Posts filed under Elementary

Practice Makes Better...

Here we see current Primary students Yuko and Savannah (top and bottom), as well as Elementary student Samuel (center photo). Pictures courtesy of the Portland Montessori School

Here we see current Primary students Yuko and Savannah (top and bottom), as well as Elementary student Samuel (center photo). Pictures courtesy of the Portland Montessori School

Montessori Northwest is noticeably quieter this week, as our Primary and Elementary students have left the training center and are spending time in local schools.

Observation and practice teaching offer students the opportunity to continue their study of the child in AMI Montessori classrooms. During observation sessions, students observe the children’s interactions with the materials and each other, as they apply to developmental principles. During practice teaching, students give lessons to children under the supervision of an AMI Primary-trained host teacher.

These two quotes from students sum it all up:   

“Practice teaching is going well…Overall it's really sweet and splendid, but a little daunting at the same time. My host classroom is amazing, and  I am sure it will feel more natural soon!” 

“I presented the bow tying frame, and it was so cool to see the look of utter joy on her face when she did the entire frame!  Then I got to see her do it two more times!  So great to see what we’ve been talking about all year in training come to fruition!”

Thanks again to the dozens of school who host the students of Montessori Northwest--your contributions are appreciated!

MNW Announces an AMI Assistants Course for June!

- Downloadable Flyer and Registration Form

June 16-27, 2014 / Monday - Friday

We are delighted to once again offer the AMI Assistants Course here at Montessori Northwest! Not since 2004 has this training been presented in Portland and we couldn't be more excited to bring it to your attention.

The AMI Assistants Course: An Introduction to Montessori Education is an ideal foundation for assistants at every level, administrators, parents, educators, and anyone interested in a general overview of Montessori Education. This training course will emphasize Montessori theory and principles, rather than specific classroom practices.

The course will help interested adults understand the importance of their role as well as the developments that take place in young children. (Pricing information here)

Sponsored by Montessori Northwest, Presented by Polli Soholt

Montessori Northwest is pleased to sponsor and welcome Polli Soholt as the instructor of the upcoming AMI Assistants Course: An Introduction to Montessori Education. Ms Soholt is an AMI Primary trainer and consultant, currently working at the Montessori Teacher Training Center of Northern California. She is a highly- regarded author and experienced Montessorian of over 40 years. Her writings on the classroom, parent education, and Montessori have been published in numerous journals. She has been a primary Montessori teacher for 29 years, and was owner and administrator of the San Jose Montessori School for 36 years.

Please help us spread the word about this great course!

For information on pricing, deadlines, and registration, download this flyer.

Portland's a Great City

What makes Portland so special? Some will tell you it’s all about the trees, fresh air and proximity to the mountains, rivers and ocean. Others think the indie music and arts scenes define our particular brand of cool. Locals tend to be partial to the amazing food and drink you’ll find here. We are unabashedly biased and think it's because of the thriving Montessori community that exists here!

Montessori Northwest is located in a bright and spacious facility in the Buckman Neighborhood of Southeast Portland, characterized by its diverse mix of residential and urban-commercial buildings, convenient public transportation via Trimet, and easy access to cafés, supermarkets and beautiful Downtown Portland.

But don't take our word for it, below are a few resources highlighting the charms of the City of Roses.

Drop us a line here and schedule a visit to Portland and Montessori Northwest today--You'll love it here!

Video and Visitors Guide compliments of Travel Portland

Download a free Portland Visitors Guide below.

Posted on April 1, 2014 and filed under A-to-I, Elementary, From MNW Staff, Primary, Resources, Portland.

2014-2015 Course Catalog Posted Online

MONTESSORI TEACHER TRAINING STARTS HERE!

Since 1979, Montessori Northwest has offered rigorous, practical and in-depth Montessori teacher preparation, in affiliation with the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). The quality of our graduates reflects the quality of our training: knowledgeable and compassionate, with a teaching practice grounded in a thorough understanding of Montessori principles and child development.

