But once they are under your care, they can go up there, being careful not to go into the parking lot. The breezeway behind the classroom is ALWAYS off limits.

  • Communication: Mrs. Fleming & Mrs. Honig will continue to email updates linked to the SLV Homeschool website and will not be sending out paper copies. We have shared with you a Google Calendar (PDF below) and will continue to update it throughout the month with meeting times and important school events. If you have not received an invitation for that calendar, please contact Mrs. Honig ASAP. There is also a Yahoo! Group for parents only that is being managed by Amanda Grant and Dana Snyder, so please contact them if you have not yet received an invitation.

  • Yearbook: A parent (could it be you? We’re looking for a volunteer) will be creating a yearbook at the end of the school year so be sure to save your photos from field trips throughout the year so that they may be included!

Some other class news:

We’ve continued with our focus on Earth Science and introduced the Rock Cycle to the class with this fun video as well as an interactive game that brought the children through the processes of the cycle. As a way to familiarize ourselves with map skills and the state of California, we played a version of Battleship using Latitude and Longitude to locate major cities and landforms on a map of CA. Students given the chance to take surveys and create their own graphs in math this week too!

We wish a fabulous week for the 6th graders who are attending Outdoor Science School and hope the 4th & 5th graders are packing and getting ready for Coloma, 10/19-21/16!


Kim & Reina

September Classroom News

posted Sep 30, 2016, 3:02 PM by Reina Honig

Hi Families,

We hope this note finds you all well! So many great things have been happening in our classroom the last couple of weeks, check out these photos of some of the artwork and math/writing that the kids created. Thanks to one of our new parents, Danica, we will have photos of our plan book and new bulletin boards emailed on a weekly basis. You’ll be able to find updated photos on this site throughout the month as well.

We are still working to link the class calendar to the one below so in the meantime, you should have received an invitation to follow a Google Calendar entitled Mountain IS Calendar. There you will find important dates, reminders for field trips and workshops we think some of you may be interested in - like this one called Begin with the Brain and this one shared by a parent called History of Americas that begins next week.

Classroom news:

Math: We’ve been working with bar graphs, collecting and organizing data, and learning some content vocabulary including mean, median and mode. In addition, we make observations about the calendar and look for patterns and multiples.

Science: As student geologists, we’ve compared rocks and minerals, learned about birthstones, and learned some content vocabulary: luster, streak, cleavage, buoyancy, color, texture, weight and hardness.

Language Arts: During our Morning Message students practice a variety of  phonics and whole language reading strategies. They begin by guessing possibilities for covered words based on the context of the message. As we reveal portions of the words students practice strategies to validate or change their guesses. Identifying initial sound or common “chunks”  (prefixes and suffixes) or using prior content knowledge are a few of these strategies.

A variety of student guesses are valuable in helping search for synonyms, as well as inspire creative aka “juicy” word choices in our own future writing.  Writing descriptions about rocks, creating “Guess Who?” books - to be sent home next week. Reading Kevin Henkes’ books and evaluating and discussing his writing “voice”, and comparing/contrasting the character traits. And finally, letter writing to the 4th grade class regarding their play.

Art/Music: Name Card Art with Mary Beth. We got to enjoy the 4th Grade Play “Gold Dust, or Bust!”, what a wonderful performance! Rhythm and movement chants with Sheila.

We look forward to seeing you at our newly scheduled first Parent Meeting on Wednesday, October 5 from 5:30-6:30pm.

September 19th

posted Sep 19, 2016, 1:42 PM by Reina Honig   [ updated Sep 19, 2016, 1:48 PM ]

Hello IS Families,
We are so happy to have had our first week of classroom enrichment days with your children! It was fantastic to see the kids return and welcome the new students to the program. We already had some great discussions about supporting each other in creating a positive learning environment as well as what we're looking forward to this year as a class. Thank you all for getting in your Month 1 attendance and learning logs on time! It is so great to see the amazing, rich work that is being done at home. Keep it up!

Below you will find some important reminders and links. We are working on getting the calendar to show important dates as well, so check back soon for that! And please let us know if we missed anything.

Rachel Sortino, the IS rep for the Mountain School Parents' Club has put up a volunteer sign-up in the classroom, please check it out if you are interested and available to help out! Rhonda Schlosser has some great Parent Education opportunities as well as other helpful information and links here

Tuesday, 9/20 
4th-6th Graders who are interested in participating in the Mountain School Student Council should see Shauna Sutton for an application, they are due Friday, 9/23
1:45pm Parents meet at the picnic benches to discuss field trips with Emily Martin.

