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  Bonnie Harris speaking to parents on Tuesday evening in the Arts Barn.


Like us on FacebookSeptember 26, 2014 

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Next Week at Hilltop
Notes from Head of School
Save the Dates
Peace Day
Toddler Room
Birch Room
Willow Room
Lower El
Upper El
Middle School
Community Events
Next Week at Hilltop

Monday 9/29

Cultural Cooking CH-4+ and Lower El 3.3.0-4.30


Soccer MS 3.30-4.45


Tuesday 9/30 

Spanish CH-4+ and Lower El 3.30-4.30


Mountain Biking Upper El and MS 3.30-4.30


Soccer Upper El 3.30-4.30


Wednesday 10/1



Historical Fencing Upper EL and MS 3.30-5


Soccer Lower MS 3.30-4.45


Thursday 10/2

Lower El Black Mountain Hike 9-1 


All School Gathering 9-9.20


Drum Circle 3.30-4.30


Graphic Jam (First class!) 3.30-5


Soccer Lower El 3.30-4.15


Middle School Soccer Game 3.30-5 at Grammar School 


Friday 10/3 

Peace Day Celebration




Soccer Upper El 3.30-4.30


Saturday 10/4

UE Soccer game at West River Fields 8.30-9.30AM

Notes from the Head of the School

Communication with Parents


What goes on in a Montessori classroom is magical and can't be quantified or communicated with grades or test scores. It can be hard for a parent to understand what and how their child is doing, especially if the parent is used to a traditional system. About this time of year, parents may start to wonder what is going on in the classroom and how their child is doing. We have several means of communicating with parents throughout the year: 

Upcoming Events!
Saturday, October 4th
flash mob, noun
a large public gathering at which people perform an unusual or seemingly random act and then disperse, typically organized by means of the Internet or social media.

Join our Hilltop Flash Mob and "Hike for the Homeless" on Saturday October 4th. Let's try to beat last year's number of 25 Hilltoppers! You can find your own sponsors or just donate as a member of the Hilltop team. Wear your swag and support Morningside Shelter on the 4th. Email Amelia with questions.

WANTED: gently used stuffed animals for use as prizes for our Annual Fund Kick Off Carnival on Friday October 17th. Drop off in Amelia's office.  
Don't forget to put the 17th on your calendar for our Annual Fund Kick-Off Carnival. Want to get involved with this event? Email Emilie Kornheiser or Jen Betit-Engel.

Peace Day Celebration

Each year at Hilltop, our younger students are matched with older "peace buddies".  The pairs attend All School Gatherings together and work with each each other at different points during the school year.  At this year's Peace Day celebration, the peace buddies will work together to decorate pieces of cloth with drawings and hopes of peace.  The strips will be added to a new outdoor peace place for use by the Children's House and Elementary Students.  Come and help us dedicate our new space as part of our Peace Day celebration on 
Friday, October 3rd from 11am-12pm

Thank You


Thanks to all the parents who came to hear Bonnie Harris speak. If you missed the talk, Bonnie will be back here at Hilltop for a full day workshop on Saturday, October 18th from 10-4pm. The workshop is entitled "From Resistance to Cooperation: What punishment ("giving consequences") is Really Teaching Our Children".
For more information email Amelia.


Hilltop Hoodies and Sweatpants are here!


Stop by the front desk and get your Hilltop hoodie and sweat pants. Youth and Toddler sizes available.

The weather's getting chilly (except for this weekend), so get your child ready for the colder temps with warm sweats and a dash of school spirit!

Sweat shirts / pants
Youth sizes S, M, L, XL $20
Toddler sizes 2T, 3T, 4T, 5/6T $15


Toddler Room


If the toddler room were to have a mantra it would be, "Help me to do it by myself!"  Even very young children are capable of learning to dress and undress themselves when given the right amount of support.  That support may be low shelves to easily access clothes and diapers or another person helping the child to get started on a task and the child finishing it (for example: putting a sock on just over the child's heel so he/she can successfully pull it up the rest of the way.)  The adult's role is to prepare the environment to allow for independence, offer the right amount of support to foster success, and give children time to do things for themselves.   


When children are afforded these opportunities, they gain not only independence and self-confidence but also develop a sense of belonging to their families and school community because they have something to contribute and find joy in learning!


Henry has a lesson with the Velcro dressing frame.

Cooper works to zip his own boot.


Have a good weekend!

Ellie & Hannah


Birch Room

This week in the Birch Room, we began to transition to an Autumn theme.  Cheryl read the book One Fall Day to the whole class, and introduced the maple and oak fall leaf puzzles.  The olders also helped bring Autumn into our classroom by going out into nature to collect seasonal items for a new "rough or smooth" work.  Over the next few weeks, we will continue to make use of our beautiful outdoor environment as we move more into Fall!  Have a great weekend, and don't forget to send in your pictures for our family book.  We hope to finish it next week!

- Cheryl and Serina

After music, Addie and Lucy sing quietly while working.
Jay and the children enjoy some music together.

Malika works in her journal.  Cheryl introduced "the" and other sight words this week.

Caroline works on our new rough and smooth work.

Willow Room

What a wonderful week in the Willow Room! The children have been noticing that the seasons are starting change. The air is getting cooler and leaves are changing color. Thank you to the families who have shared food harvested from home gardens -- this has been greatly enjoyed! We are exploring apples, beginning with cutting and eating them. Soon we will make apple sauce! 

