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November 9th, 2014

In this issue

  1. Raising Children with Healthy Body Images
  2. Making  MJDS an Even Better School
  3. Jewish Day School Sports League
  4. Middle School and Upper Elementary Sports Update
  5. On Being a Montessori Parent
  6. Calendar Reminders


Raising Children with Healthy Body Images


Many of us likely struggled with our body images at one point in our lives, even if we didn't need to; our children do not have to suffer through the same emotional and physical stress that comes with trying to meet a particular body image or accept one's own.  Helping children develop healthier ideas about body images  is always important - it is also a fitting discussion for this, our year of Sports and Health.  Let's start you off with this excerpt from Emily Plank's article entitled 4 Strategies for Raising Children with Healthy Body Images: from Abundant Life Children.


I looked through stacks of old photo albums before we moved and I discovered something.  I used to be skinnier.  Also, I was so cute!  What strikes me as I look through old photo albums is that I never felt cute or felt skinny at the time.  I was always dissatisfied and wished I could change any number of things about the way I looked.


If I could go back and tell the younger me one thing, I would give myself permission to feel joyful in my skin.  I wasted so much time coveting the bodies of the models in Seventeen or feeling ashamed of some part of my body.  I wish I had the gift of perspective that would have allowed me to be easier on myself.


Because of my recent revelation, I've been thinking about the mindsets I want to cultivate in my children.  I want my children to feel good in their skin, however they look.  I want them to say Yes! to swim parties without worrying about what they look like in a bathing suit.  I want them to deeply love themselves, not in spite of their bodies or even because of their bodies, but because they are comfortable being who they are.

Read more here.



Making MJDS and Even Better School



At MJDS we know how important it is to provide our faculty with Professional Development opportunities so that they in turn can provide your children with an excellent education. Recently of us attended the CCMA (Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators) conference featuring two wonderful speakers: Amy Kelton and Dr. Marc Frankel.


Amy Kelton is the Assistant Head of Instruction for the Lower and Upper Elementary programs at The Shelton School and Evaluation Center in Dallas, TX. She presented two workshops; Helping At-Risk and Learning-Different Students in a Montessori Classroom, and Organizing the Disorganized Child. Here is what one teacher took away from her day with Amy Kelton.


One of my favourite parts of any Professional Development day is the atmosphere that is created when Montessori teachers from all over Ontario gather together to learn. We are a small community of dedicated people who love what we do, and love to talk about what we do and how we could be doing it better. It's an opportunity to reconnect and refocus your mind on what is most important, the children that we work with, and it is an added bonus to see people you may have trained with or have just gotten to know over the years. Not to mention time with our co-workers that we rarely get to have during the regular school day.


Amy Kelton was a wonderful speaker, she was exuberant and passionate about her school and her students, and she provided many tips that can be (and have been) implemented in the classroom immediately. She was funny and engaging and before I knew it the day was over and my mind was racing with ideas. She understood exactly what we as teachers are going through when working with a child who has a learning-difference such as ADHD, sensory issues or dyslexia. And, she had some ideas and strategies to share, as well as things to look for in children who may be at-risk for a learning difference.


One of my favourite things that she said was about the idea of fairness. When a child says, "That's not fair that so and so gets to ... and I don't!" she answers, "Fair doesn't mean equal, fair means getting what you need". Another great quote is "I'm sorry, I can only answer a question that's about you" and I have used this more than once since then. In a school with over 900 children from Casa through High School, all with learning differences, and 20+ years of experience at The Shelton School, Amy truly had an expert opinion and was happy to answer questions from the audience.

It was a great day at a beautiful location and I left with valuable information that will help me to better help my students. Thank you to CCMA, Regina and the MJDS Board Members who make it possible for us to attend conferences and workshops such as this one.


Sarah Doughty, Kita Gefen




Jewish Day School Sports League

Sports League 2014
Hannah and Malka representing the cross-country run

In the spirit of the MJDS Year of Sports and Health on October 29th and 30th a number of students participated in a cross-country run organized by the Jewish Day School Sports League.


This was our school's first time participating in the Jewish Day School wide sporting programs and we hope to participate more in the future!

A special thank you to Jason Ryback, our school's Health and Physical Education Program Advisor, for coaching our runners so skillfully and to MJDS dad Randy Schnoor for facilitating and coordinating it all.


Congratulations to the following students who excellently represented our school at the run:

Kita Shalhevet: Cody Stipelman, Eduardo Thomson , Jaime Eckler and Malka Goldstein. Kita Magen David: Ruben Berliner , Alexandra Eckler and Hannah Goldstein

And special congratulations to Ruben Berliner who came in 4th place out of 46 grade 3 boys! Ruben ran 1.2 km in 5 minutes and 39 seconds!




Middle School and Upper Elementary Sports Update


This year the Upper Elementary and Middle School gym classes are focused on Sports and Health connections between the children's everyday life, such as food choices and how they affect their lives and athletic abilities. The students recently took part in Track and Field activities such as long and short runs, javelin and shot put, and enjoyed playing games of Capture the Flag and Three Sticks. Everyone made their achievement certificate and they recorded their event times and finishing places on a chart.


On Being a Montessori Parent


Have you marvelled at the remarkable order of the Montessori classroom? Has your toddler told you that at school she pours her own juice? Does your teenager hang or put away all her clothes-without being asked? How does this all happen?  How can you bring this to your home?  You asked, we want to tell you more.........


Today: Montessori at Home. This article is one of a series of family support resources by the American Montessori Society (AMS)  Enjoy!



Calendar Reminders


November 21 and 22 - School-wide Parent Teacher Conferences.

* Sign up sheet will be available in the foyer on Monday.


November 22 -  School Closed. Childcare available only during your 
     scheduled conference time.


November 27 -  Moving Up To Middle School


MJDS Graduates are shining in their High Schools. They - and their parents - know that they were well prepared for that important transition.  Come hear how we build on the strong foundation you and the school have already given your children through their Casa and Elementary years.