Lyonsgate Classroom Updates Week of Nov. 21-25, 2022

Happy Monday Lyonsgate Families,

Reminder: there is no school this Friday, Dec. 2, due to Parent-Teacher conferences.

If you still need to select a conference time slot, please click here to do so.

Toy Drive:

Lyonsgate is accepting toys for the Salvation Army Toy Drive up until Dec. 15. Toys must be new and unopened, and they are especially looking for board games and dolls for children aged 2-6. Please drop toys off at the Lyonsgate Primary campus on Aberdeen Ave. at any time. Thank you.

Please also see the Elementary update below for information about their Shoebox Project initiative.

Elementary Program Information Session: the Elementary campus is hosting an information session for parents of 3rd-year Casa students on Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 3:30-4:15. Please RSVP to elementary@lyonsgate.ca if you would like to attend. Child care for 3rd-year Casa students will be available at the Primary campus until 4:30 that day.

See below for updates from your children’s Montessori classrooms.

Toddler

Casa North

Casa South

Elementary

Photo Gallery


Toddler

Hello Toddler Parents,

This week, we have had the special pleasure of welcoming our families into the classroom for a glimpse into what happens in our little community with our Show and Share days this week. Some children enthusiastically showed their parents around, while others were a bit more reserved. It is always fascinating to see what children will choose to do when their parents come to visit.

Toddlers can be a bit unpredictable and rarely perform when asked to do something. This is part of their charm. They must be their authentic selves at all times. If they happen to do something that has been asked of them it is usually because it coincides with what they want to do anyway.

One way to achieve more cooperation with your toddler is to offer two acceptable choices. When you are at an impasse you might offer, “Would you like to wear your boots or shall I carry you?” Choices can be offered at other moments too. You might start the day with two choices of outfits. This way they feel consulted and involved in what is happening in their lives. It sends the message that we value and respect them enough to allow them to make a few decisions for themselves.

Thank you to all of the families that were able to take time out of their busy day to come and visit our classroom. If you have not had a chance to visit during this week of Show and Share, please let us know and we can find a mutual time for an after school visit sometime in the near future.

Ms. Gervais, Mme Craigie, and Mr. Davis.


Casa North

Hello Casa North Families,

November is nearing it’s end, and what a month it has been!

We hope you enjoyed your Show & Share experience last week, and would love to hear your feedback. Be sure to shoot a quick email or Seesaw message to your classroom teacher with any feedback that you think would be valuable for our Show & Share next term.

You may have noticed that November was a busy month for birthdays in Casa North. These birthday celebrations have been an excellent chance for students to begin understanding the passage of time and what “one year” truly means.

In our classroom, we use a unique ritual where we invite the birthday celebrant to carry a globe & walk around the sun (a lit candle) — one revolution for each year of their life. We sing “The Earth Goes Around the Sun” each time the child circles the candle to represent a solar year.

As the child completes each lap, we often talk about what may have occurred that year (becoming a big sibling; joining Casa for the first time; etc.) or share any photos the child has brought from home.

This month (with the amount of birthdays celebrated), there were great discussions about the notable difference between those walking the circle 3 times and those walking 5 long laps around the circle. The feeling of older and younger, more walking/singing or less…

We cannot wait to celebrate more birthdays this upcoming month, and throughout the new year!

Reminder: Friday December 2nd is a PA Day. The school will be closed to facilitate Parent/Teacher Conferences. We look forward to sharing our observations with you, but please also bring your questions & comments. Childcare will be available during your time slot.

Best,

Ms. O’Sullivan, Mme. Murati, & Ms. Canessa


Casa South

Greetings from Casa South,

Dr. Montessori recognized what she termed language explosions occurring at different stages of early childhood development. An early explosion takes place during the toddler years, generally between 12 and 24 months. All the oral language a child has heard and absorbed over the preceding months begins to come out in what can sound like a verbal torrent. They have a strong need to name things in their environment, first with single words and eventually in phrases and then sentences.

In Casa classes, we observe another explosion as a child begins to connect letter sounds (phonics) with their corresponding written symbols. They notice letters everywhere, repeating the sounds to themselves or others. The work done through time with many materials, as well as all-important life experience, culminates in a different type of language acquisition. Spontaneous games and activities erupt. A further explosion takes place when a child begins to express themselves in writing or word building with moveable alphabets.

The beauty of so much opportunity to explode into language is that a child delights in this development without an awareness of everything that is yet to come. She enjoys the process, and over time, discovers that she can do something quite complex without knowing how this has come to be. It is really quite an astonishing feat to be able to share your thoughts and ideas in a concrete way.

Language is the synthesis of experience. It is the recorder of history, story, drama, poetry, and personal expression. It is the basis of sharing. You can rest assured there is always plenty of sharing in a Casa class!

See you at the gate,

Ms. Robinson, Mme Perazzo, and Ms. Dewey.


Elementary

The Elementary class was thrilled to welcome family members to our Open Classroom event last week. Thank you for joining us! Students were excited to share their work, displaying a variety of posters, models, artwork, writing samples, and even serving up slices of pie!

The pieces they chose to share with you reflect the diversity of interests being pursued by individuals in the classroom, as well as the types of follow-up activities that proceed from our formal lessons. While we explore the curriculum through different channels such as story-telling, manipulatives, writing, and acting, many children choose to express their learning through the visual arts. Using their hands in cooperation with their imagination and intellect enlivens the learning process for elementary students, whether to connect with literature and history or to solidify and communicate their understanding of math and geometry. Handwork such as latch hook, origami, and sculpting models provide an outlet for creative energy and develop problem solving and fine motor skills. This work can be independent or collaborative, with the process often being of greater pleasure and reward than the final product.

Through the coming weeks, we will be exploring the cultural celebrations that come with the month of December, as well as participating in a class outreach project to bring a bit of joy to those in our community who have been less fortunate than us.

