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A Montessori Summer

Authentic Montessori education fosters curiosity and independence year round, but the summer months provide a unique opportunity to grow. Children seem to grow a foot taller or master a substantial new skill in just a couple of months over the summer break. Why is that? At Kendalwood, we have a theory on why these big growth spurts happen during the dog days of summer.

Spontaneity

Summertime is a natural companion to our Montessori ideals, which honour individual interests and prioritize each child’s needs. Our summer camp program provides extra time for students to explore and follow their instincts and interests. We can stay outside, share impromptu picnics and host carnival dance parties at a moment’s notice.

Creativity

Imagination abounds during summer camp! Each week means a new theme with corresponding games, art and music. Together with our students, we delve into new ideas and take cues from the children to go deeper or move onto new subjects. So many opportunities to make and create inspire new ways of thinking and looking at the world around us.

Capability

Stepping just outside of the routines of the academic school year empower children to stretch themselves with confidence. In a Montessori environment where exploration is encouraged and flexibility is available, they can see themselves in new ways and try out new skills in safety, knowing that a familiar friend or teacher will be by their side.

Summer experiences come together in a special way to springboard children from their current place of readiness to their next personal milestone. Thank you for sharing your children with us this summer as they continue to discover their world and learn how much they are capable of – it’s magical to observe and a true privilege to be part of their development.

 


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

Kendalwood Montessori – Seeds of Empathy Program 2015-2016

Last year, Kendalwood was fortunate to be one of only twelve Canadian centres selected to participate in the Seeds of Empathy program.  Our staff took part in a weekend training conference to learn and gain hands on practice in order to deliver the program. We are very excited to be continuing with the Seeds of Empathy program for the 2015-2016 academic year!

Seeds of Empathy’s mission is to build caring, peaceful, and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults. The program has proven to be effective in fostering pro-social behaviour and reducing aggression levels while increasing empathy in young children. The distinctive aspect of the Seeds of Empathy program is the special guest educator – a baby.

RONIN

Ronin is growing, he is joining us as a Kendalwood student!

Our students absolutely loved taking part in the program. Each week they happily gathered for Literacy Circles and enthusiastically participated in activities. The family visits were certainly the highlight of the program – the entire classroom was full of anticipation on visit day and began to recognize the cues when baby Ronin was about to arrive.

The best part was watching the growth of our students throughout the ten week session. We could see their ability to recognize and appreciate the feelings of others expand, and more importantly, understand that all feelings are valid –happy, sad or mad.

We have another exciting update to share – baby Ronin, our 2015 guest educator, will be joining Kendalwood in our Infant Program this year!  The students are so thrilled to have the chance to continue to get to know Ronin and spend more time with him at school, and so are we.

We would like to reach as many Kendalwood students as possible with this unique and impactful program, so we have submitted a request to include additional Kendalwood Teachers in Seeds of Empathy training to expand our program in 2016. Building a better world is a big part of our mission and the Montessori philosophy and the Seeds of Empathy program is such a wonderful extension of our curriculum.

Read more about baby Ronin & the 2015 Seeds of Empathy experience here! 


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

Public School Uncertainty Means Parents Considering Alternatives  

Is private education right for my child?

Is private education right for my child?

The summer is a time for enjoying sunshine, family vacations and spending extra time with our children at home. Summer is also a time when many families may are researching educational options for the upcoming school year. We often speak with parents who are using the summer break to reconsider the educational path for their child.

There are so many questionsAre my child’s needs being met right now?  What other options are available?  Can we afford a private education?

In Ontario, there is growing interest in alternatives to public education due to recent job action from local school boards. With mounting pressure from a looming strike, many parents are seeking not only stability, but a guarantee of quality education and individualized instruction for their child.

If you have found yourself re-evaluating options for the upcoming academic year, the following comparison may be helpful as you work through questions and concerns.

