Mrs. Callahan



I am a Lower Elementary Montessori teacher. This is my 17th year at Smith School as a teacher. I was also a student at Smith School-WOW!

I am excited for a new year full of many new and exciting opportunities.

I love Montessori because students have the opportunity to learn at their own pace and love learning.

I grew up in Helena and was a Smith School student. I graduated from Helena High School and then attended Montana State University (Go Bobcats!) for my under graduate studies. I have a Master’s Degree in Learning Developments, National Board Certification and I am a Certified Montessori teacher. I believe strongly that all children can learn however, all children learn differently and as educators we must meet the children where they are.

I have two (possibly three) dogs. My husband works here in the community and I share his two wonderful daughters with him. Meghan is a teacher in Burley Idaho and Morgan is a student at MSU.


Posted on April 27, 2017

May 2017

We are fast approaching the end of the school year. There are a lot of exciting events coming up in the next month and a half. Please see the below list and mark your calendars.

May12 Vigilante Day-11:00 am release

May 19 Cow Pie Carnival and Auction. Please plan to attend

May 29 Memorial Day-No School

Posted on April 15, 2016

April Showers……

IMG_1289Today seemed more like December than April but these heavy snows make our landscape beautifully green.

Next week is Earth Week and Ms. Ramirez and Ms. Terese have planned activities for our students all week. Each activity is focused on reducing, reusing or recycling.

We do not have school Friday but there is a fantastic even at Montana Wild to celebrate Earth week-
Celebrate actual Earth Day in the environment at Montana Wild!
From 1:00- 4:00 and 5:00-7:00, FWP is partnering with the Department of Environmental Quality to have activities available for students and parents to explore our environment here in Montana. The 1-4 time is specifically geared for students while the 5-7 is more for families as a whole. Pass the word onto your class if they are looking for something fun to do on our day off!

there is more information on the Montana Wild calendar:,1&mm=y

cow-pie-shirtThe Cow Pie auction is in full Swing!! Get your raffle tickets at the front office. Tickets sell for $5 each. When a student sells a book of 5 tickets they get a free Cow Pie t-shirt. The auction and carnival are May 20 after school. Please plan to come for fun, food, silent auction and you may win $500 if the cow plops on your square!


We have been studying the body systems in class. Ask your child about how the respiration system and the cardiovascular system work. It is so fun to observe the excitement about the human body.

Have a delightful weekend and remember next week is a short week with no school on Friday.



Posted on April 1, 2016

Welcome Back!

I hope everyone had a fantastic spring break. It certainly went fast but it was also nice to have some down time.

xdaffodil2.jpg.pagespeed.ic.giJRWg9C4TWe are heading into the last quarter of the school year! AMAZING!! How did that happen?

I was working on plans for next week and came across a great article about talking to your student about school. I know many students go home and say they didn’t do anything at school. I promise you, they are busy! Hopefully this article will be helpful.

10 Questions to Ask Your Child About School

I am changing things up during reading this last quarter. While at the AMS conference in Chicago I attended a session about Reader’s Workshop. I would like to try this approach for the last part of the year. It will involve more reading and less work sheeting (Not sure that is a word).

During my trip to Rapid City for Math Performance Task writing we had a talk about 3 Act Math problems. These are inquiry based math lessons, continuing to encourage students to do more thinking while working on math. When you approach a task with your child think about asking what they notice, look at the information given and what is needed. We will be working on these types of problems in class.

Speaking of math……you may have noticed a change in the type of math coming home. I am sending more problem based math homework instead of the computation pages I was sending earlier.

We will be going to the Holter Museum for a field trip on April 11 at 9 am.

Enjoy the beautiful spring weather and have a fantastic week.


Posted on March 24, 2016

March 21

Rangoli 2 Rangoli 1Please send you child with a white t-shirt that can be stained tomorrow. We will be having a color war to culminate our lessons about Holi.

I am sad to have missed Monday and Tuesday. The students were so excited about what they have learned and the activities in which they have participated.

I have attached two pictures of the rangolis created by our class on the sidewalk outside our classroom.

Thank you Linda and Geetha for the wonderful experience.

Tomorrow is the last day of school before spring break. School will resume April  4.

The week after spring break begins the fourth quarter of the school year. I know everyone has a lot going on during this time of year.

I was able to finish up my performance task writing work this past week. This has been an incredibly valuable experience and I have some fantastic lessons to share with students. The conversations I have been able to have with educators all over the country are enlightening and helpful. I continue to realize the importance of teaching our children to persevere and stick with a task.

My time in Chicago at the AMS conference was equally gratifying. I feel excited to share the new knowledge I have gained with our students.

A weather reminder-this time of year things can change quickly. Please send your child with proper clothing for warm, cold and hot weather.

Thank you for all you share with me each day.



Posted on February 29, 2016

March 2016

shamrock-backgroundI must apologize it has been a month since I added an entry. February was a whirlwind for me.

Now on to a new season and new learning.

CogAT/ITBS testing begins for second grade on Monday, March 7. I will send a schedule home this week so everyone knows when we will be testing. Second grade students will take the tests with me while the other students join Ms. Wright in her room.

The Montessori Lottery Orientation meeting is this week. The meeting is at 6 pm at the Lewis and Clark Library. The lottery process has already opened, so if you know of a child entering first grade next year, be sure to get the name to your school secretary. The lottery form can be found on the HPMP website at:

Helena Public Montessori Parents

Ms. Wright, Ms. McCue and I will be attending the AMS Conference in Chicago next week. We are very excited to connect with Montessori teachers from all over the country. We will be bringing home plenty of new knowledge and lessons to share.

