Schedule

Welcome to the second day of our conference.

conference conversation 2 reduced

Saturday, November 6, 2021

All times are given in Eastern Standard Time (USA)

7:30 am – 8:00 am

Back to Center 

Join us for 30 minutes of mind-quieting, energy-boosting activities  and exercises. Share your favorite mind-body practices: creative movement, songs, affirmations, poems, breath work, visualizations – any activity that brings you peace and positivity.

8:00 am – 8:50 am

Breakfast

9:00 am – 9:45 am

Community Reflection 

*Live Streamed*

9:45 AM – 10:15 AM

Break

Network & Visit Exhibitors

10:15 am – 11:45 am

Mercedes Castle 

 

(For Toddler)

3A | Matchmaker, Matchmaker: Connecting Toddlers to Meaningful Work

*Live Streamed*

Let’s take a look at how to turn classroom observations into sparking a developmental match between the young child and the materials. We’ll examine how to develop sequences of work for the Montessori toddler classroom that meets the needs of all learners, and discuss methods for presentations that align with our Montessori values. We’ll take a deep dive into Practical Life and Language materials, their development, when to present and how to engage even the busiest of young learners.

10:15 am – 11:45 am

Jana Morgan Herman 

 

(For EC)

3B | Montessori’s Outdoor Classroom

*Live Streamed*

Many schools advertise “all-day Montessori” when describing the activities that happen inside the classroom during school hours. Interestingly, Montessori’s school day was only inside for part of the day. For much of the day, the outdoors played a significant role in the Scientific Pedagogy practices as Applied to Child Education in ‘The Children’s Houses.’ From the day’s description in the first Casa to her description of the school day in her little school in India, children spent a great deal of time outdoors. 

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What did outdoor spaces look like? What did they do during those afternoons? Learn more about Montessori’s vision for outdoor education as a natural part of the school day and how your school can add these experiences no matter if you are located in a strip mall or on a large property.

10:15 am – 11:45 am

Michael Dorer

 

(For All)

3C | Storytelling and Executive Functioning

*Live Streamed*

What is executive functioning and why is it important? What is meant by working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibition control? Do they matter? Join Michael to answer these questions and then see how storytelling enhances and develops executive functioning, aiming at all three of these abilities. Plan to share your own storytelling experiences.

10:15 am – 11:45 am

Danielle Manzo

 

(For Secondary)

3D | The Role of the Secondary Guide: Advisories

*Live Streamed*

One hallmark of the adolescent Montessori experience is the transition from materials on shelves to the guide being the primary resource in the space. The partnership between a teen learner and their guide can be really powerful when honored with time and attention. The guide becomes a teen’s advisor that mentors them through curriculum, transitions in life, practical life skills, and their final transition into adulthood. This presentation will dive into the ins and outs of advising, why it is an important part of the adolescent environment, and how it can benefit your relationship with teens.

10:15 am – 11:45 am

Christine Lowry

 

(For All/SPED)

3E | Session 1 of 3, Challenging Behaviors: Reframing Our Approach.

All

Even before the pandemic, we struggled to understand and work with students whose behaviors challenged us. In this time of “collective trauma,” the increase in anxiety, depression, dysregulation, learning difficulties, and aggression has made that need to understand what to do greater than ever before. This 3 session, day long workshop, will give you the opportunity to gain knowledge, as well as practical strategies and tools as we learn the importance and the “how” of “guiding” positive behavior and learning rather than just “managing” our students. For Montessori school leaders and educators, from toddlers through adolescence, join us in this participatory learning experience that will reframe your thinking and your approach to supporting all students in the Montessori way.

10:15 am – 11:45 am

Tim Seldin

Kathy Leitch

(For Leadership)

3F | Session 1 of 3, Leadership the Montessori Way Session Part 1: The courage, strategy, and vision to lead & guide a Montessori School 

As an educational approach, Montessori is based on philosophical principles and conscious systems of organizing our learning communities. At the core, Montessori is a set of systems that allow us to create and sustain our highly effective partnership model. Leading a Montessori school essentially is based on a similar approach: The Montessori Way.

