Leonardo Da Vinci Academy 1 100 Allanhurst Drive, Toronto, Ontario M9A 4K4 Exceptional Schooling For The Formative Years Founded 1983 www.ldva.on.ca Vol 29 No 2 LDVA NEWS October/November 2014 LEONARDO’S CHALLENGE Mr. Jewell With autumn’s beautiful colours on full display, it seemed fitting that we headed outdoors to James Garden for the first Leonardo’s Challenge of this school year. On October 24th, students in Grades 1 to 7 were challenged to survive as animals living in the forest while participating in an ecosystem simulation game. Students were each assigned a role to play, and as with most forest ecosystems, there were carnivores (wolves, foxes, and owls), herbivores (deer, rabbits, squirrels, and mice), and omnivores (raccoons) competing for food sources. In our game the food was represented by tickets, which were hidden throughout the playing area for the herbivores and omnivores to find. Carnivores obtained their food by “hunting” (tagging) the herbivores, with specific prey/predator relationships; for example, only the wolves could hunt the deer as they are larger animals, while the smaller herbivores were fair game for all carnivores and the omnivore. To make the game more realistic, the smaller herbivores were outfitted with flag football belts, making them more elusive and difficult to catch. Different animals had different food target totals in order to ensure their survival; the wolves, being larger animals, needed ten tickets to survive while the smaller herbivores only required one ticket at the end of the game. In addition, two students were chosen to play the role of “forest fire” and “flood” in order to simulate real hazards, and some of the teachers also took on the role of human hunters to make the game more challenging. Students incorporated many of the Da Vincian principles in “surviving”; most notably, they identified corporalità, sensazione, and connessione as key components of the experience. The next Leonardo’s Challenge is on November 13 hosted by Mrs. Lee. REMEMBRANCE DAY ASSEMBLY On November 11, Remembrance Day was celebrated in our school gym. This year's assembly coordinated by Mrs. Lobo, included poems, presentations or recitals from all the LDVA students and inspiring trumpet solos of "Taps" and "The Last Post" by Mr. Sheehan (shown right). It was great to see so many parents attend the ceremony and be part of our celebration of world peace - Maria Montessori would have been proud. "Don't handicap your children by making their lives too easy." R. A. Heinlein LDVA OPEN HOUSE On Thursday, November 20, guests and new families are invited to visit our school throughout the day. Prospective parents are welcome to drop in between the hours of 9 am to 11:30 am and 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm. Parents are asked to invite relatives, friends and colleagues who may be interested in exploring our exceptional school. Staff will be available to discuss our exceptional school and explain LDVA's unique programmes and "Thinking Like Leonardo" philosophy. Please spread the word. MID-TERM REPORTS and PARENT-TEACHER INTERVIEWS Mid-Term Reports were issued on November 7. ParentTeacher Interviews will be held on the evening of Thursday, November 20 and during the day on Friday, November 21. No classes will be scheduled on the Friday to allow for the interviews. Parents may sign up for these interviews on the sign-up sheets in the gym on the morning of Thursday, November 13th . Tables will be set up in the gym from 8 am - 9 am and again from 3:30 pm - 4 pm. So as not to upset our morning and afternoon routines, we ask that parents please enter and exit from the gym door located off the school yard. If you are unable to come during those times please contact Mrs. Lee to make other arrangements. Parent-Teacher Interviews are an occasion for parents and teachers to review objectives, share information, and to focus on the strategies for continued progress. LDVA NEWS - Page 2 Vol 29 No 2 STUDENTS AT THE HUMBER ARBORETUM INTRAMURAL SPORTS T. Jewell The L.D.V.A. Sports program is once again in full swing as four teams vie for the coveted Tim Brown Memorial Trophy, which is on display opposite the office. Early in the year, the grade 6/7 captains drafted teams comprised of enthusiastic student athletes from Grades one and up. After four weeks of sensational soccer, followed by four weeks of fantastic football competition, the Sfumato Speedsters have set a frantic pace, surging ahead of their closest rivals, the Arte/Scienza Army, with a well balanced combination of ability and drive. The Army is constantly on the march, searching for tactical weaknesses to exploit, while looking to advance and conquer all opposition with strategic effectiveness. Meanwhile, the Curiosità Carnivores and Dimostrazione Dragons have had their claws at each other’s throats for most of the young season, as they scrap it out for third place. Of late the Carnivores seem to be the hungrier of the two teams, but with the commencement of the basketball unit, the Dragons are looking to breathe some fiery life into their play. They will attempt to scorch their opposition and take flight after a sleepy start to the season. Current standings (as of November 2nd) are as follows: Team Sfumato Speedsters Wins Losses Ties Points 13 5 6 32 Arte / Scienza Army 12 5 6 30 Curiosità Carnivores 6 11 7 19 