Learner for Life
How Montessori education builds lifelong learning
“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
We make countless decisions as adults each day, some are minor and others major, but all are consequential. The ability to make a sound decision and the awareness of the natural results of choices are, however, not innate skills, but rather ones that need to be nurtured. Montessori learning environments foster the development of decision making skills by providing students with the opportunity to make purposeful choices that are geared to their age and stage. Students from our young curious toddlers to our astute M9s, make meaningful selections in reference to work choice, peer partners, time committed to task and whether to repeat an activity again. The key in this process is that the choices have purpose and, therefore, relevancy and importance. Each successful experience encourages more choice and an increased empowerment on behalf of the child. When children become confident in their choices they can transfer that understanding to new challenges that greet them as they grow. A responsible choice at six, perhaps to abide by a rule when encouraged by another not do so may seem simple and the consequences minor, yet the decision to make the appropriate choice is just as real and the process the same when life hands us challenges of greater significance. If our children gain these valuable skills when they are young, they are prepared for a lifetime of choices and will be able to enjoy the rewards of their wise decisions!
An up-close look at Montessori at HSC
We love to watch our kids get into the flow of the work cycle. We watch as they engage in tasks with focus, take a break with movement or socialization and re-engage to completion. Then the children move on to a new learning opportunity. Our students benefit from a long blocks of uninterrupted work time in which they can focus on an activity for an extended time period. There is no call to move to another job from a teacher, the child completes the exercise to a natural conclusion. Work time is multi-disciplined, as math happens next to language and next to social sciences.
Pride & Joy
On Wednesday, March 2, the Montessori M5 and M6 students invited their parents and siblings to participate in the family skate. Thank you to everyone that came out to make it an enjoyable and fun-filled afternoon.
Two M8 students reach out to help others
Oliver and Neyk were asked to solve a problem. Neyk saw a homeless man in Toronto when he was leaving a sporting event, which sparked the students interest to research the homeless. While brainstorming ideas that could help with this problem, they decided to focus on poverty in the Hamilton area. After discovering that Wesley Urban Ministries helps homeless people in Hamilton with assistance, the Oliver and Neyk had a conference call with a representative from the organization. They learned that hygiene products are urgently needed, and decided to name their project The Helping Hands Foundation. The students requested the HSC community to bring back any soap products from their March Break excursions with a goal of delivering these hygiene items to Wesley Urban Ministries in a couple of weeks.
Please visit https://vimeo.com/158349995 and use the password livingroom to watch a video made these two M8 students about their project. Oliver and Neyk are still collecting products, so if you have any hotel samples left from your travels please feel free to bring them in.
Since January, the Grade 3, Grade 4, M8 ,and M9 students, along with their teachers, have been dedicated participants in the 20/20 Challenge. Each morning, students meet in the Spallacci gym and enjoy comradery, fitness, and an ever-growing knowledge base of exercises to build strength and confidence in their physical abilities. We have also enjoyed guest appearances of students from Ms. Mancini’s Grade 12 Fitness class. Just recently, Lydia Xu and Ariel Yuan shared a traditional game and dance from their Chinese heritage with the students. We are also fortunate to have the expertise of Stvon Sormaz, a Grade 12 student who is working toward his CanFit Pro certification and is willing to share his love of fitness with our students!
Values in Action
Finding peace at home and school: The March Break is always a great time to relax, take a break, and find some calm after a busy winter term. A student’s day is very full in the Montessori School, and we build moments for reflection and calm into the work day at natural moments, not scheduled recesses which interrupt their concentration. Our students seek these moments through yoga, reading, and art.
The mindfulness of yoga starts at a young age with Mrs. Garzon and the brain gym activities the students do as a group, including yoga and deep breathing. This continues into the elementary years, where the children can choose to take a moment in the yoga corner to stretch, breathe, and relax before progressing with their academic day.
Colouring promotes concentration, reflection and introspective opportunities for our children, building their resiliency and self-regulation. Mendelas also provide insightful statements to inspire the students to reflect and contemplate on their feelings.
Reading is a common form of relaxation, and hopefully you observed your child seeking these moments over the break. There is nothing better than escaping to another world and becoming fully absorbed in a story.
We often observe students returning to their work with a sense of calm and preparedness to concentrate after a nice break on the couch or in the piazza. It’s a personal moment of independence in a busy day. The students enjoy these moments and hopefully seek them at home. If not, perhaps we have inspired you to create some of these routine in your home.