We teach that schools consist of nine major interrelated areas of program and operation. In this first session, Tim Seldin and Kathy Leitch will lead us through the basic principles of the Montessori Way of School Leadership. We will focus on the importance of institutional clarity, consistency, identity, and memory.

10:15 am – 11:45 am

Anya Bartlett

(For Elementary)

3G | Grammar Fun!

In her writings and lectures Dr. Montessori described in the children a “lively interest which throws the children into exclamations or laughter,” caused by the discovery of grammatical rules and patterns. Yet, in many Elementary classroom grammar work quickly becomes stale and boring. In this workshop we will review the Montessori grammar curriculum and discuss ways to breathe new life into your grammar work with impressionistic lesson, samples of teacher-made extensions, materials, and additional lessons.

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We will provide practical tips and suggestions that can be immediately implemented into your classroom. We will then get to work making some new materials that you can bring back your classroom and revive your grammar shelf.

10:15 am – 11:45 am

Cheryl Allen

Jonathan Wolff

(For All)

3H | Discover the Power of Grace and Courtesy to Strengthen Social Justice in the Classroom

Strengthen Social Justice practice in your school or classroom by considering the ways that we support Intradependence, Independence, Interdependence, Concentration, Coordination, Order, and Organization. Come away with ideas and ways to implement them when you return to your school. This workshop will be beneficial to all classroom levels and administrators.

10:15 am – 11:45 am

Mary Ellen Maunz

(For All)

3I | Living Montessori – Re-Engaging In Your Own Spiritual Development

Montessori believed that the spiritual preparation of the adult was a key aspect of teacher education. It is also a key aspect of professional development. Join me for a deep dive into how we can live Montessori through focus on our own ongoing internal development. We will also investigate various means of the practices of spiritual preparation.

Noon – 12:45 pm

Lunch

12:45 pm -1:45 pm

Andrew Kutt

Keynote: FINDING YOUR VOICE . . . SPEAKING YOUR TRUTH Turning purpose into passion 

*Live Streamed*

In this keynote Andrew Kutt will share reflections, in both word and in song, about our noble task as Montessorians empowering students to find their own true voice and bravely follow the path they are meant to walk in this world. As Montessori guides and leaders who travel this journey with our students, we too discover the song our lives are meant to sing – a song both of self-offering and self-flowering. We give of ourselves every day in our classrooms and schools, while along the way we learn many transformative life lessons from the children and parents we serve.

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Meanwhile all of us – students, educators and parents -together form a global Montessori community, which, like a vast, melodic and diverse choir, is also finding its own collective voice at this seminal moment in human history.

Drawing upon 35 years of stories as Montessori educator and school founder, as well as upon his repertoire of over 100 original songs, Andrew will invite us to celebrate the heritage we all share, and embrace the future we all build together when work and play in harmony, as one.

1:45 pm – 2:15 pm

Break

Network & Visit Exhibitors

2:15 PM- 3:45 PM

Terri Sherrill 

(For Toddler)

4A | Unconscious to Conscious – Supporting the Development of a Healthy Will

*Live Streamed*

From a one-cell organism to a small human who can walk, talk, laugh, climb, and sing … a lot happens in the first three years of life. How can we help our children to grow strong … not only in body and mind … but in spirit too? What is a healthy will? How can our focus on the will help us to keep everything else in perspective? This workshop will help us to ground our practice in this important philosophy.

2:15 PM- 3:45 PM

Anne Epstein  

(For EC/LE)

4B |  Expanding on Current and Culturally Responsive Children’s Literature

From equity and social justice to growing up trans, children’s literature is bursting with award winning books for today’s young children. We will review an array of fiction and non-fiction books that address race, economic opportunity, sexual orientation, family configuration, exceptionalities, and religion. We will discuss follow-up activities that fit well with our language materials (for example the movable alphabet) and explore opportunities to partner with families regarding historically sensitive content.

