GMS takes this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy New year!

Our Senior Elementary students enjoyed a day of Skiing at Ski Vorlage this week. The weather and ski conditions were perfect and the students had a very enjoyable day. Two more ski-days are planned for January and February!

The Museum of Science and Technology will welcome our Senior Elementary and Casa students over the next few weeks. Senior Elementary students look forward to creating a complex chain-reaction machine, using familiar materials in unusual ways and casa children will discover how daily and seasonal cycles of the earth affect everyday life.

The junior elementary students’ field trip will take them to Ottawa’s beautiful National Art Gallery. Students will explore Inuit prints, and printmaking, as they prepare to create their own printing plates and prints in the studio.

Parents will enjoy a coffee or tea and treats when they browse through the many wonderful books on display at the GMS Scholastic Book Fair Café next month. Proceeds will go toward purchasing books for the classes.

Winter is here and GMS is bustling with activity!

By Savka E. Wisecup, Glebe Montessori School’s Educational Consultant

The Montessori Method has been in existence for over 100 years, with schools located all over the world. This educational system was founded by Dr. Maria Montessori, a medical doctor, who studied and researched the physical, intellectual and emotional development of children. Her studies and observations gave new light on how to teach and educate children.

Yet, the Montessori method is still questioned and misunderstood!

• What is the Montessori Method?

• How can children learn in an open classroom?

• Why are children of different ages in one classroom?

• How can children progress academically when selecting their own work?

The Montessori Method is based on several principles which Dr. Montessori established as her educational philosophy. These principles include the importance of the prepared environment (the classroom and materials), honoring and respecting each child’s uniqueness, allowing children to progress at their own pace, and promoting independence.

The Montessori classroom is a well-prepared learning environment. The teachers serve as guides, providing information and feedback to ensure the academic and personal success of each student. The materials are educational, sequential, self- correcting and thoroughly captivating. Dr. Montessori developed these specific materials to respond to the many stages of a child’s mental and physical development. All the materials are designed to be presented in sequential order; when the child masters a skill, the next lesson and material is presented. Very young children start with Montessori Practical Life activities that teach them to take care of themselves and their environment. These lessons develop coordination, concentration, and a sense of order. The Montessori Sensorial materials are designed to develop the senses, such as discriminating colour, size, texture, shapes, scents and sounds. The Geometry cabinet is an example of a sensorial material. The Montessori math and language materials give the child concrete, hands-on, experiences to gain a comprehensive understanding of these subjects and of abstract concepts. Geography, music, world culture, art, history, yoga, science, foreign languages, science and technology are all included in the Montessori curriculum, starting from preschool through elementary. It is no wonder that Montessori students gain a strong academic foundation in their early years, which translates into advanced academic standing in later years.

Why are children of different ages grouped together? Each Montessori classroom has children of 3 different ages. Older children reinforce their skills as they serve as mentors, and younger children accelerate their learning through observing and interacting with their older classmates.

“There is a great sense of community within the Montessori classroom, where children of differing ages work together in an atmosphere of cooperation rather than competitiveness There is respect for the environment and for the individuals within it, which comes through experience of freedom within the community.” Dr. Maria Montessori

How can children accelerate when they choose their own activities and work at their own pace? Children naturally love to learn. When offering an enriched environment and curriculum, children are eager to explore and meet new challenges, under the guidance of their teachers. Dr. Montessori respected differing learning styles and created materials to address these differences, which enables each child to succeed and advance. A child who is strong in a particular subject should not have to follow the pace of a peer who may need extra support. For this reason, the curriculum and lessons are highly individualized, responding to the needs and uniqueness of each child.

The development and growth of independence are highly encouraged and supported in the Montessori classroom. Independence goes hand in hand with self-confidence. It is important to offer students the opportunity to make choices while selecting work, and take responsibility to reach their goals, with the teacher’s assistance. “Help me do it myself!”

“The essence of independence is to be able is to do something for one’s self. Adults work to finish a task, but the child works in order to grow, and is working to create the adult, the person that is to be. Such experience is not just play…. it is the work he must do in order to grow up.” Dr. Maria Montessori

Based on the principles of Dr. Maria Montessori, this methodology continues to successfully educate children world-wide, by nurturing, supporting and honoring each and every child. “If education recognizes the intrinsic value of the child’s personality and provides an environment suited to spiritual growth, we have the revelation of an entirely new child whose astonishing characteristics can eventually contribute to the betterment of the world.” Dr.Maria Montessori

To learn more about the Montessori Method, we invite you to attend Glebe Montessori School’s Information Evening at 6:00 pm, Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 at Glebe Montessori School, 650 Lyon St. South, in the Glebe.

The next two months will be filled with many events for our GMS Community. GMS families will enjoy seasonal concert performances, workshops, field trips and more.

Remembrance

November will once again be a time of remembrance and learning of the great sacrifices made by others. Mr. Pollowin a decorated veteran will visit our elementary students as he has done for many years. Mr. Pollowin has become a GMS treasure and our students cherish his yearly visits.

