2021-06 (June) Newsletter

“We must clearly understand that when we give the child freedom and independence, we are giving freedom to a worker already braced for action, who cannot live without working and being active.”

Maria Montessori

Calendar of Events

The above calendar information is from a “Google Calendar” and can be added to any Google Account.

Ending the School Year

As we come to the end of another school year, it is a great time to reflect on our successes and challenges.

Our state of normalcy was tested again and again, but with resilience and tenacity, our community persevered. With enthusiasm, our students came to school each day and gave us the hope we needed to continue through the school year. Even learning at home became its own novelty with the creativity of teaching experiential learning virtually. Despite the constant surprises, our students, families, guides, and assistants showed their versatility and ability to adapt.

Many lessons were learned this year; this experience provided opportunities for growth. Policies and procedures were refined and practices revisited. Although COVID regulations were restrictive, the restrictions also provided opportunities to modify practices and enhance procedures. Many of the beneficial approaches that were adopted this year will continue in the future.

It is with a great sense of gratitude that we end this year, grateful for the efforts of our community. As a collective group, we supported and encouraged each other and kept our community safe and functioning. We wish everyone a restful and fun-filled summer!

Library News and Summer Reading

It has been wonderful to see that the love of books and reading has not been affected by the many changes to MMEC’s library routines this year. The amazing adaptability and enthusiasm shown by our students of all ages is inspiring.

Thank you to all Casa and Toddler parents at Chief Crowfoot who requested books using the online form for their children this year. The last day this option will be available will be Friday, June 4th. Please note that all MMEC library books must be returned to school no later than Monday, June 7th. This gives us time to prepare the library for the upcoming school year. Please understand that families will be asked to replace or pay for any unreturned or damaged books.

With summer fast approaching, the break from school is a great time to explore new books and authors, start a family read-aloud or discover amazing audiobooks. Encouraging reading habits over the summer keeps skills sharp and promotes an easier transition into the next school year. On top of that, it is relaxing and fun!

As most of us won’t be travelling just yet, why not escape to different places and see the world through books? Here are a few suggestions for some travel themed reading:

  • Thailand
    1. “All About Thailand: Stories, Songs, Crafts and Games for Kids” by Elaine Russell (All ages)
    2. “Hush! A Thai Lullaby” by Minfong Ho (Casa)
    3. “Tua and the Elephant” by R. P. Harris (Lower Elementary)
    4. “All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team” by Christina Soontornvat (Upper Elementary and Erdkinder)
  • Italy
    1. “Italy ABCs” by Sharon Katz Cooper (All ages)
    2. “This is Rome” / “This is Venice” by Miroslav Sasek (Casa)
    3. “Look What Came from Italy” by Miles Harvey (Lower Elementary)
    4. “The Thief Lord” by Cornelia Funke (Upper Elementary and Erdkinder)
  • Mexico
    1. “Off We Go to Mexico!” by Laurie Krebs (Casa)
    2. “The Princess and the Warrior” by Duncan Tonatiuh (Casa and Lower Elementary)
    3. “A Mexican Cookbook for Kids” by Rosemary Hankin (Lower and Upper Elementary)
    4. “Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring” by Angela Cervantes (Upper Elementary)
  • India
    1. “The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk” by Kabir Sehgal (Toddler and Casa)
    2. “A Gift for Amma: Market Day in India” by Meera Sriram (Casa)
    3. “The Elephant’s Friend and Other Tales from Ancient India” by Marcia Williams (Lower Elementary)
    4. “The Night Diary” by Veera Hiranandani (Upper Elementary and Erdkinder)

Happy Summer Reading!
– Keri

Stories and Songs in the Music Classroom

I have the pleasure of teaching and exploring music with all ages of students at MMEC. To inspire and contextualize concepts, storybooks are part of each lesson with the Toddler and Casa children and are used with all ages at times. Some titles are just meant to be sung and enjoyed. With younger children, books with songs are wonderful conduits for developing the singing voice and promoting speaking and listening. Stories can also lay the foundations of reading skills, encouraging tracking and following along. They are also just pleasurable to explore and enjoy. A good song story can be a jumping-off point to delve deeper into musical explorations with older children.