2:15 PM- 3:45 PM

Kay Saragusa 

(For Elementary)

4C |The Farm and Beyond: Improving Writing in the Montessori Classroom

*Live Streamed*

Beginning with a basic understanding of how the farm is presented in a Montessori classroom, this workshop will help you expand its use across the curriculum. Have fun utilizing stories behind each figure of speech, growing sentences into paragraphs, developing handwriting, and more. There is no doubt you will leave with many, many ideas you can implement in your classroom right away.

2:15 PM- 3:45 PM

Andrew Kutt

(For All)

4D | Re-Designing our Montessori Classrooms, Curriculum and Schools after the Seven Living Systems of Nature

*Live Streamed*

As we look toward the post pandemic future for our schools, how can we apply the new perspectives we’ve gained, and turn the challenges we’ve faced into fresh opportunities to reimagine how we live and learn? The seven living systems of nature provide us with a blueprint of the design principles inherent in every thriving classroom, organization and ecosystem. Indeed Nature’s seven living systems – Identity, Information, Emergence, Relationships, Patterns, Structures and Processes – form the very fabric of the one big living system we all inhabit, what Maria Montessori called the Cosmos. 

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In this workshop, Andrew Kutt will share the insights he’s gained from the book Seed & Spark by Sam Chaltain, and from the global movement it has spawned, and invite us to think anew about “what’s next” for our Montessori environments and ourselves as Montessori educators, using nature as our guide.

2:15 PM- 3:45 PM

Christine Lowry

(For All/SPED)

4E | Session 2 of 3, Challenging Behaviors: Reframing Our Approach

Even before the pandemic, we struggled to understand and work with students whose behaviors challenged us. In this time of “collective trauma,” the increase in anxiety, depression, dysregulation, learning difficulties, and aggression has made that need to understand what to do greater than ever before. This 3 session, day long workshop, will give you the opportunity to gain knowledge, as well as practical strategies and tools as we learn the importance and the “how” of “guiding” positive behavior and learning rather than just “managing” our students. For Montessori school leaders and educators, from toddlers through adolescence, join us in this participatory learning experience that will reframe your thinking and your approach to supporting all students in the Montessori way.

2:15 PM- 3:45 PM

Tim Seldin

Kathy Leitch 

(For Leadership)

4F | Session 2 of 3, Leadership the Montessori Way Part 2: Finding the Perfect Match, Recruiting and Retaining your Ideal Enrollment

In this session, we’ll look at who are the families who will appreciate and support your school for who you are and would be a great fit for your school community. We will explore the process of defining your target audience, getting the word out, and generating far more interest and long-term enrollment than you ever imagined. Admissions is only the first step in an ongoing process of building deep relationships, a strong community, and continuing enrollment.

2:15 PM- 3:45 PM

Lisa Thauvette

(For All)

4G | No Laughing Grey Matter: Connection, Harmony, and Levity through Improvisational Play

*Live Streamed*

Montessori and improv share the principle of bringing the brain to its highest functioning by fostering empathy, gratitude, and narrative storytelling. Besides this great brain science, improvisation is simply fun to participate and experience together. In this interactive and hands-on workshop, administrators and practitioners will be introduced to the basic tenets of theatrical improvisation and how this playful art form supports Montessori pedagogy in terms of emotional/social learning and curricular integration.

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Attendees will participate in large and small group activities which can immediately be applied to the classroom, and also with teaching teams. Improv techniques will be linked to executive functioning, brain integration, and group collaboration.

2:15 PM- 3:45 PM

Kapur Sheba

(For Elementary)

4H | Picture Books: From Cosmic Education to Disrupting Dominant Narratives in the Elementary Classroom

Picture books are generally thought of as literary choices for the youngest members in our society, when in fact, they are perfect in launching broader discussions about a wide range of concepts and themes in the Montessori Elementary classroom. For the 6-12 child, read alouds are an important part of the day as they provide an opportunity for whole group learning, foster community building, and help to develop a love of reading of course!

