The Trillium

New & Events from Holy Trinity Montessori

February 2016

A Note from our Head of School

Dear HTM Families and Friends,

Thank you to all parents and caregivers who joined us for our annual Open House! Our friends always look forward to the opportunity to share their work with you and give you a glimpse of their daily life at school. Once again, we had 100% family participation. On behalf of all the teachers at HTM, we greatly appreciate your efforts to engage with your children when we are able to open our doors during regular school days. Your kids love to see your support and enthusiasm, and it's always exciting for us as educators to give them the chance to share their progress.

As a reminder, Parent-Teacher conferences are coming up this month. This is another fantastic opportunity for you to have some focused time with your child's teacher(s) to hear about his or her progress and development. If you're not sure about your conference time, please consult your teacher this week.

In other news, we are (always!) looking ahead with anticipation to the developments with our new property. Thank you for your encouragement and excitement with our recent news regarding the site plan redesign. We are so happy with the outcome and love the new "village" layout, which will serve our community so beautifully. To give you a brief update on our progress, we are currently awaiting some permits. We are excited to tell you that once we have those, site work is expected to begin (4 weeks or less!).

We will plan an official Groundbreaking Party at some point this spring once it warms up...we will announce that date in plenty of time for you to make plans to join in on the fun! In the meantime, we promise to keep you up-to-speed on all of the developments with the new property. We know you are as eager as we are to see the campus develop!

With Love,


From our Teachers

We always love to hear from our Montessori specialists - our teachers! This month we asked them to share their favorite lessons to present, or their favorite classroom materials. As always, their answers are insightful and interesting.

We are so blessed to have such phenomenal teachers at Holy Trinity Montessori!

Heather Dennis, Toddler Community

My favorite lesson to present to toddlers is Banana Slicing. Often, this lesson is the first time a child has used or handled a knife. Every time they look at me like, "are you sure this is okay?" I smile and nod my head, then carefully show the child how to peel, slice and clean up. Like all Montessori Lessons, this requires many steps to compete the task. The children first have to wash their hands, gather their supplies, put on an apron, peel the banana, take peels to the compost, slice the banana and place each slice into a bowl, clean up trey and knife, return materials to the shelf, remove apron, and only then can they begin to eat their banana. The level of independence and concentration required to compete this task is astounding, but what is most beautiful is the confidence and joy the child gains from the process of this work. While adults take such a simple task for granted children revel in the process rather than the product.

KaToya Jackson, Primary A

My favorite lesson to give is the Moveable Alphabet. The first presentation is blending sounds to make three letter phonetic words. It brings me such joy to see how proud they are of themselves when they make their first word. That first word sparks such a confidence in them, and they are so excited to keep making words. I also love how much you can teach with the Moveable Alphabet. We teach phonetic spelling, phrases, sentences, silent e, and story writing with the Moveable Alphabet. The excitement never gets old!

Molly Selby, Primary A

It is so hard to choose just one material to call my favorite. For me, the excitement comes when you're giving a child a lesson, and you watch their eyes light up as they joyfully and confidently grasp a new concept with a new material. It is in those moments that I remember why I love my job and what a gift it is to be a part of these children's lives. One material that has been my favorite since training is called the Trinomial Cube. I love the fact that the child sees it simply as a puzzle, when, unbeknownst to them, the material is actually laying the ground work for formulaic math problems such as (a+b+c)³.

Priscilla Arjes, Primary B

My favorite work to present is phonetic word blending with the Moveable Alphabet. There are so many lessons that prepare a child for reading so it is really special when they are ready for this lesson. It is always so magical to see each child's eyes light up when they are able blend the sounds together and READ a word for the first time. It's such a gift to be able to witness these sweet moments with each child.

Cara Erbe, Lower Elementary

There are many materials that I get excited about, so it is very hard for me to narrow down to just one favorite. Typically, my favorites are within the Math curriculum because math is a subject that comes naturally to me and one that I have always enjoyed teaching. However, over HTM's unexpected snow break I dedicated many hours to studying the Language curriculum and the materials that adorn the shelves in Lower Elementary. As a result, I have gained a whole new appreciation for the Grammar Boxes. Once the children are introduced to the function of a word (noun, article, adjective, verb, etc.) they use the Grammar Boxes to deepen their understanding of the way the word interacts within a complete sentence. The actual material is designed in a way that allows the children to explore it independently, which creates an opportunity for self-discovery of the concepts being introduced. These materials are in use on a daily basis in Lower Elementary and an integral part of the Language curriculum.

Jaime Moran, Lower Elementary

Oh Wow! There are so many materials to choose from and each of them have that simple genius that I love. I think that in Lower Elementary, I have to choose the Checkerboard. It actually makes me want to do math and not just the easy stuff but difficult, complicated math. By using the material, you can break down the largest multiplication problems into small, simple exchanges. Not only can you simplify the problem but it allows you to learn the notation as you can see the physical representation of the problem. I know we have always wondered about the “why” in math, but not with this material. All of the “Why” is explained!

Jessica Polsteen, Upper Elementary

A favorite lesson in Upper Elementary is discovering that hot air rises. The children conduct an experiment using an empty bottle with a small balloon attached to the opening. The children immerse the empty bottle into cold water, and then hot water. When the bottle is immersed in the hot water, the balloon blows up due to the now hot air rising inside the bottle. After this lesson, it is hard to forget what air does when it is heated!

Calendar & Events


2/5 - Dad's Poker Night at the Riley's home; to participate or for more info, please email

2/12 - No classes; Parent/Teacher conferences throughout the day as scheduled; please see your child's teacher for further details

2/15 - No classes; Teacher In-service Day

2/19 - 6:30 PM Father/Daughter Sweetheart Dance. (More details coming soon - but if you'd like to participate, tickets are $10 per Dad and $10 per Daughter; you may send in money in your child's mail bag with a note saying "Father/Daughter Dance.")


3/10 - 2:00 PM dismissal, no aftercare

3/11-3/14 - School Closed: AMS Conference for Staff

3/21-3/25 - School Closed: Spring Break


4/15 - Mother/Son Event (details TBD)