Hello Lyonsgate Families,

PD Day Reminder: The Elementary campus has a PD day on Friday, April 28. Please see the Elementary section for details. The Primary campus for Casa and Toddler students will be open as usual.

Primary Show & Share: From May 1-4, parents of Casa and Toddler students have the opportunity to participate in Show & Share in your child’s classroom. Show & Share is an opportunity for Montessori students to invite their parents into the classrooms to show you some of the materials they work with. Please click here to select the day of your Show & Share visit.

Welcome to Elementary — Parent and Child Orientation: Parents of students starting Elementary in September, please see the Elementary section for details of your orientation on June 14 [previously scheduled in May].

Please see the attached poster (in the email of this post) from Hamilton Public Health with free programs for families with children ages 0-6.

See below for updates.




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Get Outside!

Hello Toddler Parents,

We are celebrating and embracing the splendor of Spring. Even though we have had some back and forth between warm and cool temperatures this week we know that the amount of daylight and warmth will increase every day going forward, and for some of us this can lift our spirits and offer us an opportunity to begin spending more time outside in nature.

In Richard Louv’s research, he encourages everyone to simply get outside. He writes, “Here is a deceptively simple treatment for improving physical and mental health, for stimulating learning, creativity, and a sense of being fully alive.” Vitamin N, The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life, Richard Louv.

Small children benefit immensely from time spent outside with adults. These shared experiences are an opportunity to connect and deepen our relationships. There are many physical and emotional benefits that result from excursions into nature. Young children are hard wired to explore with their senses, build their physical strength, and be curious about our world. These early experiences build the foundation for the child’s spiritual well being and sense of self. We can join them and reconnect to our own sense of wonder by observing and participating in the natural world alongside them.

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder …[they] need the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with them the joy, the excitement, and the mystery of the world we live in.” The Sense of Wonder, Rachel Carson.

Beyond simply immersing ourselves in nature and experiencing the many benefits of being outside, Maria Montessori encouraged us to help children build an understanding of the interconnectedness of everything in the natural world. This understanding quietly grows within young children as their experience and their knowledge of their world slowly expands.

Ms. Gervais.


Good Morning Casa Families!

I hope you’ve had a nice weekend and are ready for the week ahead! As the English language assistant, a big part of my role in the classroom is behavior management. You might think that it would be the most mundane, frustrating part of the job, and sometimes that’s true, but it’s also so much more.

All behavior is a form of communication. When babies cry they’re expressing a need and we do our best to oblige. When a Casa student is doing something that we find undesirable, it can almost be reflexive to try to correct it in the moment. Yet, when we pause to observe instead of react, we’re often presented with opportunities to connect, support independence, or redirect in constructive ways. Approaching a child who is upset and missing home becomes a conversation about what they miss, giving valuable insights into their life away from school; a pair of children excitedly running around the classroom turns into a game of phonetic eye-spy, giving them a chance to move their bodies without being disruptive; a disagreement between friends is an opportunity to practice social problem solving and cooperation.

Young children sometimes need help navigating moments when their emotions are running high and we get to make the choice how to meet them. Taking time to hear their words, observe their actions, and ask open ended questions is a great way to strengthen your bond and model positive behavior in a complex world.

Thanks for reading,

Ms. Dewey.


Weekly Update

Elementary students love to learn through stories that inspire their imagination. Last week, they were invited to travel back in time to hear “A Story of 12,000 Snails,” learning about how the ancient Phoenicians harvested sea creatures and developed a process to make a precious dye: Tyrian purple. With this process, these early sea merchants were able to dye fabric a vibrant purple, creating a valuable, luxury commodity coveted by the wealthy and powerful.

Students participating in literature circles are routinely invited to take on a variety of roles to support the group discussion. Many children were excited to share their hand-drawn maps and clay renditions of settings from The Littles Go Exploring, Charlotte’s Web, and The Girl Who Owned a City, while also learning to define new vocabulary words and make summarizing notes. Others were excited to lead their literature circle meetings, developing discussion questions and encouraging everyone to contribute.

Elementary students are always engaged in the challenging work of learning to work and socialize with their peers, and love to develop their social and emotional skills through dramatic scenarios and role-play skits. Groups of students were given an outline of a social situation they may encounter, such as managing a fair-weather friend or navigating two invitations to play at the same time. Each group discussed their scenario and worked together to create a fair solution to their problem. They have been working on skits depicting their situation and solution, and are eager to present their dramatic work to the class. We are expecting a high level of physical comedy and entertaining theatrics at these short performances!

Wishing you a great week ahead,

Michelle and Marissa.

Welcome to Elementary — Parent and Child Orientation

As our graduating Casa students prepare for new classrooms in September, we welcome those families joining the Lyonsgate Elementary community for the first time this fall to join us for a parent-and-child orientation on Wednesday, June 14th, from 3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Our new students will join the classroom assistants in a fun activity while parents can meet with the classroom guides, ask questions, and receive essential information on how to prepare for the transition to Elementary. Children moving up to Elementary in the fall are welcome to sign up for our Montessori summer camp in July, where they can meet some of their older classmates and get comfortable in their new environment [see below]. Our annual orientation for all Elementary families will take place in September.

LRS Conferences

The Elementary campus has a PD day on Friday, April 28. [The Primary campus for Casa and Toddler students will be open]. If you received a report from the Elementary Learning Resource Specialist, Kim Fiocca, please schedule a 30 minute conference for that day. Conferences are in-person, with child care available during the conference, but they can be held on Zoom by family request. Please click here to book an LRS conference with Kim.

Elementary Summer Camp

Camp registration is open for this coming July and we encourage interested families to sign up soon. While each week of camp has a specific theme with different activities for campers attending both sessions, both sessions include a variety of classic camp activities, waterplay, and can be adapted to the interests of the campers.  Please click here to register for summer camp! Payment can be made to accounts@lyonsgate.ca

  • Week 1: July 10- 14 Art Explorers: Draw, Sculpt, Shoot!

Work with a variety of mediums, photography and video equipment to create a short movie. Clay, papier mache, and underwater filming are just a few things we have planned for this week!

  • Week 2: July 17 – 21 Around the World: Exploring the Seven Continents

Gather stamps in your Montessori passport each day as we explore the seven continents. Learn how the Maori of Oceania dance the haka and cook over a hot rock pit, play outdoor games from Bangladesh and India, and try art techniques from Ghana, Nigeria, and Tanzania.

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