Beginning today, we are collecting donations in support of The Shoebox Project. We welcome donations of new, unopened, quality personal hygiene and beauty products, nut-free candy or chocolate, hot drink pouches, cozy socks or gloves, or stationary items such as a small journal or colourful pens. We are also happy to include gift cards in the range of $5 – 15 dollars to stores such as pharmacies, groceries, and chain coffee shops or restaurants. The students will also be soliciting donations from businesses in the Locke Street area.

The Elementary students will use the donations collected to construct gift boxes for women and girls in Hamilton struggling with housing. Each gift box will be packed with $50 worth of goods, wrapped with care, and include a handwritten note for the recipient.

We look forward to seeing you this coming Friday, December 2nd, at our parent-teacher conferences!

Warmly,

Marissa and Michelle


Photo Gallery


Lyonsgate Classroom Updates Week of Nov. 14-18, 2022

Hello Lyonsgate Families,

Casa & Toddler parents, Show & Share is taking place this week. If you haven’t selected a day to visit yet please click here to do so.

Parents of 3rd-year Casa students, please see the Elementary update for details of an Elementary Program Information Session in December.

Parent-Teacher conferences at both the Primary and Elementary campuses are on Friday, Dec. 2. Please click here if you still need to select a time slot.

Please see below for updates from your children’s Montessori classrooms.

Toddler

Casa North

Casa South

Elementary

Photo Gallery


Toddler


This week in the toddler community we are gearing up for the cold weather. There are so many little items now, mittens, hats and neck cozies.

Please label everything to avoid confusion. Mabels Labels are company that started right here in Hamilton. You can purchase customizable labels for all your child’s clothing that will stay on even after going through the washing machine.

Please consult the weather report and send appropriate gear! This will give us more opportunities to practice dressing and undressing. Try to build in a few extra minutes at home to allow for your child to work towards mastery of these independence skills. We use the coat flip or “flip flop over the top” to put on coats. Place the hood or collar of the coat at the child’s feet, encourage them to place their hands into the arm holes and lift the coat up and flip it over their head while their arms slide into the sleeves. You can then help them start the zipper and let them zip it up the rest of the way. Allow them to participate in small ways at first, perhaps closing the velcro over their boots or finishing tasks. This will allow them to gain confidence in their abilities. Eventually they will be able to dress themselves independently with pride!

Flip Flop Over the Top

Next week we are looking forward to hosting our Show and Share. This is a great opportunity for your child to show you around the classroom and share some of their favourite activities with you.

Ms. Gervais, Mme Craigie, & Mr. Davis.


Casa North

Hello Casa North Families,

Show & Share is this week! I would say that our team is busy preparing, but in actuality, it is the children who are getting ready to invite you into their world; it is them who chooses which work to show you, them who sets it up, and them providing the tour afterwards. We have very little to do with the direction each Show & Share takes (although we are excited to see it in action).

A big reminder that your child may choose to work with any material they’ve been shown, from any area of the classroom. This means they may pour water, solve multiplication equations, or any spectrum of things in between — and we welcome whatever independent choice they have made!

We are inviting you into our room as an observer. Please do not try to guide or redirect your child; our staff is available to guide, as needed, so you can focus on taking everything in. Simply buckle up & enjoy the ride! We know you will be amazed by your child’s progress and confidence.

Please arrive on time to give your child the best chance to complete their chosen work for you.

Reminder to please sign up for a Parent/Teacher Conference time slot, if you have not done so already.

Best,

Ms. O’Sullivan, Mme. Murati & Ms. Canessa


Casa South

Greetings from Casa South,

This week, we will welcome you inside our school Casa, or home. It’s an active, stimulating hub full of exploration with many lightbulb moments as well as slower waves of development.

Your child will greet and usher you into our room where they will have set up the activity they want to share with you. If there is still time after presenting you with this work, they may want to give you a tour of the classroom. While they will not be taking anything else off the shelves, they will no doubt be happy to point out a few other materials they enjoy working with.

We look forward to your visit and this opportunity for you to see your child at work in their Casa.

See you at the gate,

Ms. Robinson, Mme Perazzo, and Ms. Dewey


Elementary

Last week, the students applied what they have learned about forces and structures to design and build a bridge. Each engineering team was given specific measurements and materials to create the strongest possible bridge. Younger students have been challenged to build their bridge using paper straws and tape, while older students are working with popsicle sticks and white glue. We are eager to test these structures soon!

Many students have been exploring poetry through our language lessons. Whether counting syllables in haikus or exploring the rhyme scheme of limericks, the children have been delighted by the different ways words can stir our imaginations. Several budding poets are now eagerly composing their own pieces! We’ve also been exploring the language of music, with some students learning to play, read, and write rhythms, using percussion instruments, four-beat cards, and popsicle sticks. Others were introduced to notes on the staff and learning the treble clef.

By far, the most popular event of last week was our annual tradition to mark the first snowfall of the season: stopping to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and celebrate the wintry weather with friends.

We look forward to sharing some of our work with you this afternoon at our Open Classroom event! Family members are welcome to arrive anytime from 3:30 – 4:15 to tour the student displays. See you soon!

Warmly,

Marissa and Michelle.

Elementary Program Information Session: the Elementary campus is hosting an information session for parents of 3rd-year Casa students on Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 3:30-4:15. Please RSVP to elementary@lyonsgate.ca if you would like to attend. Child care for 3rd-year Casa students will be available at the Primary campus until 4:30 that day.


Photo Gallery


Administrative Update: Winter Reminders

Hello Lyonsgate Families,

With the winter weather starting to arrive, we have a few reminders about how to keep everyone as comfortable and healthy as possible. Please see below for information about:

Staying Healthy (letter from Hamilton Public Health)

Please Check the Weather Daily

Weather Appropriate Clothing

Snow Day Closures

Declared Cold Alert Days


Staying Healthy

We have all seen and heard that flu season and other respiratory afflictions are significant this year, and that children's hospitals, including our own McMaster Children's Hospital, are facing dire situations with pediatric in-patient occupancy already well above capacity due to children with respiratory viruses.

Please continue to use and abide by the School Screening Tool (available on the Home page at lyonsgate.ca) in all cases of illness.

