Lyonsgate Weekly Update | Friday, March 6, 2020

Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

We hope everyone made it to and from school and work safely in today’s surprise snow storm. Let’s hope that’s the last blast this winter — we do spring ahead one hour on Sunday so that means it’s nothing but warm, sunny days from now on…

This is your last update before the March Break. We have a short week next week. March Break begins on Friday, March 13 — there is no school next Friday — and we return to school on Tuesday, March 24.

Your children’s Montessori guides have summaries of the winter term for you this week — the work that has been fascinating the children lately, developments in classroom culture,  the abundance of project work, and things to look forward to in the spring term.

You will also find a letter from Hamilton Public Health regarding the latest COVID-19 update.

Have a restful and restorative break everyone; we’ve made it through another winter! …maybe


This term introduced many changes as a new child joined our community; leaders emerged in the midst of it all, challenging materials pushed for concentration and critical thinking. The transition from diapers to underpants was the trend; the washroom suddenly became much more interesting than ever before. Witnessing the children’s resilience during these changes is truly inspiring.

We observed positive socialization -– the children move from the natural state of egocentrism to an altruistic state. Empathy is displayed every day — they make it their duty to ask a sensitive child if they are okay, reassure them that they will be, and proceed to bring their concern to an adult’s attention. Some of the works in the classroom have fortuitously been transformed to duo or group work in order to fulfill that need for socialization.

An explosion of language occurred amongst the younger children — they are now forming four to five word sentences and are able to actively participate in conversations with their older peers.

The children have expressed their excitement about March Break. These extra days will give you the opportunity to be spectators to their developmental milestones and adjust the home environment to fulfill those needs.

The third term will bring additional materials that mimic the Casa environment, challenging presentations, and the continuation with toilet learning.

I am excited to see what it will bring because the children never cease to amaze me. I will be thinking of them and I look forward to hearing highlights from their break.

Thank you all for an astounding second term, and cheers to an adventurous March Break!

Ms. Dee

Casa South

In the blink of an eye term 2 is over! What a term!

It may be the shortest semester but we accomplished so much. Our classroom graciously embraced a new member in January, supportively guiding our new friend through the ropes!

We have gotten to know a wonderful new teacher, Ms. Folland, whom we all adore! She is such a great help and loves to both read stories and be read to by our older students.

Our classroom has been thoroughly enjoying Making Bread, we are practically a bakery! Not only do the children make the bread but they hand it out at lunch. It is a practice in Grace and Courtesy, making sure that they hear please and thank you. Just this week one of our bread makers went to each table asking them to please sit patiently and quietly, and then they will hand out the bread (and the student becomes the teacher!).

Geography has been very popular, lots of introductions to the Puzzle Map of the World for the first years, and many mastered Continent Puzzles by the second years. I am always in awe of the second year that takes the whole morning to master the Puzzle Map of Africa or the USA (trust me they’re tricky!).

Lots of children have crossed the bridge from learning sounds to stringing them together to create and read words! Such an exciting moment to be apart of.

Some of the older children are whizzing through mathematics learning about addition, subtraction, and multiplication (that’s right 5-year-olds doing multiplication!).

We are all so excited for the semester to come. We are so excited to learn more and enjoy each others company!

Miss Moffatt

Casa North

Hello Casa North Families,

I hope you’re all feeling healthy, rested, and dry! The children in Casa North have been working through their second term with determination. We have seen them treating one another with compassion, kindness, and mentorship. As of late, the children have enjoyed a rotation of books each week that come from the public library. There’s nothing like some research on animal facts to encourage reading to one another and themselves!

At this point in the year, the children are well accustomed to one another and are settled into their roles as a first, second, or third year Montessori studentsd. Friendships have formed and the children are eager to greet one another each morning after a long evening apart. Many small group presentations are occurring, along with many requests for older children to present to younger children. The community is strong, and the children are quick to correct one another when something goes awry. This is a great stage for us adults to observe as it lets us know that we are increasingly less needed in the environment.

It’s hard to believe that we have just one more (short) week before March Break begins. We are hoping for some spring weather for all of your adventures! When we return, we will be coming right into our third and final term of the year. I look forward to much academic, social, and emotional growth from all of your beautiful children.

Thank you again for being an extension of our small community, and for your continued support of what we do here at Lyonsgate.


Miss Boyle


Visit any elementary Montessori environment and you will undoubtedly witness children working on or discussing “a project. Whenever a new word is introduced to the students, or highlighted for a specific use, the origins and etymology of that word are also offered to the children to deeper their understanding. The word “project” originates from two Latin terms pro and jacere, and means “something thrown forth.” Children between the ages of 6-12 are very inquisitive, can think rationally, and are extremely social, leading them to use their developing skills in reading and writing to acquire information, synthesize it, and communicate it outward. A project is their opportunity to throw forth their knowledge about a topic of particular interest to them.

In the first year of Elementary, young students are guided through the work of preparing their first “projects” with a common topic (e.g. our solar system), an oral reading of information to the group, the recall of information in verbal sentences, and finally, a written model of a paragraph to record and illustrate. As the children grow older and further develop their ability to read and write, they move away from the guides and seek the support of older students with whom they can collaborate, and soon are filling endless pages with facts and drawings. The incredible volume and depth of research undertaken by the children was what Dr. Montessori referred to as their “great work,” where the child’s intense curiosity and changing passions motivates them to dive deep into first one interest before abandoning it for another. Through formal language lessons and work with materials such as the grammar box series, their writing style improves with the integration of punctuation and the creation of more complex sentences. At this stage, students are shown how to edit their work after it has been reviewed by a peer or classroom guide. They are invited to further organize their information into sub-topics, calling upon their reasoning minds to sort and classify what they have learned and integrate information from multiple sources. They learn to pull information not only from the written word, but diagrams, documentaries, and experiences.

As students gain greater skill and confidence in reading and writing, they may begin to explore different mediums for communicating what they have learned, from oral presentations and dioramas to poster boards and stop-motion films. In the upper elementary years, projects tend to shift away from research into animals and the natural world and instead focus on the contributions and history of humans through biographies and investigation of major events. More often, projects become individual efforts rather than a shared activity among friends, and students find they need to go beyond books and the internet to satisfy their curiosity. They must now seek out specialists and experts to answer their questions, plan their own going-out activity to complete their research, or use what they have learned to solve a problem. As the elementary child transitions toward adolescence, the thing that is thrown forth is themselves, as they make their plans, learn what is needed, and use that knowledge effectively. The work of creating and completing their own projects is the work of forming and developing themselves.

It has been a wonderful second term, with just a few more days together before Spring Break. We look forward to sharing a wide variety of projects with you during the third term at our “Great Work” show in May.

Have a wonderful (and hopefully less snowy) weekend!


COVID-19 Update:

If you have questions regarding COVID-19, Hamilton Public Health asks that staff or parents contact Public Health Services by calling (905) 546-2424 ext. 7970.

From Hamilton Public Health:

March 2020 Hamilton Public Health COVID-19 Update

Coming Up:

You will find up to date details about all Lyonsgate events on your online school calendar.

  • March Break: March Break this year runs from March 13-23, inclusive. The first day back to school after March Break is Tuesday, March 24.


Sorry, no photo gallery this week.