Learner for Life
How Montessori education builds lifelong learning
If you read any article about education these days, you are bound to come across the phrase “executive functioning.” In essence executive functioning is a person’s ability to self-regulate their behavior and use cognitive skills to problem solve. Executive functioning involves how a person controls their emotions and how their brain solves problems by accessing their working memory. Think of executive functioning as a football quarterback – where what is practiced and housed in the working memory when combined with an ability to act deliberately as opposed to impulsively, the quarterback can rely on his skills to solve problems or avoid a blitz! When education researchers look to executive functioning skills, they see them as an indicator of academic and social success. The inner self discipline a child develops in an environment in which they can make meaningful choices leading to a lessening of impulsive behavior and an increase in responsibility. Lessons develop the child’s working memory by asking children to keep a concept in their mind, be a number, letter or fact and then ask them to later apply it to a task therefore building the neural pathways of a child’s brain. This gives children cognitive flexibility where they can problem solve and use learned information to answer new questions.
An up-close look at Montessori at HSC
In our lower piazza, there is a quote that reads in part that we wish to enable our students to think and act for themselves. We should have perhaps added to think critically as that is one of our goals for our students. I watched two two year old boys in our toddler class recently as they tried to solve the problem of how to retrieve an errant train that had rolled beneath a cart of sleeping mats. I marvelled at how these boys, with limited language, tried different approaches to get the train. I also watched one of their teachers who observed, but did not interfere with the children’s process of finding a solution. Eventually, they realized the cart was on wheels and if they pushed it together they could get the train. When they accomplished the task they were beaming in confidence and success! Using logic and creativity to solve problems is a major part of our curriculum. We ground our students with materials that build their sense of order and require logic to complete. We ask our students to answer their own questions and to come up with their own queries. The students are encouraged to call upon previous knowledge, overlay with new information and come up with novel discoveries. Our teachers guide in this process, but empower the children to make the decisions independently, learning from errors and refining until the task is complete. The mysteries that need solutions vary with the age and stage of the child, but as with the toddler boys the path of discovery and triumph yields equal rewards.
Pride & Joy
Thank you for your feedback on our new reports, here are our results from our survey.
Lunch Basketball Championship
The Raptors won against the Heat during lunch time basketball championship game. Congratulations to all the teams and players that participated!
On Saturday, February 20, our Middle School wrestlers competed at SJK’s Youth Wrestling Tournament and we are so proud of everyone’s efforts and results. Within this group of students are two Montessori School wrestlers that had outstanding results.
- Alex Chetcuti- 4th place
- Pierson White – 4th Place
- Josh Holden- 4th Place (need to bring in medal)
- Charlie Connor- 4th Place
- Will Armstrong- Bronze Medal
- Nathan Freeman- Bronze Medal
- Gavin Priest- SIlver Medal
- Uhday Galucha- Silver Medal
- Amaan Galucha- Gold Medal
- Sterling Bateman- Gold Medal
A special thank you to Senior School wrestler Cory MacDonald for volunteer coaching and acting as a leader the entire day on Saturday.
Coaches Ms. Mancini and Mr. Neibert
Values in Action
Recently, the College celebrated ‘Wellness Week’, a time where we all think about and celebrate our personal mental and physical wellness. Our younger students participated in an organized yoga experience, led by a group entitled ‘Yoga Bugs’. They learned the value of relaxation in our everyday activity and some basic moves to help them find inner peace. The older Montessori students watched the movie ‘Inside Out’ and reflected on the power of human emotion.
The older College students were invited to visit booths hosted by local businesses to discuss various topics of wellness. One of these booths was hosted by some of our own students who participated in the after school activity of ‘Zentangle’. These children greeted guests and invited them to try some relaxing art of their own, while discussing the power of art and finding calm through repetitive patterning.
On Shrove Tuesday, our older students hosted the elementary children for yummy pancakes in our upper piazza. They set tables, washed dishes and served milk and pancakes to many eager students. With soft music playing in the background, some children exclaimed, ‘This is like a restaurant!’ We thank the eights and nines for their grace and courtesy, as well as, their care and kindness. It was enjoyed by all!
Montessori International Week
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 Alumni 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.
Special Admissions Event featuring Turkey Rhubarb
We are very excited to announce that the HSC Admissions Team will be hosting a very special event with special guests on Saturday, April 16, Turkey Rhubarb! All current and prospective families are welcome to join us for this very special event. Bring your friends!
Tours will take place from 9:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m and the performance will begin at 10:30 a.m.
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