Happy Friday Lyonsgate Families,

This week, your Casa and Toddler children’s French assistants have some information about how they, and you, can support French learning beyond the traditional classroom materials, and the Elementary Montessori guides have a beautiful summary of the practice and purpose of literature in the Elementary program.

Show & Share (No Observations)

Thank you for your patience while we deliberated whether or not to host parent observations in the Casa classrooms this year. While the situation is improving, we have decided to hold off and instead host Show & Share in the Casa classrooms during the week of May 16-19.

Show & Share is an opportunity for Montessori students to invite their parents into the classrooms to show them some of the materials they work with. Show & Share will take place at the end of the day and sign-ups will be available next week.



As we near the last leg of our school year, I am consistently reminded of how much our Toddler community has grown as a whole and as individuals. Your children have braved a whole new world of independence and trust with their teachers and their peers. I have found that over the course of this year your children have made leaps and bounds in respect to speaking French, and as much as some may find learning another language daunting there are many ways you as parents can ensure your children continue to be exposed throughout the time they aren’t in their classroom: introduce a few easy to read French books, perhaps ones that your child may already know in English; when you’re in the car try putting on a French radio station for a few minutes; look for signs and advertisements that have French and English on them.

Songs are another great way to help grab their attention. It really doesn’t matter if you know the words or not, they are listening and absorbing. If you have a local library you enjoy attending, maybe look into if they offer a French story time. There are many ways you can expose yourself and your children to the French language without making it complicated. Take it one word or song song at a time :).

Mme Craigie

Casa North

French Language in the Casa classroom extends beyond the use of Montessori materials on the shelf.

Our students love the “Ou Est?” game. It familiarizes them with the environment that they see — they point to things, label things, and classify them by their French name. We have added a lot of sound effects and fun to the game itself — they love hearing me make a frog noise & duck noise! By making it fun, and getting the students to laugh, we see more memorization and willingness to participate.

We love counting to 20 (sometimes higher) as a small group. We do this daily. We have started to hear students counting in French while they work with materials from the shelf.

We also use a lot of French reading material. Often, a book will be read in English, and the following week we will introduce the same book in French to mirror vocabulary they already know. Our 2nd & 3rd years are also beginning to read from the Primary Phonics series this term, that they have been reading in English.

Parents can encourage their children to engage with French Language at home through song! We have a very musical class this year. Some of our favourites include:

  • Une Souris Verte
  • Pirouette, Cacahuète
  • Un éléphant qui se balançait

En attendant, je vous souhaite une agréable fin de semaine!

Mme Murati

Casa South

Bonjour tout le monde!

Here are a few ideas of how you can incorporate French at home.

My favourite is singing songs, especially those with actions like “Tête, épaules, genoux, orteils…”. Movement helps to make connections, understand, and remember. Even just hearing French songs in the background will help a new learner with some sounds, pronunciation, and vocabulary.

Movie nights and cartoons can be enjoyable too. Story books, poetry, and games are additional ways to get children excited about speaking French. One of the games we enjoy is “Où est?”. I took pictures of many items in the classroom. I show the child a picture, I say the name of the object, I ask the child to repeat the name, and then they have to locate the item. It’s a wonderful activity that allows a lot of movement.

Repetition gives much needed practice and reinforcement.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Mme Renée Perazzo


Enter the Elementary environment at any time and you are sure to see a student looking at a book! Whether they are exploring beautiful illustrations, researching animal facts, or discovering a new story, books are an exciting part of childhood and a gateway to the world beyond the classroom. Throughout the year, elementary students participate in literature circles, meeting weekly with a small group to encourage a love of reading.

Early readers are first invited to read together from the same book, developing reading skills such as recognition of common sight words and increasing knowledge of digraphs. Regular practice reading aloud helps a student strengthen their decoding skills and ensures the guide can assess their progress and provide further keys to reading. Taking a turn to read aloud, as well as listening to others, encourages concentration and accuracy, as well as fluency and expression.

As children move on to short chapter books, they begin to focus on comprehension and discuss with each other settings and characters. As they become more independent in reading accurately and efficiently, children transition to longer chapter books and they complete their weekly chapter readings before their circle meeting. They are welcome to read independently or with a friend as they enjoy an extended narrative and increasingly complex plots.

Once children transition to reading middle-grade novels the focus shifts to a deeper understanding of theme, archetypes, and the emotional lives of child characters in response to specific real-life challenges. Some of these are works of fiction while others are based on real people. This is space for diverse representation and an introduction to challenging topics beyond personal experience, such as differences in privilege. Some of the topics included in our literature choices are living with different abilities or disorders like dyslexia, anxiety, or autism, family issues such as poverty, or personal challenges such as confronting bullying or the death of a loved one. Through these stories they evaluate the decisions of characters, offer alternate choices, predict outcomes, and consider the consequences of choices made.

Students work on weekly assignments, on their own or with a friend, to think more about the story and clarify their thoughts about the narrative. As the novels become more complex, students may take on a specific role to facilitate weekly discussions, such as the summarizer, vocabulary builder, or timeline artist. Literature circles serve many purposes, from developing literacy and emotional intelligence, to cultivating collaborative work habits and responsibility. Of course, for the children, the joy of sharing a good book with a friend is the greatest purpose of all!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Marissa and Michelle

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