Lyonsgate Weekly Update | Friday, Oct. 18, 2019

Good Afternoon Lyonsgate Families,

It’s haircut weekend! Toddler and Casa students will have their school photos taken on Tuesday, Oct. 22. (Elementary families, your children’s photo day is Monday, Oct. 28). Students will have individual photos taken, as well as photos with siblings where applicable. You will receive a photo proof package a few weeks later from which to choose a photo package.

If you still have an outstanding immunization form for your child, please remember to drop them off at the school next week. Thank you.

This week, your children’s French guides have updates for you.


Can you believe it is already mid October? The classroom is bustling with energy as the children have become comfortable. It has been marvelous to observe the children’s exploration of the classroom environment.

The children have begun to understand and have conversations with me in French. Popular topics are leaves, our classroom fish Poseidon, and how delicious their snacks are. I have been able to do some French activities about fruits and vegetables. The children have been working on connecting the name of the items in English to their newly learned names in French. The children have enjoyed saying “pomme.” I even observed two children take out the fruits and proceed to identify every fruit as a “pomme.” I am excited to see that they are making connections with what I am saying and applying it to their work.

French gathering has become a joyful time to sing “Frère Jacques” and talk about pumpkins. The children have started using my gestures along with the songs.

There is still a lot to learn and navigate in the classroom. Explaining different situations to the children using words they aren’t familiar with yet can be difficult. Together we are navigating through language and making deeper connections. As the children make more connections with the French language I hope to use more new words, introduce new songs, and explain some of the French activities. I am so excited to see what the next few weeks have in store for our community!

A reminder that there is a sign up sheet for flowers at the entrance of the school. The children have such joy when they bring the cut flowers into the classroom. It is a great way for the children to contribute to their classroom environment.

— Mlle Noordam

Reminder Please: Please ensure that Toddler children have appropriate outerwear for the weather conditions every day, and please label everything — hats, gloves and mittens, scarves, etc. too. Also, please avoid cloth or knit gloves and mittens. They are convenient, but inevitably get wet and make little hands even colder.

Casa South

Dear Casa South families,

I hope you all had a restful weekend spent with family and maybe some turkey (or to-furkey)! Although we’ve had some shorter weeks recently, your children have been keeping very busy with lots of work in the classroom. As they settle in, they become a lot more confident with the materials and are so, so eager to be shown new things.

For the children, it might seem daunting when they first hear a new language. They’re still learning their first one and they’ll look at me wondering “what on earth is Mlle Paul saying!” Expecting this confusion, I would repeat the word or phrase over again making sure to give gestures and facial expressions to help them understand. Those are a big part of my job: rubbing my hands together when I ask them to wash their hands, pointing to my shoes while I ask them to put theirs on, or making exaggerated expressions to convey an emotion. At their age right now, having that consistency is so important. I like to make sure I’m using the same phrase and word every time and over time it just clicks. The older children who’ve been with me in the past are also a great help and love to explain to the others what I’m saying. They’ll hear French throughout their day, whether it’s in the class, outdoor at recess and all the other transition periods, and they just soak it up without realizing.

During the work cycles, the first thing I’ll introduce to the new ones are Montessori Classified Cards because they can see a picture of what they’re learning and learn the proper word to associate it with. Having small groups with a set of Classified Cards goes a long way. The cards are something they can hold and have a clear depiction of what they’re learning. For those who are ready, they can read the labels (French and English are on the backs of each one) and practice writing their own. So far this year, we’ve worked a lot with the types of butterflies, construction vehicles, and fruits.