Please also see the following letter that Hamilton Public Health has asked us to share with you this week:
HPHS - FamiliesLetter_RespiratoryIllnessPrevention - Nov 15 2022


Please Check the Weather Daily

You can find a link set to the daily weather forecast at Lyonsgate's postal code on the Home page at lyonsgate.ca. Please check the weather forecast each day to ensure students have the appropriate clothing/outerwear for the day. At Lyonsgate, children get outside in all but the most inclement of weather and the right clothing makes the experience all the more comfortable and enjoyable.

We make the call to stay inside or to go outside for recess and dismissal at the time. If it’s raining in the morning it does not necessarily mean it will be indoor recess, and the outdoor space may be wet and/or muddy. Please always assume students will be going outside every day.


Weather Appropriate Clothing

A few notes and tips about winter wear:

  • Independence is central to Montessori education. Outwear that students can, to the greatest degree possible, put on and take off independently sets your child up for success and builds confidence in their own abilities, both of which optimize their development in their Montessori environments. Practice with outerwear at home can make mornings with Mom and Dad, and transitions at school, a better experience for everyone.
  • Water resistant gloves and mittens are essential when there is snow on the ground. Cloth or knit gloves and mittens are inevitably soaking wet within minutes of getting outside, resulting in children's hands becoming freezing cold.
  • Every student will get wet and/or dirty. Please make sure your child is well stocked with spare socks and other clothes at school.
  • Please label EVERYTHING!

Snow Day Closures
Lyonsgate families travel to school from all areas of Hamilton and beyond. As such, Lyonsgate utilizes the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board inclement weather process, which posts cancellation notices by 6:00 a.m. If HWDSB closes, so does Lyonsgate. If there is a snow day, we will communicate that to you as early as we can in the mornings via email and the Home page at lyonsgate.ca. (For more information from HWDSB, please see “Ref. E: HWDSB Winter Weather Bus Cancellations and School Closures” in your Parent Handbook).


Declared Cold Alert Days
When the City of Hamilton declares a cold alert Lyonsgate students remain indoors for recess and dismissal. Cold alerts are issued when the temperature is -15°C and below or when the wind chill is -20°C and below.


Lyonsgate Classroom Updates Week of Nov. 7-11, 2022

Hello Lyonsgate Families,

Casa & Toddler families: Show & Share is next week. If you haven’t selected a day to visit yet please click here to do so.

Elementary families: Open Classroom is next Monday, Nov. 21. Parents are welcome to visit the classroom after school to view the students’ work and mingle with the classroom community. The classroom will be open to guests from 3:30 p.m.-4:15 p.m.

Details for both events can be found on your Lyonsgate calendar.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will take place on Friday, Dec. 2. There is no school that day. Child care is available during your conference. Look for an email entitled “Parent-Teacher Conference Sign-up Link” to select your conference time-slot.

Toddler

Casa North

Casa South

Elementary

Photo Gallery


Toddler

A New Tank for Oscar

This week in the Toddler classroom, Oscar the fish received a new fish tank. It is a little bit larger and a little bit brighter so hopefully the children might be able to watch Oscar swim up to the surface to eat the tiny specks of food that the children put in for him.

We have been noticing so much excellent work happening in the classroom lately. It seems that all of the hard work of adapting and receiving lessons on various jobs has begun to really take root. We have noticed a lengthening of focus on activities as well, which makes for a happy classroom because, “A child who concentrates is immensely happy,” according to Maria Montessori. Those good feelings of peace and happiness tend to proliferate and we all find the experience of school very pleasurable.

Another thing we have noticed lately is the need for children to take care of each other. They have really begun to notice one another. Someone might bring another child their shoes or try to cover someone up with a blanket or try to wipe away another child’s tears after a tumble. It is quite sweet to see such kind-hearted children driven by a desire to nurture and care for one another.

We are looking forward to inviting all of you into the classroom for a Show and Share.

Ms. Gervais, Mme Craigie, and Mr. Davis.


Casa North


Hello Casa North Families,

Reading John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields” for Remembrance Day last week was a great reminder to share some of our favourite poems with you!

We use a variety of language in our classroom. We read picture books, wordless pictures books, tell stories aloud, sing, and use poetry often. Poems can rhyme, have rhythm, or be abstract in whatever way. We like poems with descriptive language & lots of adjectives to soak up! Any exposure to language is beneficial to the child!

Some of our favourite poems include:

  • “My Puppy Makes Pizza” by Kenn Nesbitt
  • “Tree House” by Shel Silverstein
  • “Halfway Down” by A.A. Milne
  • “Mice” by Rose Fyleman
  • “The Perfect Cup of Cocoa” by Barbara Vance
  • “Green Giant” by Jack Prelutsky (we often recite this as a visual poem. We take out paper, draw as each line is said, and compare our pictures afterwards).

Ask your child about these poems — we are curious to hear their favourites, or know which words they have memorized/pick-up during our readings together.

Please sign up for Show & Share, as well as a Flower Arranging date, if desired.

Best,

Ms. O’Sullivan, Mme. Murati & Ms. Canessa


Casa South

Greetings from Casa South,

What are the benefits of mixed-age groups in a classroom? This an often-asked question.

“The main thing is that the groups should contain different ages, because it has great influence on the cultural development of the child. This is obtained by the relations of the children among themselves,” Maria Montessori.

We know that children learn through:

Observation: Younger children learn by watching older children as well as adults. In a mixed-age classroom, older children who are completing challenging work are an example to the younger children; they show them what is possible.

Practice: In a mixed-age class, children usually stay with the same guide for three years, giving them plenty of time to repeat work, practice skills, and advance at their own pace; they are not rushed.

Teaching: Older children are viewed as role models. They teach by example, and it is not uncommon to see a child giving a presentation to another child. And, in teaching something to a younger child, an older student deepens their own understanding of the lesson. In teaching, we learn.

What Dr. Montessori observed all those years ago is still true today. Children of various ages, working together, will learn from each other, both as students and teachers. Just as siblings learn and work together, collaborate, and solve problems, so do children in a mixed-age environment. Our class is very much a family growing together.

