Hilltop Celebrates Peace Day

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September 18, 2015


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Coming Up at Hilltop
All School Gathering Starts Next Week
Gees Bend
Teacher Intern in October
Parent Orientation Night
Bagel Lunch
Puppets in the Green Mountains at Hilltop
Toddler Program (TP)
Birch Room
Willow Room
Lower ELementary (LE)
Upper Elementary (UE)
Middle School (MS)
Community News
Next Week at Hilltop
Monday 9/21
Creative Movement 
Middle School Soccer 

Tuesday 9/22
Cultural Cooking
Upper El Soccer 
SSAT Prep Course 
Forms due for Bagel Lunch

Wednesday 9/23
Bagel Lunch begins
Historical Fencing
Middle School Soccer

Thursday 9/24
LE Soccer 3:30-4:15
Video Club

Friday 9/25
School Picture Day
Pizza Lunch
Circus Arts

Check out the 2015-16 School Calendar 

Coming Up...

9/28 MS Home Soccer game vs Compass

Check out the Monday and Wednesday soccer game schedule here

10/9 Grandparent & Special Friend's Day

All School Gathering Starts Next Week

Peace Day has happened! Peace buddies are matched and new multi-age friendships have commenced!
One of the sweetest components of the Peace Buddy relationships at Hilltop Montessori School is having these disparate height friends come together for All School Gathering (ASG). The first ASG of the year will be next Thursday starting at approximately 8:50am and going until about 9:15am. This is a time for our whole school community to come together and share stories, works, and songs. PARENTS ARE INVITED TO JOIN US! I even try to have coffee available beforehand to keep parents happy from drop off time until the beginning of ASG. Then, throughout the year, Thursday mornings continue to start with ASG, unless there is a different schedule for that week, such as October 9th for Grandparents' & Special Friends' Day. Please check the calendar and newsletter for future ASGs and join us!
See you soon,
All School Gathering picture from last year
Gee's Bend

In a week and a half, our guests from Gee's Bend will be arriving! If you haven't purchased tickets for either the Gala reception or for one of the performances, you may want to do so sooner rather than later. Tickets are going fast.

To read more about the visit and the events happening from October 1-3, visit Hilltop's website. 

On Saturday evening, October 3rd, we'll be hosting a good old fashioned Hilltop pot luck to celebrate our friends on their last night in Brattleboro. All current and alum families are welcome and encouraged to come.

If you are interested in volunteering at an event during the Gee's Bend visit, email Amelia. We're looking for help at the Gallery receptions and for the performances.
Teacher Intern in October

Carlos Mu�oz Rivas (Charley) will be working as a Teacher-Intern beginning September 30. Charley currently teaches High School Math, Physics and Chemistry in his native Madrid, Spain.

Charley will be taking a sabbatical from his work to get hands-on experience with the Montessori education.  He will spend his time at hilltop observing how language arts and math are taught, assisting with Elementary recess and PE, and helping to coach after school soccer.

While getting acquainted with Montessori education, Charley is hoping to improve his English, and help interested students improve their Spanish!

While here, Charley will be staying with the family of Ben and Leo Bodett, students here at Hilltop. Having spent some time in Miami, FL area, Charley is excited to experience Fall time in New England, so please be sure to give him a warm welcome in Vermont!

Parent Orientation Night

Thank you all for coming out last night. It was a terrific night and so glad many of you were able to attend. Discussions included useful information for all parents, with dates for events unique to each classroom, new curriculum additions, and developmental expectations for each age group, there is certainly much to look forward to this year. 

Bagel Lunch
Please sign up today for Bagel Lunch, organized by the Middle School to help support their Spring Upland Odyssey. Forms are available at the front desk. Bagel Lunch begins Wednesday, September 23, forms due on the 22nd!

Puppets in the Green Mountains Performing at Hilltop
Come check out these amazing shows for children at Hilltop! Hula Lulu on September 19th, 11am and 3pm show. El Patico Feo on September 20th, 11am and 3pm show! Click here for the Puppets complete schedule.

Toddler Program

Many thanks to the parents who were able to attend the parent orientation night on Thursday! We had fun meeting with you. If you weren't able to make it, no worries. We'll be emailing a copy of the slide show we shared last night about our goals for the year, an overview of the classroom set up, and plenty of pictures of the children.

Here are a few photos from our week: new friends, Alexander and Lucas, playing in the sunshine; Paisleigh practicing grace and courtesy by pouring glasses of water for all at the snack table; and Kennedy (with many onlooking friends) having a lesson on one of the stereognostic bags. Another wonderful week!