Wednesday, 9/21
8 am-12 pm Mrs. H & Mrs. F will be off campus, but the room will be open to check out resources
6:15 pm Mountain PAC, Diane M. will be presenting some information about the current Mountain topics.
8 pm, Mountain PAC, 4th & 5th Grade parents Coloma Information meeting If you are interested in being a chaperone, please go here

Friday, 9/23
Students should bring in a small rock or stone for science - please be sure it is small enough to fit in the palm of the hand. We will be studying the characteristics and attributes of the rocks/stones as an introduction to our Earth Sciences unit

Tuesday, 9/24 
After school the first Book Club meeting will take place in the classroom

Thank you again for your wonderful work at home and in class!
Mrs. Honig & Mrs. Fleming

September 6, 2016

posted Sep 6, 2016, 9:00 PM by Reina Honig

Mountain I.S. weekly update:

Our first parent meetings have gotten off to a fabulous start! We have several new families joining our class this year and are still looking for a few "mentor parents" to help welcome them into the program. If you're interested, please let Reina or Kim know. There were some questions about dress code and our health policy, so please check out the Mountain School website ( or pop into the front office to chat with Sharon.

Important upcoming dates:

Our first classroom enrichment day is just a week away on Tuesday, September 13 beginning g at 9:00AM. We are so excited to begin our year with the students!

First Attendance Period is over and paperwork is due on Friday, 9/16/16. It is VERY important that your attendance log is completed and SIGNED before you turn it in.

Coloma Parent Information Meeting is Wednesday, September 21 at 8pm in the PAC room at Mountain School. This is for ALL 4th and 5th grade parents. We will provide many important details about the trip so we hope you can make it!

Thank you for your time and we look forward to another great week!

Reina & Kim

First Week Information

posted Aug 30, 2016, 1:16 PM by Reina Honig

Hi Families,

It was so wonderful to see our returning families on Wednesday and be able to introduce a few of our new ones to our marvelous mountaineers!

If you did not get a chance to sign up for your planning meetings, please contact us directly to arrange that ASAP. When attending your first goal setting meeting, please bring any curriculum that you are thinking of using with you. During these meetings as well as our new parent orientation (scheduled for August 31st at 11:00 am) we will be touring the classroom to familiarize you with curriculum and resources that are available on site.  

For now, you may print off and use the attached logs to track daily participation in the different academic areas. Our first classroom day will be Tuesday September, 13th from 9:00-2:00. In general Tuesdays will be taught by Mrs. Fleming and Fridays by Mrs. Honig. However, we are excited to enjoy our first day with your children teaching together.

Our classroom day schedule will be as follows. So please be mindful to arrive on time or at a transition time so your child will feel secure about participating fully after hearing instruction.

Tuesday with Mrs. Fleming Friday with Mrs Honig

9:00    Read Morning Message/ Games

9:00    Read Morning Message/Games

9:25    Morning Message Review

9:25    Morning Message Review

9:35    Math and Science

9:35    Math and Science

10:15  Recess

10:15  Recess

10:30  Library & Author Study

10:30  PE

11:00  Art

11:15  Writer’s Workshop

12:00 Recess/Lunch/Reading/*Sharing

12:00  Recess/Lunch/ Reading

1:15   Music

1:00    California history

1:55   Circle Time

1:55    Circle Time

Dismissal will be at 2:00pm. During our circle time we will be giving each speaker our full attention and an opportunity to share a “THINK thing” - Thoughtful, Helpful, Interesting, Nice or Kind thing that happened at school. If you can be sneaky about it, please feel free to listen in from outside our window. However, we ask that you wait until our dismissal to enter the room.

Since some families like to align their home studies with our classroom curriculum, we have provided an overview of some of what we plan to cover throughout the year.

Social Studies and History:

California historical events, state symbols and geography and map skills


Earth Science: rocks and minerals (gold), land and water forms, rock cycle, etc. (primarily using the FOSS Curriculum)


Developing mathematical language to communicate in depth the mathematical practices through introducing Problems of the Month, problem solving, Dot & Number Talks. We will begin the year focusing on attributes, patterns, and graphing.

Language Arts

While focusing on a variety of styles and structures students will express themselves through Writer’s Workshop, journal writing, math & science notebooks.

