Friday Newsletter / December 1, 2017
Hilltop cross-country skiers of last winter season.
Winter Sports Sign-Up Happening Now!
“Practical Life” is a classic part of the Montessori curriculum. Students like doing real work that accomplishes something in real life and teaches practical skills. In every program we have lessons and activities in Practical Life - and in Southern Vermont, “Winter Sports” is a part of our Practical Life curriculum. The winter sports program takes place on Thursday afternoons during January and February. During these active afternoons, students are not only getting good exercise and fresh air, they are also learning the very practical skills of:
  • a life-long activity of skating, x-country skiing, downhill skiing, and/or snowboarding
  • independence with winter gear and self-care, and how to help others with the same
  • perseverance through the challenges of learning a new physical skill and dealing with the cold

Kindergarten students have ice skating lessons at Living Memorial Park. Lower Elementary students may choose skating at the park, downhill skiing at Mt. Snow (starting at grade 2), or cross-country skiing at the Brattleboro Outing Club. Upper Elementary and Middle School students also have the additional choice of snowboarding at Mt. Snow. (All costs are covered by the tuition, except for an additional fee for the more expensive option of Mt. Snow.)

Sign-up forms are in the front office now and due by Monday. See you on the snow!

Calendar Listings  

Monday 12/4/17
MS Basketball 3:00-4:30

Tuesday 12/5/17
Open House 9-11 a.m.
Spanish with Marco 3:30-4:30
UE Basketball 3:00-4:30

Wednesday 12/6/17
Marionettes and Backdrops 3:15-4:30
MS Basketball 3:00-4:30

Thursday 12/7/17
All School Gathering 8:45 a.m. (CH hosts)
LE Basketball Clinic 3:15-4:30

Friday 12/8/17
Chess 3:15-4:30
UE Basketball 3:00-4:30

Monday 12/11/17
MS Basketball 3:00-4:30

Tuesday 12/12/17
Hanukkah Begins at Sunset
Spanish with Marco 3:30-4:30
UE Basketball 3:00-4:30

Wednesday 12/13/17
Marionettes and Backdrops 3:15-4:30
MS Basketball 3:00-4:30

Thursday 12/14/17
All school gathering 8:45 a.m. (MS hosts)

Friday 12/15/17
Chess 3:15-4:30
UE Basketball 3:00-4:30
Kid's Night Out! 5:30-9:00
Upcoming Events...
December 5: Open House 9-11 a.m.
December 12: Hanukkah begins at sunset
December 19: Upper EL Museum trip
December 19-20: Upper EL Museum presentations
December 20: Ginormous cookie swap and Snowflake Raffle Noon Dismissal for all!
December 21: December Break begins. Winter Solstice
January 2: No School. In-service day.
January 3: School Resumes
January 15: Annual Financial Aid Applications Due
January 31: Open House 9-11 a.m.

Alumni Return to Hilltop!
We LOVE having our grads come back after they graduate and we are thrilled that they WANT to come back. In the two days before Thanksgiving, many came back to visit and help with Stone Soup. They also helped Middle School students make 50 pies for the Women's Freedom Center, Groundworks Shelter and Drop In Center, and Loaves & Fishes community kitchen.
We caught a few of them to ask them how their experience has been so far in high school (just three months), and they had some great reflections about their time at Hilltop, specifically in the Middle School. Mason Foard ’17 shared his filming skills and equipment to film his classmates Henry Thurber, Alex Lier and Magdalena Sharff. Mason makes a few comments off screen. He just can’t help himself. Their maturity and perspective is interesting.
Watch the video or visit our Facebook page !
André Silberman '07

Hello Hilltop Montessori Community! I am André Silberman and it is great to be back again. I visited last winter and have enjoyed SummerFun for soccer camp in the summers. I will be working at Hilltop until the holiday break. I am a former student who graduated from Hilltop in 2007, lived in Bangkok during high school and graduated from Seattle University in 2015 with a degree in International Studies and French. Over the next month I will be involved with alumni outreach projects and assisting, as needed, in various classrooms and in aftercare. I currently live in Seattle where I work as a youth soccer coach for a local soccer club called Seattle Celtic. I am so excited to be back in this environment, observing and working with such a talented group of educators who all were and continue to be enormously supportive of me in my life discernment process. 
Moments from Stone Soup
Meal Train for Angelique!
Hello friends of Angelique & Bahati & Cody,
Many of you remember, or know, Angelique who helped with our Children’s House aftercare last year. She now has a beautiful new baby boy, Jonathan David Kanyamanza and he already fits into his Hilltop onesie!
Mom and baby are both recovering well from a challenging labor and cesarean delivery, and are expecting to go home soon. There is a Meal Train set up that includes opportunities to bring dinner to the family, as well as some other ways to provide extra support (Angelique is supposed to lay low for 2-3 weeks after the surgery. There are  opportunities to bring meals, to come by the house to help Angelique, and to pick up Cody from school . They can really use help during these first few weeks in particular.
Thanks so much for being a part of this village helping to support our friends and their growing family!
Click here to Participate, or to Add or Change your Offering(s)
Friday Morning Adult Basketball @Hilltop!