 

Kendalwood Montessori Public School
Class Composition   Classrooms enjoy 3 year mixed age groups. Students are placed based on level of readiness. Students are placed based on date of birth.
Teacher to Student Ratio 1:15 max for Casa and up. Each classroom has a qualified & experienced Montessori teacher and a dedicated assistant. Full day kindergarten classrooms are not subject to a hard cap on class size.
Curriculum Individually developed for each student based on their individual progression. Mandated set curriculum that does not allow for variation.
Learning Materials Students learn through a wide variety of resources and experiences both in and outside of the classroom. Peer mentoring and 1×1 learning is frequent and common. Rooted in lecture style and textbook lessons.
Student assessment On-going throughout the year.Teachers constantly observe and assess students and share with parents. Open and on-going dialogue. Set to Government mandated requirements. Primarily test based.
French Language Introduced at the toddler age and provided on a daily basis. Introduced at grade 4 – once/twice a week
Extracurricular   Lunch and afterschool programs are included in cost of tuition,  offered to families at NO additional cost Extracurricular may be inconsistent (based on individual school administration), programs are often canceled year to year

 

Interested in learning more about Kendalwood? Drop in or book a tour to see us in action! We are located in Whitby, Ontario in the heart of Durham Region.

 


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

Kendalwood Whitby Campus – Bigger and Better than Ever!

We have really exciting news to share! This summer, we are expanding the Kendalwood campus through additional square footage on the existing property.

Our campus has always been a priority for us, both inside and out. Previous renovations were done in order to increase the amount of natural light and add new flooring, making our classrooms bright and airy. Outside, our facilities offer multiple age appropriate play structures with rubberized surfaces and a wide-open soccer field.

The campus addition will provide three new classrooms, enabling Kendalwood to accommodate the growing demand for our infant, toddler and pre-casa spaces. And it’s only the beginning – this is phase one of a four year expansion program that will see us take over the entire building! With our convenient location and expanded campus, combined with our status as Durham Region’s first fully CCMA accredited Montessori school, we are proud to offer the best in quality Montessori education to Whitby families.

We are thrilled to be able to grow our Montessori community and invite new students to join us. We are certain that our expansion and improvements will enhance the Kendalwood experience and new families and students who join us as new will contribute to the close knit, inclusive culture that Kendalwood has become known for.

Updates will be provided as we progress on the renovations. If you have questions regarding additional spaces, please feel free to contact our principal Janis Koenders through the office.

Lower Elementary Classroom

Lower Elementary Classroom

 Playground

Playground

Casa Classroom

Casa Classroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

Group of five happy children jumping outdoors.

Easy Ways to Keep Learning on Summer Vacation

Time spent having fun and being active outdoors is the mark of a really great summer. Our kids continue to learn through summer play, outings and changes in routine. Parents sometimes worry that children will lose knowledge gained at school over the summer break, but that doesn’t need to be the case!

Here are a few tips and simple games you can use to encourage your child to use their knowledge and practice building independence in anticipation of the upcoming school year.

For 3-6 year-olds:

Tea Party

Tea Time!

- Have the kids host a tea party. Let them set it up and serve. If you are feeling courageous, let them clean up as well!- Punch holes out of coloured paper and create a pointillism artwork. Try making the picture symmetrical for extra challenge.

- Give little ones the time to practice buttoning up those pants, shirts or jackets themselves!

- Read, read, read! Read together at the beach, at the park and at bedtime,

- On road trips, listen to audiobooks together. Ask comprehension and prediction questions along the way.

- Play the license plate game. Look at the letters on a license plate and try to come up with silly phrases or words that begin with those letters; you can also use the numbers and add or subtract (multiply for the older ones) or even just read the large number (i.e. 123 = one hundred and twenty three)

 

For 6-12 year olds

- Read, read, read! Start a book club with some friends and their parents. Everybody reads the same book and discuss! Watch the movie on a special play date after  the book club meeting.

- Play Geography in the car. What are the capital cities of each province? Can you name the great lakes?

- Talk about your family history. Where did your child’s grandparents come from? Great-grandparent’s?

- Practice skip counting…everywhere! Always a good time to start counting by 4′s, 6′s or 7′s!