Our comprehensive diploma programs prepare motivated individuals for life-changing careers in Montessori education.

Download or print our full 2014-2015 Course Catalog by either clicking the graphic on the left or clicking HERE.

 

Montessori for the Masses

Sarah Werner Andrews, Director of Primary training here at MNW, came across this interesting intro to Montessori article in the March 2014 newsletter of the ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) which is printed and distributed to over 140K School and District leaders. It's great to see information about Montessori making its way into the hands of so many influential educators!

Please also note the quotes from new MNW Board member and senior associate at the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector, Jackie Cossentino.

Download the full 3-page article by clicking above.

Download the full 3-page article by clicking above.

Posted on March 21, 2014 and filed under Articles, Elementary, A-to-I, From our Trainers, Primary, Resources.

Cycles in Nature

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In July last year a group of 8 middle school students from Pacific Crest Montessori School in Seattle, WA set out on their bikes to ride 200 miles to the 2013 International Montessori Congress in Portland, OR. This was the start of something new and powerful with impact reaching far beyond a bike ride. The Portland congress was the first time ever that adolescents were invited—and given a voice—at a Montessori congress. The idea to bike there was inspired by the first Cycles in Nature event held in May of 2013; students from Australia, Thailand, Mexico, the US and Canada spent a day on bicycles participating in a grassroots initia- tive to build a global adolescent Montessori network. But, most importantly, these students represent the beginning of a movement that empowers Montessori students to make the world a better place. 

This year, the organizers of Cycles in Nature have opened the event to Montessori Students of all ages--And you're encouraged to participate!

Cycles in Nature is more than a day of fresh air and exercise. With a dedicated local and global fundraising component, it gives students a way to feel relevant in the world. So, we are dedicating May 2014 to cycle together to:

  • Create a network of empowered Montessori youth

  • Give indivduals the opportunity to feel relevant and have global impact

  • Support environmental sustainability and social justice through fundraising 

The cycle ride will be a sponsored event, raising money per mile from family and friends, local businesses, grant organizations and everybody in between. The funds will be split 50/50 between a local organization (of each school’s own choice) and a global initiative that supports social justice or environmental sustain- ability. This year’s global initiatives are: Children’s Eternal Rain Forest Project (Montessori Institute for the Science of Peace) and the Article 15 Foundation, which supports youth in Senegal to find their way out of poverty through education and income generating activities. 

Join us! You choose the day that works for your school, then through our website you’ll download all the resources you need to get started. On our blog students can publicize their event, put their route on the map, share stories and photos, and stay in touch with other schools all over the world. www.cyclesinnature.org

Montessori Responds to the Role of Fantasy

A few days ago we posted a fascinating story from Psychology Today to our FaceBook page about how children process fantasy in stories (read the full story here).

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This is a subject that Dr. Montessori herself addressed, and one that particularly fascinates MNW's Director of Primary Training, Sarah Werner Andrews. In response to that article in Psychology Today, Sarah has contributed some fascinating perspectives within historical context to help Montessorians better understand the role of fantasy in storytelling.

Montessori acknowledged the controversy surrounding her views on fairy tales in 1919, when she spoke to the Child Study Society on the topic:  Children’s Imagination by Means of Fairy Tales.  Montessori joked with the crowd that this topic was dictated to her; she would not have dared to choose it herself and face the audience!  To her criticism of fairy tales, she answered, “When I have been so bold as to express my opinion of the value of the fairy tale, people have jumped to the conclusion that I was fiercely opposed to it.  I do not really feel any such intense antagonism.” Her point regarding fairy tales was simply, “Imagination really does not enter into the problem, because in telling fairy tales it is we (the adult) who do the imagining.  The child only listens.”