Mace would like to start adult coed basketball pick up games on Friday mornings from drop off to 9:30am. If you are interested shoot him an  email !
Kids Night Out
Friday, December 15th
Do you want to have a fun night out on the town? Are you having a hard time finding a babysitter? Do you want your children to have just as much fun as you do while you’re out? Drop your Children’s House, Lower Elementary, or Upper Elementary child/children off at our Arts Barn anytime from 5:30-9:00 pm on Friday, December 15th to have a night of fun and games with our responsible middle school babysitters.
There will be fun, games, crafts, and tons more! At least one adult and lots of fun middle schoolers will be there. We will provide snacks, and have a new option:   Pizza!  Please sign up for the pizza in advance. If you don’t want pizza, please pack a nutritious dinner or feed your child before you come. This fun night for you and your kids costs only $7.00 an hour and $5.00 for each additional child. Pizza is $5.00 more for two slices. All proceeds from Kids Night Out go to the Hilltop Montessori Middle School Odyssey Fund. Our businesses are an important part of our fundraising, so your support really helps! Your child must be at least three years old and potty trained.

If you are interested in signing up, or if you have any questions, email us.  We have only 25 spots, so don’t wait, sign up now!

Mmmmm Cookies!

Save the date! Wednesday, December 20th - Noon
is our Annual Ginormous Cookie Swap, Holiday Craft Sale and Snowflake Tricky Tray Raffle!

Bring in a batch of your favorite homemade cookies on the morning of Wednesday, December 20th for our Annual Ginormous Cookie Swap. Buy a box, sashay down the line of delectable treats and fill yours to the brim with cookie goodness!

Were also collecting small items from merchants and crafters, like gift certificates etc. for a modest "tricky tray" raffle. We sell raffle tickets and you choose the item you'd like to win and place your ticket in that item's jar. 

In the recent years, we've invited students and parents to sell their crafts. Our very own Cheryl, teacher from the Birch Room, sells gorgeous wreaths, maple syrup and other fun crafts. 

**If you are interested in helping to organize this year's event, would like to donate something to the tricky tray raffle or would like to set up a table to sell crafts, email Roselle here
Toddler Program
“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.” - Dr. Maria Montessori

"The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child's own natural desire to learn." - Dr. Maria Montessori
"The teacher's task is first to nourish and assist, to watch, encourage, guide, induce, rather than to interfere, prescribe, or restrict." - Dr. Maria Montessori
Birch Room
This week the Birch Room had a number of new activities, both planned by teachers and designed by the children. In Practical Life, the children were able to explore a number of new pouring, spooning, and tweezing works. A new movement space was added to the room as well, including a second body sock, a bilabo balancing work, wiggle seats, and other materials. The Olders created their own new work as well, when they decided to graph the children going home at 3pm and those staying for aftercare! And, of course, all the children continued to enjoy the Montessori works across the classroom. See below for some pictures from our week!

-Cheryl, Serina, and Mariam
Eko and Eleanor display their graphs.
Oliver shows off our new body sock.
Henry and Asha work on land and water forms.
 Paisleigh relaxes by the Peace Area.
Odin gives Leo a helping hand.
Andrew works a puzzle.
Willow Room
There was much excitement this week as children came back to school after our break. They were so happy to see each other after only a few days apart. We sense the children really feeling a part of our community. Many of them are connecting with peers more than in the beginning of the school year and friendships are growing. If you are ever curious about who your child is playing with feel free to ask us. 

Here are some pictures of our week in the Willow Room.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Rebecca and Jonathan
Sylvia and Annabel look at a book together.
Finn and Patrick work with the Metal Insets.
Sylvia gets creative with the art materials.
Amaya makes her own tactile "i".
Alexander practices writing.
Mazin works on the 45 Layout associating quantities with their symbols.
Patrick uses the Moveable Alphabet to create "-at" words and then writes them on paper.
Lower Elementary
We had a great time at the Montshire Museum of Science! As part of our study of the composition of the earth, we attended a hands-on workshop on the rock cycle. There was also plenty of time to explore the exhibits.
Thank you to our drivers: Nara, Andrea, Lucia, Kathryn, Katie, Ben, Jen, Marta, and Leah. 