Warm Regards, 

Jonathan and Rebecca


Ciana working on her "morning journal," using the Movable Alphabet 

Senji and Avery cutting an apple

Rebecca and Starlight


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Lower El
This week in class, as part of our study of the nature of elements, we examined solutions and suspensions. We mixed various materials with water and then determined which were solutions and which were suspensions. Students were busy making maps of all sorts this week. On Friday, some students learned how to make paper as a part of our study of the history of writing. More students will have the opportunity to make paper in the coming weeks. 
FIELD TRIP TO BLACK MOUNTAIN ON THURSDAY OCTOBER 2nd: We are looking forward to our trip this upcoming Thursday. Students should wear shoes suitable for hiking. Again, here is the list of drivers:
Andrea: 3 or 4
Linda: 2 or 3
Ariel: 3
Rebecca: 3
Alix: 5
Amanda: 6
Patrick: 3
Kerstin: 3

FIRST WORK SHARE/AUTHOR'S TEA: October 15th.  Come hear your child and their friends share their personal narratives and enjoy some baked treats.  Begins at 8:45.

MONDAY SHARING: Group "C" will share next Monday, Sept. 29nth:
Davey, Ian, Jamie, Leo, Mark, Morgon, Rhys, Silvia and Sam. 

Have a nice weekend. 
Kerstin and Patrick

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Upper El

Upper el survived a record cold morning last Friday at the Pinnacle by snuggling into our sleeping bags, even well after wake-up time!  (see photo)  Our day at Tom's house was rich with group play, skits (see below the dentist chair gone haywire, and a happy couple bailing water from a faulty canoe), cooking together, eating together, and enjoying down time.


This week the group has been busy preparing group skits on cell topics.  They are also looking at different types of cells, as well as word study work connected to related nomenclature.  The class continues looking into colonial migration and population changes through interpretations of maps and graphs.  They are also beginning research on individual topics for our U.S. History timeline, which will be the major report writing component of the fall for all students.





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Middle School

We spent the week immersed in water. We borrowed Tom G.'s pump and with the pond as its source, created a recycling river on the drainage ditch alongside the driveway.  In groups of four, students received a section of this river and just like our New England ancestors considered the potential energy of the river to power a water wheel and transfer that energy into a machine to produce some sort of end result.  The first step was to figure out the amount of drop in their stretch of river and then to design and build a dam to harness the potential energy of the flowing water.  Students discovered that water has a tendency to flow everywhere except where you want it to and building a relatively leak-free dam is quite the challenge.  The next step for next week is designing, drawing, and building the water wheel.


Alongside our hands-on investigation of the physical properties of water, we explored the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in New England including one of the first cases of industrial espionage.  F.C. Lowell's photographic memory of England's highly coveted power loom enabled him and his financial backers to create the first fully integrated cotton mill and the textile business was born in America.  With the growth of Lowell, Massachusetts, "The City of Spindles", new labor forces were required and our saga of women in America continued with the "mill girl".  We read a series of primary source materials from the "Lowell Offering" and "Factory Tracts", both published by the young women of the mills detailing this new world of work away from home.  Perhaps for the first time, women's voices were being heard and the beginnings of a unified force for change began.


Today we journeyed to the American Precision Museum in Windsor to see first hand how the river powered the mills and industry.


Head of the Hilltop rill

Building dams

Emma and Aidan prepare a sluiceway


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Community News

The Davis family is in search of some household items to furnish their new digs. Tara has provided a wish list so please email or call (774-722-3734) and let her know if you have any of the following lying around! 

  • dining table & chairs/bench - The space we have to work with is rather long and narrowish, about 2.5' wide x 6' long.  I'd love a darker, rustic wood, but am also happy to paint! Perhaps picnic table style?
  • Living room furniture:  couch, 1-2 comfy chairs
  • coffee table
  • double/queen wood frame futon/couch 
  • dresser for our bedroom
  • any size area rugs/runners 
  • single futon mattress
  • water/drinking glasses
  • wooden toy chest for August's very own bedroom!
  • some kind of exercise equipment/machine for the coming winter, perhaps a stationary bike or elliptical?

FREE Screening sponsored by Turning Point and Brattleboro Retreat

The Anonymous People, a powerful new film about the 25 million Americans living in recovery from alcohol and other drugs. 

7pm Tuesday, Sept. 30th at the Latchis Theater.


FREE 6 Week Parenting Education Series - 

Positive Solutions for Families

Starting Monday, October 20th, 5:00-7:00 pm at the Winston Prouty Center 

Positive Solutions for Families provides information for families on how to promote children's social and emotional skills, and use positive approaches to help children learn appropriate behavior. The six sessions are designed to give you new strategies to handle daily routines, cope with challenging behavior, and help your child learn to solve simple social problems.  You will learn to create and nurture success in your child, to avoid being drawn into energizing negativity, and how to have clear rules and clear and consistent consequences.  Parents will receive a guidebook that offers advice for supporting their children across common family routines.  The program is designed for families with children ages 3 to 6.


Presented by:

Brandy Levesque, Winston Prouty Center Inclusion Facilitator and Janice Stockman, WSESU Early Childhood Coordinator FREE!!  Child care and dinner provided

6 Mondays, October 20, 27 and November 3, 10, 17, 24, 2014

5:00 - 7:00 PM



Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents:
Strategies that Stop the Worry Cycle

Thursday, October 30, 2014, The Brattleboro Retreat 

Lynn Lyons, LICSW

When Lynn Lyons, LICSW, presented "Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents" at the Log Cabin a year ago, attendees described Lynn with these adjectives: "inspirational, humorous, well-organized, clear, concrete, amazing, great, fantastic, audacious, superb, clear, energetic, accessible, witty, full of fun."

The early registration deadline is September 30. Register in the next few days and secure the $137 online price. And for a look at all our conferences this fall, go to www.brattlebororetreat.org/conferences.


Hilltop Montessori School