Sunday, 18 June 2017

Happy Father's Day 2017

For Mother's Day, we asked the children a series of questions about their moms.  For Father's Day, we asked the children the same questions.  We enjoyed the answers and the lovely drawings.  Here is a selection of the Father's Day gifts.  You can click on the images to make them larger.


The Three Year Olds

3 year old A. says 'It makes him happy when I laugh."

3 1/2 year old J.'s picture is full of love.

3 year old A. made smoothies for her presentation in May.  She always makes them with her dad.

3 1/2 year old M. says "I really love it when he comes home from work and tickles me!"

The Four Year Olds

4 1/2 year old E. says "He always tells me I look like a monkey."

4 1/2 O.'s picture is beautiful!

4 1/2 year old J.'s dad always says "Would you like to make popcorn?"  Sounds fun!

It makes 4 1/2 year old C.'s dad happy when he plays with him.

4 1/2 year old A. says her dad only cooks on the barbecue.

It makes 4 1/2 year old K.'s dad happy when he hugs her.

The Five and Six Year Olds

5 year old O. loves it when his dad makes breakfast for him.

6 year old L.'s dad makes the best Mickey pancakes!

5 year old K.'s dad makes the best burgers!

5 1/2 year old S. really loves it when her dad picks her up from school.

5 year old H. says her dad is only allowed to touch the barbecue.


It makes 5 1/2 year old A.'s dad happy when she twirls around..
(He also has long hair.)


5 year old A. loves to snuggle with his dad and watch television.


We hope you enjoy your gifts.  Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Our 2017 Graduates ~ Now and Then

It is once again time to celebrate and say goodbye to our wonderful graduates.  The reality of the end of our time together begins to hit us in May and we realize that these very special little ones will never be quite as they are ever again. Already our graduates have begun to change right before our eyes.  They are no longer the pudgy little preschoolers.  They seem to be all arms and legs and they are also losing their teeth!  It won't be long before their bodies catch up and they look like elementary school students.

We have known some of this year's graduates since they were babies.  When they begin their Montessori journey with us at 2 1/2 or 3 years of age, it is hard to believe that they will become the children we see before us today.  The majority of our students have the opportunity to be the youngest, middle and oldest children in the classroom.  Everyone, even our little three year olds, are looking forward to the day when they will be one of the graduates.  Our expectations for our graduates are high, and each year, they surpass them.  They set the tone for the classrooms and all eyes are watching them.  Thank you for being such wonderful role models for your fellow classmates.

Each year, our June newsletter contains individual tributes to each graduate.  Here are photographs of our 2017 graduates, now and then, with excerpts from their tributes.

Our 2017 Graduates

Antonio


Antonio

Antonio is a very easy-going, happy and knowledgeable boy with a thirst for knowledge.  During his first year, Antonio was in awe of the graduates.   He would sit with them and observe what they were doing.  They knew so much!  This year it is Antonio who has an entourage of fellow classmates who think he knows everything.  Antonio makes learning look effortless and is continually challenging himself.  He has continued to amaze us with his wealth of knowledge on subjects such as mountains, volcanoes, the countries of the various continents and the planets and outer space.  He always has something interesting to say.  His love for learning is contagious.  It was Antonio’s enthusiasm that encouraged his classmates to embark on a study of the flags of North America.  Antonio is talented both academically and artistically.  We were all very impressed when he brought in his drum set for a Show and Tell Presentation.  He is an amazing drummer!    Antonio cares deeply for his classmates and feels a sense of responsibility towards them.  He is a very good friend.  He is always there if someone needs help in the classroom.  Outside in the playground, he often makes sure that no one is on their own, inviting them to join in the fun.  


October 2015 - Antonio at the beginning of his first year.


