Friday, 22 December 2017

A Visit and A Letter From Santa! ~ Part 2

Earlier this week, Santa came to visit the children at our little yellow school.  It was so nice of him to take time out of his busy schedule to visit.  We treasure our time with him.  Santa left us with a beautiful basket of cookies baked with love by Mrs. Claus and the elves.

A Basket of Cookies From the North Pole

He also gave us this.  What could it be?

A North Pole Mystery

We unrolled it and discovered that it was a letter from Santa!  

A Letter From Santa!

Here is the letter.

Dear Children,

How are things at The Children’s Montessori Academy?  It is always nice to visit your little yellow school and to see all of you.  Mrs. Claus says hello.  She is busy baking cookies and keeping a close eye on the elves.  Why just last night the elves sprinkled flour all over the kitchen floor and started making snow angels in it!  What a mess!  I love those elves but they can be such rascals!

Thank you for your lovely letters.  I read them to Mrs. Claus, the elves, Rudolph and all the reindeer.  Your printing and drawings were so beautiful!   Thank you for telling me such interesting things and for all your great questions.  I’ve got some answers for you.

Alexander asked ~ What time do you go to bed?  I try to be in bed by 8:00 if I don’t fall asleep before that in my favourite chair in front of the fire.  Mrs. Claus always brings me some hot chocolate with marshmallows before bedtime. 

Josslyn asked ~ What is your favourite movie?  Mrs. Claus and I enjoy watching Frosty the Snowman.

Olivia M. asked ~ What is your favourite colour?  Red, always red.

Michael asked ~ Is there snow at the North Pole?   Yes, Michael, we have lots of snow!  It is here all year.  Mrs. Claus and I enjoy taking sleigh rides in the snow with a little hot chocolate and cookies!

Christian asked ~ What are the elves doing?  Right now they spend most of their time in the workshop making toys.  Christmas is coming soon!

Elizabeth asked ~ Do the elves make snowmen?  Once they finish making toys, the elves enjoy making snowmen and having snowball fights.  I join in too sometimes.  It is a lot of fun!

Hashini asked ~ Which elf is your favourite?  I don’t have a favourite, I love them all.  I don’t know what I would do without them.

Now the food questions.  I love food!  Unfortunately, after Christmas Mrs. Claus is putting me on a diet.

Charlize and Jordan asked ~ Which cookies do you like?  Chocolate chip are my favourite.  The very best ones are the ones that children like you make for me to eat on Christmas Eve.

Maddy asked ~ What do you like to eat?  When I’m not eating milk and cookies, I love to eat pepperoni pizza!

Maria asked ~ What does Rudolph like to eat?  Rudolph and the reindeer like to eat carrots.  They also enjoy mushrooms and apples.

Last, but not least, Beatrice asked ~ Do you go on vacation to Florida?  Mrs. Claus and I are flying to Florida right after Christmas!  We have rented a cottage on the beach.  Maybe I will see some of you there.  I will be the one in the red bathing suit!

I hear Mrs. Claus calling, I had better go.  Please continue to work hard and to be kind to one another.  Your caring school family is what makes the little yellow school such a special place.

Have a very Merry Christmas!


As mentioned in a previous blog post, the children wrote letters to Santa.  Although we received a lovely response from Canada Post, I decided to write our own response to the children incorporating the questions they had asked Santa.  It made it a more personal experience.  The children were thrilled at Santa's answers to their questions.  The smiles on their faces and the giggles and laughs at Santa's answers were priceless!  We can't believe that Santa likes pepperoni pizza!  We also can't imagine him in a red bathing suit!  Oh my goodness those elves and the things they get up to!  They really are rascals.

Thank you for the letter, Santa!  

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a very Happy Holiday!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

A Visit and A Letter From Santa! ~ Part 1

Earlier this week, Santa paid us a surprise visit during Music class!  Do you know that Santa has been stopping by our little yellow school since 1999!

It's Santa!

The children were all so excited to see him! 

Santa enjoys music and stayed for our a little of our Music class.  He joined in the singing and dancing.  Santa is quite a good dancer!

After our singing and dancing, Santa wanted to spend a little time talking with us.   Santa and the children had so much so say to one another!  Many children asked about Mrs. Claus and the elves.  They are all doing fine and are very busy at the North Pole.  The reindeer were in the forest next door during our visit.

Spending Time With Santa

Santa so enjoyed his visit at our little yellow school.  We feel so very fortunate that he takes the time to stop by our school every year.  It was so hard to say good bye to Santa.

Time to Go

Saying Good Bye

Before he left, he gave us a beautiful basket of cookies baked with love by Mrs. Claus and the elves.

Thank you Santa, Mrs. Claus and all the elves.  They look delicious!

 He also gave us this.  What could it be?

From Santa

Monday, 4 December 2017

Dear Santa .....