The last day of third quarter is March 25. This is also the last day of school before Spring Break.

It has been such a busy and productive school year so far. Have a beautiful March!


Posted on February 2, 2016

February 2016

heart6Happy February!! 

We have been busy in class getting back into the swing of school after the holidays.

Valentine’s Day is next weekend and the students are very excited. I would like each child to make a Valentine box at home and bring it to school on the 12th for a celebration. The class decided on a pajama day with an  afternoon of reading and snacks. Please see Sign Up Genius to contribute to the party.

We do not have school on February 15 due to President’s Day.

I look forward to meeting with all of you next week for conferences.

Posted on January 11, 2016

January 11, 2016

IMG_0769 (1)At the end of last week I couldn’t believe we had only been back to school for a week, it felt like Christmas was months behind us and months ahead. The time flies…..

We started North America maps in class last week. We will begin our North American animal research the week of January 25.

You will notice three additional words on your child’s spelling this week. In addition to the regular list, I am having each child add three words they would like to learn each week.

Please check out this website, “Bedtime Math”. Sara Groves introduced me to it several years ago. It has great ideas for fun math activities at home with your child.

Please remember next week’s schedule is different. No school Monday, half day (noon dismissal) Thursday and no school on Friday.




Posted on January 8, 2016

Happy New Year!

12313699_10206683350095855_2015122283846998241_n_288x288_acf_croppedThe new year always seems to bring new beginnings. I am looking forward to working with your children in 2016.

We are going to begin learning the countries of North America this month. Students will select a country and then an animal from that country to research.

I hope spelling lists are coming home each Monday. Please practice them with your child during the week so they are ready to test on Friday. Starting next week (1/11) your child will add words he or she would like to learn to their list.

January and February seem to slow down a bit for most of us. This is a great time to spend weekends or evenings reading with your child.

Ms. Wright shared a wonderful article with me about self-discipline vs. obedience. I am sharing the link with you as well, there are some great ideas about guiding children to make the right choices.

Why Teach Children Self-Discipline (Instead of Obedience)?


We do not have school Monday, January 18. The afternoon of January 21 is an early noon release day and the 22 is a vacation day.

Thank you all for your help and support during the month of December. I know it is a busy and sometimes difficult time. Our students did an amazing job staying focused and working.

Posted on November 30, 2015

Whew!! November flew by…literally for a day or so there! I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving.

Our feast was a success. This is the first year Ms. Wright and I shopped with the students instead of waiting at the cash register. We both found the shopping with the students to be very enjoyable.

We have a few events at school this month. One is the Smith School food drive. We would like to collect 2,500 non perishable food items for Smith School Families. This is a special food drive as the food all goes to families at Smith School in need of a little assistance. Please send any items you can donate to school with your child. The collection will take place for the next two weeks.

We are also participating Coins for Christmas. The coins we collect will go toward gifts for needy families in the Helena Area.

Our Winter Program is December 17 at 10 am and 1:30 pm. Please plan to attend one program. This is always such a fun and exciting time for children.

We will have our classroom party on Dec. 16 because I will be out of town on the 18th.

School will let out at 3:15 on the 18th of December and resume on January 4.

This is such a busy and special time of year. I know there is a lot of excitement and fun but also stress. Please do not hesitate to let me know if your child needs extra support during the days to come.

Have a beautiful holiday season!! And of course, Merry Christmas!


Posted on November 17, 2015

November 17

THanksgivingIt is that time of year again, life gets so busy and we forget to remember all that we are thankful for in our lives.

We are so fortunate in Helena to have good, secure schools. We are also lucky to have an administration willing to look at what needs to be done to improve the educational experience for our children. This is my plug to attend a listening session in December. The dates are listed in my calendar as well on the Smith School and Helena Schools page.

We will be again having our feast in the classroom with Ms. Wright’s class. We will shop on Monday and cook, then share our feast on Tuesday.

Next week is a short week. We only have school Monday and Tuesday.

Looking ahead-December is a busy month. This week we will learn the countries of South America and begin a research project. Our Christmas celebration will be December 16 and we will share foods from South American countries. Ms. Wright and I will both be absent on the 18th and our Winter Program is the 17th.

Thank you all for the gift you share with me each day, your children. They make me laugh, cry, proud and so happy. Have a beautiful Thanksgiving and remember you are all among my blessings.

Mrs. Callahan's Class

“Every child has a different learning style and pace. Each child is unique, not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding.” ~ Robert John Meehan




Upcoming Events

  • March 7, 2016 - March 15, 2016

    CoGAT/ITBS testing

  • April 22, 2016

    Vacation Day-No School

  • May 6, 2016

    Vigilante Day 11:00 am Dismiss

  • May 20, 2016

    Cow Pie Auction and Carnival


  • May 30, 2016

    Memorial Day No School

  • June 8, 2016

    Last Day of School Noon Dismiss

Mrs. Callahan's Schedule

  • 8:30

    School Day Begins

  • 8:35-9:10

    Music-Tuesday and Thursday

  • 9:15-9:45

    PE-Tuesday and Thursday

  • 8:35-9:35

    Library Skills and Checkout-Wednesday

  • 9:35-10:45

    Reading lessons

  • 10:45-12:00

    Work and lessons

  • 12:00-12:40

    Recess and then Lunch

  • 12:40-1:50

    Work and lessons

  • 1:50-2:25


  • 2:30-3:00

    Successmaker and enrichment

  • 3:00-3:15

    Class meeting

  • 2:30

    Monday Early Dismissal

  • 3:15

    Tuesday-Friday Dismissal