The Middle School Coffee Cart including fresh baked treats is now OPEN! Every Wednesday at drop off. Proceeds to benefit HMMS Alabama Odyssey Fund.

September 30th, 2016
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Next Week at Hilltop
Hilltop Soccer Games
From Admissions
Upcoming Events
CH and LE Workshare
Middle School
Upper El
Lower El
Birch Room
Willow Room
Toddler Program
Hilltop Helpers
Winter Sports Chaperones
Community News
Next Week at Hilltop
Monday 10/3/16
MS Away Soccer Game @ Grammar School

Tuesday 10/4/16
MS to Harrsiville, NH
LE Workshare 3-3:45
UE Away Soccer Game @ Grammar School

Wednesday 10/5/16
Bagel Lunch 
MS Home Soccer Game vs St Mikes
Spanish with Marco

Thursday 10/6/16
All School Gathering (ASG)
LE Soccer Practice

Friday 10/7/16
Grandparents/Special Friends Day-
noon dismissal for all
LE Soccer Game @ Guilford Elementary 4pm

Check out the 2016-2017 School Calendar 

Coming Up...

Monday 10/8/16
UE Soccer Tournament @ West River Park 9:45

Thursday 10/13/16
Alumni Night

Hilltop Soccer Games

First UE game  is  TODAY  at 4pm here at Hilltop. MS Bake sale during the game!

First MS game is Monday, October 3rd at 4pm at the Grammar School.

We will be using our new Hilltop Van for away sports!

Thank you to parents who have coordinated with Chris to supplement with more drivers for players. Parents will be responsible for picking up their students after the away games.

For a full schedule of the games, please see the website calendar or the information sheet that Coach Chris gave out practice this week.

From the Admissions Office

A surprise twist in the newsletter and an invitation to a favorite Hilltop tradition! 

To encourage families to take a look at all the classroom news, this week we have reversed the order of articles by programs!! So, below you will see an update from the Middle School Program first and the Toddler Program last! No matter what age your child, you will find something of interest at all program levels. Or maybe you are wondering what is ahead for your young child, so please read on!! 

"What happens next?" This is a question asked by most prospective parents when they first visit our school.  The answer is valuable to our enrolled parents as well.  How prepared are Hilltop students - academically and socially - when they graduate? 

Who better to answer this question than our graduates themselves. So please join us for Alumni Night as our thoughtful, former students reveal the ways the gifts of their Montessori education have uniquely prepared them for success in all areas of their young adult lives.

Alumni Night is Thursday, October 13th at 7pm.
Alumni Night has grown into a wonderful tradition of hearing our alumni talk about their experiences beyond Montessori and how their time at Hilltop Montessori School prepared them for the next steps and the bigger world. 

We will have openings next fall in the 7th grade  as we graduate a class of 17 eighth graders in 2017!  So spread the word, this event is not only for current families but prospective families and students as well. We look forward to hearing your questions and the responses from our alumni currently in local public and private high schools.

Upcoming Events!

Grandparent and Special Friend Day
Friday,  October 7th, 8:45 am - 11:45 am:

8:45-9:00 am - Coffee, Tea and Snack in the Arts Barn
9:00-9:30 am - Introduction by Tamara Mount
9:30-10:00 am - Student Panel Discussion
10:00 -10:45 am - Classroom visits & Child Photo Session with their Guests
10:45 - 11:45 am - All School Sing in Arts Barn
Noon Dismissal for All!

Poetry Reading
Saturday, October 15th, 6:30 pm:

Hilltop will present poet and Upper El Grandparent, Kate Farrell for a reading from her new book, "Visiting Night at the Academy of Longing" at the 2016 Brattleboro Literary Festival! The reading will be held at the Catherine Dianich Gallery, 139 Main Street, Brattleboro. 

Let's show Kate and the Brattleboro Literary Festival our support by attending this and other great offerings that weekend.

ANNUAL FUND WEEK, starting October 24th, get ready for some fun, fun, fun!

Friday, October 28th 5pm - 8:30pm:
Hilltop All Family Halloween Party! Mortify your children by dressing up and dancing! It'll be the scariest and most mortifying Halloween of their lives! (May only apply to children ages 8 and up...)

CH and LE Workshare

Parent Work Share Dates for Children's House and Lower Elementary

Children's House:  Monday, October 17th from 8:30-9:00 

Lower Elementary:  Tuesday, October 4th from 3:00-3:45 pm 

We also welcome parents at any time to tour/visit with Tamara, our Head of School, to see the beauty of the classroom environments during a real Montessori morning work cycle without extra adults. Please contact 
Tamara to arrange a time for a visit.

Middle School (MS)

Our focus on innovation, water wheels, the industrial revolution, and how people have fit into this equation continues. We spent last Friday at the American Precision Museum in Windsor. This water powered mill built in 1846 by Robbins and Lawrence revolutionized manufacturing by designing and building tooling machines that produced interchangeable parts. In this case, the manufacture of guns. Beginning with a government contract to build 10,000 guns for the Mexican War and further prospering with additional contracts during the Civil War, the vast majority of rifles used by the Union Army during that conflict and in the Indian wars were either manufactured in Windsor or by machines built in Windsor and used in other factories. Of course, interchangeable parts became the standard and were in large part responsible for America's industrial and military rise and prominence. After a tour, students set about drawing machines and watching milling and gear shaping machines at work.