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A carefully selected picture book can be the perfect teaching tool to focus on literary elements or themes, a specific curricular area, and as a way to engage students in topics of diversity and social justice. These stories provide students with a stronger understanding of concepts in a shorter timeframe and also give them opportunities to learn about people or ideas they may not encounter in their daily lives.

Books enrich the Elementary curriculum by serving as complements to Montessori presentations and as launching points for broader discussions with students about a wide range of important concepts and themes. Learn how to connect picture books to Cosmic Education and teach skills and content in any subject across the Montessori Elementary curriculum.

2:15 PM- 3:45 PM

Charlie Biggs

(For Leadership)

4I | Introduction to Appreciative Leadership: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Enhance Your Leadership, Engage Your Staff and Families, and Strengthen Your School

This hands-on, interactive workshop will introduce participants to principles and techniques of Appreciative Inquiry, a participatory, strength-based approach to individual and organizational development, and will explore some of the ways that school leaders can use Appreciative Inquiry to:

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  • Identify and nurture their own strengths as leaders.
  • Help individual staff members, staff teams, volunteer committees, etc. improve their work by identifying and building on their strengths.
  • Engage staff, parents, and other stakeholders more productively in organizational planning and development.
  • Nurture resilience in themselves and others and lead during difficult times.

3:45 pm – 4:15 pm

Break

Network & Visit Exhibitors

4:15 PM – 5:45 PM

Aleanea Williams 

Terri Sherrill

(For Toddler)

5A | To Play or Not To Play?

*Live Streamed*

That is an ongoing question in our infant and toddler classroom environments. Do pretend/dramatic play areas have a valid place in our prepared environment? We will explore the history of this concept as well as current research on healthy social emotional development for our youngest children.

4:15 PM – 5:45 PM

Holly Earnest 

 

(For EC)

5B | Observing like a Scientist: There’s More to It Than Sitting on Your Hands!

*Live Streamed*

A practice of scientific, objective observation is key to any high-quality Montessori program, but many Montessori leaders struggle to make regular observation a priority. This workshop addresses common roadblocks to integrating observation into your regular routine (including roadblocks unique to life during the pandemic), and offers three highly practical solutions for making the most of this important practice. 

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If you aren’t currently conducting regular observations in your program, you’ll leave this workshop ready to implement this practice immediately following the conference; if you’re already observing regularly but feeling a bit burned out, this workshop will help you see your practice of observation with a fresh perspective.

4:15 PM – 5:45 PM

Larry Schanker

Laurie Stockton-Moreno

 

(For All)

5C | Building Harmony: the Role of the Arts in the Construction of Normalization

*Live Streamed*

The work to set the stage for normalization involves multiple harmonious ingredients. Normalization, the coordinated expression of self-possessed and considerate children working in tandem with peers to achieve the realization of their dreams, starts with the spiritual transformation of the adult and the prepared environment. What follows is an atmosphere of freedom to choose and the willing adoption of self-discipline. The interstices between are filled with relationship-making, understanding, and grace.

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These elements that come together to allow for emotional, psychological, and social well-being in children find a happy partner in rich application of the arts. Weekly singalongs, grand mural painting, impromptu dramatic sketches, watercolor botany postcards, collaborative songwriting, great works of theater, cultural folk dance, self-portraits, and architectural model building are just a few examples of ways that you, the transformed adult, can enrich a prepared environment to elicit purposeful work, joy and engagement among the children in your classroom. This workshop will demonstrate concrete ties between inclusion of the arts and elementary academic follow up work that serve as purposeful links to normalization.