- Create a summer vacation journal. It makes a wonderful keepsake and helps kids practice writing and grammar skills.

- Experiment! Take a look at some of the websites below and try some of these awesome experiments in your backyard.

Science Bob

SciFun

Science Kids

 


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

 

 

It’s Been a Great Year at Kendalwood Montessori!

IMG_8405We’ve had a wonderful year at Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School! It has be so exciting to launch our new website and this blog, giving our families more insight into life at Kendalwood and sharing the Kendalwood difference with our community in Whitby and Durham Region.

Parent meet ups and other social events throughout the school year have been a great way to get to know one another better through great topics, great conversation and a great group of parents. We truly appreciate how all of you have contributed to the school climate we work so hard to foster.

We are particularly proud to have been selected as Durham Region’s Top Montessori School for 2015, as voted by you! We believe that our job is to inspire your children to become the best students they can be and we are committed to providing a strong Montessori community for our families.

We have prepared a highlight reel with a few photos from the 2014-2015 academic year. Enjoy!

We wish you all a relaxing summer full of learning and wonder!

 

Inspiring Our Montessori Students

If you have been following our blog or social media accounts, you’ll be familiar with our #BeInspired hashtag. These two little words have big meaning for us at Kendalwood! Our goal is to help students find inspiration in their lives, each and every day.

The foundation of our Be Inspired approach is built around cultivating a sense of wonder, the spirt to continuously learn and grow along with a habit of asking questions about the world around us. The prepared Montessori environment is an ideal place to spark ideas and generate discussion and our rich after school and community outreach programs provide additional avenues to foster the inspirational Montessori learning approach with guidance from our faculty.

This week, we asked some of our students what inspires them at Kendalwood. Here’s what they had to say!

 

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We love Kendalwood!

 “Lessons inspire me because they are very interesting and I love learning.” Yaashhika, age 8

Everyone is so loving and kind and I always have a smile on my face.” Jewel, age 10

“The work and the teachers inspire me so, so much!” Kennedy, age 7

“They let me use my imagination.” Jack, age 12

“It is a joy to see everyone’s smile on their face.” Lily, age 9

“The teachers are funny!” Ricardo, age 10 

“It’s fun being at Kendalwood.” Melanie, age 8


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

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Why Does Montessori Still Teach Cursive Writing?

The traditional practice of cursive handwriting is slowly disappearing from mainstream schools. Today’s students are printing instead, as focus shifts to typing and word processing. In the Montessori community, cursive writing continues to be a mainstay in the classroom. Montessori continues the tradition for a number of reasons:

Formation of Letters – Learning to write is hard work! There is fluidity to writing in cursive that makes it easier to learn, with increased speed and efficiency.

Trying to form each and every letter in print, taking the pencil off the paper after each letter and remembering how to print the next letter is time consuming. While it may seem the time difference is minuscule, it makes a big difference in the overall effort made while learning to write.

There is evidence that reading skills are more quickly developed, idea generation and retention of information is improved through cursive writing. Handwriting helps with the continuous flow of thought and enables students to think ahead while they are writing.

Fine Motor Skills – Cursive writing requires a large amount of control and fine motor skill. These skills are transferrable to many different areas of learning and proficiency supports students in their overall development.

Special Needs – In many situations, cursive writing can be beneficial for students with learning disabilities or special needs. Cursive letters have more distinctive shapes than in print, even though they may use the same upstroke or downstroke to produce.  Letters like b and d are easily exchangeable in print and children with reading difficulties or dyslexia often have an easier time reading cursive as a result.

Signatures – Despite the digital age we live in, the practice of using a signature is still required in many situations. What’s more, a signature is an expression of individuality and personality!  This is a special reason why teaching children how to write their name remains a priority in Montessori education.

Creating Beauty in the World – Maria Montessori believed that beauty and grace were an important part of the learning process.  If something looked beautiful, children would be more apt to take care of it, use it, and learn from it. Handwriting is an art form and Montessori develops penmanship as another way to support the learning process while bringing beauty into our lives.