And in case you were wondering, this collaboration resulted in a rescued mitten!

See you at the gate,

Ms. Robinson, Mme. Perrazo and Ms. Dewey.


Elementary

During our trip to the Museum of Steam and Technology last week, the Elementary students were thrilled to visit the huge steam pump mechanism and learn about how the City of Hamilton first transported clean water to homes. They enjoyed a water pump demonstration, and were excited by the working models of steam engines. Working in small groups, they engineered bridges from a variety of materials such as foam bricks, cardboard, and plastic lacing. Each bridge was subjected to a variety of challenges, such as a ship passing below, a person or a truck on the deck, and the force of wind provided by a fan.

In preparation for Remembrance Day, the class explored symbols of peace from around the world and worked to create peace wreaths to display outside the school. Whether on campus or at the rock climbing gym, we stopped for a moment of silence to honor all of those who have been affected by war.

This week, we’re excited to continue our work at school. We look forward to sharing more with you during our Open Classroom event next Monday, November 21. Parents are welcome to visit the classroom after school to view the students’ work and mingle with our classroom community. The classroom will be open to guests from 3:30 p.m.-4:15 p.m.

Michelle and Marissa.


Photo Gallery


Lyonsgate Classroom Updates Week of Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 2022

Hello Lyonsgate Families,

Remember to keep an eye on the school calendar for upcoming events and activities.

  • Casa and Toddler students will welcome their parents into their classrooms for Primary Show & Share taking place Nov. 21-24. Please click here to select a day for your visit.
  • Elementary Open Classroom is November 21.
  • Elementary students have a field trip and some Friday activities coming up.
  • Parent-Teacher conferences are on Dec. 2. There is no school that day.

See below for updates from your children’s classrooms.

Toddler

Casa North

Casa South

Elementary

Photo Gallery


Toddler

The fall leaves are everywhere, which means that it is getting colder. Colder weather presents a lot of interesting new work for our community. There are new coats, boots, mittens, and scarves to practice putting on. As the weather changes, so does our process for getting ready to go outside. We know that extra time is needed in the hallway to prepare for a fun and comfortable time playing outdoors. The work being done to master these skills is very important and is all part of the adventure of getting our classroom out the door each day. This is a good time to mention that labelling these new items of clothing is very helpful to them ending up on the right hands, and in the right backpacks.

We’d like to thank everyone who was able to make it out for our talk about movement on Thursday. After a couple of years of Zoom meetings, it is so wonderful to once again see families face-to-face, in the classroom.

Thank you,

Ms. Gervais, Mme Craigie, and Mr. Davis


Casa North


Hello Casa North Families,

November has arrived! Thank you again to all who attended the Parent Education last week. We hope it got you all thinking about when to intervene with your child, or when to let them be.

Our first term Show & Share is just around the corner (November 21st-24th), and we hope you are getting excited to come & view your littles in action!

How does Show & Share work? Show & Share is an opportunity to visit to our classroom and have your child demonstrate how they work with 1 or 2 pre-selected materials. Each time slot is 30-minutes, and will hold up to 6 families at once.

What do I do during Show & Share? Allow your child to lead the way! We ask that you do not touch or manipulate the materials, interfere or prompt verbally, or “assist” in any way. You are here to observe! Whether the material is being used properly or not, it is an amazing opportunity to see who your child is when they are working at school.

“You are now entering the world of our Casa classroom. If our chairs are too small for you, remember they fit us just fine. If we seem to talk too much, remember that is the way we learn our language. If you must walk around our “mess,” remember it is through this manipulation that we learn. If we approach you, remember we are open, friendly & curious, and we want to know you as our friend. Enjoy our world, and when you leave, we hope you carry with you some of our enthusiasm for living & learning!”

Sign-up is above. We look forward to hosting you!

Additionally, please keep an eye out for the Casa North Flower Arranging sign-up link. Parents can choose a date to bring in a bouquet for the week; students who have been shown our Flower Arranging activity can use this bouquet to beautify our classroom with miniature arrangements. It is a well-loved & cherished activity in our classroom, and we are excited to welcome it back to our shelves. Thank you in advance for your assistance with this.

Best,

Ms. O’Sullivan, Mme. Murati & Ms. Canessa


Casa South

Greetings from Casa South,

We have so much language work happening in our class right now. Here is some information regarding our approach to a path leading to Total Reading or reading that encompasses not only skill but also a personal connection with an author’s story.

There are two main paths that lead to “Total Reading.” The mechanical path and the interpretive path and the two must be developed side by side if harmony is to be maintained and reading is to be a joy. The mechanical path involves decoding, or sounding out, letters into words, sentences, phrases, etc. The interpretive path involves comprehending what an author has written; this path can be open to interpretation. We work to develop both paths in our Casa classrooms.

Our first step is to offer to children endless experiences involving all their senses. The more they do, see, hear, feel, taste, smell the more they will have to think and talk about, and later write and read about. This lays the groundwork, or base, for all the remaining steps to follow. We begin with experience and gradually move step by step through to Total Reading. It’s a lengthy journey that is not always straight forward but necessary that may eventually lead to more wonderful experiences.

Total Reading
Interpretive Reading
Mechanical Reading
Word Building
Connection of Sounds with Letters
Phonetic Awareness
Hand Work
Vocabulary Enrichment
Story and non-fiction books, poetry, songs, conversation
Experience

Happy reading to all!

Ms. Robinson, Ms. Dewey and Mme. Perazzo


Elementary


Following the excitement of Halloween, the students turned their attention back to the area of geography, where we study the laws of nature, the physical world, as well as aspects of political geography. Last week, students participated in a series of demonstrations of different types of forces including tension, compression, shear, bending, and torsion. They learned about how these forces can affect human endeavors, and why we must account for these forces when designing structures. They loved watching a video of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsing due to forces created by high winds! We are all looking forward to continuing our work with forces this Wednesday during our field trip to the Museum of Steam and Technology.

Marissa and Michelle

Important Dates:

Field Trip — Wednesday, November 9

The class will be visiting the Museum of Steam and Technology to learn more about different types of bridges and participate in an engineering challenge to build and test different designs.

