LDVA NEWS Leonardo Da Vinci Academy October/November 2014

Leonardo Da Vinci Academy
100 Allanhurst Drive, Toronto, Ontario M9A 4K4
Exceptional Schooling For The Formative Years
Founded 1983
Vol 29 No 2
October/November 2014
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.
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
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 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
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
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:
Arte / Scienza
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.
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.
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.
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
Vol 29 No 2
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
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
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 ).
To connect with the
changes that autumn
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
With the changes in
temperatures we remind
parents to check the
Weather Report daily to
ensure that your child
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
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.