Sunday, 29 December 2013

Our Little Yellow School and The Ice Storm

What a start to the Christmas holidays this year!  School ended on December 19 with our big holiday party. On Saturday night, December 21, an ice storm knocked out power to much of our corner of the world. Our little yellow school was no exception.  It lost power on Saturday night and did not regain power until the early hours of Tuesday morning, approximately 2 1/2 days later. Power to the building fluctuated over the days that followed and has now stabilized. Everything at school is fine.  The only casualties were our classroom fish.  

Here are some pictures taken at the school on Sunday morning. It was so beautiful and peaceful.  The pictures do not do it justice.

This is the back of our school near the main entrance.  Can you see all the icicles?

Here is a close up of the icicles.  They were so lovely!
Here is another picture of the icicles.

Here is the little house in the playground closest to the school.  Behind it is the forest.

We were very worried about the multitude of trees on our property.  Fortunately, our trees had been trimmed this summer so they were in great shape to withstand the storm. They all survived with minimal damage.

Although it isn't pretty to look at right now, this tree provides one of our playgrounds with wonderful shade.

Here is a view of some branches with a few of our pines in the background.
Our towering pines remained tall and strong.

The pines were covered with ice.

This is as close as I could get to our second playground.  The bent maple tree has since sprung back.

The parking lot would have made a fantastic skating rink!  It is about the same size as a rink too.

We hope that our students and their families did not suffer too much through the storm.  We look forward to seeing you all in the new year!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Santa Claus is Coming To Town ~ Our Holiday Party

Our annual holiday party was held on our last school day in December.  Our little yellow school was positively bursting with all the happiness contained within it. 
Two Lovely Ladies

Our party usually begins with the children handing out treats to their classmates.

The Full Day Class

The Half Day Class

Just as we were about to sit down for our holiday snack, guess what we heard?  Jingle bells!  Who could be making that sound?  Santa!

Santa is here!

The children were very happy to see Santa.  They had so much to say to him.

Sadly Santa could not stay for the whole party.  He had a lot to do at the North Pole.  The children looked out the window as Santa went into the forest to get Rudolph and the other reindeer. 

Good-bye Santa.

Looking out the window for Santa and his reindeer.

While most children couldn't really see anything, the little boy in the red and white striped shirt saw Rudolph, Donder and Blitzen!  Amazing!

After Santa's visit we all sat down and had our party food.

We had a wonderful time at our party.  Thank you to all the parents who helped to make it such a success.  Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

If I had a shiny, red nose like Rudolph, I would... ~ Stories by the Children

The children who are using the Printed (Story) Alphabet were invited to write an ending to a Christmas story.

Story Starter ~ If I had a shiny, red nose like Rudolph, I would...

The children were excited to do this work as they have never done anything like this before.  There was much discussion as they each contemplated how their stories would take shape.

Once a child had decided upon an idea, they worked with the Printed (Story) Alphabet.  Here is one story ending in progress.  (You can click on any of the images to make them larger.)

They then wrote their ending on the story starter paper and decorated it.  Here are some of the stories they wrote. 

If I had a shiny, red nose like Rudolph, I would... Santa just like an elf.  I could help Santa drive the sleigh.

...visit Santa to show him my nose.  He will say it is lovely!

...ask Santa why Rudolph has a shiny nose.  It is not like the other reindeer. Rudolph the Reindeer.  I wish a lot of reindeer would come to my house.

...go visit Santa.  He would say I like your shiny nose.  I would say let's go to the park.

The children shared their stories with their classmates.  We all enjoyed listening to them.  The stories are wonderful!

Monday, 16 December 2013

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like The Holidays

The holidays have arrived at our little yellow school!

At the end of November we celebrated Hanukkah.  One of the parents in our school community came in to tell us a little more about this special holiday.  Her presentation was absolutely lovely and the children enjoyed it.  It just so happens that she is also a Montessori teacher.

Lighting the Classroom Menorah

E. brought in his menorah from home to show the children.

This is E.'s beautiful menorah.

The children are spinning like dreidels.

During the first week of December we held our annual Food Drive.  Thank you to our families for their generosity this year.  The Food Bank was extremely happy to receive our donation.

