Learner for Life
How Montessori education builds lifelong learning
Movement is an inherent part of the Montessori curriculum. Young children are drawn to the sensorial exploration of their environment. Movement allows them to engage in this discovery and interact with new learning opportunities. Movement in a Montessori class assists the child’s development of balance, coordination and repetition of actions. Children naturally respond to their need for movement as they establish both fine and gross motor coordination. Control of movement helps to centre a child and regulate their actions.
It is this mind and body connection that is a learning opportunity for the child as a conduit to build perceptions and impressions of their world. Fine motor movement is refined through a variety of exercises. Specific tasks develop the muscle coordination in the hand that later prepares a child to grip and use a pencil. Children learn through their hands, tracing a long red rod allows the child to understand the concept of length by touch while observing by sight. This process helps a child embrace a skill on a multi-sensory level.
Some exercises that include instructions, matching, or categorizing at a distance help to build a child’s working memory. The movement involved in selecting work, finishing a task, and returning the materials to a shelf is purposeful. It builds executive functioning skills, which are a child’s ability to find order and set priorities to build a task. Older children use movement as a way to socially collaborate with peers, engage in cooperative tasks, and seek order in their work. Even the physical break of walking around a class can refocus a child’s energy when they return to concentrated work.
When visitors attend our classes, after they comment on the focused concentration of the students, they marvel at the manner in which the children move around the class and the confidence they exude in their selection and interactions with materials. This mindful movement is truly their pathway to knowledge and understanding.
An up-close look at Montessori at HSC
The M5 and M6 children are at the ice rink once a week, where they are improving their balance and skating stride. The M6 and M7 students are in the middle of their active games unit. They’re just starting a gymnastics unit and will work towards performing a routine with simple movements and balances. The M8 and M9 students will be in the pool looking at good streamlining and the effect it has on swimming. They have begun a net games unit. All children are learning about heart healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
Pride & Joy
Casa Trip to the RBG
On Friday, January 29, the M3 and M4 students went to the Royal Botanical Gardens to explore the Reptile Exhibit. The students had the opportunity to engage in activities like building a reptile habitat, digging for reptile eggs, investigating reptile artifacts and sorting animals into reptiles and non-reptiles. A presentation was also given on different types of turtles where the students were able to touch and interact with the turtles up close! They ended the morning with discovering different species of turtles, snakes and lizards.
Montessori Grad signs Letter of Intent
On Wednesday, February 1, Montessori Grad and HSC Lifer Alyssa DeSantis signed her letter of intent to attend Florida Atlantic University. Alyssa is the recipient of a four-year scholarship to this NCAA Division 1 school. Some of her former Montessori teachers and coaches were able to congratulate her on this accomplishment.
Marsh Tank Visit
Over the course of several weeks, an enterprising group of Middle School students, who call themselves “The Turtle Girls”, invited Montessori classes to learn about marsh biodiversity. They presented their research about fish, turtles and marsh plants through songs, games, videos and hands-on activities. It was a wonderful example of collaboration and personalized, authentic learning on the part of “The Turtle Girls” and an amazing opportunity for our Montessori students to learn from older students.
Chinese New Year
On Monday February 8, the Montessori students celebrated Chinese New Year and the year of the monkey with visits and presentations from our Senior School students and Parents.
Values in Action
On Friday, January 28, the Montessori Elementary gathered together for a wonderful presentation on kindness delivered by the Eagles. We were introduced to vocabulary and the definitions of values which was presented in pairs by the children. The images of these important words are currently on display in the upper Montessori for all to see. After, we enjoyed an engaging skit entitled, The Ant and the Dove an Aesop Fable performed and narrated by some M6-M9s focusing on the importance of helping others and being kind. This performance was followed by a video which exemplified ‘Random Acts of Kindness’. The students were then challenged by the Eagles to seek opportunities to perform their own kind gestures for others. These acts have been alive and well in our classrooms all week as the students have been doing and saying kind things for others and not expecting anything in return. We all especially enjoyed the ‘Random Act of Kindness’ given to us by the Eagles in the form of a yummy caramel and a positive affirmation in the form of a note!
Thank you Eagles!!
During the week of February 8-11, the College will celebrate Wellness Week. A variety of activities are planned with extra special activities planned for all Montessori students on Tuesday, February 9. We look forward to celebrating this College initiative by highlighting wellness strategies that are age and stage appropriate for our students. Today, Monday February 8, the Casa students had a presentation that focused on the importance of proper hand washing.
On Thursday, February 11, students are invited to wear red, white and pink in lieu of their school uniform for Valentine’s Day.
The M8 and M9 students will be participating in the Swim to Survive swimming program on February 16, February 18, and February 23. Please contact your child’s classroom teacher if you have any questions.
Lower Elementary Trip
On Monday, February 29, the M6 and M7 students will travel by bus for a full-day trip to the Royal Botanical Gardens for the Reptile Rendezvous exhibit followed by a presentation on an element of art. The students will return in time for early buses/pick-up. The students are asked to wear their uniforms, but to bring appropriate clothing for outdoor play. Lunch is provided, and we ask that the students please bring a water bottle. We need six parent volunteers for this trip. If you are interested, please contact Ms. Malar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the week of February 29-March 4, the Montessori School will be celebrating International week. We plan to mark the week with a Montessori display in the Kemper lounge and a variety of activities for the students in their classrooms.
March Break Camp
Please visit our website at http://www.hsc.on.ca/march-break-2016 to register your child prior to February 19, 2016.
SAVE THE DATE!
HSC: A Community of Fashion
Hillfield Strathallan College is thrilled to announce the first truly College-wide fashion show in the history of HSC—HSC: Community of Fashion. The show is an exciting collaboration between the HSC Parents’ Guild and HSC staff, faculty, and students.
On Thursday, May 5, 2016, the entire HSC community will gather together in our beautiful Michael G. DeGroote Athletic Complex and Community Centre to socialize and build on our incredible HSC spirit. Although centered on a fashion show, the evening is an all-ages event with something for everyone. We encourage you to bring the entire family!
Date: Thursday, May 5, 2016
Time: Doors open at 6:30 p.m. – Food stations open at 7:00 p.m. – Show begins at 8:00 p.m.
Location: Michael G. DeGroote Athletic Complex and Community Centre