Glebe school happenings

Glashans trip

Glashan Intermediate School Grade 7 students, teachers and accompanying parents on their three-day trip to Quebec City, May 10-12. Photo: Sacha Singh

Quebec City Notre voyage à Québec

by Jeremy Hare-Chang

Quebec City is a very different place from Ottawa. If you ever go there, you can see the blend of architectural styles that have come and gone during the long history of Quebec City.

In Lower Quebec City, you might think you were in a history museum, with cobbled streets and buildings that you can tell were from the 18th century and cannons that look like they are still ready to defend against attackers.

A 10-minute’s walk from there and you’re in a much more modern place, with houses with wood façades instead of a stone ones. Even there, you’re reminded of the history of Quebec City, with the tall modern hotel that we stayed in being right beside the historic Plains of Abraham.

Quebec City shows the incredible variety of buildings and places that only a city with that kind of history can show.

Jeremy Hare-Chang is a Grade 7 student at Glashan Intermediate School.

par Claire Stoney

Le 10 mai 2017, tous les étudiants du septième année de l’école Glashan ont eu la chance d’aller à la belle ville de Québec pendant trois jours. C’était un voyage excellent et tous les étudiants se sont bien amusés! Le voyage à Québec est une tradition à Glashan, et chaque année le voyage est un grand succès.

Nos trois jours à Québec étaient très actifs et dynamiques! On a fait beaucoup d’activités amusantes mais aussi fatigantes. Le premier jour, tout le monde devait arriver à Glashan à

6:00 le matin – c’était très tôt, mais on se sentai si excité! On était tous à bord l’autobus a six heures, prêts à partir. Quand nous sommes arrivés, nous avions un tour des plaines d’Abraham. Nous avons fait une tournée fantôme dans le vieux quartier de Québec et c’était vraiment épeurant – nous pourrions imaginer les personnages qui y vivaient il y a plus que 300 ans! À la fin de la tournée à pied, c’était enfin le temps de manger notre souper!

On a tous dormi très bien dans notre hôtel, Le Concord, et le lendemain on était prêts pour un autre jour très occupé. Le deuxième jour, on a commencé avec une école de cirque. L’école de cirque était extrêmement amusante! Nous avons appris à jongler, monter un monocycle, faire du trapèze et faire de grands sauts sur le trampoline! On a pratiqué nos compétences acrobatiques à lécole de cirque pendant trois heures, et on était tous très fatigués! Ce soir là, nous sommes allés à un aréna de quilles. Tout le monde était content de retourner à notre hôtel pour aller au lit!

Quand on s’est réveillé, nous étions tous un peu triste car c’était le jour de notre retour à Ottawa. Mais d’abord il y avait de nouvelles aventures qui nous attendaient! Nous avons visité les belles chutes Montmorency, un musée de cuivre et puis la Basilique Saint-Anne, l’impressionnante église à Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.

C’était une expérience fantastique et tous les étudiants de la septième année de Glashan se sentaient vraiment chanceux d’être allés à Quebec.

Claire Stoney is a Grade 7 student at Glashan Intermediate School.

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Glebe Collegiate’s front yard is about to get a makeover. Photo: Liz McKeen

Glebe Collegiate’s front yard is about to get a makeover. Photo: Liz McKeen

Redesigning Glebe Collegiate’s front yard

by Amy and Sarah McKay

Glebe Collegiate Institute’s environment club TWIGS (Those Who Initiate Greener Spaces) is undertaking an exciting new project: redesigning the school’s front yard! Currently the space is underused and we are hoping to reanimate it. Our plan includes upgrading the garden and providing a more inviting seating area. In addition, we plan to offer better bike accessibility and bike parking through designated paths and an increased number of bike racks. Other potential features for the yard include an outdoor classroom and indigenous art.

This will be a multi-year project due to the scope of anticipated work, with a target completion date of 2022, which is Glebe Collegiate’s 100th anniversary! To learn more or to check out the preliminary plans please visit TWIGS’ website www.green4glebe.wixsite.com/twigs.

Amy and Sarah McKay are the co-heads of TWIGS (Those Who Initiate Greener Spaces), the environment club at Glebe Collegiate Institute.