The chartered school bus will be departing from Beulah Park at 9:00 a.m. Please ensure your child arrives at the Elementary campus by 8:40 a.m. to walk to the bus as a group. Following the program, we will return to campus for lunch and outdoor time.

Indoor Physical Education — Friday, November 11

Through the month of November, students will be heading to the local karate dojo and rock-climbing gym for indoor physical education experiences in our community. Students should come prepared on Fridays through November in comfortable clothing that allows for lots of movement and stretching.

If your child is in Years 3-6, they require a waiver to participate. Please read below for information from the climbing gym about the required waiver:

Each climber will need a completed Gravity Climbing Gym Release Form.

For participants under the age of 18, the release must be signed by their own parent or court appointed legal guardian. Participants who have attended events within the last 2 years at Gravity may already have a waiver on file but we recommend you call us to confirm.

The form can be completed online at the following address: http://www.gravityclimbinggym.com/release-form

When completed, parents will receive a pdf copy of the signed form. Please print this pdf and send it in with your child. This gives the school the ability to verify that each participant has a completed waiver prior to the day of your event. Lyonsgate will bring these forms with them on the day of the event to speed up the check in process.

Open Classroom – Monday, November 21

Parents are welcome to visit the classroom after school to view the students’ work and mingle with our classroom community. The classroom will be open to guests from 3:30 p.m.-4:15 p.m. We hope to see everyone there!


Photo Gallery


Lyonsgate Classroom Updates Week of Oct. 24-28, 2022

Hello Lyonsgate Families,

Parent Education for Primary (Casa & Toddler) parents is this Thursday, Nov. 3. The Toddler event — “Movement and the Mind” — is from 3:00-3:30 and the Casa event — “The Beauty of Boredom” — is from 3:45-4:30.

We ask that all parents please enter through the grey door off the parking lot (where we do pick-up on rain days). If the students can avoid seeing you on your way in, it makes their extra time on the playground more enjoyable. Thank you.

Please read below for updates from your children’s classrooms.

Toddler

Casa North

Casa South

Elementary

Photo Gallery


Toddler

Last week in the Toddler community, we celebrated the season by exploring a pumpkin. We pushed the pumpkin around the playground, washed the pumpkin off and polished it, then we cut it open and scooped out the guts. Some of the children also tasted the stringy flesh and declared that it was “good” even though the look on their face seemed to indicate otherwise. Toddlers are young scientists. They conduct scientific experiments in their environment in order to find out about the world. They investigate using all of their senses and it is so much fun to watch them make these discoveries.

Please join us for our first parent education event on November 3rd at 3:00. Childcare is provided. It is from 3:00-3:30 so they will be picked up at their regular time in the playground. Please enter from the grey side door at 3:00.

The topic is “Movement and the Mind,” and we will discuss the importance of freedom of movement in a Montessori environment, how movement is connected to brain development, and practical ways on how to support the developmental need to move.

Ms. Gervais.


Casa North

Happy Halloween, Casa North Families!

You may have overheard us in your child’s Seesaw videos saying, “You did it! How do you feel?” or “Do you feel proud?” — this is an approach called “descriptive praise” that we use in our Montessori classroom. Let’s talk about it!

Why is this important? Because using forms of evaluative praise with children (i.e. “Good job!” or “Woo hoo!”) means their actions are being judged as good or bad. It sets a precedent of receiving praise that can be damaging to their confidence, their independence, and their ability to self regulate, especially in a Montessori environment.

What can I say instead of “good job”? You can use descriptive praise, which is essentially describing what your child has actually done. This means when your child says, “Look at me! I’m running as fast as a cheetah,” you can respond with “You’re right! You are running so fast!”

Some tips for implementing Descriptive Praise at home:

  1. Describe what you see (i.e. “You wrote a whole sentence!”; “You’re jumping so high!”; “You scored a goal!”)
  2. Describe the benefits or positive outcomes (i.e. “You’re so close to writing a whole story!”; “That’s great exercise for your body”; “I noticed how you worked as a team. You can achieve so much when you work together”)
  3. Be grateful, if applicable (i.e. if your child shares a chore they finished, you can say “I appreciate your help with that”)

Some examples of Descriptive Praise used in Casa North:

  • “I noticed how hard you worked on that.”
  • “It must feel great to be able to do that all by yourself.”
  • “It looks like your friend is really happy you’re sharing.”
  • “Do you feel proud of yourself?”
  • “What do you like best about your work?”
  • “Thank you for waiting.”
  • “You worked on that for a long time!”
  • “I noticed you’re being very patient.”
  • “I noticed that you were concentrating really hard.”
  • “You did it!”
  • “I can see all of your practice is paying off.”
  • “You look like you’re really enjoying that.”

Try it at home! Let us know if it works or doesn’t work for your child.

Reminders:

  • Parent Education this upcoming Thursday November 3rd
  • PD Day on this upcoming Friday November 4th

If you are trick-or-treating this evening, have a safe, exciting Halloween!

Best,

Ms. O’Sullivan, Mme. Murati & Ms. Canessa


Casa South

Greetings from Casa South,

“Teaching a child about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.” Thomas Berry.

The leaf press in our classroom has been well used, particularly during this past month as autumn leaves drop into the playground. We encourage children to bring fallen leaves from home or other places they may find them to add to our collection.

This activity has led to conversations about the purpose of leaves and the trees they came from, why they are changing colour and falling, and close inspection of their structure and shape. Photosynthesis is a big word; however, we all understand how necessary it is to eat. Learning that leaves make food for their trees from sunlight is almost magical!

Discussions regarding what to do with our pressed leaves are ongoing. So far, we’ve used them for rubbings, hole punching, arranging in vases, and pasting. More ideas and activities are sure to follow, including sorting and identification. Whenever salad is on the lunch menu, we discover leaves we can eat — or not:).

See you at the gate,

Ms. Robinson


Elementary

Elementary students participate in learning about familiar holidays and traditions celebrated in their broader community. They explore the origin and meaning behind cultural practices and take great pleasure in trying out new activities they may not have experienced at home.

