Lyonsgate Weekly Update | April 18, 2019

Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

Happy Easter! Your update is a day early this week as there is no school tomorrow, April 19 (Good Friday), or on Monday, April 22 (Easter Monday).

Your next Parent Education Evening is coming up on Thursday, April 25.

    • From 3:30-4:00 the Toddler guides will be discussing and demonstrating the Practical Life area of the Montessori environment, both for your growing knowledge of Montessori and to give parents some ideas for the summer that will also help your children to thrive in Casa.


    • From 4:00-4:45 your children’s Casa guides will discuss the child under six being a sensorial learner, and how technology can be an obstacle to the absorbent mind.


    • From 5:00-5:45 Elementary parents will have the opportunity to see how the Montessori geography curriculum works at the Elementary level.


 For your convenience, we have digitized our “Medication Administration Form.” If your child ever needs to take medication while at school, provincial legislation requires specifc written instructions from you. Please click here (and maybe bookmark it for future use) to access the form. Thank you.


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This Week:

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Sensitive Periods

Sensitive periods refer to a period when a child’s interests are focused on developing a particular skill or knowledge area. According to Dr. Montessori, the child learns from their environment without any conscious effort from birth until the age of six. Sensitive periods direct the child to what they need to learn and sensitivity disappears after the need has been fulfilled. Sensitive periods include weaning, movement, exploration, language, order, mathematics, social customs, morality, and social consciousness.

Within the home environment, sensitive periods can be identified through intense interest in repeating certain actions — these sensitive periods manifest themselves by pattern of behaviour. Dr. Montessori stressed that if the child is not allowed to work in accordance to these sensitive periods, they would lose their special sensitivity and interest in the area, which would affect their psychic development. Sensitive periods are crucial to a child’s life, ergo it is important for the adult to create an environment that nurtures the child’s natural process of development, and is the guiding factor in the preparation of the Montessori environment.

Thank you all for your continuous contributions of flowers and proteins to our classroom community. — Ms. Dee

You may remember a little while ago there was an opportunity to attend a Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators event featuring a speaker discussing Montessori Toddler education. For those unable to attend, there is now a video of the talk available. Click here to view.

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We have a request this week regarding children’s clothing. The Lyonsgate Parent Handbook states: “All children should be dressed in clothing that is appropriate and tasteful for school. Nothing too fancy or playful as the children need to focus on their day’s work and not on what each other is wearing.”

We would like to include the sequin, glittery shirts that flip and change colour in this category. Children love to play with them, whether it is their own shirt that they are wearing or a friend’s shirt. They are a considerable distraction to children in the Montessori environments and we ask that they remain a special, awesome shirt to wear at home, on weekends, to friends’ houses, or on holidays, but not to school. Thank you for understanding.

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Casa South: A lot has been happening in Casa South this week, including one student’s return from a trip to South Africa! Such events lead to lots of questions and stories.

As we progress through the last term of this school year, the children begin to increasingly demonstrate their own progress and development. There has been a lot of focus on writing, and our third-year Casa students are taking on increasing leadership and mentorship roles. Watching them give presentations to younger students or take the lead during group time by reading stories and singing songs gives us evidence of how they have absorbed lessons and classroom culture; they are like little Montessori guides.

Casa South children have also been enjoying trips to the Toddler room to borrow items to dust and polish this week, as well as continuing to show their empathetic natures by comforting upset friends. Explorations with Montessori materials that were previously presented have also been undertaken this week, such as finding new ways to use the Montessori Brown Stairs to balance the pieces to make it very tall.

Our Reading Buddies program with the Elementary students is also starting to pay dividends with children bringing books from home to share with the class and mimicing their time with the older students by helping each other to read together. So lovely to see!

We hope to see many of you next week at our Parent Education evening, and wish you a wonderful Easter long weekend.

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Casa North: Spring has sprung! (Hopefully… finally… permanently…). We are so excited for the warmer temperatures and longer days of sunlight.

