UE Update: Doing Hard Things Builds Resilience

A Cross-country meet?  In NOVEMBER?

Even though students had been training and practicing in gym for this late season cross country meet, many were worried; about winning or losing, about being too cold, too tired to cross the finish line.  For many, this was epic, a race of Mount Everest proportions in their minds!

There are many reasons as adults that we would be tempted to help children avoid or escape such an extreme and difficult challenge.  Too cold.  Too long.  Too boring.  Not their ‘thing’.  We have a strong instinct to protect and shield those we love, especially when they are young.  As children get older, however, things become more and more murky; we know children don’t gain confidence without experiencing challenges, but surely we could save them from THIS particular challenge….?  Which challenges are important?  Which ones could we dodge?  The fact is,  adversity builds strength.  Any adversity.  Emptying the dishwasher.  Writing a math contest. Death in the family.  Having conflicts with friends. Running a Cross-country race in November!  We want our children to face hard times and know that they can dig deep and accomplish really difficult things.  We want them to face new situations with a ‘give-it-a-go’ attitude, and be able to cope with challenge and failure.  After all, life is FULL of new and difficult things.  As well, who can deny the benefits of the camaraderie and connection we feel with others who have been through hard times too?

The first ever KMS Cross-country meet was full of challenges.  As well as training for weeks beforehand, students were directly involved in making the day a success.  Middle school students baked cookies all week and made giant pots full of home-made chicken soup, hot chocolate, lemonade to sell during the day.  The morning of the race, some schools sent in cancellations, worried about temperatures and weather.  Our multi-school race was shrinking…could we pull it together?

Parents, teachers, volunteers and students all felt the cold temperatures that morning.  It sure felt like winter, while watching other grades race.  Amazingly, in the end, the students said that when they were running, they didn’t feel cold at all!  Students made a real effort to be good hosts to those who came from other schools — playing games at lunch, describing the course, cheering each other on.  Altogether, the day was a resounding success.  Everyone worked together to make a memorable, epic challenge happen, and the benefits from coming through a day like that outweigh all of the difficulties involved.  Truly, nothing worth having comes easily.  This event built resilience.

Some thoughts about what we can do to promote resilience in our children, from a wonderful website article by the Montessori School of Wellington, in Guelph: https://montessori-school.ca/blog/building-resilience/

Model self-control – use techniques such as taking deep breaths, counting to ten, removing yourself from the stressful situation.  Demonstrate to your child that you don’t expect instant gratification.  Encourage your child to keep trying even when it’s hard, difficult or frustrating.

Help your child to understand that there are situations in life that are challenging and have no magic solutions. Show them that sometimes you need to work at finding solutions and deal with adversities.

Help your child to identify what she can and cannot control.  How we think about situations that happen to us really determines how we feel and what we do.  Be a flexible thinker and gently challenge your child’s assumptions.  Offer ways to see a situation from another perspective and new ways of handling difficulties they might face.  If you find that your child has a persistently negative attitude, for example, “I never get to go first,” or “ Now everything is ruined,”  challenge their thoughts and remind them of the times when they were first and remind that, if one thing goes wrong, not everything is ruined.

We ourselves are here because of the determined efforts and resilience of generations of others.  For them, we are grateful.





UE Update – Mini Worlds and Remembering…

Perhaps the motto in UE should be ‘Plan it, Then Make it Happen’. We keep practicing this, over and over. It’s fine to have great ideas, but we know the world doesn’t change unless you put some of those great plans into action!

We really stepped up this week to make our part in the Remembrance Day ceremony great! We wrote poems, made art, and did a little researching to find out more about the wars, and the people in them. We shared our work at the Ceremony today. Joe’s Uke group shared a great song – yay, Uke group! We had a special visitor (Brennah’s dad) come in to share a gripping story about his aunt Maria, and her life as a teenage Polish supporter of the resistance. She was a prisoner at Auchwitz, and survived the war to live her life in Canada. It really makes us thankful that we don’t have to face war in our country and all the very devastating things that come with it.