Enjoy the weekend.
Ellie & Hannah

Birch Room

Early this week, Cheryl gave a lesson at circle time on using our peace place.  This section of our classroom provides a space for children to talk about and resolve their conflicts.  Each child has a turn to hold our "peace rose" and talk while the other child listens.  Often, simply moving to a new space and having a chance to talk and be heard de-escalates the conflict.  The children then quickly solve the problem on their own.  At other times, a teacher may provide support by helping children re-phrase their thoughts clearly and kindly, and by offering possible solutions to the problem.  We also model conflict resolution at circle times by role playing conflicts and having the children generate solutions.  

Learning to get along with one another peaceably is a skill that young children must learn through practice and through support of adults, much like reading or math.  Developmentally,  children this age are still very ego- centric and can have difficulty controlling impulses.  Because of this, it is both normal and expected for them to occasionally become physical with one another during conflicts.  When this happens, we intervene quickly to make sure everyone is safe, and try to use in the conflict as an opportunity for learning and growth.  Moving to the classroom or outside peace place with a teacher to work on the problem can help both children learn important language and social skills.

Please let us know if you have any questions about our peace curriculum at school!

Cheryl, Serina, and Mariam 

Cheryl and Ayla demonstrate how to use the peace rose while Henry and Alica look on.

Willow Room

In honor of Peace Day, we would like to share a poem with you: 

 I pledge allegiance to the Earth
 And to all life that it nourishes
 All growing things, 
 All species of animals, 
 And all races of people.

 I promise to protect all life on our planet, 
To live in harmony with nature 
And to share our resources justly, 
So that all people can live with dignity, 
In good health and Peace.

~Aline Wolf

August works with patterned blocks. Max works on his journal.
Rebecca and Sophia work together.

Lower El

We loved meeting our new peace buddies!

Upper El

The third time scheduling was the charm.  Highlights of our overnight at the Pinnacle included:
-       great food
-       beautiful sunset
-       Anna's pre-bedtime "yogarobics" class
-       Sleeping bags out on the rocks at sunrise
-       Group pantomime skits
-       Do it yourself scavenger hunt
-       Moving Tom's sheep
-       Class games led by our older students
-       More good food
-       Just hanging out together!
Many thanks to all the parents who volunteered time driving us up and back.
We also want to thank Andrea Burke, who not only donated several beautiful plants to the classroom (including a citrus and coffee plant!), but took the time to come in and explain the ins and outs of their care.
Have a great weekend.

Middle School

It was wonderful to get into the classroom and begin classes.  Nora and Becky charged into math and science, Finn began language arts lessons, and Paul initiated the Naturalist Project.  We had our first literature seminar on
The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono and had several discussions about Thoreau's extensive observations in and around Concord being used today to chart climate change and a tribute to Louis Agassiz, the famed naturalist from 1873 titled "Look At Your Fish".  Another exciting part of the week was the beginning of the middle school micro-economies.  Bagel lunch will begin next Wednesday and be ready for delicious soups, student built custom designed adirondack chairs and an array of other entrepreneurial endeavors.

We did not stay in the classroom all week.  On Thursday we hosted three guest experts in Upland.  Melanie Kahn, mother of Mason and our classroom mycologist, and her colleague, the herbalist and mycologist, Justin Garner, wandered the Upland woods examining, identifying, and teaching us about the plethora of fungi that is now everywhere in the woods.  We came home with some beautiful edibles (black trumpets, yellow footed chanterelles, and hedgehogs), that we plan to saut� and serve on Friday to any interested middle school student.  After Melanie and Justin left, Annie Chappell, a scientific illustrator and Nora's step-mother lead us in drawing exercises on how to draw from nature.  This workshop was designed to help students as they enter into a new art based classification project.

More guest speakers are arriving next week.  On Tuesday we are hosting Tom Wessels and on Wednesday the geologist and all around Renaissance man, Roger Haydock.  Both Tom and Roger will guide us in understanding what has happened on the land we call Upland for the past 15,000 years.

Community News

Kids Night Out
Is a chance for parents to have an evening out, and for the kiddos to have some fun at the school! The first 'Kids Night Out' is scheduled for October 16th from 5:30-9:30pm. Come drop your little ones off for some organized and safe fun! If you are interested please contact Emma.

Youth Battle of the Bands 
Area youth bands can launch their musical careers by competing at Youth Services' Battle of the Bands at the River Garden on Friday, November 6, during Gallery Walk night, from 7 to 10 p.m.  For more information, contact Nanci Leitch.

Carpool Request
Anyone in the Hilltop Community looking to carpool from Greenfield, Ma? Sarah Monette, mom to Marquetta in the Willow Room, is looking to share the drive with another interested party. Meeting at the exit in Bernardston, MA off of 91 is an option too! She is also at the Four Rivers Charter School on Monday and Tuesday mornings. If any of these times and/or locations could work for you, please contact Sarah @ 413-695-3938 to discuss further.

Community Support
Thank you to all who came out from the Hilltop community to support Morningside Shelter and Ground works Collaborative in their annual Hike for the Homeless. What a beautiful morning!

Hilltop Montessori School