Dimostrazione Dragons OUTDOOR EDUCATION EXCURSION On October 27, the entire school went on a field trip to the Humber Arboretum. Preschool students had a guided tour of the natural habitats of certain animals and spent the morning enjoying the beautiful colours of fall. They practised using their “sensational senses” as they explored the arboretum grounds and learned how different animals use their senses. The Lower Elementary students spent the day experiencing the wonders of nature. In the morning they learned about what makes birds unique. In the afternoon, through interactive games and activities, they learned how our actions affect the health of the planet and all the wildlife. Students in Grades 4 to 7 also discovered how everything in nature is connected by studying the Arboretum ecosystems. It was a perfect occasion and a weather perfect day to practice all of the Da Vincian Principles and especially Sensazione and Connessione. ST. FRANCIS TABLE T. Barba Many thanks to the LDVA families for their generous contributions in aid of the St. Francis table food drive. To date this Capuchin charity has served almost 1,200,000 meals to the less fortunate. Inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, this LDVA tradition also serves as a meaningful way for our school to celebrate Thanksgiving. On September 25, students and staff celebrated the first Mass of the school year in the gym with Father Glaba from All Saints Church. READING BUDDIES WITH SENIORS This year we have taken our "Reading Buddies" programme to Scarlett Heights Retirement Residence. Every Friday morning students in Grades 1-7 visit the seniors to read or play board games. This has been a very rewarding experience for both young and old. WORLD ITALIAN LANGUAGE DAY 5 15 3 13 Note: Two points are awarded for a win, one point for a tie On October 16 LDVA students celebrated the 14th Italian Language in the World Day with Mrs. Barba by making delicious pizza. LDVA NEWS - Page 3 SCUOLA MATERNA NEWS Vol 29 No 2 Ursino/Ricciuti Con il materiale Montessoriano , scoprendo e imparando le nuove attività, i bambini continuano a lavorare sotto la guida delle insegnanti, che aiutano nella scelta del materiale , sviluppando così un processo di autoeducazione. Ringraziamo i genitori per la fruttuosa collaborazione nel donare il cibo per " St. Francis' Table" e per la generosità nella partecipazione alla corsa di Terry Fox. Il 27 ottobre : visita " Humber Arboretum" dove i bambini hanno esplorato il cambiamento della natura nel periodo autunnale. Il 31 ottobre : festa di Halloween, tutti i bambini hanno indossato il costume preferito ; è stato un divertimento sfilare e presentare i costumi alle altre classi. Il 7 novembre: i genitori riceveranno le pagelle ( Midterm Reports). L’11 novembre: " Remembrance Day", in palestra alle ore 10:50 am, ricordiamo i soldati morti in guerra. Il 20 novembre : colloqui e incontri tra genitori e maestre , questi si terranno nell'aula della Scuola Materna nelle ore serali. Nello stesso giorno “Open House”, un giorno dove le famiglie nuove potranno visitare la scuola. Il 21 novembre: ancora colloqui con i genitori durante il giorno ( 9:00 am fino alle 4:00 pm), quindi non ci sarà scuola per i bambini che invece rimarranno a casa. Si ricorda ai genitori , che ogni lunedì è’ dedicato a “Show and Tell”, questo per fare in modo che il bambino possa esprimersi meglio nella lingua italiana e rafforzare la confidenza in se stesso. Si prega di consultare il calendario. L’inverno sta arrivando, e con l’inverno arrivano anche raffreddori e influenze, come fare ? Vestire il bambino in modo appropriato ,e se si nota che il bambino non sta bene tenerlo a casa e curarlo, evitando così’ di contagiare il resto della classe. Verso la fine di novembre i bambini della Scuola Materna si accingono alla preparazione del Concerto di Natale, quindi è necessario arrivare in orario a scuola la mattina. (tra le 8:30 am e le 8:45 am ). CASA MONTESSORI NEWS Cameron/Rutherford To connect with the changes that autumn brings the children enjoyed an informative morning at the Humber Arboretum. There they walked numerous trails to observe and use their senses to explore all the wonders of nature. With the changes in temperatures we remind parents to check the Weather Report daily to ensure that your child has the appropriate clothing to wear outside during recess. It is helpful if parents help their child practice dressing at home first so they can become more independent. Also, parents are asked to please provide each child with a full change of name-tagged clothes since items are similar and this will help to avoid any confusion. