Hilltop Montessori School's mission is for students to practice responsible independence in a caring community of curious, critical learners and
thoughtful citizens.
Board Chili Cook-Off Tonight at 5:30 -
It's not too late to join us!
Friday Newsletter / March 23, 2018
Calendar Listings   

Monday 3/26/18
Girls on the Run 3:00-4:00pm
Spring Foods from Around the World
3:30-4:45pm
Ultimate Frisbee (UE & MS) 3:15-4:30pm

Wednesday 3/28/18
UE Trip to Pesquot Museum 8am-5pm
Girls on the Run 3:00-4:00pm
French with Sylvie 3:15-4:30pm
Ultimate Frisbee (UE & MS) 3:15-4:30pm

Thursday 3/29/18
All School Gathering 8:45-9:15am
Cross Country Running (UE & MS)
3:15-4:30pm
SummerFun
Reserve your spot today!

Registration for Children's House SummerFun opens to the public April 1.
If you need a registration flier, please contact the front desk !
Upcoming Events...
April 5: LE Author's Tea & Potluck 2:00-3:15pm
April 12: UE Play 5:00pm
April 28: HMS Tag Sale 7:30am-12noon
Toddler Program
This week we welcomed two new toddlers to the classroom: David and Mason. We are excited to have them join our community!
David reunites with his sister Sophie on the playground.
Mason, brother to AJ and Sylvia.

While the new children were settling in and getting used to the routine, our older friends dove joyfully right into work. 
Finley created with watercolors.
Eleanor made a necklace.
Quentin practiced sorting and patterning with rings.
Natalia climbed up and slid down the slide all by herself.
Many thanks to our families who joined us for conferences last week! It was a pleasure to talk with all of you - and about your children. We really appreciate your support and collaboration. 

Enjoy the weekend!
Ellie, Amanda, Jessica and Marco
Willow Room
Hello! 

Another busy week in Children's House. We are looking forward to seeing Spring flowers! Enjoy these moments. Have a great weekend!

Warmly, 

Jonathan and Rebecca
Birch Room
“When we educate to cooperate and be in solidarity with one another, that day we will be educating for peace.”- Maria Montessori
In our last newsletter piece, we talked about Grace and Courtesy lessons in the Montessori curriculum. Part of this curriculum includes lessons on peace and conflict resolution. In our Children’s House classrooms, we have a special “peace place” in which children can work out disagreements or simply have a quiet moment to themselves. This space is set up to be both beautiful and calming, and includes pillows, a (battery powered) candle, and a “peace rose.” The rose acts as a visual turn marker; i.e., the child holding the rose is the one who has a turn to talk, while the other child takes a turn to listen. When a conflict arises, younger children often use teacher support in this area to find appropriate words to express their feelings and to generate possible solutions to problems. As they grow older, the children use the area more independently. It’s not uncommon to see our more experienced students quickly and efficiently solve a social conflict by inviting one another to the peace area and then talking things out. This process occurs not only inside the classroom, but also outside in our playground peace area. Please feel free to ask any of us if you have questions about the peace area or how we help children resolve conflicts.
Have a great weekend!
Cheryl, Serina, and Mariam
Reminder: The first "recess" of the day after morning drop-off at 8:15 is imperative for a calm, productive morning in the classroom. Please arrive on time so your child may use this opportunity to play!
Lower Elementary
Patrick, Kiersten, and Max check in about their poetry during writers’ workshop. 
Alica works on a resource map of Africa. 
Kiersten reads Moody Cow to the class.
Leo explores the pinwheels.
Helen and Caroline create pinwheels.
Upper Elementary
This week saw diverse works ranging from interesting stories that demonstrate the neuroplasticity of the brain, etymology studies, the geologic history of the Cedar Swamp area that the Mashantucket Pequots inhabit, a very popular new typing program, and wrapping up small research projects on Native American groups throughout the U.S. The sixths shared their small group research on specific events leading to the Civil War. These included the Missouri Compromise, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, the Compromise of 1850 and Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

We also made progress on the first UE igloo (see the lower slope behind the classroom, which the students scoped out recently as the best source for deep snow), inspired by those studying adaptations of Native American groups to living in the arctic. As students problem-solved some engineering issues, they also worked through the challenges of shared leadership within the wider community. After conflict among some of the many stakeholders in the project, we had a good discussion on how to best ensure that everyone’s voice, ideas, and participation were welcomed and valued.