This week on Wednesday we had a great time in Burnham Woods investigating soil. There’s a lot there that you aren’t seeing unless you really look closely! Thanks to Nancy and Carrie for helping us to learn outdoors.

UE Update: Famous Figures visit us, the cupcake phenomenon, and the show-offs!

We had some spectacular famous figures from history visit us this past Tuesday morning.  Wow, never was there a day when Albert Einstein shared space with Emily Dickinson, Joan of Arc, Christopher Columbus, Sylvester Stallone… truly, 25 of the greats!  We learned how to do a Biography in the last couple of weeks, researched our famous people, and then dressed up as them, presenting our information as if we were statues that came alive in our Interactive Wax Museum!  It was both fun and stressful to present to people who came to visit, and our fellow students too.  Joe, Carrie, and Kristina said that the costumes and presentations were top notch, this year!  Thanks so much for helping us at home, too.

Awhile ago, a group of students on the Celebrations Committee had a meeting and started some planning about our traditional Halloween Potluck.  Everyone brought lots of food (cupcakes) and we ate lots of creepy things (cupcakes) and even had enough left over to offer around to the teachers in the school (cupcakes).  Ummm, if you didn’t already guess, we had lots of cupcakes!  They were DELICIOUS!  Aaaaand, there are never too many cupcakes.  Seriously! Thanks for helping us get the potluck things ready at home, we know it was such a busy week with everything happening!  We say it was very worth it.

Next week we are hoping to show you around and let you see what we have been doing here at school these last couple of months!  Won’t you please come in on Wednesday after school so we can show off a little?  Thanks for making the time.  Also, if Wednesday isn’t a great day, feel free to pop in any day with your student to see their work (as long as it’s not a yoga day!)

UE Latest by UE Students: Thanksgiving and School: Same-Same?

(a collaborative blog by Noelle, Brennah, and Kristina)

Quick: what is the same about having Thanksgiving with your family, and being at school?

In our school there so many different ways of showing our skills! There’s math, spelling all that stuff but in UE you can also learn things that make a difference in the way you live your actual life at home. Thanksgiving to me is a hectic time of year but is also a great time of year!  At Kawartha Montessori we learn to help with real things like learning how to do things in the kitchen or taking care of younger people. On the special holidays, we like to do things that make it fun for us and easier for you parents too! We know what it means to be part of a group and not just take, take take!  We are also learning how to get along, and be givers and helpers, too.

Having Thanksgiving with all of your relatives and being at school with all of the people is very similar. As students we try our best to take care of each other and make sure everyone feels included just like a family. Just as we we are polite to our teachers we must treat all of our relatives with respect and be polite and talk to them even if at times it can be difficult. We take care of the Casa students and bring them in from recess. We also take care of our younger siblings and cousins at family events.  When you are really taking an active part in where you are, whether it is a family event or being at school, it makes the whole experience a lot more interesting for everyone, actually.

Casa News: Week of 24-28

This Week:

We had our first school-wide fire drill this morning and the students did really well!  This will happen at the end of each month so the children become familiar with the process. You can ask your children questions like “where do you go when the fire bell rings?” (answer – out of the school), “where does your class meet once you get outside?” (answer – at the back of the parking lot), “who do you stay with during a fire drill?” (my teachers).

Next Week:

Welcome October!  We will be working on a Thanksgiving craft this week and are asking that each child please bring in a Mason jar on Monday or Tuesday. If you do not have one and won’t have a chance to buy one this weekend, please let us know and we can see about finding an extra. Thank you for your help! We will also spend time this week talking about gratitude and giving thanks as we lead up to our Thanksgiving long weekend. Reminder: there is no school on Monday, October 8.

