Laura Flores Shaw
Tuesday, May 17
6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. : M9 Cactus Ceremony, Upper Piazza
7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. : Presentation, Lower Piazza
Learners for Life
How Montessori Education Builds Lifelong Learning
Montessori observed that children were drawn to making themselves better, perfecting their movements, making choices that feed their independence. Today we would call this drive, a determination to master the next task, learn the new lesson or read the next book. Montessori set up a learning environment that both called to and cultivated that human tendency to self-motivate. The curriculum was arranged to show on the shelves the next step, older peers modelled by example and no limits were put on what a child could learn or explore. Montessori designed this educational model over 100 years ago, but because it is based on human nature it is as relevant today as it was then. Just ask Daniel Pink the bestselling author of “Drive”
“Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and lead richer lives. Maria Montessori figured this out a long time ago.
“I am not a Montessori scholar at all, but I know that at the heart of it is self-direction and letting kids follow their own curiosity, not dictating things, not bribing them or threatening them, but allowing self-direction as the pathway to understanding and excellence.
“Montessori is at the heart of an approach to motivation that the science shows is both more humane and more effective. Every school, educator, and parent can learn from this enduring and successful approach.”
Mr. Pink is correct. We see the satisfaction of self-directed learning on the faces of our children every day!
An up-close look at Montessori at HSC
As I watch our M5s and elementary students prepare their Caravan projects for next month, I see this process as the culmination of so many aspects of our curriculum. The varied skills they use to engage in these tasks have developed not just over the year, but throughout their Montessori years. As toddlers (yes, our first group of toddlers are now M6s) and young CASA students, the children were afforded the opportunity to choose work and, therefore, fully immerse themselves in an activity. They work on vocabulary building and learn the sounds of letters, the literal keys that will allow them speak and eventually write and read about topics of interest. In sensorial exercises, the young children learn to compare, contrast and categorize and those skills and the logic inherent within them prepares them to organize facts and cull like information. CASA also introduces them to our amazing world full of fascinating animal and plant life, interesting countries and intriguing cultures. The students look at other civilizations, past and present, by examining how basic human needs like food, shelter and clothing are met. The new information prompts new queries and, as a result, new discoveries. If you wonder why Caravan is such a celebration, consider this- a child chooses a topic that fascinates them, they are given the time to fully delve into the content, they are well prepared with skills that allow them to read, interpret, evaluate and record facts, previous knowledge is blended with the new encourages novel connections and questions, they decide how to present their learning and create a way to display it and they get to share that learning with their family! What an amazing and empowering journey, it makes us all wish we could go back to school again. See you June 17!
Pride & Joy
On Thursday, May 5, a few of our Montessori students participated in the College-wide Parents’ Guild Fashion Show. The four students were excellent models and rocked the runway, great job girls!
On Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14, the Montessori school participated in the College-wide Homecoming event, ArtsFest. The art was on display in the Spallacci Gym from our youngest Montessori toddlers up to our Montessori Nines. A variety of different mediums were used for each art piece displayed from the Montessori school with every one being unique and diverse from the others.
Values in Action
It is important for our students to recognize and understand that values–how we treat people and how we choose to live–is not a new idea, that civilizations have honored and valued kind actions, thoughtfulness and peace throughout the ages. These lessons are naturally embedded and highlighted by our Montessori curriculum. We will often find opportunities to bring these lessons to life.
Most recently, our 6 and 7 year old students travelled to Medieval Times where they were transported to another time and place. Some of the students in their reflections even stated that they felt like they’d travelled back in time. This particular trip also had a special element included just for the students. Values lessons on kindness, standing up for friends and how to not take part in activities which hurt the feelings of others, were some of the skits performed by the knights, king and queen of the show. We were consistently reminded of the code of chivalry and the importance of modeling proper treatment of others as a knight. One of the most important lessons was on humility and how to accept when you have done something wrong to another person, or acted unjustly and then various methods with which you could make amends. The children were highly engaged and reflective during the lessons chanting out their answer to the multiple choice questions asked after the skits, which was very effective for our young students.
CODE OF CHIVALRY
Like the Knights of the Realm,
We believe that doing the right thing and
Being fair to all people
Are just as important
Today as they were many
On their return to school, shields were prepared for the children so they could identify elements of their life, which are important to them and the code of chivalry was included on the back. This activity encouraged them to reflect on their values and prompted many conversations about chivalry and kindness.
It was a valuable experience from beginning to end, one that highlighted the enduring importance of being kind and generous human beings, who contribute positively to society.
On Wednesday, May 18 at Bayfront Park in Hamilton, the M8/M9s and Grade 3 and 4s will be participating in the Run4Change 5 km run. This event is in support of Start2Finish, a nationwide program dedicated to breaking the cycle of child poverty by providing ongoing educational support to Canada’s at risk children, nurturing mind, body and social health, so they are empowered to succeed and become role models for change. Good luck in your run and thank you so much for your support of our community’s children!
M8 & M9 Trip
On Friday, May 27, the M8 and M9 students will travel by bus to the Ancaster Fairgrounds to experience “Knights of Valour.” They are asked to wear their HSC uniform and comfortable walking shoes (or boots, if it’s raining). As portions of the trip will be outdoors, weather-appropriate outerwear is required (hats and sunscreen, or raincoats, sweaters, etc as needed). The students are to bring a healthy, nut-free lunch, snacks and a water bottle. Parent volunteers are need for this trip, if you’re interested please e-mail Ms. Malar at email@example.com.
On Friday, June 17, please join the Montessori school while we celebrate Caravan. Performances will be held at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
End of Year Trips – June 20, 2016
Twin Valley Zoo
The M3 and M4 students will travel by bus to the Brantford Twin Valley Zoo. The bus will leave HSC at 8:45 a.m. and will return in time for regular 11:30 a.m. dismissal/lunch. All of the M3 and M4 students will attend this trip during the morning session. The students are asked to wear their school uniforms, but to be in comfortable, weather-appropriate outerwear and shoes (hats, sunscreen, raincoats, etc. as necessary). Parent volunteers are not required for this trip.
Centreville Amusement Park
The M5 and M6 students will travel by bus to Centreville Amusement Park at Toronto Island. The bus will leave HSC at 9:00 a.m. and will return to the school at 3:00 p.m. Students are asked to wear their school uniforms, but to be in comfortable, weather-appropriate outer wear and shoes (hats, sunscreen, etc. as necessary). Lunch and snacks will be provided. Parent volunteers are needed for this trip, if you’re interested please e-mail Ms. Malar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
African Lion Safari
The M7s will travel by bus to African Lion Safari, departing the College at 8:45 a.m. and returning in time for regular 3:20 p.m. dismissal. The students are asked to be in their HSC uniform, but to wear running shoes and to bring a swimsuit, towel, hat, sunscreen, etc. They are also asked to pack a water bottle, a healthy lunch and $5 for a snack.
M8 and M9 parents please stay tuned for more details.
Register now for the HSC Pro Hockey Camp to spend one week with current and former NHL players that will help you learn new skills and improve development. Please visit our website for more information.