Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

Parent observations are continuing for one more week, and parent-teacher conferences take place on Friday, Nov. 30. Remember, both Lyonsgate campuses will be closed on Friday for the conferences. There is no school that day, but childcare will be available during your conference timeslot. If you still need to sign up for an observation or a conference time, it’s not too late.

Please do your best to be on time for your conference, and do not stay longer than your selected timeslot. In order to keep everyone on schedule, we have to be strict with the 20-minute allocations. Thank you.

The December Scholastic catalogues are coming home today, Friday, Nov. 23. These are the Christmas ones. To ensure arrival of any gift items in time for the holidays, the due date for orders is Wednesday, Nov. 28 (both online orders and returned paper forms, with cheques; please do not send cash with paper orders). If you would like to keep any  Scholastic gift orders secret, please let us know; we’ll let you know when they arrive so that you can sneak them home.

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This Week:

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This week, our little Toddler community would like to thank all of our families for their great protein contributions to our daily snack menu. It is quite the topic of conversation amongst the children, which gives us opportunities for language instruction around topics such as colour, texture, flavour, and taste. Continuing these types of discussions at home during meal times is a great way to support your children’s learning.

We’d also like to stress the importance of movement for young children. For example, let children walk independently in and out of school rather than being carried. This is a great start to their Montessori school days where independence and doing things for ourselves is the goal. Space and time to perform tasks independently has positive impacts on children’s senses of self-awareness and self-confidence. When movement is involved the brain is stimulated differently than when one is passive, and is very important for intellectual development.

Finally, another reminder to please check the weather forecst every day and to make sure toddlers have appropriate outdoor clothing to keep them warm. And don’t forget to label everything.

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Casa South: Parents aren’t the only ones observing in Casa South these days. Montessori students are welcome to observe other students working with materials. Just like when parents observe, they watch quietly without interrupting the children working. Often, observations in the classroom involve younger students watching older children work with Montessori materials the younger child may not be presented and invited to work with for quite some time. However, the observation is still a valuable practice. Many materials are sequential and something an older child is working with may be a more sophisticated version of a material the younger child knows, so the observation allows the child to see what’s to come, and often provides incentive to master initial materials in order to be presented with the later material.

Peer learning and modeling is a key aspect of Montessori education.

If you’ve noticed  that Casa South children have been singing to themselves at home lately, we’re hearing it here too. Our Holiday Concert practise has led to random acts of song as children sing while they work. It’s absolutely lovely!

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Casa North: This week in Casa North has really shown the children’s ability to re-center in moments of high energy. We have been working on deep breathing and meditation this week! The children love to sit with me, close their eyes, and focus on their breath. When guided through these exercises, it never ceases to amaze me that children between the ages of 2-6 are able to reflect so articulately and beautifully how they feel.

“I feel like a fluffy marshmallow,” or “I feel like a cozy fireplace,” are some of my favourites!

Movement, and control of movement, is a central focus in the Montessori environment and I love spending time with the children to really focus on it.

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Busy days as always at the Elementary campus this week, and off campus. We have been learning about how to frame investigations about other cultures (see below re. our trip to McMaster) with the Montessori History Question Charts, as well as letter writing in English and in heiroglyphs (keep an eye on your mailbox), and lots of math work, progressing to new levels of abstraction by working with new materials, or, for our older students, moving away from the materials to working abstractly with paper and our brains.

We also made our way to the McMaster Museum of Art to experience Ursula Johnson’s Mi’kwite’tmn (Do You Remember) exhibit of Mi’kmaw basketry and art. This was an especially enjoyable artistic experience for the students as they had the opportunity to handle and touch some of the pieces and learn a little bit about the archive and information process behind the exhibit as well. The McMaster Museum of Art is a bit of a hidden treasure and is a great addition to your list of warm, indoor things to do during the winter months, plus it’s free!

Next week, we are back at Aberdeen Gardens for our Wednesday community outing. Please help your children remember to choose and bring a show and tell item on Monday. We like to take a couple of days to practice what we are going to present to the seniors about our items.

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Next Week:

One more reminder just to make sure nobody misses it: both Lyonsgate Montessori campuses (Primary on Aberdeen and Elementary on Locke) will be closed on Friday, Nov. 30, for parent-teacher conferences. Childcare will be available during your conference timeslot.

Please do your best to be on time for your conference, and do not stay longer than your selected timeslot. In order to keep everyone on schedule, we have to be strict with the 20-minute allocations. Thank you.

Click here to sign up for a conference with your child’s Montessori guide.

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