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.


Casa North

Casa South


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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.


  • 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!


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 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.

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