The children helped to gather the food collected.

Here are the children with some of the food collected.

Last week we decorated our classroom Christmas trees. They look so beautiful!

The Full Day Classroom Tree

The Half Day Classroom Tree

Our presents for our parents are done.  They are nestled safely within the Rudolph bags.  One child said "It is a craft inside a craft!"  He is so right.

The present for our parents is inside these bags.

Thursday is our last day before the holidays and we are having our annual holiday party.  Guess who's coming? Santa!

There is an excitement and an energy in our classrooms. Right now the only thing the teachers can do is:

Isn't it wonderful to be a child during the holidays?

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Keeping a Straight Face ~ The Things The Children Say

Our days with the children at our little yellow school are far from dull.  No two days are alike.  Each day is filled with moments that range from funny to special moments that are simply unforgettable.  The following are some of the funny things the children have said that make it hard for us to keep a straight face.

Three year old M. is the brother of one of this year's graduates.  Older brother D. will be graduating from our school in June and entering grade one.  M. wants to be just like his brother.

One day I was in the half day class and M. comes close to me and starts tugging on my sweater.  He looks up at me and says "I''m a gladulate!"  (He means graduate.)  He was so proud.

A. celebrated her birthday in the Fall.  Weeks before her birthday, A. was explaining how old she was to me.

A.:             On my birthday I will turn five.  Right now I am
                  four and nine quarters.

Mrs. P.:     Are you really four and nine quarters?  Are you
                    sure you aren't four and three quarters?

A.:              I'm sure.  I'm four and nine quarters.

Three year old K. is new to our school.  English is her second language.  Her parents were asking her about school and this is what K. had to say.

K.'s Parents:    Do you understand the teachers at school?

K.:                      Yes.

K.'s Parents:     How do they speak to you?

K.:                      They speak to me in Chinese!

Needless to say, none of the teachers at school know how to speak Chinese beyond Happy New Year - Gung Hay Fat Choy.

In the full day class one of our oldest students, Z., has really been taking her role as an older student seriously.  She is like a mother hen to all of the young students who began with us in September.  She particularly likes M. and tries her best to keep him focused and working in the classroom.  This is what Z. had to say about three year old M.

Z.:             M. is so cute but sometimes he can be silly.

(Note:  Silly can cover a myriad of behaviours from running in the classroom to being funny.)

Mrs. P.:     M. is new here and one of the youngest children. 
                   He is doing very well at school.

Z.:              Yes, but it is so hard to concentrate him!

Three and a half year old M. went to visit her mother's school.  Her mother is a teacher who teaches upper elementary students.  The day after her visit I asked M. how it was.

M.:              You know, at my mom's school they think I am

Mrs. P.:      Yes, I can imagine that they do.  You know, when
                     I see you here at our school, I think you are so

M.:                I know!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Remembrance Day ~ Lest We Forget

Last week we made poppies to wear on Remembrance Day.  

The majority of us at our little yellow school have never experienced war.  We do have families whose grandparents or great grandparents served their countries in WWI and WWII.  Although it may be difficult for us here in Canada to believe, war and civil unrest are happening around the world right now.  Even when a war is officially over, its effects continue to be felt. WWII ended nearly 70 years ago, yet unearthed explosives continue to be a danger in many European countries including Germany, Italy and England.

Today, Remembrance Day, we take time to remember the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace.

Some of the Canadian graves at the Cassino War Cemetery in Cassino, Italy.

When talking about Remembrance Day with our preschoolers, it was important to be sensitive about the information imparted because they may not be emotionally or developmentally ready to grasp it. 

One thing our students are very familiar with is the concept of peace.  Peace is part of our daily lives in the classrooms. Montessori classrooms are peaceful places where children of different backgrounds and ages come together to work, learn and play. We are a community who care for one another and graciously help one another to be the best that we can be. Peace begins with each one of us.   


Poppy we are but children small.
We are too little to do it all.

Children you may do your part.
Love each other is how you start.

Play without fighting.

Share your work and toys.

Be kind and thoughtful,

To all girls and boys.