Posts filed under Primary

Seeing The Big Picture

by Sarah Werner Andrews

One of the more challenging aspects of Montessori teacher training is understanding the developmental progressions of the materials. We all understand that presentations are not given according to a checklist or because a child is a particular age, so how do we know when to offer lessons and what a child might be choosing from in different areas of the environment?
One of the ways we help students get this “big picture” is through an activity of laying out all of the materials in relationship to one another according to developmental progressions. To create these progressions, students discuss how sensitive periods might draw a child to a particular activity, what types of preliminary abilities or concepts may come into play, the level of difficulty, how the activity is currently set up, and other factors that might determine when an activity might be offered. As there is no one “right way,” students share their rationale, and the factors that went into making the choices they made. This is a great activity on many levels, and we find it particularly useful as we are finishing up an area to help students integrate their understanding before we begin new presentations in a new area of the environment.


Sarah Werner Andrews is Director of Primary Training at MNW. She is also a consultant, examiner, and will be presenting the primary workshop at the 2015 AMI Refresher Course.

Posted on December 12, 2014 and filed under From our Trainers, Primary.

Primary Material Making Winter Showcase

The biannual showcase of our Primary students’ Material Making is one of our favorite times of year here at Montessori Northwest. Yesterday, our lecture area boasted a glorious display of their Practical Life and Sensorial Material Making for children between the ages of 3-6. It was a joy to peruse their creations.

Posted on December 8, 2014 and filed under Primary, Materials.


The holidays are approaching – ushering in a frequently scary season for Montessori teachers. We often have conflicted feelings around holidays and events that occur in the larger culture – afraid that these distract children from their work, disrupt the calm and productive atmosphere in the environment, and are just plain bothersome to us. I’d like to propose changing those feelings and finding ways to see these popular culture events as positive elements in the environment and exploring ways to channel them in support of each child’s development.

Adele Diamond talks TEDx

Adele Diamond, Ph.D., neuroscientist, psychologist and educational innovator, is one of the world's leading researchers in developmental science--and a great advocate for Montessori. She studies how executive functions can be modified by the environment, modulated by genetics and neurochemistry, become derailed in certain disorders, and can be improved by effective programs and interventions.

Posted on December 1, 2014 and filed under Resources, Primary, Articles.

December 4th Bay Area Information Session


For Fall 2015, Montessori Northwest (MNW), one of the nation’s top Montessori teacher training centers, is planning to offer new Montessori teacher certification courses at a convenient Bay Area location. We plan to offer classes on a block schedule, in the afternoons and on evenings, making the program ideal for people wanting to become teachers, while continuing in their careers. (learn more about this exciting opportunity here.)

On Thursday, December 4th, Admissions representatives from Montessori Northwest, in addition to teacher trainers and alumni, will host an information session about becoming an AMI Montessori teacher. Anyone interested in early childhood education, including working with babies & toddlers, and those already working in traditional education, are invited to come learn why becoming a trained Montessori "Guide" might be a great career path for you.

Montessori teacher training with MNW in the San Francisco Bay Area will enable you to earn an AMI diploma that opens the door to a fulfilling teaching career.  You will learn how to guide children on a journey of discovery—of themselves, of each other, and of the world around them.

RSVP by clicking here, though walk-ins are always welcome.

December 4th @ 7-8:30PM
Grand Lake Montessori School
466 Chetwood St, Oakland, CA 94610