Hilltop Montessori School's mission is for students to practice responsible independence in a caring community of curious, critical learners and thoughtful citizens.
Friday Newsletter / March 9, 2018
TONIGHT at 7pm: the Middle School's last performance of
"The Field"
Calendar Listings   

Monday 3/12/18
Girls on the Run 3:00-4:00pm
Spring Foods from Around the World

Wednesday 3/14/18
Girls on the Run 3:00-4:00pm

Thursday 3/15/18
Noon Dismissal - Parent/Teacher Conferences - child care provided, sign up at the front desk!

Friday 3/16/18
No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences - child care provided, sign up at the front desk!
The 2018 SummerFun registration fliers are out! All  Children’s House  and  Toddler Program  families have one with your name on it. Please check in with your teachers or the front desk if you still need one. Please sign up soon - limited openings. First come, first serve!
Upcoming Events...
March 23: Chili Cook-Off/Board Meet & Greet 5:30-7:30pm
Kids Night Out 5:30-9:00pm
April 28: HMS Tag Sale 7:30am-12noon
To celebrate Student Art Month, the Arts Council of Windham County hosts an annual display of student artwork at Brooks Memorial Library. Head on down to the library throughout the month of March to see artwork by Hilltop elementary students. 
Spring Cleaning?
Do you have some items at your house collecting dust?
Do you know a friend that would also like to take part?

All are welcome!
Email Roselle to reserve a table - only $10 per table!
(You sell and keep the proceeds!)

The Nutmeg Food Truck will be on site selling their delicious breakfast sandwiches and rotisserie chicken lunches!
Toddler Program
When I perused the pictures taken this week, I was struck by the tremendous joy the children exude in them. They found joy in creating, joy in independence, joy in discovering that a book about trucks is actually shaped like a truck, joy in doing real work and joy in being in nature. ​Seeing the world through the eyes of a toddler is to experience it with wonder, love, curiosity and joy. And as Dr. Montessori once said, "Joy is evidence of inner growth." Indeed. Their joy grows every day.
Basking in the snow!
Natalia hangs up an apron...
Shoveling the playground.
Proud Natalia!
​​​Speaking of joy, recently I was introduced to a wonderful new book called  The Montessori Toddler ​ by Simone Davies. It is not only beautiful to look at and hold (you'll see what I mean when you hold it - utterly joyful!), its content is fantastic, too. It's written for parents and gives lots of information about Montessori philosophy, setting your home up for your children, and supporting their growth and development. There are plenty of appealing drawings and helpful photographs. The school has purchased 3 copies of this book to offer as parent resources. If you are interested in borrowing one, please let us know! Intrigued? You can also check out her blog, The Montessori Notebook .
Ellie, Marco, Amanda, and Jessica
Children's House
“Knock Knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Interrupting Cow”
“Interrupting cow...” - “MOOO!”

Lately, some of our students have been experimenting with telling jokes. The one above is particularly popular, and that may be because we have been working on being patient and learning not to interrupt. This is a hard skill to master for children this age, who are developmentally egocentric. They are often so concerned with remembering and conveying their own ideas that even noticing that others are busy, let alone waiting to speak, can be a tall order. Still, developing this kind of impulse control is critical to later learning and social life.

In The Montessori Method, Dr. Maria Montessori stated, “We must begin our work by preparing the child for the forms of social life, and we must attract his attention to these forms”. In service to this goal, she highlighted the importance of “Grace and Courtesy” lessons to help children learn how to interact with one another, their classroom, and the larger world. Learning how to wait to speak, and when and how to interrupt, is a part of the Montessori Curriculum.

One of the biggest ways we teach children is through direct modeling, both through the natural conversations that occur each day, and by acting out specific role-playing scenarios in which teachers must wait to speak. We also directly teach children to quietly tap our arm when they have something to say. (We then give a quick verbal or nonverbal response, such as a quick hand squeeze, to let them know that we heard them and that they will get a chance to give their message soon.) 

Want to work on this skill at home? Try reading this article for some great suggestions!

Welcome to Indiana, who started in the Birch Room this week!
Young mathematicians at work in the Birch Room...
Allie helping Simone in the cubby area.
Setting a child up for success with winter dressing!
Lower Elementary
  S ometimes, you
  N eed to
  W ith the flow!

This snow-filled, shortened week didn't stop us from learning acrostic poetry in Writer's Workshop. We practiced with our names first, making a list of things we like as well as some of our traits, and then seeing how to fit them into our acrostic. Our mentor texts for this are Silver Seeds , a book of nature acrostic poems, and African Acrostics, a Word in Edgeways

In our fundamental needs lesson, Dan gave a presentation on how long-distance communication changed over time. He discussed the telegram, candlestick telephones, and texting on cell phones, among other things.

Save the Date! Our next Author's Tea will be on Friday, April 6th, at 2:10.   We enthusiastically invite you to hear the many forms of poetry we have been writing. 

Have a fantastic weekend!
Kerstin, Patrick, and Amelia
Kiersten solves time-related word problems as part of her math work. 
Wren and Hazel create artwork for their fundamental needs diagrams. 
Talia works on a grammar layout. 

Addy, Lydia, and Caroline work to complete a layout of biomes in Africa.
Upper Elementary
What a crazy early spring we’re having! Nevertheless, Upper El students persevered with new works and electives this week.
Dan demonstrates linocutting technique in his newest elective.
Another elective is “taking things apart” (the real trick: putting them back together).
When dividing a fraction by a fraction, Luke shares four sixths evenly with two thirds, then gives the other third an equal portion to discover before asking, “What does the unit get?”  (Because after sharing something equally, you always want to know how much each “one” got, right?)
Ukranian Egg Dying is a first-time elective taught by Nora and Amelia.
In her final week with our class, practice teacher Chrissy demonstrates the difference between linking and action verbs in a sentence.
This graph shows the distribution of daylight over the course of the year in Anchorage, AK (31 degrees N).
Middle School
Join us tonight at 7pm for the last performance of The Field!
On Thursday the Middle School presented their original theatrical performance “The Field” to enthusiastic audiences. The show reflects some of the ideas and concepts students have been exploring and wrestling with through the year. The driving inspiration was a poem by Rumi included in an essay we read by the Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. The name of the essay is “Working For Peace”. Here is the poem and some photos from the show.

Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, 
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.
After Care
Before the snow....
Hilltop Helpers
A big thank you to The Putney School for letting us use their bus for Winter Sports!
We’ve also really appreciated the snow blower that Tom Call
gave us last year!
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
Spring is in the air (currently)! This past week was our Spring Sports registration. We have released the Spring Newsletter which gives the details for each sport and the activities we will be offering over April school vacation. You may call office at  802-254-5808  or visit our website  www.brattleboro.org  or Facebook for more information.