This week in Casa North, I shared a book about Maria Montessori with the children. We read about her unique and accomplished life as the first female to study medicine in Italy, and her passion for creating a unique learning environment catered to individualized needs. We discussed words like “obstacles” (challenges that arise when trying to achieve a goal), “discovery,” and “equality.” Reading this book was a highlight of my time as a Montessori directress. Of course, it’s lovely to discuss the work that I do with the children and where it originated, but more importantly I love hearing their thoughts on the world around them. When they learned that there was a time that girls couldn’t study science unless they went to a boy’s school, they were genuinely surprised. When they learned that Maria Montessori was integral in designing and constructing some of the first child-size furniture, they were in awe that there was a time it hadn’t existed at all.

The child under six is working find their place in a smaller community (such as a Casa environment, or “Children’s House”). The child who is approaching six years of age (and the next plane of development) is eager to expand outside of their small community and find their place in the world around them. When I read the book to them, it was a beautiful example of how a mixed age group serves different needs in the environment — the younger children were enraptured with the story at its face value and the older children were asking insightful questions like “Did Maria Montessori make our shelves?” and “Did Maria Montessori give you ideas, Miss Boyle?”

Thank you for all that you do, and we look forward to a wonderful evening of parent education next week. See you then! — Miss Boyle

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Children of all ages enjoy the fun rituals and small wonders that come with cultural celebrations. Between the ages of 0-6, they are absorbing the sights and sounds of the holidays and learning to participate by decorating, cooking, and spending time with family and friends, but the Elementary child, now armed with experience, memory, and a sense of time, anticipates these annual celebrations in a new way: with a sense of nostalgia, a growing curiosity into the origin and meaning of the celebration, and why they celebrate it as they do. This week, the students have explored the history of Easter, working with the B.C./A.D. timeline, learning about the Romans and the crucifixion of Jesus, as well as secular symbols and celebrations of Spring. They have crafted eggs from paper and clay, prepared comic strips and stop-motion films, and researched Easter customs from other countries, and deepened their understanding of this part of their culture. Happy Easter! — Marissa

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Jump Rope for Heart Info

This week you should have seen your child’s Jump Rope for Heart package come home. You and your child can register at the event website or use the paper pledge tracking sheet that came home (we’ve already seen some of you have registered, made videos, and started gathering pledges — Thank You!). The actual jump roping event will take place on Wednesday, May 8 (this will be our Community Outing), and will consist of jump rope and a round-robin of cardiovascular activities at HAAA. The children have given themselves a class goal of raising $1,000.

Pledge forms and cash collection envelopes are due back on Tuesday, May 14.

If the class goal is attained, participating students will enjoy an active afternoon of bowling on Thursday, May 16.

Thank you all for your continuing support of the Elementary children’s charitable pursuits. This is a significant part of their developmental stage.

We hope you had a chance to see the photos and video of your children’s karate experience on Seesaw this week. For those of you that responded to attend the graduation ceremony this coming Saturday, April 20, at 2:00 p.m., certificates are being made up and UFMA is looking forward to welcoming you. Remember, your children are also welcome to attend regular classes until the end of the month.

For those that can’t make it due to Easter weekend plans and trips and visitors and such, UFMA has graciously offered to host a second event for you on Saturday, April 27, also at 2:00 p.m. Children that attend the second event will be welcome to attend regular classes for a week or so into May.

All children that attend the ceremony will work through the curriculum they were taught in the sessions and then receive a certificate, a uniform, and their first (white) belt.

Please let us know via email to, no later than Monday, April 22, if you would like to attend the second ceremony for your children.

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Coming Up:

Parent Observations:

 Parent observations in the Casa and Elementary Montessori environments will take place between May 6 and June 4. Observations in your child’s classroom are 20 minutes in duration and occur during the morning work cycle. We will have online sign-ups for you next week. In the meantime, please review the Observation Guidelines for Casa, and/or for the Elementary program.

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