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Tree Ottawa initiative at Glebe Collegiate

by Claire Wright

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Members of TWIGS (Those Who Initiate Greener Spaces), the environment club at Glebe Collegiate, handed out free saplings to support the goal of planting 150 new trees in the Glebe this year. Photo: Amy McKay

In 2014, Ecology Ottawa committed to planting one million trees in the city by 2017. The goal of the Tree Ottawa initiative is to replace the estimated number of trees that will be lost in the capital over those three years from threats such as the emerald ash borer. The Glebe Community Association’s Environment Committee has started Trees in the Glebe in partnership with Ecology Ottawa with the aim of planting 150 new trees in the neighbourhood for Canada’s 150th anniversary. Recently, TWIGS (Those Who Initiate Greener Spaces), the environmental club at Glebe Collegiate Institute (GCI), organized Earth Week from April 24 to 28 with environment-themed activities. TWIGS made free saplings available to students, staff and parents on the Thursday of Earth Week as an even smaller offshoot of these initiatives.

The giving out of saplings at Glebe Collegiate began with a fortuitous meeting between TWIGS and Jennifer Humphries from the GCA Environment Committee, when it came up that Ecology Ottawa was providing free seedlings to prospective planters. The club reached out to Ecology Ottawa and received an enthusiastic reply. From there, it was a matter of numerous emails, meetings with the principal and lots of advertising. Forms were sent out to parents and staff, and an Ecology Ottawa representative came to give out the trees. Forty-seven saplings were delivered to eager Ottawa residents and many of the trees were planted in the Glebe. The seedlings are about a foot tall and will require some tender loving care for which Ecology Ottawa helpfully provides instructions.

The Earth Week initiative at GCI has contributed to Tree Ottawa and Trees in the Glebe but there is still plenty of work to be done. Trees are vital to our environment and our community. Both Tree Ottawa and Trees in the Glebe will help to bolster our city’s canopy by increasing the number and diversity of trees. Dedicated environmentalists have made free seedlings available, so now it’s up to you to find places to plant them. In partnership with Ecology Ottawa, the Glebe Community Association is looking for spots for planting on private land (front, back, side yards), city land (street allowances) or parks. Please contact them if you know a good spot in the Glebe, if you’re ready to plant a tree in your yard or if you want to volunteer. Ecology Ottawa will also be at many events around the city throughout the summer.

Contact the Glebe Community Association at environment@glebeca.ca and Ecology Ottawa at treeottawa@ecologyottawa.ca.

Claire Wright is a Grade 12 student at Glebe Collegiate and a member of the TWIGS environment club.

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The Right to be different

by Dijana Bate

IllustrationPreviously, I have written on topics not specific to Montessori. Exceptionally this time, I have taken the liberty to speak about our Montessori Mediated Learning program at Glebe Montessori School, as we wish to share our success with it with families who may need specialized education for their children.

We are all different. Our differences can set us apart or bring us together and challenge us to question ourselves. Humans are social by nature; the success or failure we experience in our relationships affect and shape our lives. As adults, we have options for expressing our individuality through the work, social settings and special interests we select. For children, however, the choices are limited; there is more pressure to fit into the mainstream, especially at school. Children’s self-confidence, social relationships and academic performance can be compromised when their behaviour or learning style deviates from the norm.

Today, the number of children who are being labeled for their differences is multiplying. A 2015 George Washington University study shows there is a 43 per cent increase in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnoses since 2003. Autism spectrum disorder is also on the rise, whether resulting from new diagnostic criteria or an increasing awareness of the condition. “The Real Reasons Autism Rates are Up in the U.S.,” published in Scientific American, cites that one in 68 children in the U.S. have autism in 2017, more than double the one in 150 rate in 2000.

Temple Grandin, celebrated author diagnosed with autism who overcame challenges to earn a doctorate in animal behaviour, commented, “Half of Silicon Valley’s got mild autism, they just avoid the labels.” She went on to say, “Einstein would be labeled autistic today. Steve Jobs was probably on the spectrum.” Those “who were probably on the spectrum… were just called geeks or nerds before.”

An educational setting that supports students’ neuro-diversity by offering multi-learning strategies is Glebe Montessori School’s innovative Montessori Mediated Learning (MML) program for students in Grades 1 to 6. With a low student-to-teacher ratio of 4:1, this full-day elementary bilingual program encourages children’s unique cognitive wiring and perspectives, focusing on strengths and addressing deficits. MML is ideally suited to those children who need greater academic and individual support. Children who join the MML program are often highly advanced academically in some areas, yet struggle and need support with challenges stemming from ADD or ADHD, anxiety and panic disorders, dyslexia, mild autism spectrum disorder, past trauma or gaps in their academic foundation.

MML integrates the Ontario curriculum guidelines with the pedagogy and psychology of Dr. Maria Montessori and Dr. Reuven Feuerstein, two doctors renowned for their groundbreaking theories and contributions in the field of child psychology and education. MML combines the Montessori method with Dr. Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment (FIE), a series of progressive exercises which “helps students learn how to learn and provides them with the concepts, skills, strategies, operations, and techniques necessary to function as successful, independent learners.”