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, again this year we came together to create ‘Stone Soup’ – a celebration inspired by the story of three monks who taught villagers the importance of generosity and sharing. Each child had a role in preparing the soup either by chopping or peeling vegetables or mixing the ingredients in the pot. The Casa children enjoyed baking and decorating their own Halloween Monster cookies and parading through the school showing off their costumes. Recently, the children made specially baked goods for our parent workshop. Many thanks to parents who donated the baking utensils which have become a nice addition to the practical life segment of the Montessori curriculum. Thank you also to Mrs. Lobo for organizing the Remembrance Day assembly. The Casa children recited an inspiring poem about children being kind and thoughtful to one another. Casa Brentwood Library trip is December 12th between 12:00 & 2:00 pm. Please check that your child’s library card is up to date and fines are paid to facilitate the process of signing out books. Pyjama Day & pancake breakfast is December 17th. Christmas concert is December 18th at 4:30pm. Our second Parent Workshop ‘The Montessori Approach to Language’ had an excellent turn-out. It was an informative evening that included several clips of the children hard at work with the Language materials. Our next Parent Workshop is on February 26th at 6:30 pm - all LDVA parents are invited to attend. LDVA NEWS - Page 4 Vol 29 No 2 LAPA NEWS WHAT KIND OF PARENT ARE YOU? THANKS to the parent volunteers who have helped to beautify the front walkway with plantings. Thanks also to all parents who have made contributions to school programmes. Though parent volunteers are a welcomed addition to the school's resources, overall parent support and co-operation with school policy is even more essential to build a healthy school environment. The best support is the kind that re-enforces existing programmes, philosophy, and procedures, especially when it is given by all parents. For example, full co-operation with the school's uniform policy and arrival/dismissal procedures goes a long way to fostering a safe, efficient, and happy school environment. We are happy to announce that parents Nadia Arnone, Andrew Finn, Cristina Galati, Ivana Vaccaro and Mrs. Lee have agreed to serve as this year's LAPA Executive team. LAPA meetings will take place the first Monday of each month at 7:00 pm (The first LAPA meeting was held on November 10). All parents are invited to attend. S. Ritacca The term "Helicopter Parent" is used to define a style of parenting described as over-parenting, Helicopter Parents tend to be overly obsessed with their children's education, safety, extracurricular activities, and other aspects of their children's lives. These parents are criticized for over protecting their children and failing to instill in them the confidence, independence, and cando attitude that will prepare them for real world challenges. Often the products of such parenting are insecure children who cannot fight their own battles and who rely on their parents for resolving even the smallest conflict. These parents also tend to over programme their children's time and not allow enough opportunities for autonomous play and exploration. This undermines a child's development of independence, social skills, creativity and self-esteem. Helicopter parents defend their parenting practices, saying they are only looking out for their children's best interest. The reality is that often over-parented children are robbed of their autonomy and burdened with the insecurities of their parents. For whatever reason, these parents tend to enable dependency rather than nurture independence something clearly detrimental child development. Some parents become so obsessed with what they wrongly perceive as their child's 'best interest' that they even permit their child to lie, disrespect teachers or break rules rather than hold their child accountable. "Don't worry that your children never listen to you. Worry that they are always watching you." Robert Fulghum on " Being a Role Model for Your Children" The LDVA OPEN HOUSE is on Thursday, November 20. Parents are asked to please spread the word to neighbours, relatives, colleagues and friends. Word of mouth has proven to be the most important and effective way to promote our school to new families. Spreading goodwill about LDVA is the best way parents can insure the future growth of our school. See Mrs. Lee for details. Exploring Nature Still Life - Grade 4 Art Class Photo by Mrs. Lee The practice of over-parenting became popular during the 1990s when parents were bombarded with news reports about child abductions, academic competitions, and global competitiveness that fueled parent paranoia. More common in the lower grades, these parents are also present in high schools and beyond. Overparenting young adults desperate to establish their independence is counter-productive and may lead to rebellious and destructive behaviour . Free-range parents, the backlash to over parenting, believe that children learn best when they are allowed to make mistakes, spend more time at play, and not be limited by social commitments. Though these are all worthy objectives, carried to an extreme these can give rise to other problems. Effective parents never abdicate their role as parent. Especially in the early years, a child will always need guidance, advice, boundaries, and someone to say "no" and not enable poor decisions. The role of a parent is not to enable children's 'wants', win their friendship, or serve as their "bubble wrap" from the world. It is to help meet their needs for growing into responsible, healthy, honest, confident, loving individuals. Though experts argue the benefits and consequences of over-parenting and free-range parenting alike, the challenge is to find the perfect balance. The Montessori and "Thinking Like Leonardo" educational models serve as exceptional templates to find that illusive balance.
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