Freya


Freya


As the oldest girl in the half day class, she is looked up to by the other girls.  Whether they are choosing their spots for snack time or deciding on which game to play outside, they will often ask Freya.  Freya is quite the talented artist and has made many crafts and drawings for her teachers.  Her drawings always show bright happy people with big round faces and huge smiles.  She also loves writing stories at school, as illustrating them is always her favourite part of the work.  Usually her stories revolve around her family.  Whether it is playing with her older sister, going to Wonderland or going on trips to other countries, Freya loves telling us about her many adventures.  Freya is quite the fashionable young girl and loves to show her friends a new shirt or dress she is wearing, or a fancy necklace or watch she picked out.  This year, Freya has become a keen reader and her goal was to reach the “Choosing Books”.  Each time a teacher would give her a new reading book she would ask, “Is this a choosing book?  How many more until I am on choosing books?”  She would check the list at the back of the reading book and count how many were left to read.  It was a proud moment for Freya when her teachers finally announced to the class that she had reached the choosing books! 


October 2016 - Freya is on the far right.


Isabella

 
Isabella

Throughout her time with us, we have seen a friendly, confident and helpful Isabella emerge.  She is very sensitive to the needs of the youngest children and is often the first to befriend a child visiting our school.  One of our little three year olds remembers Isabella’s kindness to her when she visited last year.  She always says that when she is a graduate, she wants to be just like Isabella.  It isn’t just her younger classmates who are drawn to her.  We have two little sisters who always look for ‘Bella’ when they drop off or pick up their siblings. Isabella holds a place of prominence at our school as she was the first student in our whole school to turn six this year.  Everyone thinks Isabella is big!  If you spend a little time with Isabella, you will quickly discover that her nonno (grandfather) means the world to her.  She is beside herself with happiness if he picks her up from school.  Isabella has been going to Italian school, ‘asilo’, on Saturday mornings ever since we met her.  She speaks Italian beautifully and has taught Mrs. Pinto many things.  Recently, she gave a lovely presentation to her classmates, teaching them how to count to ten and say the colours in Italian.  We can’t help thinking that teaching and being with little ones is in Isabella’s future. 


November 2014 - Isabella working with Cards and Counters.


Julian G.


Julian G.


As the oldest person in our half day class, Julian has earned a place of prominence this year.  He is often the first person chosen for the birthday snack table, selected as a working partner and looked up to by the younger students.  Julian is the first person to rush to help when someone drops a piece of work or spills something on the floor.  Julian has been like an honorary big brother to everyone in the class.  He loves telling new children about traditions we keep at our school.  For example, when you start as a 3 year old your shoes go on the bottom shelf and each year you return your shoes will move up the shelves until you finally reach the top shelf and you are a graduate.  He has also reminded some of his friends that, “Next year I will be in Grade One and you have to take care of my sister and make sure she’s okay.”  If you spend some time with Julian you will quickly learn that he loves his family and loves talking about them.  We hear about all the nonnas, nonnos, zios, zias and of course his new baby cousin.  Julian really cherishes any time he has special days with his mom or dad.  Dad takes him and his brother fishing and mom takes him to the park and McDonald’s.  Quite the gifted athlete, Julian takes karate, hockey and soccer lessons and recently gave an enthusiastic presentation on the various karate skills that he knows.  He is also thrilled that his dad is the coach on his new soccer team. 

October 2014 - Julian (right) with his older brother, one of last year's graduates.


Julian K.

 
Julian K.

Julian is a kind, gentle and compassionate boy.  He is a good friend to all of his classmates.  During snack and lunch times, he often has an entourage of classmates who want to sit with him.  He is very thoughtful and makes it a point to spend time with everyone.  One of our 4 ½ year old girls wrote a story about Julian, writing “He is the big friend.” .  Watching Julian this year, it is clear that he was born to be a graduate.  We have seen him take our younger students under his wing.  He is particularly sensitive to those who may be struggling.  He has been patiently and gently guiding them both in the classroom and out in the playground.  Julian has always been the strong, silent type, even as a young child.  When you get to know him a little better, you will discover that he has a very dry sense of humour that keeps all of us laughing.  In the classroom, Julian is quiet, steady and dependable.  Outside he is lively and energetic, often running and daring his classmates to catch him.  They never do, but oh the fun they have trying! 