The Montessori model of education, incorporated by the MML program, responds to children’s distinct learning styles, cultivating experimentation, inquisitiveness and executive functioning skills. It is no small wonder that Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Jeff Bezos, founders of the world’s two most prominent companies, Google and Amazon, were Montessori students. “We both went to Montessori school,” Page said, “and I think it was part of that training of not following orders and being self-motivated, questioning what’s going on in the world and doing things a little bit differently.”

True to Montessori, MML teachers serve as guides and facilitators rather than play a central role as disseminators of information. Great emphasis is placed on nurturing in every aspect of teaching, mentoring or counseling, especially when interacting with children who experience academic or emotional challenges. Classroom groupings consist of multiple ages, with older students mentoring younger peers. It is wonderful to witness how some children who experience difficulty connecting with others start to blossom in their conversations and bond with each other and their teachers once they feel secure in this supportive, nurturing environment.

The Montessori Mediated Learning environment is where students with specific needs are respected for their individuality and gain a sense of well-being that facilitates learning and builds self-confidence.

For more information about the Montessori Mediated Learning Program, please contact Glebe Montessori School at 613-237-3824 or gmsinfo@glebemontessori.ca.

Dijana Bate is the founding director of the Glebe Montessori School

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The students’ colourful art was displayed at Gordon Harrison’s gallery on Sussex Drive.

The students’ colourful art was displayed at Gordon Harrison’s gallery on Sussex Drive.

Canada’s next generation of young artists

by Molly Dodds

Thirty-two students from OMS Montessori had the unique opportunity to experience “life as an artist” on Sunday, April 23. They were given the opportunity to participate in their very own art exhibit entitled “From Sea to Sea,” with the talented guidance of Gordon Harrison, a renowned Canadian landscape artist.

“[This project] was created in order to give back to the community, to inspire young people to discover the colours of Canada and to make time in their busy life ahead of them for art, as art really changes how you look at life. These little young artists were ready for the task and were so looking forward to it; I could tell in their facial expression as they saw the colours; their eyes lit up and on they went with their brushes and with their paintings,” said Gordon Harrison, reflecting on the experience.

The journey for these students was initiated months ago through an application process set up to inspire artists who have a curiosity or interest in art. Once 32 students were selected, we organized a visit to OMS Montessori by Gordon Harrison. He displayed over 50 pieces of his artwork for students to choose from to use as inspiration for their own art pieces.

The second experience was to join Gordon Harrison in his studio at the gallery and view works at the National Gallery. The day concluded with the students’ paintings completed and ready to be framed. Mr. Harrison provided lunch and our students were in awe and wonder at his talent and passion for his craft.

The art auction took place on April 23. Students, staff and parents of the OMS Montessori community gathered to support the students’ work at Gordon Harrison’s gallery on Sussex Drive.

Said Beth, OMS Montessori’s art teacher, “One expression we often use is head, heart and hands; the students are never given something to do that involves just the head or abstract thoughts, but it involves the hands! Students embraced the colourist aspect of Gordon’s work and applied their oils, engaging themselves in focused attention to detail to create the lovely canvases that were on display in ‘From Sea to Sea’.” Beth helped organize and make this event the success that it was.

The exhibit, held in the form of an auction, raised a total of $1,000 for OMS Montessori art initiatives. While most of the paintings were sold to the parents of the students, some paintings received the attention of outside buyers from as far away as Japan and the west coast of Canada and created a fun bidding competition.

“Art inspires children to share their perspectives in a unique and often more comfortable manner. The incredible depth of our students’ paintings, and the impact of Gordon’s teaching, led to a fully engaged art inspiration journey for all,” said Greg Dixon, director of OMS Montessori.

Calliope, an OMS Montessori student, accepted the role of auctioneer and, with her energy and youthful persistence, helped to increase each bid to the maximum amount.

“I feel like I am a better artist now. Gordon Harrison helped me realize that I shouldn’t hesitate; I can be creative and use any colours I want,” said Anna Lois LeDrew Fuller, OMS Montessori student and young artist.

Gordon Harrison’s Art Inspiration Project aims to inspire Canadian youth to pursue their artistic ability and discover the beauty of Canada’s natural landscape. OMS Montessori is greatly appreciative of the multitude of memories that he created for our students that will last a lifetime.

Molly Dodds is marketing coordinator for OMS Montessori schools.

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