UE and MS Had Great Camping Adventures! 
September 9th, 2016



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Parent Orientation
Toddler Program (TP)
Children's House (CH)
Willow Room
Hilltop Helpers
Save the Dates
Community News
Next Week at Hilltop
Monday 9/12/16
MS Soccer

Tuesday 9/13/16
UE Soccer
Parent Orientation Night

Wednesday 9/14/16
MS Soccer
Spanish with Marco

Thursday 9/15/16
LE Soccer

Friday 9/16/16
UE Soccer
Pizza Lunch Begins

Check out the 2016-2017 School Calendar 

Coming Up...

Thursday 9/22/16
First All School Gathering

Celebrating Many Languages!

Russian, German, Korean, Spanish, French, Bambara, Romanian

What do all of these languages have in common? They represent part of the diverse community that is Hilltop Montessori School! 

All of these languages are spoken by at least one member of our staff or families. The Toddler Room boasts the most languages spoken; Spanish, Romanian, Russian and German and a teacher who is speaking Spanish to Spanish and non-Spanish speakers. In the Children's House there are Russian, German, Spanish and Korean speakers! Lower El has two Spanish speaking students and Upper El, a student fluent in German and one in French.  The Middle School has fluent French and Spanish speakers.

Having such a diverse community including our wonderful faculty and staff so broadens the already wonderful learning experience students have at Hilltop. We currently have faculty from Korea, Ecuador and Mali. See more below!

We are extremely appreciative of the warmth, kindness, mindlfullness, yoga, and gymnastics skills that 
Jaimie Pelletier has brought to our Children's House and After School programs for the past two years. Jaime is moving to Maine to further her studies in Montessori, yoga and healing arts. We certainly wish her well and know that we will stay in touch!

We are proud of the multi-cultural and bilingual teachers that we have in our Toddler Program and Children's House. As many of you know,  Mariam Diallo , our Director of AfterCare and BeforeCare, is from Mali and often uses her French native tongue with our students - just ask "Olivier!"

We also now have both Nayeon and Marco permanently on staff and working in the Toddler Room and Children's House.  Nayeon Kim Maas  is a native Korean speaker and has her Masters Degree from the School for International Training (SIT). We are so pleased to have her on board as an assistant to the Children's House program.

And we are thrilled to have  Marco Yunga  working full time this year. He is speaking primarily his native Spanish (being from Ecuador) with our youngest students as he works in the Toddler Program, AfterCare and also leads our Olders from the Children's House in their bi-weekly Physical Education classes. With Marco speaking Spanish as he interacts naturally in the classrooms and outdoors, our younger children are getting exposure to the sounds of another language and the beginnings of a cultural awareness of the larger world. As we all know, they are little sponges at this age. Several toddlers are already starting to pick up and use a few Spanish words! Muy bien!!!

Parent Orientation

Parent Orientation is on  TUESDAY
September 13th, all are strongly encouraged to attend!

This is an opportunity for families to connect with faculty, learn about the curriculum, and to ask questions. This is especially helpful for students new to a program. The schedule for the evening is split to allow parents to attend with children in multiple programs.

5:30 - 6:30pm for Toddler, Lower El and Middle School
6:30 - 7:30pm for Children's House and Upper El

Please sign up for childcare at the front desk!

Toddler Program

Now that we are in the second week, children are feeling more comfortable and ready to explore the classroom. Here are some photos of children getting to know the routines and working.

I was recently asked by an interested parent, "What's next? What will you teach [my child]?" Well, next Tuesday, September 13th, from 5:30-6:30,  the Toddler room will host a parent night to talk about how the children spend their days, what we teach, and what our big picture goals are for the school year. It's a nice opportunity for parents to gather, learn a bit more about the Montessori philosophy, ask questions, and, of course, see some more pictures of the children at work. We hope to see you there! Child care is provided; sign up at the front desk or contact  Rebecca Fontaine .

Enjoy the weekend.

Ellie, Amanda and Marco

Birch Room
Practical Life

As the school year begins, one of our busiest classroom areas is often "Practical Life". In Practical Life, children practice everyday skills through pouring, twisting, tweezing, lacing, and other works.  These activities help children become more independent in their day-to-day lives by building small and large muscle strength, control, and coordination. Because each material has a defined sequence of steps, children also work on developing memory, concentration, and a sense of order. These works are simple in nature, so they also allow younger children or those new to the classroom an opportunity to successfully practice the sequence of selecting a work, preparing a workspace, completing the work, and returning it to its "home". This, in turn, boosts confidence and indirectly prepares children for all the other areas in the classroom. For older children, Practical Life can serve as a place to continue to practice motor skills and socialize with friends. Look below for some pictures of Practical Life in action!
Please join us for Orientation Night on Tuesday, September 13th from 6:30-7:30 to learn more about Practical Life and all the areas in classroom!

