stories of discovery

Welcome to North Star Montessori’s blog.  Stories of Discovery is a place where faculty, students and parents share knowledge, experiences and things that motivate and inspire us.

Kids in the Kitchen

Categories: Faculty insight, Learning through discovery, Uncategorized
Authored by:
Date posted: November 15, 2017

Cooking with your child is a great opportunity for family bonding, learning life skills and sharing life long memories. Cooking is an important life skill that also has the added benefit of reinforcing language and math concepts learned at school. It requires children to read the recipes, measure the ingredients, count the amounts and best of all it instills healthy eating habits.


In a Montessori classroom, Practice Life activities show the children activities of ‘everyday life’ in a purposeful way and allow them to explore and master the activities while promoting independence and contributing to their community. The children learn how to wash, chop, peel, grate and serve healthy snacks to their friends.  These exercises found in a Montessori preschool are those that assist a child in becoming more independent in his daily activities.  This area enables a 3 year old to learn basic activities that will help them on their road to independence in the classroom environment as well as at home. Pouring is a good example of an independent life skill that they can do at school or at home. These are real life skills, so make sure to use real dishes, glass cups and child- sized choppers. 
The benefits of the practical life area in Montessori are innumerable. The four main abilities that this area helps develop in a child are:  order, coordination, concentration and independence.

In the Casa environment, children are given the opportunity to prepare chopped carrots, slice apples, remove egg shells from hard boiled eggs, pour themselves a glass of water, and squeeze oranges to make juice. Fun ideas for you and your child to do at home could include making granola, making a smoothie together with all of their favorite fruits and veggies, cracking an egg, measuring the ingredients to make healthy muffins. The possibilities are endless.


Cinnamon Tortilla chips with fruity salsa

Cut whole wheat tortillas. Brush with very little water. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar and cinnamon. Place on a microwavable safe plate lined with paper towel. Microwave on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds or until crisp. A pizza cutter works great for cutting the tortilla into wedges.


Prepare a fruity salsa for dipping by dicing whatever frits you have on hand or use applesauce.

For younger Children: they can wash and chop up the fruit into small pieces and mix together.


For older children (with supervision) they can cut the tortilla into wedges and help make the salsa.

The Power of Stories

Categories: Faculty insight, Learning through discovery, Uncategorized
Authored by:
Date posted: November 10, 2017

Each week I find myself in the privileged position of being able to tell an age appropriate story in Sitka and Arbutus classrooms. These can be traditional tales, myths and legends, animal stories, family stories or anecdotes. Some stories the children know, some are new, and some become requested favourites, while others remind a listener of an experience that they wish to share.

 When choosing the stories to share, I usually make a large pot of tea and happily work through my many notebooks and story collections until the right tale strikes a harmonious chord. Recently, when looking for a Remembrance Day story, I came across this story, first told to me by a gifted storyteller, Dan Kading.


The Two Warriors

Two warriors faced each other, bloodied and bruised from their battle. Exhausted, they slumped to the ground, deciding to renew their fight the following day. Lying side by side as the light faded, they started to talk to each other. One produced a picture of his son back home, who would one day become a soldier like his father. The other told of his daughter back home who would one day be a nurse, to care for wounded soldiers like them. The two enemies continued this way until the sun began to rise. Struggling to their feet, they sheathed their swords, embraced each other, and parted in opposite directions, for truly it is impossible for two people to hate each other when they know each other’s story.

For me, it sums up the power inherent in stories. All that is needed is a teller, a listener, and a tale. The teller and the listener bring something of their own life experience to the moment. Together they’re both making the same journey. A warm relationship grows between the two through that storytelling moment. Connections are made.


As adults, we are often time-poor, but a few minutes of storytelling can transform the way we relate to others. Try:

  • Telling your children about your lunchtime, what you ate, where you sat, whom you were with, etc.
  • Tell someone about a random act of kindness you’ve experienced.
  • Share a moment of success, or a challenge, face-to-face with someone.
  • Recount a memory from your childhood.

Then be there to listen. Be part of the teller, tale, and listener triad. Experience the power of making connections, the power of storytelling.

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