4:15 PM – 5:45 PM

Erica Santana

 

(For Elementary)

5D | Practical Life, Practical Applications

*Live Streamed*

Come to this workshop to learn useful ways to expand practical life into the elementary classroom! The Practical Life area is very important in the primary classroom, but, once a child enters the elementary classroom, practical life is usually lost among the academic curriculum. The true purpose of lower and upper elementary is to help the child find their place in the universe by allowing them to make real life decisions and giving them real life experiences.

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Participants will learn grade appropriate focuses and activities, gather ideas for classroom work and projects, find ways to incorporate practical life skills into other curricula areas, and learn about field trip and stewardship ideas.

During this interactive workshop, you will get a chance to see and engage with material. You can take the ideas back to their own classrooms and implement them immediately

4:15 PM – 5:45 PM

Cassi Mackey 

 

(For All)

5E | Creating Harmony through Courageous Conversation

Courageous Conversations are what expand an organization and build harmonious relationships. These relationships are what inspire our children. We should integrate open communication into our school community to the point where it is always the point where we start. It will ensure that all voices are heard while building relational capital, which will improve the well-being, civility, and prosperity of your school community.

 

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Learn how to integrate Courageous Conversation into the fabric of your school where people are empowered to make changes on their own to improve relationships and communication and where honest concern is expected, required, and desired by everyone.

4:15 PM – 5:45 PM

Christine Lowry

 

(For All/SPED)

5F | Session 3 of 3, Challenging Behaviors: Reframing Our Approach

Even before the pandemic, we struggled to understand and work with students whose behaviors challenged us. In this time of “collective trauma,” the increase in anxiety, depression, dysregulation, learning difficulties, and aggression has made that need to understand what to do greater than ever before. This 3 session, day long workshop, will give you the opportunity to gain knowledge, as well as practical strategies and tools as we learn the importance and the “how” of “guiding” positive behavior and learning rather than just “managing” our students. For Montessori school leaders and educators, from toddlers through adolescence, join us in this participatory learning experience that will reframe your thinking and your approach to supporting all students in the Montessori way.

 

4:15 PM – 5:45 PM

Tim Seldin 

Kathy Leitch 

 

(For Leadership)

5G | Session 3 of 3, Leadership the Montessori Way Part 3: Finding the Perfect Match, Recruiting and Retaining Ideal Faculty 

Montessori guides are hard to find. A school is a community of people. The process of attracting the right faculty and staff will make all the difference in the life of your school. We need to think outside of the box, to respond to any situation, including the need to attract new master teachers and the importance of nurturing talents and sponsoring candidates through training. We will share systems that will dramatically increase the odds of finding the right teachers and staff, smoothly bringing them into your professional community to ensure consistency of program and practice, and developing a strong, stable, and mutually supportive team. We will look at programs to support their professional development and increase their ability to form enduring relationships and bonds with parents, students, and the entire school community.

 

4:15 PM – 5:45 PM

Warren McPherson

 

(For All)

5H | Optimizing Care of Yourself and Your Brain

Many new discoveries in health practices and brain health have emerged in recent years to fortify us against the psychological and environmental stresses or our culture. You will receive critical insights and practical guidelines for achieving health and balance to support your demanding career.

 

4:15 PM – 5:45 PM

Claire Salkowski 

 

(For All)

5I | When Way Opens: From Bias and Judgement to Compassionate Understanding and Respectful Resolutions

This workshop will explore the specific dynamics that often make it hard to have difficult conversations and contribute to conflict especially when there are biases and differences. Conflicts between individuals, faculty, parents and administration will be discussed and examined within the context of perspectives and respectful or disrespectful practices, specific communication skills and particular conflict resolution options.

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Specific understandings and skills will be identified, presented, and practiced. An exploration of the dynamics which escalate or deescalate difficult conversations and the conflicts between us. Participants will learn how to best manage it with perspective talking skills and respectful, competent, and caring communications.

5:45 pm

Dinner on your own 

The Montessori Foundation

19600 State Road 64 E
941-729-9565
Bradenton, FL 34212

info@montessori.org

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Montessori Council


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Questions About The Conference?

Email:

conferences@montessori.org