As the Hindu members of our community prepared to celebrate Diwali last week, our students learned about the five days of Diwali and heard the story of Rama and Sita. The children were excited to dye salt for the creation of their own rangoli designs. Working together, they experimented with a variety of tools and techniques to create their own beautiful works of impermanent art.

Following Diwali, the children were eager to turn their attention to Halloween! Many were thrilled to listen to Halloween stories and legends, some filled the classroom with enthusiastic renditions of Halloween songs, while others continued to apply their creative writing skills to crafting some truly spooky stories of their own! Students were challenged to work together in small groups to create a plan for carving a Jack O’Lantern in a specific mood. There was much debate about whether a particular design was “spooky,” “strange,” or “funny!” There is a sense of anticipation in the air as students get ready to carve their pumpkins today.

These explorations of holidays and cultural traditions support the development of a deeper understanding of the origin and evolution of cultural traditions. The students connect with traditions that are part of the culture of the community they live in, and explore the wider world beyond.

Happy Halloween!

Marissa and Michelle


Beginning November 11, Elementary students in years 3-6 will be rock climbing at Gravity Climbing in the mornings. Please read below for information from Gravity about the required waiver:

Each climber will need a completed Gravity Climbing Gym Release Form.

For participants under the age of 18, the release must be signed by their own parent or court appointed legal guardian. Participants who have attended events within the last 2 years at Gravity may already have a waiver on file but we recommend you call us to confirm.

The form can be completed online at the following address: http://www.gravityclimbinggym.com/release-form

When completed, parents will receive a pdf copy of the signed form. Please print this pdf and send it in with your child. This gives the school the ability to verify that each participant has a completed waiver prior to the day of your event. Lyonsgate will bring these forms with them on the day of the event to speed up the check in process.


Photo Gallery


Lyonsgate Classroom Updates Week of Oct. 17-21, 2022

Hello Lyonsgate Families,

Sorry your update is a bit later than usual; we’ve had quite the spate of illness amongst both students and staff over the last week. It will happen in any school setting, but please remember to use the school screening tool and to follow all requirements it contains. Thank you.

Please read below for some wonderful updates from your children’s Montessori classrooms.

Toddler

Casa North

Casa South

Elementary

Photo Gallery


Toddler


The cold & flu season is upon us!

Thank you to all you parents who kept their children home last week so they could recover from the nasty cold that went around our classroom. Please remember to do the screening each morning before coming to school and to keep your children home when they are unwell.

Also, please consult the weather report and send appropriate clothing. Dig out those mitts and hats! We had some cold, windy days last week!

Toddler Parent Education Event:

  • Thursday, November 4, 3:00-3:30, in the Toddler classroom.
  • All Toddler parents are invited to learn about “Movement and the Mind.”

Thank you,

Ms. Gervais.


Casa North


Hello Casa North Families,

Are you on Seesaw noticing your child exploring with materials? Perhaps something that used to be flat on the table is now being toted around the classroom, or on a mat being compared to other materials, or being manipulated in some other way?

Well, good! Because Maria Montessori tells us that PLAY IS THE WORK OF THE CHILD.

Creative expression & play is how we take pride in our work; as Montessorians, we encourage play in all its forms!

A child in exploration has grasped a concept, applied it to their own life, and further expanded their understanding. When the Colour Tablets curve to become a rainbow; when the like-surfaces of the Pink Tower & Brown Stairs meld to become a skyscraper; when the bells play a song instead of just an ordered scale — this is all your child’s way of taking what they’ve learned and further challenging their gross motor, fine motor, discrimination of senses, literacy skills, social skills/sharing, and their application to their own world.

An excellent example of exploration came from a 1st year Casa North student this week while working with the Rough & Smooth Boards. He felt the rough patch on the board and confidently exclaimed, “it feels like asphalt!”

That same child later explored with both the Pink Tower & Brown Stairs, building vertically, alternating prisms and cubes. When he reached the very top of the tall tower, he left his work to retrieve the rough “asphalt” board to balance atop, just as a roof would sit. What a wonderful real-world connection to make!

Play & exploration not only cements concepts and provides opportunities for further extensions & creativity, but they create a love of learning! Fun & learning need to go hand-in-hand to make long-lasting impressions for the child.

Reminders:

  • Photo Day is this upcoming Thursday, October 27th. Come dressed in your best outfits!
  • Next Monday is Halloween. Your child is welcome to wear orange & black that day, though it is not required. No costumes please & thank you.

Best,

Ms. O’Sullivan, Mme. Murati & Ms. Canessa


Casa South

Greetings from Casa South,

This week’s update includes information about day-to-day practical matters. Please help your child dress appropriately for going out in the day’s weather. With colder weather upon us this means hats, jackets, and mittens, and on rainy days, a raincoat and boots. If your child likes using an umbrella (and who doesn’t!) please take it with you at drop off time rather than have them bring it onto the playground. Clothing that is easy for them to change in and out of throughout the day fosters independence and helps them feel competent. And as always, label each item of clothing with your child’s name if you want it returned :).

We realize that mornings can be a busy time, however, arriving on time each day allows your child time to connect with all the Casa students, plus provides opportunities for co-operative and large motor movement. It also helps them come to an understanding of following a schedule. This school year drop off time is between 8:00 and 8:45.

And finally, last Friday your child took their work folders home for the first time. These contain any paper work completed during the previous few weeks. You may find many, many paintings, collages, number or writing booklets, or what one parent called “confetti.” These tiny scraps of paper have been laboriously cut by small hands learning to use scissors for the first time. Whatever you find inside, your child will be able to share how they worked on it. There may be times when the folder is empty — do not fear that your child has not been very busy in the classroom. Most of the work they do involves more concrete materials, and we haven’t yet found a folder large enough to contain a set of Red Rods. When a folder goes home, have a look through it with your child and return it the following school day ready for more creations.

Thank you as always for your support. We hope to see you on November 3rd for our next Parent Education afternoon.