 

At Kendalwood, we continue the tradition of cursive writing for all these reasons and our students take pride in the art of handwriting. What do you think? Does penmanship still matter in this day and age?

 


 

Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

Teaching Life Skills

Building a Better World through Montessori Peace Education

Maria Montessori was a passionate advocate of world peace. She believed that children are the key to achieving peace and she endeavoured to instill a sense of humanity in her students.

“Establishing a lasting peace is the work of education; all politicians can do is keep us out of war.”

- Maria Montessori

Many Montessori classrooms have incorporated the use of a Peace Table as a means to manage conflict within the classroom, where students can express their feelings to one another or seek solitude in an effort to prevent conflict from escalating.

Montessori Peace Table

The Kendalwood Peace Table

Upon discovery of a disagreement, students in dispute are encouraged to visit the Peace Table. This area of the classroom might be an actual table, or simply a quiet place within the classroom environment which is dedicated for children to use when they need to work out their differences. A symbolic item will be found at the peace table, such as a small rock garden, lantern or flower. The item can be to passed back and forth, signalling when it is a child’s turn to speak. Students are encouraged to take the lead in conversations, with a teacher merely facilitating as necessary to support a positive and peaceful solution.

The ultimate goal of this process is to help children independently recognize when they need to seek conflict resolution, without the intervention of a teacher or other adult. They are able to practice the skills necessary for effective communication, including listening, taking turns and not interrupting. Participants learn how to take responsibility for their actions and offer solutions on how to help the other child to feel better.

The spirit of compromise and compassion is fostered in an environment utilizing the concept of the Peace Table and students discover that they are capable of solving problems independently.  This sentiment is reinforced throughout the Montessori philosophy, as children are prepared to make conscious decisions that develop strong relationships and communities.

Through peace education, Montessori works to build a more tolerant and harmonious world, one in which we all have the skills to become effective peacemakers. At Kendalwood, we work to cultivate Maria Montessori’s vision of the future at all levels. This investment in our children will have a lasting impact on them as individuals and as a community, through a strong internal compass pointing towards peace and compassion.

 

Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

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Understanding Montessori Materials – The Knobbed Cylinders

Montessori materials can be a bit mystifying for anyone who has not seen them at work. On the surface they may appear simplistic, yet there is a great deal of thought behind these unique classroom tools.

The knobbed cylinders are part of the original set of Montessori materials. With an excellent hands-on introduction to size, the knobbed cylinders give young Montessori students indirect preparation for mathematics while learning about dimensions and developing fine motor skills.

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Tyler Working with Knobbed Cylinders

This set of four blocks, each with a series of cylinder insets which vary in size, help to develop the child’s visual discrimination of size as cylinder sets vary in height and/or diameter. In addition, the knobbed cylinders indirectly prepare children for writing, through the physical handling of the cylinders by their knobs. These fingers are also used in the manipulation of many simple tools such as a spoon, scissors etc. The hand is being trained for manipulation skills in a methodical way.

A graduated sequence of exercises are offered through the material, as students learn to judge size by height, and in time, reach an understanding of the more abstract concept of dimension. Once proficient in one knobbed cylinder set, the child can take out multiple cylinder sets at a time to add further challenge with more variety of height and diameter.

Not only do students learn about size and dimension through the knobbed cylinders, but they gain vocabulary related to these topics, practice left to right progression and learn beginning problem solving skills. This knowledge enables them to observe and interact with their environment with greater awareness and insight.

Like all Montessori materials, the knobbed cylinders are self-correcting. When a piece does not fit, or is left over, the student will know he or she is not yet finished. Children are able to determine that a problem exists and take steps to address the problem without any intervention from a teacher. This produces a deep sense of accomplishment!

The knobbed cylinders are just one of many sensorial materials which support abstract concepts. Is there a Montessori material you would like to know more about? Leave us a comment and we’ll feature it in an upcoming blog. If you would like to learn more about Montessori materials, please give us a call or drop in to our Whitby campus for a tour.

 

Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.