Music Performance

GMS Music teacher, soprano Ania Hejnar will perform some beautiful opera highlights for the students in November. She will be accompanied by Jean-Hee Lee on violin, Desiree Abbey on cello and Judith Ginsburg on piano. A wonderful opportunity for our students to enjoy Ania’s beautiful voice accompanied by violin, cello and piano. The performance will be followed by a  Q & A.

Toddler Holiday Breakfast

The festive Month of December starts with the Holiday Breakfast for the toddlers and their parents. Toddlers will be busy baking and making crafts for this very special event.

Gingerbread Social

December also brings us our “Gingerbread Social”, an event enjoyed by all!

Winter Concert

Casa children look forward to performing festive songs, skits and dances in front of their families during our annual Winter Concert in December. Elementary students are already busy practising for their roles in the musical production of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen!

Senior students will visit the Glebe Centre to perform a medley of their musical songs in December.

GMS takes this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season!

Written by: Savka E. Wisecup, Montessori Educational Consultant, Glebe Montessori School

“We should realize that if a child has learned to speak, he has a language and a way to express his personality. He has created from nothing, a way to let others know him as a person. Reading and writing are no more difficult to acquire than speaking is, since they are also ways to communicate. It is the adult who makes learning to read and write difficult when he or she approaches the two as subjects to be conquered, rather than discoveries to be made.” [Dr. Maria Montessori]

The Preschool Montessori Language curriculum is uniquely designed for children to discover the art and joy of reading. Examples of Montessori language materials and activities used for reading preparation include the sandpaper letters, movable alphabet, matching and classification lessons, sound & letter recognition games, word building materials, and much more. These progressive language lessons and materials build a solid language foundation, support vocabulary enrichment, expand imagination and knowledge, improve communication and listening skills, develop critical thinking skills and increase memory. The goal of the Montessori language curriculum is not only to help children attain high level reading skills, but most important, to experience a love of reading.

Scientists and educators have reminded us over and over again about the benefits of reading. “Individuals who read regularly across their lifespan showed increased mental capacity as they aged.” [www. neurology.org/content] “One study found a positive association between cognitive based activities, such as reading, and a decreased chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Just like the heart, the brain is a muscle that needs to be taken care of in order to function at its fullest capacity throughout our lifetimes.” [https://usatoday30.usatoday.com]

Our society and life style are focused on social media, television, smart phones and constant distractions that fill time and space. These distractions should not override making it a priority to read on a daily basis. This is especially true for our children.

Roald Dahl’s poem “Television” offers us expert advice: “So please, oh please, we beg, we pray go throw your TV set away and in its place, you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall.”

Reading can easily be made into a habit. At Glebe Montessori School, we start the reading habit in our toddler classrooms. A study conducted by Ohio State University, published April 4, 2019 in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics showed that “young children, whose parents read 5 books a day to them, will enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to… This ‘million word gap’ could be one of the keys in explaining differences in vocabulary and reading development.” We encourage parents to start reading to their child from birth. Assist preschool children in selecting books, reread books to them as repetition builds vocabulary, initiate discussions and ask questions. Reverse roles while reading together so your young child gains confidence in reading aloud. Above all, foster a love of reading. “Our care of children should be governed, not by the desire to ‘make them learn things,’ but by the endeavor to always keep burning within them the light which is called intelligence.” [Dr. Maria Montessori]

We invite you to join us at Glebe Montessori School Visitors’ Information Night on November 12 from 6 -7 pm, at 650 Lyon St. South, to learn more about the Montessori Language curricula in our Toddler, Preschool and Elementary Grades 1 to 6 classrooms.

Fall Events at GMS!

The beginning of the school year at GMS is one filled with exciting events for our GMS community.

Fall Barbeque

Our annual fall barbeque was an opportunity for old and new friends to connect. The children participated in various activities and all enjoyed the delicious barbeque dinner.

MacSkimming Education Centre

The first field trip of the year takes our Senior Elementary students to MacSkimming Education Centre where they will participate in team building exercises.

Experimental Farm

Junior Elementary students will learn the importance of bee pollination in our environment and Casa children will harvest pumpkins and enjoy the telling of Mohawk legends during their field trips to the Experimental Farm this fall.

A great start to another exciting year at GMS!

Our students enjoyed a wonderful spring at GMS!

  • In May, Casa students participated in a circus-themed adventure, in which comedy, acrobatics and juggling came together to the rhythm of live music, at the Ottawa Children’s Festival.
  • Springtime was welcomed by all our families with our annual GMS Plant-a-thon! Students decorated the school’s flower beds with a vast array of colourful annuals, and a sizeable garden bed was prepared for planting vegetables to be donated to the Food Bank.
  • GMS students were thrilled to view the Da Vinci exhibit at the Museum of Science & Technology, featuring 200 unique displays of machine inventions and reproductions of Renaissance art.
  • Overnight Space Camp for our senior elementary class was a great success! This unique educational program was designed to stimulate interest in Space Science.
  • GMS families attended the annual spring GMS Open House, highlighting an Academic & Arts Fair. All our students participated. Casa students showcased beautiful art creations. Junior Elementary students researched and gave impressive presentations on specific biomes. Senior students captivated their audience with space related themes and displays.
  • Our graduating senior elementary students were celebrated by their classmates, teachers and parents on Tuesday, June 18th. Our congratulations to all our graduates!