One collection the children and I adore is John Feierabend’s First Steps in Music series, published by GIA Publications. A renowned music educator, he publishes a new picture book each year, and each one is based on a children’s folk song. Titles like Risseldy, Rosseldy, The Tailor and the Mouse, and Momma Buy Me a China Doll are just a few of our favourites. At the back of each book, you will find the score, lyrics and a link to a free mp3 version of the song. These are high-quality recordings featuring musician and educator Jill Trinka; I’m a big fan of her work as well!

Another author that the children and I enjoy is Iza Trapani. These books are based on nursery rhymes but extend the story. Because most of us know the melody to songs like Row, Row, Row your Boat and Mary Had a little Lamb, you can easily sing these songs and enjoy the stories with your children. With computers, we know at our fingertips, and you can also google the melodies if you didn’t learn them or have forgotten how they go.

The Raffi Songs to Read books are great as well. Songs like Wheels on the Bus, Baby Beluga, and Down By the Bay are perennial favourites. Again, you can easily find recordings of these songs online. I love all of Raffi’s children’s CDs as well. They are easy to listen to and generally include great songs, both familiar classics, and ones written by Raffi himself!

Most recently, I have purchased three books and developed lessons around them for the Casa through LE set. These include Say Zoop by Hervé Tullet, which is informally full of musical concepts and a lot of fun for children to read and explore. How Do You Dance? by Thyra Heder is a wonderful embrace of self-expression when dancing and moving. Snip Snap! What’s That? By Mara Bergman and Nick Maland is a fun tale about how three siblings deal with a scary encounter with an alligator. It’s full of juicy vocabulary, words like “flashing,” “crashing,” and “gnashing,” and “swished,” “swooshed,” and “slithered.” 

I encourage all of you to add song stories to your home libraries. Let me know if you have any particularly enjoyable books in your collection, as I’m always adding new titles!

Sarah Blackman

Census 2021

You may have heard that the 2021 Census is underway. It has been a challenging year for families, and the census might seem like another thing on your busy to-do list. However, we would like to encourage you to complete your census if you haven’t already done so. Census data helps governments at all levels plan for schools, transportation, community centres, libraries and recreational activities. Data from the 2021 Census will be even more crucial because it will help to evaluate the impact of the pandemic and to better plan for the future. You can quickly and easily complete your census questionnaire at www.census.gc.ca using the access code you received in the mail. If you need assistance or would like to have a paper (or alternate format) questionnaire, please call the Census Help Line at 1-855-340-2021. Thank you for doing your part to help plan for a better future for all Canadians.

Three Year Education Plan

Please find the MMEC Three Year Plan here:

Healthy Communication Ideas from Erdkinder

The 3 Door challenge – To post or not to post? To send or not to send? 
Door 1: Could I say this to someone’s face? 
Door 2: How would I feel if someone sent this to me? 
Door 3: Could I say this in front of everyone I know?

Non-violent communication:
1. Observe without judging 
2. Express feelings 
3. Express and clarify your needs 
4. Express specific requests: What specifically does the other person have to do so that you can feel your needs have been met?

Street Safety from the Upper Elementary

Dear Students and Parents,

We remind all the students to only go on the sidewalk so they don’t get hit by a car. So could you please drop your kids off on the school side? It would be much safer and also legal. If you can not stop on that side of the road, could you drop them off by the crosswalk to cross the street safely, please?

What Is Jaywalking?
Jaywalking means when a person crosses the street without considering the traffic rules. The usual term generally would mean crossing a street outside of a designated crosswalk or intersection; this is illegal.

Please follow these school and police rules, so your children learn good habits and do not get seriously injured by a car.

Jeanna and Maya


Lost and Found

Weather dependent, we will place any remaining personal items on well-spaced tables outside the gym area in the back parking lot. Items will be on display from June 16-19 from 9 am to 3 pm each day. Please do your best to come during these designated days as anything remaining after June 23 will be donated to our MMEC Clothing Line or to charity. Please do not enter the school and please practice social distancing.

We will remind children to bring all shoes and other belongings home during the last week of school.

CasaKE Recycling Denim

CasaKE recycling denim shoulder bags to celebrate Earth Day.

Erdkinder Bench

The Erdkinder students participated in a community art project and painted a bench for the park area.