September 2014 - Julian (right) with his big brother (June 2015 graduate).


Lindsay


Lindsay

We have watched Lindsay grow up before our very eyes and have memories of her learning to walk and talk. One Halloween, two year old Lindsay accompanied her brother to school dressed up as a Disney princess.  She marched right into the classroom as if she belonged and sat herself down in the centre of the fun. When 2 ½ year old Lindsay joined the half day class in January 2014, all of her classmates knew her because she had been joining them out on the playground at pick up time.  She was so happy to be with her big brother!  They were fortunate to spend a year and a half together before her brother graduated. During the 2015 – 2016 school year, Lindsay joined the full day class.  It was a seamless fit.  As a graduate, Lindsay has blossomed into a confident and poised girl who loves to learn.  She is very gentle, kind and compassionate.  She is always ready to help or comfort one of her classmates, particularly the younger children.  Her classmates are drawn to her lovely nature and she is everyone’s honorary big sister.  She is often chosen for the lunch table or a birthday table.  Earlier in the year, one of her younger classmates remarked “Lindsay is the best girl in the whole school.”  When asked why she felt this way, she responded “Because she is nice and always helps me.”  

September 2014 - Lindsay with her big brother (June 2015 graduate) and friends.


Sofia


Sofia

Right from the start, Sofia has been an exuberant girl with a wonderful enthusiasm and zest for life.   It is present in everything that she does.  At school, her classmates are drawn to her fun-loving personality and she is usually at the centre of our classroom happenings.  She has relished her role as a graduate and we have seen blossoming leadership qualities in her this year.  She is always ready to lend a hand to her younger classmates.  All of the girls want to work with Sofia or sit with her. Throughout her time with us, Sofia has demonstrated that she is a natural born performer.  She has a flair for dancing, singing and performing.  Perhaps we will see her on the stage one day.  In the classroom, she often sings the latest songs as she works, or dances as she moves from one place to another.  She has amazing dance moves!  Sofia is also always ready to strike a pose for the camera.  During our Friday music classes, Mrs. Lepik often depends on Sofia to lead the songs and demonstrate the accompanying actions.  Outside on the playground, Sofia will often gather the girls and plan singing and dancing concerts for the teachers.  Her friends really love this.  In addition to her creative strengths, Sofia is a very skilled hockey player.  She loves playing hockey, particularly because her older sister also plays.  What a coincidence that Sofia and her dad share the same favourite hockey team, the Philadelphia Flyers.  


October 2014 - Sofia during Music class.



Oh, the places you'll go!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

~ Dr. Seuss



Congratulations Graduates
 
You Made It!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

From Humble Beginnings ~ Planting Sunflower Seeds

At the beginning of May, the children at our little yellow school planted sunflower seeds.









We did the planting on our bench that converts into a table. It was given to us by the graduating class of 2016.  It seemed appropriate to use the bench given the quote on the plaque.

The plaque on the convertible bench.

Inside each seed we planted was the possibility of a new plant. To help our seeds grow, we placed our seed pots in a sunny location, watered them and watched for signs of growth.


Day 1 ~ No signs of growth.

Day 2 ~ No signs of growth.

Days 3 and 4 were weekend days.  By days 5, 6, and 7,  there were signs that our seeds had germinated!

Day 5 ~ Something green is pushing up out of the soil.

Day 6

Day 6 ~ Our seeds have germinated.

Day 7

Day 7 ~ The plants are getting taller.

By day 8, the growing plants had pushed off their seed coats and leaves had emerged.  They were now seedlings.
Day 8 ~ Examining our Seedlings

Day 9 ~ Leaves have emerged.

Days 10 and 11 were weekend days.  Look what we found on day 12!



The children took their seedlings home on day 12.  


Day 12 ~ Our seedlings are ready to go home.


We're taking our sunflower seedlings home today!

Many of the children will be planting their seedlings in their gardens this May long weekend.



Advice From a Sunflower

Be bright, sunny and positive.

Spread seeds of happiness.

Rise, shine and hold your head high.