Reading, on the other hand, is something I start to work on once they have a good foundation in English first. When Ms. Moffatt sees that a child is ready to learn their sounds (sometimes they already know some!), she’ll show them the Sandpaper Letters. Once a child has worked with Ms. Moffatt on sounds and reading phonetic words, I’ll start to introduce them to those in French. The biggest difference between the two, in sounds, is the vowels, so I’ll work on those then move towards phonetic words and phonograms. I’ve introduced these to a few children this past week and they were very excited to work with the new material. Just like all the work in the classroom, once they’ve been shown it they are welcome to take it out whenever it is available. In the past, I’ve watched a child take out phonetic words every day and work on sounding them out! Sometimes they will be reluctant or uninterested to practice them and that’s completely fine. It can be a little daunting when there’s a stack of unknown words, but I simply encourage them to practice reading just a few at a time or even partner up with a friend who’s been shown. Finally, we have a set of phonetic readers (beginner French books) that I’ll work on one-on-one with a child who is ready.

It’s only October, but Casa South has already learned so many new songs and poems, and they practice the days of the week and the months of the year in most French groups. I’m excited to keep teaching them new things in French!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

À lundi! Mlle Paul

Casa North


Over the past month and a half, the children have progressed with their French language knowledge and understanding. Our greetings are now more interactive and we can share conversations about what they have had for breakfast or dinner at home.

This week during the French gathering, we have begun to focus on introducing ourselves, such as “Hello, my name is _____”, as well as “please” and “thank you.” I am constantly impressed by their use of French vocabulary –- they can name many fruits and vegetables that we worked on during the month of September.

You have probably heard your child singing or humming “Sur le pont d’Avignon” which is one of the songs we sing together. Just like in September, we continue to read books together and work on our vocabulary on a regular basis.

Thank you to all parents who I hear supporting French greetings each morning and at the end of the school day. It’s really nice to see parents learning alongside their children!

Au revoir,

M. Bouquin


My how quickly the time is passing! Speaking of time, the Upper Elementary students will be taking another look at time in French as a fun way to revise and solidify some of those larger numbers. We might even take a closer look at the 24-hour clock. Upper Elementary students are also busy reading a collection of 28 different comic style books with focus on comprehension and fun language activities.

Year 3 Lower Elementary children began looking at math word problems in French, some of which we will do in the back yard on the black board for as long as Mother Nature will allow us. Year 2 Lower Elementary children are currently writing topical poems reflecting the season and one of its special celebrations. Year 1 students have been colouring rainbows, French flags, and autumnal leaves all the while learning to read the various colours in French. They are all progressing very well and are using various versions of bingo as they learn to count higher in French. We are also including more songs in our learning and will hopefully prepare one or two songs to sing to the residents at Aberdeen Gardens on our next visit there.

The children are always so happy to find new material and activities on the French shelf to work with. They are so willing to continue to broaden their French knowledge. Thank you for sharing them with me.

As always I can be reached at should you have any questions, concerns or comments to share.

À bientôt,

Madame Egan

Reminder for Upper Elementary parents: Upper Elementary students will have their second O.W.L. class next Friday, October 25.  The students each brought home a green duotang with their O.W.L. topics, readings, and homelink assignment to be completed before each workshop.

Don’t forget to get informed and go vote on Monday; the Elementary students did on Thursday:

Handbook Highlight

This week, take a look at “Ref. C: Montessori References and Resources” in your Parent Handbook. [p. 129 in the viewer] This section has a glossary of Montessori terms and links to websites and videos about Montessori covering everything from research into Montessori student outcomes to a parent-to-parent fastdraw video about Montessori.

Coming Up

Please remember to check your Lyonsgate calendar regularly for up to date information.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 22: Toddler and Casa photo day.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 23: Boris Brott, who many of you know from the Brott Music Festival as a conductor of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, is coming to Lyonsgate to give a presentation to the Casa and Elementary students. Elementary students will be walking over to the Primary campus for the 10:00 a.m. start time.
  • Thursday, October 24: Sign-up for November parent observations sent out.
  • Monday, October 28: Elementary Photo Day.
  • Monday, October 28: The new Fall/Winter hot lunch menu begins. This will be a new 4-week rotation of all new meals for the Toddler and Casa students at the Primary campus. We will post the new menu on the website when it comes into effect, and you can always check your Lyonsgate calendar to see which week we are on.
  • Thursday, October 31: Sign-up for Nov. 29 Parent-Teacher conferences sent out.
  • Friday, November 1: PD Day. No school.


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