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.


Casa North

Casa South


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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.


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.


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!


Marissa and Michelle

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