As a kick-off to our holiday celebrations, the children at our little yellow school have been writing letters to Santa.  Our students will be visiting Santa at the mall with their families to let him know what they want for Christmas.  As Santa's time during mall visits is always so limited, the letters were an opportunity for the children to tell or ask Santa something.  Many children wanted to really get to know the man behind the red suit.  Just who is Santa and what makes him tick?

Our older students wrote their own letters while template letters were filled out with our younger students.  Here are the precious letters. (You can click on the images to make them larger.)

Dear Santa ~ Letters With Something to Tell

I am five years old.  At school I like to print letters.  I like to swim.

I am five years old.  I love to play games.  I love doing work.

I am five years old.  My favourite friend is Elizabeth.

I didn't put up my stockings yet.

I have three brothers.  I am five years old.

I am excited to make cookies for you to eat!

I love you.

I am getting ready to decorate my Christmas tree.  You will love it!

I love you so much!  I will make chocolate cookies for you!

Dear Santa ~ Questions For Santa

Do the elves make snowmen?  How are you all doing with Mrs. Claus?

What's your favourite colour?

What is your favourite movie?

What time do you go to bed?
What does Rudolph like to eat?

You are so great.  Which elf is your favourite?

What do you like to eat?

How are the elves doing?  How are you and Mrs. Claus?

Do you go on vacation to Florida?

Is there snow at the North Pole?

What are the elves doing?

Which cookies do you like?  I love you Santa.  You are the best.

The Santa Letter-writing program is run by Canada Post.  Santa's volunteer elves will respond to the children with one poster letter for each class.  The letter will include each child's name.  It is such a lovely program and a very simple introduction to letter writing. 

Our letters are now on their way to the North Pole! We are looking forward to receiving a reply.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Autumn ~ Exploring the Gifts of Nature

In our little corner of the world, we have been enjoying a prolonged autumn.  At this time of the year, it is not unusual for us to have lots of snow on the ground.  At our little yellow school ~ with two grassy playgrounds, towering pine trees, separate flower and vegetable gardens all set on half an acre of land ~ our students have had the opportunity to fully enjoy the gifts of nature that this gloriously mild autumn has brought.  Here are some of them.

Vegetable Harvest

Our autumn journey began with our vegetable harvest.  The children planted carrots, pumpkins and potatoes in the spring.  While the pumpkins were eaten by our animal friends, the carrots and potatoes did very well.

Examining the Parts of a Potato Plant

Digging Potatoes

Pulling a Carrot

The Harvest


We learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin in our back garden and in our classrooms.  We also discovered the parts of a pumpkin.

Life Cycle of a Pumpkin

Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Book

The Parts of a Pumpkin

Using our senses to explore a pumpkin.

What does a pumpkin smell like?

The children are feeling the inside of a pumpkin.
The Parts of a Pumpkin

Our pumpkins are now in our back garden.  We are watching them decompose.  They will add nutrients to the soil in our vegetable garden.

Our Decomposing Pumpkins

Deciduous and Coniferous (Evergreen) Trees

We are learning about the difference between deciduous and coniferous trees.  Our maple trees are deciduous trees, while our towering pines are coniferous (evergreen) trees.

Decorating with the Leaves

Our Towering Pines (Coniferous Trees)

Our Animal Friends

Our animal friends are preparing for the winter.  The little squirrels are knocking down pine cones from our coniferous pine trees and storing them for the winter. 

The squirrels are busy collecting pine cones.

Once all the leaves had fallen off one of our maples, we noticed something on one of the branches.

What is that?

It's an apple!

The Pileated Woodpecker Returns

On our walk up to our second playground, we noticed something at the base of one of our pine trees.  They were wood chips.  

Wood Chips

Wood Chips

 We looked way up and we saw some fresh holes in our tree.

Can you see the fresh holes?

That can only mean one thing.  Our pileated woodpecker is back!  Although we haven't seen him yet, the fresh holes tell us that it won't be long until we do.  Every three to four years, a pileated woodpecker has taken up residence on our property.  The last time we saw him was January 2014 so we are due for another visit.  Here are some photos from that time.
January 2014
January 2014

January 2014 - Watching the Woodpecker

Our open outdoor classroom also encourages gross motor skills, observation, and sorting activities.  The natural environment enables us to flutter with the butterflies, watch an earthworm crawl, hop with the frogs, collect twigs, pebbles and pine cones all the while listening to the sounds of the birds.  We are never happier than when we are basking in the glow of nature's wonders.

Why is an outdoor environment so important in Montessori education?  Since the beginning of her work over one hundred years ago, a basic tenet of Montessori's psychology and curriculum for children is the universal need for attachment to nature and the subsequent personality integration that evolves from outdoor activity.  Dr. Montessori believed that Montessori education is not just what happens inside.  She placed a heavy emphasis on nature and the outdoor environment.  The outdoor environment should be an extension of the indoor environment providing children with real experiences in nature.  Our little yellow school could not provide a complete Montessori education without our natural and expansive outdoor environment. It is invaluable.

The land is where our roots are.  The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.

~ Maria Montessori