Happy Friday Lyonsgate Families,

Friday, November 26 is a PA day and both Lyonsgate campuses will be closed to accommodate parent-teacher conferences. Parent-teacher conferences are 20 minutes in length and will once again take place via Zoom. Please look for a separate email closer to conference time containing the relevant Montessori guides’ Personal Meeting ID (PMI) and Passcode. At the time of your child’s conference simply open your Zoom app, click on “Join,” and enter the PMI and passcode as prompted.

Please remember to limit your conference to the selected 20 minute time slot so that we can keep everybody on schedule throughout the day. Thank you.

Please click here to select a parent-teacher conference time.

This week, the Toddler and Casa guides are sharing the role and importance of observation in Montessori, and the Elementary guides explain how Remembrance Day is addressed with elementary-aged children.

Please remember to label everything that comes to school with your child. Thank you.


Observation is the cornerstone of Montessori. Maria Montessori was a medical doctor and a scientist and she approached her research on child development from this perspective. All of her theories and insights resulted from the many hours and years of observing children.

In the toddler community, there are many kinds of observation happening all at once! The guides are observing the children either formally (with a pen and paper) or informally making mental notes of things they see throughout the day. The children are observing the guides and also their fellow classmates. We are aware that the children are always observing and absorbing everything around them.

“There is in the child a special kind of sensitivity which leads him to absorb everything about him and it is this work of observing and absorbing that alone enables him to adapt himself to life.” Maria Montessori in The Absorbent Mind. [please excuse the dated language]

Virtually everything a child learns in life happens through observation of the world around them and then trying it out through their own experiments. The guides in a Montessori toddler community prepare the environment, but they must also prepare themselves to be excellent role models since everything we do in the environment will be repeated. If we want the children to sit while they are eating we must not walk around while we are eating. Toddlers do not understand double standards.

Observation requires a quiet and open mind, and a scientific approach like that of a naturalist. We are looking for new insights into what the children are trying to accomplish so that we can help them develop themselves into confident, independent people. It requires self-awareness to be objective and non-judgmental, curious without expectations or assumptions, and ready to see what is really happening so that we can be an aid to life. — Ms. Gervais

Casa North

Our Casa North team are big lovers of reading, so it feels appropriate to quote Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle) who said, “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”

Maria Montessori had a background in science and medicine before she found education. She viewed the classroom as “a laboratory for the study of man,” which is why Montessori pedagogy is so heavily focused on observing its students. The belief is that we must observe our students to form an understanding of how to better meet their needs; it is simply not enough to expect children of the same age to know the same things, be interested in the same things, learn the same way, or need the same things. If we want to instill a love of learning we need to provide options and a proper environment, observe, allow each child to reveal themselves, and then follow that child.

I also want to thank our parents for their participation in signing up so swiftly for the Montessori Flower Arranging bouquet contributions; the students are loving the activity and have been deeply engaged with both the before and after care of flowers (check the gallery below for photos). — Ms. O’Sullivan

Casa South

Greetings from Casa South

A former teacher trainee said to me, after spending some time observing in my classroom, “I was always very fond of little children, especially my own, but until now I could never have imagined that they might be interesting.” I realized that this was a feeling I shared early on in my work with children; a feeling that has certainly shifted.

Young children continue to interest me more and more with the passage of time. I have watched them and been with them at many times and places, and I find not just more pleasure but more food for serious thought in what they say and do as they move and grow. I have come to feel and to hope that I will learn many interesting and important things about your children’s learning.

As I observe each child, I get to know what their interests are, what they are capable of, and how to adapt the environment to meet them where they are, as well as where they might be headed. I’m sure the journey will continue to be more than “interesting.”

Please remember to label everything (hats, mittens, etc.). With the approaching colder weather there is sure to be a multitude of belongings to keep track of. Also, sending in an extra pair of socks will be helpful when feet get wet.

Thanks for all your support; I’m looking forward to our parent-teacher conferences in two weeks. — Ms. Robinson


This week the Elementary students worked toward a deeper understanding of the history and purpose of Remembrance Day.  They considered how large conflicts may develop and discussed ways in which they, as kids, can work to be peaceful in their community. They discussed truly listening to others, calmly offering their own perspectives, and approaching differences of opinion with respect.  Our Remembrance Day ceremony included a student reading of In Flanders Fields, listening to “The Last Post,” and displaying their handmade wreaths of poppies.
— Marissa and Michelle

HAAA Renewal Design: Over the last year, Lyonsgate Elementary students have been involved in the HAAA renewal process by submitting design and feature ideas. The final preferred concept design is being revealed via virtual Public Information Centre (PIC) presentations on Thursday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m., and on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 10:00 a.m. You can register for either PIC by visiting https://engage.hamilton.ca/haaarenewal