See you at the gate,

Ms. Robinson


Elementary

Stepping into the elementary classroom, you will likely encounter a room full of students buzzing about doing a variety of activities. At any time, students may be creating works of art, researching new interests, practicing their jump shot, or collaborating with friends to solve a math problem. The elementary years are the sensitive period for adapting to a specific culture, to become aware of what it means to be human, to learn of our most significant discoveries and innovations, and explore how our history has unfolded.

The elementary curriculum sets a course for us to follow, but the students may lead us in novel directions — sometimes into uncharted territory! We offer each lesson as a seed of interest, knowing that the seed may develop differently in each child. First, it is nurtured through a series of lessons with a guide, and then it is left in the care of the student. The child may choose to help it take root in their memory with practice, sprout into different branches with related activities, and blossom into a deeper understanding over time. To support this process, guides offer lessons, describe the necessary follow-up work for students to practice, make suggestions for extensions of the work, and encourage the children to design new explorations for themselves.

Last week, we observed students pursuing many different interests: sketching the architecture of columns in Ancient Rome, discovering varieties of jellyfish, comparing geometric shapes, researching how to bake a pie, and composing spooky stories ahead of Halloween. They played board games in French, raked leaves in the garden, and learned to smash avocados in the kitchen! Every day is an adventure to be shared with friends.

We can’t wait to see what the week ahead will bring! Wishing you a Happy Diwali,

Marissa and Michelle.


Photo Gallery


Important Upcoming Dates Oct/Nov 2022

Hello Lyonsgate Families,

Please note the upcoming dates throughout the remainder of October and into November:

  • Thursday, Oct. 27: Primary (Casa & Toddler) School Photo Day.
  • Monday, Oct. 31:
    • Halloween: as noted in the Lyonsgate Parent Handbook, "We know that Halloween is a very exciting time for children. However, we ask that costumes and candy are not brought to school. They can be saved for after-school fun with family and friends." Thank you.
    • Fall/Winter Hot Lunch Menu: the new, 4-week menu comes into effect and will be posted to https://lyonsgate.ca/lyonsgate-lunch-menu/
  • Thursday, Nov. 3: Primary (Casa & Toddler) Parent Education Event.
  • Friday, Nov. 4: PD Day. Both Lyonsgate Campuses are Closed.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 9: Elementary Field Trip: Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology.

Remember to check your Lyonsgate calendar regularly for up to date information on what's happening at Lyonsgate Montessori School.

Thank you.


Lyonsgate Classroom Updates Week of Oct. 10-14, 2022

Hello Lyonsgate Families,

The featured image is clementine/kiwi pumpkins Ms. Covic prepared for snack this past week. Fall is in the air and Halloween stories are starting to be shared. Please see below for updates from your children’s Montessori classrooms.

Toddler

Casa North

Casa South

Elementary

Photo Gallery


Toddler

The Work of Toddlers:

During the first three years of a child’s life a tremendous amount of development occurs. There is a lot of effort and hard work happening. If we think about how far they have come, what skills they have already mastered and how much they have learned, it is truly astounding! This is why it is so exciting to watch young children grow and learn.

Coming into a new environment, adapting to a new routine, learning to trust new people, and make friends is not an easy task, but adapting to new environments is exactly what they have been doing since they were born.

In the last few weeks, we have witnessed the children making great strides towards independence. We work collaboratively with them in our environment, caring for them and our classroom. They are invited to help with whatever they are capable of doing — pulling up their pants after a diaper change, zipping up the zipper of their coat after it has been started, or even just closing the velcro of their shoes. They are very capable if they are given opportunities to try new things. By including them in the work of the daily routine we are letting them know that they are important, that we trust them with the responsibility of a job like clearing their plate. By participating in the daily work of the classroom their confidence grows along with their independence.

“It is only their bodies that are small, not their minds or their ability to do things.”
Silvana Quattrocchi Montanaro, M.D., Understanding the Human Being, The Importance of the First Three Years of Life.

Ms. Gervais.


Casa North


Hello Casa North Families,

“Please don’t rush me to write. I will soon. But right now, there are so many more important things for my hands to do!”

Montessori pedagogy tells us that, before a pencil is ever put into a child’s hands, those hands should dig, climb, press, pull, squish, twist, and pinch a wide variety of materials for a wide array of purposes. This exposure is essentially where “writing” begins in the Casa classroom: on the very first day, in our Practical Life area.

Our Practical Life area features a variety of controlled hand, fine motor, and pencil grip materials. We work left to right when pouring, spooning, sequencing any materials on our mat, to mirror the way we read & write.

Moving into our actual Language area, chalkboards and letter manipulatives precede writing on paper (to avoid the finite impression of pencil on the page, which feels impossible for the child to fix). We want confident, flowing writers by the time we get to paper!

Why is this relevant this week? Because our chalkboards are in full-effect in Casa North, with all age groups! What started as prompted writing practice (either line forms on a blank chalkboard, or connecting three letters on a wide-lined chalkboard) has taken on a life of its own, with our students finding fascination in practicing their letter & number symbols, erasing vigorously, and challenging themselves to form new symbols. Popular materials ebb & flow in our classroom, but lately, it has been chalkboards, which is very cool to see!

So, relish in any & all fine motor work your child is engaging in — when they are ready, their hand will be well-prepared, and ready to write spontaneously & with ease!

Best,

Ms. O’Sullivan, Mme. Murati & Ms. Canessa


Casa South

Bonjour! Bon retour et pour nos nouvelles familles à Lyonsgate, BIENVENUE!

Nous voici déjà mi-octobre; c’est incroyable!

At the beginning of the school year, my primary focus is to help the children become comfortable and familiar with routines and expectations in the classroom.

I’m glad to say that the children are adjusting extremely well. I look forward to engaging the children with more French lessons, activities, songs, games and stories as we are now settled in.

Sincerely,

Madame Renée Perazzo


Elementary


Last week, the Elementary students enjoyed exploring a variety of topics in biology, from learning about specific animals to considering the interactions of living things in coral reefs. Older students continued learning about different phyla of invertebrates, exploring the basic body parts of poriferans (sponges), and getting acquainted with cnidarians (e.g. anemones, jellyfish).