In addition to water wheel construction, Finn has been teaching perspective and water color techniques. Students will put these skills to good work next Tuesday as we visit Harrisville, NH, a quintessential 19th century mill town with classic textile mills, mill housing, and the original Harris homes.

Nora gives a lesson on the lab report

We visit one of the early homes of American manufacturing - The American Precision Museum

Trying to understand these amazing old machines by drawing them

Hilltop Invites you to Our High School/Alumni Night October 13th, 7-8:30pm
Hilltop Montessori Middle School graduates who are currently in their sophomore, junior and senior years will be here to share their experiences. How HMS prepared them for high school, the transition to new schedules and environments, to name a few. Public and private schools will be represented. 

Whether you are thinking about high school or Hilltop's Middle School, this is a wonderful evening to hear directly from our graduates about the Hilltop Montessori School experience. 

Upper Elementary (UE)
Our Egypt studies have moved into gods and religion. In botany we looked at defense mechanisms in plants, and students continue sketching leaves and identifying leaf types in their personally-created botany books. The students are also doing further experimentation with inclined planes, including the wedge.
Research on our chosen topics is drawing to a close, and students are learning how to organize paragraphs. We have had writing lessons on sticking to a main idea within a paragraph, choosing a strategy for organizing different types of paragraphs (chronological, reasons or examples by order of importance, compare and contrast for example), and creating good topic sentences that actually say something rather than merely listing a topic!
Annelise, Marian and Ava were the first UE students to begin our new negative numbers unit in math sequence. We begin with the negative "snake game," harkening back to an addition game played with bead bars in lower el; this group of girls are adamant that we must update the old snake story for this new work, which we're working on. Tom noted that this was overall a very positive experience.
The class has been enjoying subscriptions to Scholastic News, but its popularity is now rivaled by the first and second editions of the new "Haytown Buzz."  This is Montessori at its best: an entirely independent initiative on the part of students that applies a wide variety of skills-both social and academic-and energizes the class. Look for copies in the front lobby.
On Friday, October 14th, we are visiting the Latchis Literary festival to hear author/illustrator Harry Bliss. We will be using the new Hilltop van and will be sending out an email soon looking for supplementary drivers.
Reminders:  water bottles, inside vs. outside shoes, and warm outerwear.
Happy weekend.

Lower  Elementary (LE)

It was a busy week in lower elementary. Students worked on a variety of language and math works. Some students hunted for nouns, a few practiced reading and spelling words ending with the /k/ sound, and others reviewed pronouns. Some students worked on doubling numbers, others on adding with the bead frame, and still others on figuring out (4+2) x (4+2). In writers' workshop, everyone worked on thinking about an interesting character and the problem that he or she must solve. Students completed graphic organizer to help them think about this before they began writing a story.

We ended the week with a walk in the woods to learn about ferns. Students looked at different ferns in the woods and then more closely back in the classroom. Students will be learning more about ferns over the next two weeks.

Students brought home work folders  on Friday. Please send the empty folders back to school with your child  on Monday. Thank you!

Please join us for our first workshare next Tuesday, October 4th from 3-3:45pm. Students will share their work with you for twenty-five minutes. After that, Patrick and Dan will give a brief presentation on how we teach reading in the classroom and how you can help at home. Children can stay with Aftercare free of charge during the teacher presentation.

Birch Room

One of the wonderful things we've been seeing in our classroom this week is the way in which children connect the "works" to their lives at home. Sometimes, this has been as simple as a child pretending to make apple pie using a spooning work while telling a teacher about what they cook at home. Other times, it has been much more complex.  For example, recently MJ and Carter, two older friends, spent time talking about MJ's upcoming trip to Korea. The children took out a mapping work, found Korea, and put that puzzle piece in its spot on the control map. The friends then worked together to build their own three-dimensional map of Korea using blocks. MJ shared where he had been in past visits, and he and Carter incorporated these into the building, including a market and restaurant, on the map. When a section fell down, they worked together to repair and add to it. This one work touched on so many areas, including geography, fine motor skills, frustration tolerance, and perseverance. It also helped the children socially by providing an opportunity to communicate and cooperate, as well as prepare emotionally for their upcoming separation. It was beautiful to watch!  We included a picture below, as well as a few others from the week.

Have a great weekend!

Cheryl, Serina, and Mariam

Building the pink tower

Recreating a scene from a circle time book

Working with the geometric solids

South Korea

Willow Room

"The environment itself will teach the child, if every error he makes is manifest to him, without the intervention of a parent of teacher, who should remain a quiet observer of all that happens." 
~ Maria Montessori

Toddler Program (TP)

"The hands are the instruments of man's intelligence."  - Dr. Maria Montessori

We often have visitors peering in the windows of the Toddler Room and they marvel at the young children in our class who are busy, purposeful, and joyful as they go about their mornings. Though toddlers are small people, their pudgy hands are deceptive and are, in fact, surpringly strong and capable. 