During that speech Montessori told the listeners, “(The young child) cannot distinguish well between the real and the imaginary, between things that are possible and things that are merely ‘made up’.” During this speech in 1919, Montessori was attempting once again to clarify her position regarding education based on cultivating credulity, instead of on reality. (Times Education Supplement, 1919, reprinted in AMI communications, No. 2, 1975)

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And in a related study… By 15 months of age, young children can apply something learned from a picture book to real life, and also transfer that information in the other direction (DeLoach & Ganea, 2009).  For example, a toddler can learn the name for a robin in a picture book, and then identify a robin in the backyard, and vice versa.  After learning the name of a real object, children were more successful transferring that name to a photograph than to a cartoon drawing of the object.  “The fact that the iconic nature of pictures seems to have an important role in children’s ability to interact meaningfully with books has important educational implications; namely, that books with more realistic pictures are better for assisting young children’s learning” (Ganea, Bloom-Pickard, & DeLoach, 2008).  In general, the more young children are exposed to anthropomorphized books, (animals or objects given human attributes) the more likely they are to confuse their beliefs about the properties of real animals or objects (DeLoach & Ganea, 2009).

What are your thoughts on the subject?  Is this a subject that you've had to deal with the in classroom or with parents? Let's hear about it!

Great Visual Resource

As educators, we often seek out unique and fascinating visuals to engage our students. With this in mind, an interesting resource for you--Enjoy!

(This post originally appeared on the Public Domain Review.)

Last week the ever-incredible British Library announced that they were gifting more than 1 million images to the world, uploaded to Flickr Commons under the public domain mark, meaning complete freedom of re-use. The range and breadth of images is phenomenal. As they say in their post announcing the release the “images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of”. Each image was extracted from its respective home (books making up a total of 65,000 already digitised volumes) by a program known as the ‘Mechanical Curator’, a creation of the British Library Labs project. A crowdsourcing application is being launched in the new year to help describe what the images portray – and the British Library is also putting out a general plea for people to innovate new ways to navigate, find and display this incredible array of images. (Email BL Labs here).

Beyond the Walls of the Training Center

Here at Montessori Northwest, the scope of our teacher trainers and administration extends well beyond the walls of our beautiful training center. Whether offering individual consultations within schools, providing original content for Montessori journals, or presenting at education conferences, MNW’s leadership is passionate about advancing the international Montessori movement and bringing the benefits of Montessori education to children worldwide.

Portland, Oregon is lucky to be home to a thriving Montessori educational community—which was recently reinforced by the city’s hosting of the International Montessori Congress in 2013.

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This spring, the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association (NAMTA) will be hosting their “Grace, Courtesy, and Civility Across the Planes” conference here in Portland, March 13-16th. NAMTA has invited all three of our Directors of Training, Ginni Sackett, Sarah Werner Andrews, and Elise Huneke-Stone, in addition to our Executive Director, Jennifer Davidson, to present workshops and lectures to Montessorians coming from the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

 

When asked about her involvement with the conference, Sarah Werner Andrews, Director of Primary Training, she says:

"The theme for this conference came from the Montessori community in Portland. When we take a "whole school" approach to Grace and Courtesy, we model in the most powerful way possible, that civility, respect, and compassion are the cornerstone of Montessori education. And what a wonderful way to live and work in community!  We are thrilled with the opportunity to join Polli Soholt, Pat Schaefer, Pat Ludick, and Julie Comber Martin to explore the depth and potential of Grace and Courtesy."

The staff of Montessori Northwest are committed to the success of our students and the growth of Montessori as a whole. By training to become a Montessori teacher at MNW you access our rich organizational history, work alongside some of the best trainers in the world, and begin a journey towards more meaningful and enjoyable work. 

Free Workshop for Hosts

Supporting the Emergent Reader:
From Learning to Read to Reading to Learn

In appreciation, Montessori Northwest is offering a free workshop open to Guides and Administrators who offered to host our students for Observation and Practice Teaching.

