Lyonsgate Elementary Observation Guidelines

Thank you for taking the time to observe in our environment. An observation is an opportunity for you to get a glimpse of how a Montessori environment functions. There are a few things to consider when you are observing in the classroom:

  • Please enter the school through the cloakroom by using the side gate and doorbell.   If you have a coat, bag or beverage with you, please leave these in the cloakroom.
  • The observation chair is placed in a specific spot in the classroom. This is the place where observers can view work occurring in different areas while allowing the environment to operate as usual with as little disruption as possible.
  • The guide will not be available to answer any questions during the observation; please ensure you make note of any questions to raise at your Parent-Teacher Conference.
  • The children may approach you. The best way to ensure that you are seeing an accurate depiction of the space is to politely say “Hello,” and tell them that you are here to see them do their work. Please refrain from engaging in conversation with them.
  • When your observation is complete, please quietly exit the classroom without interrupting the students to say goodbye.  We thank you for joining us, and hope that you thoroughly enjoy your time in the environment.

When you are observing, you may want to take some of the following questions into consideration:

  1. Are the children engaging in independent or collaborative work?  
  2. How do the older children engage with the younger children (and vice versa)?
  3. What examples of Practical Life tasks do you see occuring in the Elementary environment?
  4. Which other subjects do you see students investigating?
  5. How do the children resolve conflict?
  6. How do children transition from one activity to the next?


Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

Parent Education Evening:

The winter term Parent Education Evening is next week: Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Lyonsgate Primary campus on Aberdeen Ave., from 4:00-5:00 p.m, in the synagogue’s Sanctuary (where the Holiday Concert was). Please click here to register for childcare (pizza will be available for registered children).

This evening will introduce you to the different “Planes of Development,” as Maria Montessori called them. Montessori environments are prepared to meet the developmental needs of children at different ages and stages of development.

We will discuss each “Plane of Development” and highlight the characteristics of children at each stage. You will learn how Lyonsgate’s prepared Montessori environments meet children’s developmental needs, and understand the relations between the different levels as your children progress from Toddler to Casa to Elementary.

We sent out the updated Parent Contact lists this past week and have had some replies about incorrect or updated contact info, and about additions to the lists. Please take a look at the lists that were sent out and let us know (at if any information is incorrect, outdated, or if you would like to be added to the list for your child's class (inclusion on the Parent Contact lists is optional and some families have chosen to not be included; just let us know if you would like to be added).

We'd just like to remind everyone to please make sure children have appropriate outdoor clothing every day, especially now that the forecast  is predicting real winter weather. Outdoor activity time is essential for learning and development, and is mandated legislatively. All children at all levels get outside every day except in the worst of weather conditions. It is not possible to have one or two children stay inside because they don't have appropriate outer wear; staff is required to be outside  to supervise the children. A few tips we've picked up over the years:

  • Please ensure hats and mitts/gloves fit properly. If hats don't cover ears or fall over eyes, or if mittens are hard to put on, uncomfortable to wear, or make it difficult to hold things, children tend to abandon them, or end up with cold ears.
  • Once the snow sticks, please avoid cloth or knit mittens/gloves. When children play with snow it melts, gloves get wet, and little hands get cold.
  • As you know, Montessori strives to help children develop independence. Of course we will make sure everyone is zipped up, velcroed, snapped, buttoned, and laces are tied, but the more independent successes your children can experience in terms of getting themselves dressed, the better. Please keep this in mind when choosing outer wear for your children.
  • An extra pair of mittens that stay in a child's backpack or cubby are often a great idea.

Thank you.

Unfortunately, due to some staff illness we were not able to spend time in the classrooms taking photos this week. So sorry. We hope to be back at it next week.

Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

Welcome back to school. We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.

The new term always means a few changes, and we have had some children from the Toddler level reach the point where they are ready for Casa and have made the big move. The newly opened space has allowed us to welcome a few new children into the Toddler environment; be sure to read the Toddler update to hear about how amazing the older Toddler children have been. We have also had a new student join us at our Elementary campus.

New children in the classrooms mean updated Parent Contact Lists will be coming your way via email. Remember, the Parent Contact Lists are for Lyonsgate families to use to arrange playdates, carpools, send out invitations, etc. Please do not use or share other parents' email addresses or phone numbers for solicitation or other commercial purposes.

 Here's to a great winter term. Stay warm, smile more, make someone's day, and enjoy your first Lyonsgate update of 2019.

Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

Next week is the last week before the winter holiday break. See below for details of the Winter Concert on our last day — Thursday, Dec. 20 — and we are back for the winter term on Monday, January 7.

Over the break, please take a few moments to complete your registration for the 2019.2020 school year, if you have not done so already. We will be building next year's class lists and offering spots to people on our wait lists soon.

Please click here to complete and submit your application form, one per child. [Please Note: if you're using form autofill features, please double-check that the information is correct.]

Fee Schedules and payment information can be found here (scroll down to the 2019.2020 section), or as attachments to your Dec. 3 "2019.2020 Lyonsgate Registration" email.

Thank you for continung to choose Montessori education for your children, and for trusting Lyonsgate to provide an authentic Montessori experience for your children.

In the spirit of the season, our Elementary students want to thank you for all of your generous donations to their Hamilton Out of the Cold charitable ventures. Our small community managed to compile an impressive amount toothbrushes and paste, hot drink mix, and other essential items to help make those in desperate need a little more comfortable.

 You will have one more  opportunity to help on Tuesday, Dec. 18. The Elementary students will be holding a "Holiday Art and Decoration" sale at both campuses starting at 3:15. They are working hard on creating an inventory of unique decorations. They will also be accepting donations of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and  hot drink mix (as well as other essentials) that day.

Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

Thank you all for making the time come in and meet with your children's Montessori guides last week, and for taking the time to observe in the Montessori environments throughout the month.

We are back to regular updates from your children's guides this week with notes about what's new and exciting in the classrooms, reminders and requests, and what Montessori materials and activities are in heavy rotation.

Page 1 of 11