The class also enjoyed biology presentations from their peers. One student screened a short stop-motion video on turtles while another pair shared their research poster about otters. They even demonstrated the difference in weight between baby and adult otters using a measure of sand for the baby (8 oz.) and a class member for the adult (approx. 70 lbs.)!

We also stopped to take pleasure in the plant life around us and capture the beauty of the season with leaf art. Some students enjoyed painting in watercolour over wax leaf rubbings while others made colourful leaf prints with tempera. The children took great delight in choosing fallen leaves from the backyard for their artwork.

Community Fridge

We have added a new task to the list of contributions students can make to the classroom! At the end of each week, produce items leftover from the week’s snacks and community lunch are either stored for later use, or donated to the Locke Street Community Fridge.

Although the fridge is regularly stocked by generous members of the community, the need for fresh foods and pantry staples is often greater than what is available.

The Elementary campus will maintain an on-going food collection basket for families to donate to if and when they wish, and the students will deliver each week’s collection to the fridge on Stanley Avenue.

Please click here for the food donation guidelines for the Locke Street Community Fridge.

Thank you for helping the children find meaningful ways they can contribute to those members of our community in need!


Photo Gallery


Lyonsgate Classroom Updates Week of Oct. 3-7, 2022

Hello Lyonsgate Families,

Hope you’re all finding your way out of the turkey haze. Please read below for updates from your children’s classrooms.

Toddler

Casa North

Casa South

Elementary

Photo Gallery


Toddler

I hope that all of our families had an opportunity to slow down a little bit this weekend and take a moment to reflect and enjoy the changing season. There are so many treats for the senses: the colourful leaves falling everywhere, the cooking and baking smells coming from the kitchen, and then enjoying a meal together that maybe took all day to prepare. If you have time, take a walk with your toddler and let them lead the way. Let them lead the conversation, too, if they feel like talking. Collect some leaves for our leaf and flower press. We will be collecting leaves for the rest of the month to make a leaf collage that we can display in our classroom in celebration of fall.

Here is a song that Madame Craigie has been singing with the children lately (it is to the tune of Frere Jacques).

C’est l’Automne

Les Feuilles tombent
Les Feuilles tombent
C’est l’automne
Rouge, orange, et jaune
rouge, orange et jaune
C’est l’automne
C’est l’automne

Ms. Gervais.


Casa North

Hello Casa North Families,

“The greatest gift we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence” — Maria Montessori

Thank you again to all parents who attended our Casa Orientation last week. It was wonderful to hear about your practices & your challenges with aiding independence at home. We hope to continue to hear from you about what works & what doesn’t work for your child.

In Casa North, we have already started singing autumn songs, reciting harvest poems, and examining the changing leaves. We are looking forward to some cooler weather — be sure to send more long sleeve shirts, pants, thicker socks, as needed (for you child’s cubby).

For those who celebrated, we hope you had an excellent Thanksgiving weekend.

Best,

Ms. O’Sullivan, Mme. Murati & Ms. Canessa


Casa South

Greetings from Casa South,

“The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.” Maria Montessori

Time after time, I have observed children’s deep level of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment following a period of concentrated work on a chosen task. When I first began working with children, I was surprised at their ability to focus, even within the midst of a busy classroom. Now that I understand this is a natural “phenomenon,” I make sure to include tables or areas that offer opportunities for concentrated work when setting up a room.

This past week, a child was so focused on her activity that she was unaware that all her classmates had left to go outside. When she finished, she looked up, smiled, put her work away, and calmly got ready to go to the playground. Her internal happiness was evident and wonderful to see. Have you observed your child’s response following time spent concentrating on any type of activity?

See you at the gate,

Ms. Robinson


Elementary


We were thrilled to have twenty-three students join in the fun at the annual cross-country race last week! After weeks of training during P.E. classes to improve their stamina, speed, and perseverance, the children were ready to compete. We are proud to share with you the following notable achievements:

Caden Shantz – 1st Place ribbon, Year 1 Boys
Cohan Moore – 2nd Place ribbon, Year 2 Boys
Josephine Prat-Kalonji – 2nd Place ribbon, Year 4 Girls
Emilia Covic – 3rd Place ribbon, Year 4 Girls
Sam Moore – 2nd Place ribbon, Year 5 Boys
Luka Dolibic – 2nd Place ribbon – Year 6 Boys
Beren Deveaux – 3rd Place ribbon – Year 6 Boys

We also had two students achieve medals for being in the top runners within the Lower and Upper cohorts. Congratulations to:

Cohan Moore – 2nd Place medal, Lower Elementary Boys
Sam Moore – 3rd Place medal, Upper Elementary Boys

Most importantly, all of our students demonstrated tremendous sportsmanship, team spirit, and celebration of each other’s accomplishments.

Back on campus, students received the Fourth Great Lesson: The Story of Communication in Signs (a.k.a. The Story of Our Alphabet). Many were excited to learn about pictographs and ideograms and try to deduce the intended meaning of different symbols. Some of our oldest students were intrigued by how these human innovations first emerged from unnamed, creative individuals in the past, and enjoyed imagining what our culture would be like if written communication had never been invented.

We look forward to sharing more of our curriculum with you at our Parent Education event on Thursday. See below for more information and to RSVP.

Warmly,

Marissa and Michelle

Elementary Parent Education – Thursday, October 13 3:45 – 4:45 p.m.

Parents are invited to join us on campus after school this coming Thursday for our first Parent Education event of the year! Michelle will be discussing how literacy is developed in the early elementary years while Marissa presents an overview of the Our Whole Lives (O.W.L.) program for older students. Please indicate which topic you will be attending along with your R.S.V.P. to elementary@lyonsgate.ca by Wednesday, October 12.

Elementary dismissal, after-care, and child care for those families attending Parent Education will take place at the HAAA park from 3:30 – 4:40. Children of families attending the Parent Education event will return to campus for 4:45.


Photo Gallery