Cheryl, Serina, and Mariam

Willow Room

What an incredible first week of school! We have been very busy getting to know new friends, routines and works. The beginning of the school year in a Montessori classroom is a magical time of exploration and development of basic skills. We begin with the cycle of work: Choosing a material, using the material purposefully, and returning it to it's "home" on the shelf. We are still learning where everything belongs, but with reminders and help from the older children, this process does not take too long! Even with basic lessons and introductory instruction, most of the morning is spent working independently. Even our new friends will explore, or observe without the direction of a teacher. Each child builds the confidence to choose work on their own, and learns through observation and the modeling of others. 
A few reminders: 
We have gotten into the routine of changing into indoor shoes. Especially with the colder weather fast approaching, if you haven't already, please send in a pair of shoes to be worn inside. Shoes or slippers with rubber soles are recommended. In the event of an emergency or fire drill, we do not change shoes before going outside -- soft bottom shoes may be uncomfortable if the ground is wet. 
Do check-in on extra clothing, and please switch out summer shorts and short sleeves for pants and long sleeves. If you are unable to come in to check the extra clothing bins in our classroom bathroom, we are more than happy to let you know what may be needed. 

P arent Orientation Night is this Tuesday, September 13th. We will be exploring the Montessori classroom and have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and look into a day-in-the-life of a Montessori child. Different information will be covered from our new family orientation last week, so please come to this as well! If you have any questions about this, let us know. 

See you soon! 

Jonathan and Rebecca  

Lower Elementary (LE) 

This week in the Lower Elementary students began settling into work time and the regular schedule of language, math, and cultural lessons. Over the next few weeks, students will be exploring a short chemistry unit called Nature of the Elements. During this unit students will be introduced to the properties of mixtures, solutions, and saturations. This week, students explored how two or more substances can be combined into a mixture, and then separated. Before we dive deep into our study of botany, students were introduced to or reviewed the five basic classifications of life on the planet. This will help students place plants within the larger context of all life on the planet. 

Some quick reminders: Some students reported still being very hungry after lunch. Please check in with your child about the amount of food he or she brings to school. If you haven't yet, please help your child pack a mug and a pair of indoor shoes next week.

Upper Elementary (UE) 

Thursday afternoon electives have started! 

Jewelry making

Wood carving

Sawing and sanding to build a whirligig

Experimenting with an inspirational whirligig

Programming class

Middle School (MS)

New Upland Approach Method

Rigging the rope for Big Green

Emmy takes care of the demo duties

A new table for our kitchen

Music on the hanging rods

Lunch prep

Upland circle

Mason at the grill

A School Fair for Families Heading Off to High School Next Year
The Grammar School is hosting a secondary school fair on September 14th, 6:30-8pm and Hilltop families are invited to attend. Currently they have 7-8 schools participating, NMH, VA, Putney, Choate, Miss Porter's, KUA, Dublin to name a few, and there are a few more likely to join. Students and families are invited to meet admissions representatives who will speak to individual families, answer questions and have their materials available for you to pick up.

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. 

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

Seeking Event Planners!
Got a knack for party planning? Join our parent group of event planners. First up, a Family Friendly Halloween Dance Party to celebrate Annual Fund Week. Friday, October 28th! Contact Amelia.

Save the Dates

Thursday, October 13th, 7-8:30pm
Hilltop Invites you to Our High School/Alumni Night
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. 

Saturday, October 15th, 6:30 pm
Hilltop is so pleased to 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. 

Kate is the author of seven books.  Two of them were co-written with the poet Kenneth Koch, including  Sleeping on the Wing: An Anthology of Modern Poetry with Essays on Reading and Writing, a poetry handbook widely used in high school and college classrooms. She has taught writing at Columbia University and with the NY State Poets in the schools program, and she acted for a decade with the New York Art Theater Institute. Her poems have appeared in such journals as  PoetryHudson Review, Harvard Review and  Partisan Review-and her work was chosen for three editions of  Best Spiritual Writing.

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

Community News

September 25th Parenting4SocialJustice @ The Putney Library
Several staff have enjoyed and benefited from the Classism and Social Justice programs that Angela Berkfield offers. Please consider these "Parenting for Social Justice Chats" as a way to add to your parenting tools!

Looking for support in talking with your kids about social justice issues?
Looking for ideas & motivation for taking social justice action as a family?
Join us for these interactive chats which will highlight books and helpful
resources. The focus this fall is on economic justice, gender, and taking action.
Hosted by: The Putney Public Library and ACT for Social
Childcare provided. RSVP to Angela or  802-254-3400 to reserve a spot for your children ages 3+.
Free. Coffee/Tea & Bagels provided.

Tennis with The Brattleboro Outing Club
Jacob Miller will be running the Annual Fall Junior Tennis Program at the BOC starting Tuesday, September 13th

It will run Tuesdays and Thursdays for four consecutive weeks from 3:45-4:45pm.
The cost if paid upfront is $90 otherwise $15 per session if paid by the day.

If you have questions email Jacob or call/text 603-313-7672.

Let's Hike for the Homeless!
Saturday, October 1st.
If you'd like to join the Hilltop team to "Hike for the Homeless" which will benefit Groundworks Collective, our local homeless shelter and drop-in center, contact Amelia. 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.

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