Around 18 months toddlers experience an explosion of language. Suddenly they are talking more and gaining new vocabulary daily. At the same time, toddlers also begin to investigate their surroundings in new ways as they develop greater hand strength and skill and move from sensory exploration of their mouths to their hands. While their minds are making great leaps in development, so too are their hands. The two grow together; the experiences of the hand teaching the mind. 

That's why it's so important to give very young children lots and lots of opportunities to use their hands in purposeful and meaningful ways. The classroom is intentionally prepared with materials of varying texture, weight, and fragility. The works provide opportunities to practice using their hands in lots of different ways, like using a supinated wrist movement to open a bin, turning a key, pouring a glass of water, or strumming a ukelele. 

Dr. Montessori wrote, "...the child's intelligence can develop to a certain level without the help of his hand. But if it develops with his hand, then the level it reaches is higher, and the child's character is stronger...a child's character remains rudimentary unless he finds opportunities for applying his powers of movement to his surrounds...but those children who have been able to work with the hands make headway in their development, and reach a strength of character which is conspicuous."  In other words, the quality of a toddler's tactile experiences have an impact on all aspects of his developing mind. 

On a related note, special thanks to the Goldschmidt-Sauer family for donating boxes of beautiful puzzles and other toys that encourage toddlers to explore with their hands and teach their minds!

Have a good weekend.
Ellie, Amanda & Marco

Hilltop Helpers

Hilltop Montessori School has a wonderful group of helpful families supporting each other in many ways: carpools, meals in time of need, hand-me-down snow pants, etc. We would like to provide this space in the newsletter as a place that people can share needs and "gifts" with the rest of the Hilltop  community

Looking for a Glider or Rocker with Padded Ottomans
Our learning specialist Wendy Lynde is looking for two rockers or gliders to help with her recovery after her recent surgery. If you have one and are willing to lend it or know someone who may do the same, please contact Rebecca at the front desk!

Meal Trains:
We now have two meal trains in effect. One for Kerstin Kjellberg and the other for Wendy Lynde. Both are recovering from surgery. If you would like to contribute to either or both of these trains, please click on their name to sign up!

Winter Sports Chaperones

January will be here before we know it.
Click here to sign up to chaperone for Winter Sports. Thank You!

Community News

PAX, the Program of Academic Exchange, is interviewing families who might be interested in hosting Athenais from France, an exchange student at BUHS, from November to January, or for the rest of the school year. She is living in a "welcome family," who can only keep her through October but would be happy to serve as a respite family throughout the school year.  
Athenais is a delightful, smart, and confident 16-year old girl who likes singing, photography, cooking, martial arts, and skiing. She is an A+ student. Her dad is from Mali and she has a younger and older brother. She is allergic to cats and raw fruit. 

PAX students are enrolled full-time at BUHS and are encouraged to get involved in extracurricular activities. Host families provide room and board, as well as love and support while the student is far from home. Students do not need a separate bedroom, as long as you can provide a bed in a room with a host sibling and a place to study. They have spending money of their own for personal expenses and medical insurance.

Interested families are asked to contact Ann Newsmith or call 802-257-4710.

Brattleboro Rotary News

Nature Day  at Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center
Monday, October 10th, 9am-3pm
On this day of no school, drop the kids off to romp, stomp and explore as we play and learn in fields and forests, investigating the chilly changes that are taking place.  
$45/day non members, $35/day BEEC members, scholarships available. Information and registration  or call 802-257-5785.

Let's Hike for the Homeless!
Saturday, October 1st.
Please come "Hike for the Homeless", a benefit for Groundworks Collective, our local homeless shelter and drop-in center. Contact Amelia if you'd like more info. The hike is family friendly up Mount  Wantastiquet, in Hinsdale. Let's show our support with a gaggle of Hilltop Friends! Registration opens at 9:30am.

Ninth Annual LEGO Contest & Exhibit
November 18th-20th
This event is generously sponsored by  Brattleboro Ford SubaruG.S. Precision, Inc.People's United Bank, and Don Robinson Builder.
Build your very own LEGO creation and display it at BMAC!
Design and build an original LEGO structure according to contest guidelines available below, or just drop by and check out the fantastic submissions on display November 18-20, 2016.
Prizes for Creativity and Craftsmanship will be awarded in seven age groups: preschool, grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, adult, and adult/child collaborations. There will also be overall prizes for Best in Show, Best Architectural Design, Best Use of Moving Parts, Best Title, Best Diorama, and Best Space-Themed Creation. All prizes will be announced at an Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 18 at 5 p.m.
For more information, click here!

If you have a need, or a service or item to offer, let the  FRONT DESK  k now and we'll get it in the newsletter!

Hilltop Montessori School