On Thursday, we also enjoyed another installment of electives--having missed last Thursday to snow.

Important upcoming dates:

Wednesday, March 28, 4-5th field trip to Mashantucket Peguot Museum.
     8:00 a.m. Arrival at school, 5:00 p.m. Pick-up from school.
     Bring a lunch and snack.

Thursday, April 12, UE Play
    1:00 p.m. School show
    5:00 p.m. Evening show
Middle School
We took the first steps in an exciting community science endeavor this Tuesday by meeting with Steve Libby, the executive director of the Vermont Rivers Conservancy. He introduced us to Sawdust Alley, a 12-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Whetstone River in downtown Brattleboro. Steve explained that this land was recently purchased for conservation with the goal of restoring it as a floodplain that would slow floodwaters and mitigate destruction to property downstream. After examining engineering maps of the site, Steve took us down to the spot, formerly used as a lumber storage yard and now under six feet of fill, to make observations, generate questions, and brainstorm the various ways that this land could be accessed by the public in the future. We will be hearing from a number of stream experts in the coming weeks, culminating with a week-long residency with Abenaki artist, Judy Dow, who will guide students in creating storytelling maps about the site's past, present, and future. Stay tuned for more updates.
This work is part of a larger community project, The Confluence Project, organized by The Vermont Performance Lab and the Windham Regional Commission. To learn more, visit  http://www.vermontperformancelab.org/confluence

"I am looking forward to brainstorming and exploring ideas of what this land could be used for. Steve really made it clear that his organization believed it wasn't up to them to decide what the land would be used for, but for communities."
-Nomi

"When I was hearing the ideas people have for the 12 acres of land, it made me think about how this land can be more than just a place water goes when it floods. It could be a public garden, a public park, and so much more. But what I mostly took from it was that this matters."
-Owen B

"I am amazed that our class will be able to take part in an effort that will save downtown Brattleboro from future flooding. I am so honored that Steve Libby was asking for our opinions on what to do with this land."
-Julia

"[Steve] was very willing to share his knowledge with us. I was impressed by how much he knew about this land and what a stream will do in a flood. I felt like he wasn't talking like we're little kids and that we could understand as if we were adults."
-David

"Steve was clearly very knowledgeable and excited about this project. He also semmed to really value our thoughts and ideas. I think that my understanding of the land was pretty good from the maps and images in the slide show, but seeing the physical plans and actually being there really made the project very clear. It was inspiring to know that a group of people could make so much change in a small community when they really focus on it, and I hope that this project is successful as it could really change the town."
-Huxley
Steve Libby describes the Sawdust Alley conservation project and shares the newest sitemap. 
We explore Sawdust Alley.
We observe the Whetstone river, contemplating its flood potential.
The Mask Project begins - Applying a plaster bandage mask to create an accurate negative mold of the face. The next step will be to create a positive cast from the mold.
Shital Kinkhabwala leads us in a Hindu chant.
Spring is in the air, hopefully, and so we beat the mats.
All School Gathering
Before Care

Helping pick up chairs in the theater, reading books and playing ball - a great way to begin the day!
Hilltop Helpers
Thank you to Martin Humfeldt and Green Mountain Creamery for donations of yogurt!
BIG thanks to Brattleboro Tire for donating our Hilltop van's winter snow tires and for rotating them each year!
Thank you to Nathan Rupard and Hazel restaurant for delivering our pizza each week and providing our staff with delicious pies!