Thursday, 29 December 2016

A Hanukkah Presentation

Before our December break, our classrooms were looking particularly festive.  This year is very unique in that Hanukkah and Christmas fall on the same day.  Our classrooms had both a menorah and a Christmas tree to help us get into the holiday spirit.  Over the past few years (perhaps seven), Mrs. M. has given a Hanukkah presentation to the children.  First as a parent, and then as one of the teachers at our little yellow school.  This year, her daughter L. decided she would like to give the presentation.  L. is one of this year's graduates.  Everyone was excited about L.'s presentation.

L. began by telling us a little bit about the story of Hanukkah.

She brought in a book to read.  The book told us the story of  evil King Antiochus of Syria and Judah Maccabee and the Maccabees.   King Antiochus wanted the people of Israel to believe in his gods and began converting their temples, including the most beautiful temple in Jerusalem. 

L. Reading the Story of Hanukkah

A brave and strong man named Judah Maccabee did not want to do this.  He formed an army and fought the king's men and won.  When they went to see their beautiful temple, it was in a shambles.  They only found enough oil to last for one night.  The oil they found burned for eight days and eight nights.   It was a miracle!  That is why Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days and eight nights.  L. brought in her own personal menorah to show her classmates.

L. brought in some fancy dreidels and explained the dreidel game.  She also sang a Hanukkah song for us.

At the end of her presentation, L. took questions from the audience.

After the question period, L. invited everyone up to take a closer look at the items she had brought.

L. brought in dreidels and chocolate gelt for her classmates to take home.  Thank you L.  Your presentation was beautiful!

Note:  Presentations such as these occur often in a Montessori environment.  Those unfamiliar with the Montessori Method of education may be wondering how it is possible for young children to display such self-confidence and respect for one another.  Put simply, the Montessori environment with the Montessori materials and simple rules that everyone must follow, is very effective at helping children develop confidence in their abilities and the realization that they share the world and must respect everyone's rights.  While most people associate Montessori education with strong academic skills, it is the more subtle lessons learned ~ such as respect for one another, perseverance and self-regulation ~ that provide Montessori students with the tools needed to be successful in the world.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Jingle Bells ~ A Visit From Santa!

During our last week of school before the holidays, the children were all enjoying Music class. Mrs. L. had brought some drums and we were having fun singing some of our favourite holiday songs.

M. playing the drums.

Suddenly, we all stopped.  We heard some bells. That's funny, we weren't using any bells.  Who could be ringing those bells?

It was SANTA!  He had come for a short visit! We were all so surprised and excited to see him!

We all gathered around Santa.  We had so much to say to him!

After our lovely talk, Santa wanted to sing some songs with us. He is such a good singer!


Unfortunately, Santa had to leave.  With just a few days before Christmas, there was so much to do.  We took a lovely group picture with Santa and then it was time to say our goodbyes.


Santa had one more surprise for us.  That morning, Mrs. P. and five year old J. had found a beautiful basket waiting at the entrance to our little yellow school.  We were not to look inside until all the children were together at school.

The Beautiful Basket

A Mysterious Note

When we were all together, we read the note.  It was from Mrs. Claus!

Here is what Mrs. Claus had to say.  (You can click on the image to make it larger.

The basket was filled with cookies!

Thank you Santa and Mrs. Claus for thinking of us and for recognizing that our little yellow school is a very special place.  We hope you both have a wonderful holiday!

Friday, 16 December 2016

Food Drive 2016

At the beginning of December, we held our annual Food Drive for a local food pantry.  Our school community looks forward to this event every year.  Although our students are young - three, four and five year olds - they are able to understand why we are collecting this food. 

As they bring in their food donation and place it on the classroom collection tables, they are happy and excited to be helping others.  

At the end of the week, we gather all of the food collected.

The children place the food around our circle time line to see how much we have collected.

The children are always so happy to see how much we have collected.

This small act of kindness helps so many people and connects us to the larger community outside of our little yellow school. Everyone, no matter how young or old, can make a difference in the lives of others.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Remembrance Day 2016

Last November, we started a new Remembrance Day tradition at our little yellow school.  To commemorate Remembrance Day, the children make handmade Valentine cards for our country's Veterans.  The cards are distributed by Veterans Affairs Canada on Valentine's Day to Veterans in long-term care facilities.  The Valentines remind Veterans of our gratitude for their sacrifices and achievements in serving our country.

On Remembrance Day this year, one of our graduates told everyone that we must make Valentines for the soldiers who fought in the war.  It warmed my heart to hear I. and her fellow graduates tell the younger children about this new tradition.
Five Year Old I. With Her Valentine

Last year we put a little poem in our cards.  This year, we asked the children if there was something they wanted to tell the Veterans.  Their genuine and heart-felt words brought tears to our eyes.  Here are some of their messages.  

Five Year Old J.

I feel bad about what happened in the war and I am glad that you are safe.  - Five Year Old J.

Four Year Old M.

Thank you for being brave.  -  Four Year Old M.

Four Year Old A.

Thank you.  You were so strong to fight in the war.  -  Four Year Old A.

Four Year Old E.

Thank you for letting us have our own space.  -  Four Year Old E.

Four Year Old J.

Thank you for fighting so I can have so much fun in my life.  -  Four Year Old J.

Four Year Old O.

Thank you for making the whole world safe.  -  Four Year Old O.

Thank you to our Veterans and to those who continue to serve and protect.  We hope these Valentine cards bring you joy this Valentine's Day and remind you that we are thinking about you.

Remembrance Day 2016 - Lest We Forget