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Like us on Facebook    Hilltop Montessori School                            May 17, 2013

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Open House
Tag Sale
Next week at Hilltop
Community Event
Notes from the Head
Tiny House
Willow Room
Birch Room
Lower El
Upper El
Middle School
Open House
Parent and Child Open House for our pre-K and kindergarten program: Wednesday, May 29 from 9 -10:30 am. Please share with your friends who have young children! 


Tag Sale
Come join the fun at our multi-family Tag Sale, Saturday, May 18th from 9-2pm. You don't want to miss the bouncy house, the grillmeisters serving up lunch, and the bargains! The Hilltop Girls on the Run team will be there selling baked goods for the Morningside Shelter and the Windham County Humane Society.You can take a tour of the Tiny House too. Tell your friends!
Coming up...
Monday, May 20
CH Spanish 3:00 - 4:00

Tuesday, May 21
LAST Girls on the Run, 3-4:30

Wednesday, May 22
LE Spanish 3:00 - 4:00

Friday, May 24 
Grandparents and Special Friends Day. Join us from 8:30 - 12 noon for classroom visits, All School Gathering and lunch. 
RSVP to 802.257.0500 ext. *102 or frontdesk@hilltopmontessori.org.

Saturday, May 25
Girls on the Run 5k
Meet at 8:30am at BUHS

Monday, May 27
Memorial Day - NO SCHOOL

Wednesday, May 29

In the Community
Green Mountain Camp for Girls - Open House: Sunday, May 19, 1-4 pm. Art activities, snacks, tour and meet staff. Lots of HMS girls attend this camp. Located in Dummerston, 565 Green Mountain Camp Road. www.greenmountaincamp.com


Guilford Community Church is hosting an African Supper on Saturday, May 18 from 5:30-7 p.m. as a fundraiser for re-forestation efforts in Kenya, as part of the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Youth Group's efforts.  The price of the meal for adults is $10; children ages 11 and under are $5; ages 5 and under free. 

Tickets will also be available at the door until sold out. To make reservations or for more information call (802) 254-9329 



If you have an item, service or community event you would like to post in this space, email Amelia. Deadline for entries is Thursday afternoon.Thanks! 


Preview of a few HOT ITEMS that we're selling in the Multi-Family Tag Sale:


Sub-Zero Freezer. Good condition. It's in the barn adjacent to the Elementary building, if you want to take a look. Make us an offer!


2 Foosball Tables. Also in the barn. Take a look and make an offer



Hilltop family looking for temporary housing this summer while their campus housing is renovated. Email Jenny Smith if you have any leads. Thanks!



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Notes from the Head


Odd and Even


A very simple material. Round wooden red counters. Wooden numerals from 1-10. Sample layout laminated on a card for the child as a model.


Emma laid out the numerals and the counters. Several of the numerals were backward and a couple of the counters were askew, but in my mind she had been patient and copied the model accurately.


Melissa came over and sat down next to her. After complimenting Emma on the layout, she wordlessly put her finger next to the backwards numeral 7. Emma quickly turned it. Same for the numeral 9.


Melissa then asked her to look at the laminated card and back at her work and said, "The counters have a pattern. Can you see what it is?" Emma took a look at the model and moved the lone (odd) counters to the bottom middle of each (odd) numeral. The word "odd" had not yet been used.


Melissa placed her finger above the counters and below the numeral. She slides it down until it rests on a counter, and says "odd" and moves it to one side. If there is no counter to stop her she slides her finger all the way down and says "even". She did this for each of the numerals/counters. Emma watched. No words while Melissa slid her fingers down the row. Only to say the word "odd" or "even".




After doing this for the numerals 1-10 and the counters below them, a discussion ensued about how they were different. How "odd" actually meant it didn't have a twin, it didn't make a pair or have a match across from it.


A very simple material. Round wooden red counters. Wooden numerals from 1-10. A knowledgeable teacher using precise language that emphasized the language and the corresponding concept.


An incredible concept internalized. I know because the next day I held up one finger and asked Emma "odd or even". "Odd" she responded. When I held up two fingers, "even".





Keep it up!


You have raised $9,040 so far - Almost 40% of the way there (goal is $23,000). Let's keep up the selling. JUST A FEW WEEKS before the raffle drawing.



Here are new photos of the Tiny House - it looks amazing!







Only 7 more days to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount!!! - 15% off if you register by May 24


Camps are filling up, you don't want to miss out!



Willow Room


May is the time we begin talking with the children about plans for next year. Some children will be transitioning to new classrooms and new schools while others are preparing for new roles as Middlers and Olders in our classroom.


Some of this year's Olders have started visits, known as Moving Up Days, to the Lower El classroom. It's a chance for these children to get to know the teachers and friends they'll be with next school year. They also get a taste of what exciting opportunities 1st grade will bring.


Transitions can be challenging for children (and adults!) and we've found talking openly and honestly about the upcoming transitions children will be making really helps.  This can be sharing where each person will be at school next year during circle time to checking in with individual children about visits to Lower El or their new schools.  While we encourage discussion, we also know the importance of helping children to move back into the present and enjoy where they are now too. We strive to aid the children in preparing to make positive separations at the end of the school year so new and healthy attachments can be forged in the fall.