Tip/ Reminder:

A reminder that we post pictures on the password protected section of the KMS website each week.  You will not get an email notification when we post them so please check in every once in a while to see if there are new pictures of the students.  You may notice that the photos from last year have been archived so hopefully they will load faster now. In case you forget the steps to login, please see them below:

  • http://kawarthamontessori.com
  • Hover your mouse over “KMS Parents’ Page” until the drop down appears
  • Hover your mouse over “Classroom Pages” and then click “Casa”
  • Enter the password 

Remember, if you signed the photo restriction form when you registered, your child’s photo will not appear on the website. If you would like to remove this restriction, please see Dianne in the office.

Casa News: Week of June 4-8

This Week:  Casa students started the week off creating a  fresh & super healthy green smoothie in Casa Cooks!  The students utilized their kitchen skills learned throughout the year and got right to work cutting, chopping, washing, and grating fruits and vegetables.  Enjoy this delicious recipe below 🙂

Groovy Green Smoothie

*green grapes                                                                                                                                          * cucumber                                                                                                                                                * kiwi                                                                                                                                                              * celery                                                                                                                                                        * granny smith apples                                                                                                                          * 1 cup of ice

Blend ingredients in a blender and enjoy!


Tip of the Week: Sunhats! With the increasing sunshine and even on cloudy days comes harmful UV rays. Please make sure to send a sunhat to school with your child every day and/or keeping an extra hat in their backpack is also a good idea.

Happy Weekend!


Casa News: Week of May 28-June 1

This Week: 

After receiving 200 donated trees in our backyard last week, the students have done a wonderful job this week of nourishing our new trees with lots of water each day!  Using hoses, buckets, and watering cans, the entire school has pulled together to make sure our new trees grow big and strong!

Next Week:

Parent Teacher Interviews are happening next week. Please be sure to sign up for a time using the link that Dianne emailed this week.  We look forward to meeting with each of you!

Tip of the Week:

June is a busy month here at KMS.  Be sure to check the online calendar as well as keeping up with the emails from the office.

Here are a few items to make sure you have on your calendar:

June 1 – Jump Rope for Heart

June 8 – PD Day (Parent Teacher Interviews)

June 8 – Parent Social – 6:00 pm at Millenium Park

June 19 – KMS Garage Sale (after school)

June 21 – Moving Up Day (ceremony for graduating Casa students in the morning)

June 21 – School Picnic (after school)

June 22 – Closing Ceremonies and Grade 8 Graduation (morning).

June 22 – Report Cards go home

Casa News: May 7 – 11

This Week:  

Both Casa classrooms have been enjoying doing their work outside in the nice weather! Casa North has set up their “outdoor classroom” in the backyard, which the children have access to through their back door. Casa South children have been choosing to do work on the picnic table out front and on the small tables accessed through their side door. We are so lucky to have these opportunities!

Next Week: 

The Expressive Art Show is here! Please plan to walk the halls and admire art work from all of our students, Casa to Middle School.


Next Friday is a P.A Day and a long weekend! Yay!

MS Update: April 30-May 4

Hello Middle School Families!

Expert Day:

Thank you to those of you that came to see our projects on Expert Day. It was lovely to see all of you and welcome you to our classroom. Here are some photos from the day:

Coffee Program:

Our coffee program is up and running! Thank you to those of you that have supported us. We are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30-8:45. Thank you also to Jayda, Grace, Jack and Peyton who have been working hard to keep the delicious treats at your disposal.


Important Academic Dates:

Wednesday, May 23 – Music Written Exam (in class)

Wednesday, May 30 – Music Playing Exam (in class)

Thursday, May 31 – French Exam (10:30am)

Monday, June 4 – Science Exam (1pm)

Tuesday, June 5 – Language Exam (9am)

Wednesday, June 6 – Drama Presentation (4pm)


We will be going to Camp Wanakita with the rest of the KMS Elementary students (grades 1-8) from June 13-15. Middle School students spend one night in camp and one night on a canoeing overnight on the same lake as the camp. More details will follow in the coming days.


A.J. & Carrie