Parent Teacher Interviews
A note went home before the March Break for the process to pick an interview time for your children. Parent Teacher Interviews for the Montessori School will be held on April 5-7 and April 11. Please contact Adrienne Cascioli at firstname.lastname@example.org if you still need to book an interview.
The M6 and M7 students will be attending a performance at Mohawk College on Wednesday, April 6. The students will leave HSC at 9:45 a.m. as the show will begin at 10:15 a.m.
On Tuesday, April 12, HSC will participate in the Inside Ride to help raise money for Canadian children living with cancer. The charity, Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, supports the funding of oncology camps, bursaries, community support programs, and other areas which contribute to inspiring hope and prognoses for children and their families impacted by cancer. One hundred percent of the proceeds go towards this importance cause.
The M8s and M9s will participate in the event and engage in fitness activities rather than riding on a bike. We have four teams representing the Montessori School: The Ravens, The Eagles, The Owls and The Full Monte (a team consisting of Montessori teachers). Waiver and pledge forms were distributed earlier this week. Please ensure the forms are handed in by Friday, April 8.
If you have any questions about the Inside Ride, please contact Ms. O. at email@example.com.
After School Activities
Just a reminder that Spring Activities will begin on Tuesday, April 12.
On April 27, the M8 students will perform the French play “Café Crocodile.” The students will stay after school until the show begins at 7:00 p.m. Dinner will be provided for the students.
Parent Night – April 27, 2016 at 8:00 p.m.
On April 27, there will be a stepping up night for the parents of the M4 students who will be M5s next year, and M5 students transitioning to M6s next year. Please come to meet the staff and hear about the your child’s new program.
Special Admissions Event featuring Turkey Rhubarb
We are very excited to announce that the HSC Admissions Team is hosting an event with special guests on Saturday, April 30 — Turkey Rhubarb! All current and prospective families are welcome to join us for this very family-friendly 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.
Parent Night – May 17, 2016
Join us for this Special Evening! We will be having the cactus night for M9 graduating parents. Special guest speaker from California, Laura Flores Shaw, will deliver a presentation on “Montessori: The Educational Framework for the 21st century.”
Our public education system successfully trained millions of children for the industrial society and economy. But our changing society presents new challenges that require us to fundamentally rethink our concept of school. Due to the proliferation of digital technologies towards the end of the last century, we socially reorganized into a society of distributed networks whose economy runs on knowledge. Thus, the competencies required for success in the 21st century are very different than those required in the last century.
Ironically, over 100 years ago, just as industrialists were reforming education to prepare American children to work in their factories, Maria Montessori began developing a method that seemed to foreshadow the needs of the 21st century. Using research from multiple disciplines, including sociology, economics, cognitive science, psychology, education, and neuroscience, this talk discusses why Montessori is the educational framework for the 21st century.
HSC: A Community of Fashion
On Thursday, May 5, at 6:15 p.m., the entire HSC community will gather together in our beautiful Athletic Complex and Community Center for HSC: Community of Fashion. This special event is an opportunity to socialize and build on our incredible HSC spirit.
Centered on a fashion show, the evening is an all-ages event with something for everyone. Food stations and refreshments will be provided by local restaurants. Local wines and beers will also be showcased. Tickets will go on sale on April 6, so stayed tuned!
Shawn Hewson ’91 (fashion designer, Project Runway Canada judge, Celebrity Style Story contributor, and HSC Hall of Fame inductee) graciously agreed to MC this event. The designs of Lauren Woodward ’14 — a recent HSC graduate and current Parsons School of Design student — will be featured, alongside an original swimwear line designed by current Grade 12 HSC student, Carina Schiappa. Several local community boutiques and shops will also be showcased.
The event will raise funds to enhance the learning environments at both HSC and our partner school, Adelaide Hoodless, a Hamilton elementary school. Our two schools support one another throughout the year. Recent initiatives include winter clothing and book drives, reading buddy opportunities, holiday ‘wish tree’ events, and hallway and class redesign projects. We invite you to support these great kids!
We need your help to make this event a success. CLICK HERE to view ways you can support HSC: Community of Fashion.
HSC Summer Camp
Registration is now open for HSC Summer Camps! Please visit our website for more information.
Annual Parents’ Guild Spring Uniform Sale
This is a friendly reminder that the HSC Parents’ Guild (PG) Annual Spring Used Uniform Sale will take place on Wednesday, April 6. Please join us in the Alumni Lounge from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
All purchases can be charged to your family account, or paid by cash or cheque.
We encourage you to take this opportunity to purchase gently used uniform items. All proceeds from the sale are directed back to the school to enhance and support the learning environment for our students.
We look forward to seeing you at the Uniform Sale on April 6, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.