Enjoy your weekend!
Kerstin, Patrick, and Amelia
Ayla and MJ peer edit each other’s rough drafts of their non-fiction picture books.
Olders use the stamp game to complete their weekly reviews for math.
Addy and Lydia practice their cursive. 
Lucas gives a morning circle presentation about living in Ecuador!
Fun in Haytown!
Upper Elementary
The Upper El welcomed a new student this week - Theia! Theia was a student at Hilltop 6 years ago in the Willow Room and most recently was a Montessori student in Ithaca, New York. When the class first found out at circle on Tuesday that she was joining the class, we all burst into spontaneous applause. Welcome, Theia!
Theia and friends.
The sixth graders continue to learn about the formation of our government, specifically the three branches and their checks and balances. In addition, they are researching 6 important Supreme Court cases that struggle to define the rights outlined in the bill of Rights and have shaped our collective history. What sort of searches should be allowed? What kind of speech and expression should be protected? How far does executive privilege go?

Present Making Day will soon be upon us - the morning of December 20, the last day of school before the holiday break. Students make small craft gifts under the watchful guidance of parents, teachers, and friends. If you can lead a small group of Upper Ellers in this endeavor, or are willing to help out, please email Tom. We have project ideas if you don't. 
Federalists and anti-federalists rally as they debate ratification of the U.S. Constitution (spoiler: it was ratified!). We have now moved onto the Bill of Rights, which helped resolve concerns with potential abuse of power among the anti-federalists.
Nora and a complicated Venn diagram of quadrilaterals.
Middle School
We are at that point in the term when students turn their attention from the research, interviewing, and photo shoots they have been involved with to designing and building their projects. Students are currently engaged with four demanding tasks to be completed by the end of the semester: the ‘Before Our Time’ Brattleboro history project, the ‘Life in Brattleboro: Society Project’, which encompasses a film as well as a framed photo montage, and a spontaneous project of their own choosing. This is the ultimate exercise in time management, organization, and efficiency. 

The products of many of these efforts will become part of the downtown Brattleboro scene early in 2018. The ‘Society Project’ films will debut at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center on Gallery Walk night, January 5th at both 5:30 and 6:30. The framed collages will be exhibited at Amy’s Bakery through the month of February and the ‘Before Our Time’ Brattleboro history books will be on display at Brooks Memorial Library in January.

Every student has designed a spontaneous project to pursue an individual interest within the realm of our ‘Sense of Place’ exploration. Lily Charkey was interested in the concept of home for people who spend much of their life abroad. To further her research, Steve Iams, a board member, father of Patrick in the Willow Room and Minjae in Lower Elementary, and a professor at the School of International Training, brought his class of international students to the middle school. We introduced ourselves and sang a few songs in morning circle and then Lily facilitated a dialogue with the SIT students about home, identity, and a sense of place. It was a fascinating and moving conversation with some very articulate graduate students and terrific material for Lily’s project.
We talk about the idea of “Home” with students from the School for International Training Masters program.
Preparing food for the Overflow Shelter's dinner service.
Hilltop Helpers
A message from Julia Fedoruk, 8th grader in the Middle School:

I am still collecting clothes for refugees, which local nonprofit  Carry Me Home sends to camps and outreach programs in Greece.  We currently need adult winter clothing sizes small and medium, warm adult sleeping bags, and shoes/boots for all ages.  Needs change as we hear from our contacts in the field, so please check this space for any updates! All items should be clean and in good condition. Please leave them in the box in the lobby. 
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!
Community Events
Cotton Mill Open Studio Holiday Sale! 

December 1 - 4

Lisa Charkey will open her art studio with a display of mixed media work on paper. Morocco inspired holiday cards will be available for sale as well as hand sewn Moroccan leather babouche from her Lily and Chloe Shoe Line.

"What would you do if you had all eternity...?"

New England Youth Theatre proudly presents its 2017 Holiday Musical: the regional premier of the beloved tale “Tuck Everlasting”, opening on December 7 at 7pm at NEYT,  100 Flat Street  in Brattleboro Vermont. Additional performances will be held at 7pm on December 8, 9,14, 15, and 16, and at 2pm on December 9, 10, 16, and 17.

Tickets for these performances are $15 for Adults, $13 for Seniors, and $13 for Students. 

Tickets may be purchased in advance at , in person from 12-5pm on Wednesdays at the NEYT Box Office, or by phone  (802) 246-6398 . The show plays at New England Youth Theatre,  100 Flat St. Brattleboro .