Phonemic Awareness

Practice will be provided through songs, poems, pocket chart and hands-on word building activities.

Author and Illustrator Studies

Students will listen, read, compare and analyze works from each of the following authors and illustrators through whole class and small group literature.

Fall: Kevin Henkes and Mike Thaler (Friendship and School)

Winter: Tomie De Paola, Jan Brett (Legends, Traditions)

Steven Kellogg (Tall Tales)

Spring: Dr Suess, Edward Munsch, Patricia Palocco

Book Club

Our parent organized Book Club meets monthly on Tuesday after school to discuss literature while sipping tea. Our first book club is scheduled for September 27th.  "Carry On Mr Bowditch" You may contact Emily Martin for more details.


Class Play: “America’s Tallest Tales”


Our sharing time will provide a valuable opportunity for public speaking, thoughtful listening and responding. When it is your child’s day to share, they should bring an item that can fit inside our (grocery bag sized) “Mystery Bag”. Students are to write or dictate three clues to go with their items. It is a good idea to practice reading them at home with a clear speaking voice and eye contact. Classmates will be using the clues to guess the mystery items.

Art and Music

Students will be inspired by our amazing art teacher Marybeth Duncan as well as our new music teacher, Sheila Cliff.


Mrs Fleming and Mrs Honig will be teaming to teach our fun filled, skills based PE program each Friday. Please dress appropriately including athletic shoes.   

Field Trips Dates to Remember

4th and 5th grade Coloma is October 19th-21st

6th grade Science School is October 10th-14th

K-6th grade Giants Stadium “Green Glove Tour” is March 8th

Surely that is enough for you all to ponder over this weekend. Enjoy your weekend with your lovely families.


Kim & Reina

(AKA Mrs. Fleming & Mrs. Honig)

Welcome Back! August 2016

posted Aug 21, 2016, 9:02 PM by Rhonda Schlosser

Welcome back to the 2016-2017 school year! We are so excited for the upcoming year and what better way to kick it off but with a “Meet & Greet” for your families. We’ll be at Harbor Beach next to Twin Lakes Beach, on Wednesday, August 24 from 10am-1pm. We will be set up near the jetty on the west end of the beach. While there, we would like to take care of some school business, so please bring your calendar along with a lunch and beach gear. Also, if you have not already submitted an order for curriculum, please provide a list of what you’d like and we’ll get it ordered. Hope to see you all there!

Please remember that although we do not meet until 8/24, the school year begins Monday, August 22. Therefore, we do expect you to begin logging the learning from that day forward. Parent meetings will begin the week of August 22 and continue into the first week of September.

The first classroom enrichment day at Mountain School will be Tuesday, September 13 from 9am-2pm.

If you have any questions or concerns before 8/24, please call us at 831-475-6812 extension 14 or email us at or

January 2015 Newsletter

posted Jan 13, 2015, 5:58 PM by Laurie Becker   [ updated Jan 14, 2015, 8:33 PM ]

Welcome back everyone... and Happy New Year!   I hope that you had a wonderful winter break, and that you are ready for the upcoming events and activities.  We had a lovely day today with excitement about seeing friends and being back at school.  We enjoyed poetry, library, music with Paula, and then watercolor art with Mary Beth Duncan (warm and cool colors).  We worked in the garden, read Return to Gone Away Lake, and discussed our upcoming class play "Vacation on Mars".  This play is a little musical romp in our solar system which I think the children will enjoy.  We will be doing a little amending, so if any of you would like to help with some ideas it would be very welcome!

We say farewell this month to Carter and his family, and wish them the best of luck!  I know that Amanda sent an email to all of you.  They will be greatly missed, and I am looking for someone to help out in the areas where Amanda has volunteered.  This correspondence  will be the newsletter for the month, and I will try to get a calendar out to you by Friday too.

January brings plans for our class play, discussion about the upcoming Science Fair and Readathon,  writing for the 6th grade Grandparent's Tea to be held in early February, and continuing our National Parks presentations.  Art, music, and PE will continue as usual.  If your child is signed up to present their park in January, please see me asap so we can schedule.

Meeting dates to put on your calendar are the 7th for the Parents Club meeting, and the 14th for our monthly Parent Evening from 6:30-8:00.  We will be discussing our class play, and Tanya Bennett will be sharing about planning and teaching with creative main lesson books.

I am looking forward to a great month together, and appreciate all you do!


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