May is also the time to begin planting seeds. Snow peas and shelling peas seeds are now carefully buried in the Children's House garden. We look forward to seeing them grow. Next week we'll also have works about the parts of seeds on the shelves.


And May is time for swingset installation too! Early this week the children were rapt watching Tony Farnum and his crew set the pilings and by Thursday, they were able to swing! 


Installing the new swingset  



Enjoy the weekend together.

Melissa & Ellie 



email the Willow Room


Birch Room 


Moving On Up!


On Tuesday, May 14th and Friday, May 17th, the older's in both Children's House classrooms participated in their first "Moving Up" Day. The children joined a Lower Elementary circle with Kirsten. Then they toured the environment together pointing out familiar materials that each of our classrooms use on a daily basis. Later they were paired up with a 1st grade partner and worked on Seasons and Measurement projects together.





"At six, there is a great transformation in the child, like a new birth. She wants to know how everything came to be. He asks the BIG questions and wants answers. It is the time to use the mind to explore all areas of knowledge, to begin to conduct research, and to develop creative ways of processing, exploring and expressing this knowledge." Child of the World



The Children's House has been busy planting seeds in both the greenhouse and in our Children's House area garden. Eventually some of these seedlings will be transplanted into our large school garden and used for the SummerFun Garden Camp!





Lower Elementary 


Two moving up days have already passed, signifying the end of the school year and allowing us a glimpse into the next one. We made do without our wonderful Olders for several hours on Friday as they hiked the Pinnacle. Our Children's House friends, meanwhile, were busy with measurement activities. The nervousness and excitement they feel as they work in a new classroom is visible on every face. The First Grade, or "future Middlers," as friends have dubbed them, were considerate hosts to these visitors.  


"Penny, penny, easily spent; copper brown and worth one cent."  

Money is a focus these days, as children work on identifying coins and playing money games. We are also practicing telling time, using our miniature clocks to work with time to the hour, half- hour, and quarter-hour.  
As a follow-up activity to the Fundamental Needs story "The History of Bread," several students baked a few loaves to share with the class. Comments ranged from "Good, but tasteless" to "I could tell it was going to be fluffy when I was baking it."  

Have fun at the school tag sale on Saturday!  
Jessica, Kerstin, and Connie


Upper Elementary 


The Upper El fourths and fifths enjoyed a beautiful day hike up to the Pinnacle along with Olders from LE.


Here are some photos from our day.


 Serious hikers


 Goofy hikers




Middle School  







The end of the school year is an extraordinarily busy and exciting time. It is hard to imagine that at the beginning of this week the classroom was still a theatre resonating with the sounds and energy of "Return to Sender". By Monday afternoon it was restored to its former self as we rapidly switched gears into our new endeavors.


On the top of the list is graduation, now a mere three weeks away. The eighth graders gathered on Monday afternoon and we began the conversation about the significance of graduation and the process and techniques of speech writing. Students were asked to conduct research in the archives of great speeches, select one that spoke to them, analyze what made it an effective speech, create an abridgement, and read that version for their fellow eighth graders paying attention to diction, physical posture, and arc. The choices were fascinating. We heard snippets from among others: Eugene Debs, Calvin Coolidge, Socrates, and Spiro Agnew. Sometimes we had to redirect the conversation back to speech technique, as it was easy to veer into all the fascinating history contained within these speeches.


Speech writing, painting final portraits, and designing the graduation ceremony will continue to be a major occupation of the eighth grade up to the day itself. In addition, the eighth graders also began the apprenticeship program this week. This program is another opportunity for our students to connect to the greater community through working in our local businesses and social services. Students identified their interests and contacted a corresponding business or service requesting the opportunity to apprentice. This required preparation, perseverance, and self-advocacy. We live in a very generous and big-hearted community but even so a number of students experienced being turned down (some several times) and had to find new avenues. Upon securing their position, students learned how to write a resume and business cover letter, which they then submitted. We are very thankful for the businesses and services that give these opportunities to our students. A number of them have accepted students in the past and truly enjoy and benefit from their presence. Here are the workplaces the students are now gainfully apprenticing: Everyone's Books, The Commons Newspaper, Early Education Services, Burrows Specialized Sports, Academy School, the Brattleboro Music Center, River Gallery School, Brooks Memorial Library, the Brattleboro Food Co-Op, Beadniks, American Traders, and Brown's Computers.


While this is all going on, what are the seventh graders doing? We have begun Moving Up Days. This is the time when the sixth graders join us and our new community begins to take shape. Today we were out in the garden preparing, maintaining, and planting for next year's soup crop. We also spent time discussing the world of Middle School, expectations, summer reading and writing, and answering questions and concerns. The sevenths also play a large creative role in graduation, which they are currently engaged in creating.








A few important calendar dates:


Friday, May 24 - Grandparents/Special Friends Day. 12:00 dismissal

June 3 - 5 - Final Upland Odyssey (equipment list to come)

June 7 - Graduation!




email the Middle School


Hilltop Montessori School