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It is well documented that children typically develop their reading skills between the ages of 4 and 8. Reading bridges both Primary and Elementary, and Montessori educators meet children where they are. The goal of “Total Reading” – reading comprehension, appreciation of style, and understanding of emotional content is both an achievement and a launching point for children in the first and second planes.

Guides and Administrators who offered to host our students for Observation and Practice Teaching are invited to join us as we explore playful and rich supports to Total Reading that will give every child the foundation for a lifetime of literacy.

Wednesday, January 15th
Social time begins at 5:30PM
Workshop from 6 - 7:30PM
Montessori NW: (map)


**RSVP by January 10th**

TO REGISTER:
503.963.8992
JANET@MONTESSORI-NW.ORG

"It is all a help to the child’s personality to reach this appreciation: it is imperative to give the child this preparation at the beginning of his study of language. It is not something which you give at the end – something artificial to train him as an actor or orator. We must help him to grow into something really beautiful. We as educators can give this help...”

Mario Montessori’s 1946 London Training Course

Look to the Leaves

It's that magical time of year when our attention is drawn to the fantastic color-changes, shapes, sizes, and physical characteristics of the falling leaves. It's the perfect time to present the leaf presentations from the botany work to the Elementary students.

A few days in advance, the students were invited to bring in a collection of leaves and a beautiful collection was assembled. A few were chosen to be used as examples to illustrate the parts of leaves and their many characteristics.

A few days in advance, the students were invited to bring in a collection of leaves and a beautiful collection was assembled. A few were chosen to be used as examples to illustrate the parts of leaves and their many characteristics.

The presentation shelf is prepared with all the materials needed for the Trainer to present the series of leaf lessons.

The presentation shelf is prepared with all the materials needed for the Trainer to present the series of leaf lessons.

Specially made nomenclature cards and booklets give the adult students more specifics about leaves and experience with a material that they will eventually make for their own classrooms. 

Specially made nomenclature cards and booklets give the adult students more specifics about leaves and experience with a material that they will eventually make for their own classrooms. 

Elise Huneke-Stone, MNW's Director of Elementary Training, shows the Elementary students a demonstration indicating that leaves give off oxygen. A clipping of an aquatic plant is submerged in such a way as to catch the bubbles of oxygen the leaves release.

Elise Huneke-Stone, MNW's Director of Elementary Training, shows the Elementary students a demonstration indicating that leaves give off oxygen. A clipping of an aquatic plant is submerged in such a way as to catch the bubbles of oxygen the leaves release.

The Montessori Elementary classroom feeds the six to twelve year old child’s insatiable appetite for learning, offering boundless opportunities to build their own knowledge within a collaborative community. The AMI Elementary training supports your growth as a storyteller, imagination-sparker, and ethical compass to provide the child with the keys to explore the universe.

Interested in learning more about Elementary Training? Learn more here.

Posted on November 25, 2013 and filed under Elementary, From MNW Staff.

Watch the Power of AMI Teacher Training

This 20 minute film gives an overview of Montessori education from birth through age 12, contains interviews with people training to become Montessori teachers as well as teachers in their classrooms. It's a nice introduction to Montessori and the training process for anyone considering becoming a Montessori teacher.

WHY CHOOSE AMI?

The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) was founded by Maria Montessori in 1929 to protect the integrity of her work. Today, AMI continues to uphold these standards by offering high-quality, authentic and rigorous teacher training through its affiliated training centers.

The AMI diploma is used in over 110 countries as a mark of teacher training excellence. Graduates of AMI training courses must demonstrate understanding of educational theory, child development, observation techniques, use and presentation of the Montessori materials, and ability to create appropriate activities for children. The practice teaching component solidifies this learning through hands-on work in Montessori classrooms.

AMI courses are conducted by AMI trainers, master teachers who have completed the Training of Trainers program and have a profound understanding of Montessori theory and practice.

In the past ten years, Montessori schools have nearly doubled their student enrollment, and positions at AMI-recognized schools go unfilled. Your AMI diploma allows you to pursue your Montessori career with the confidence that comes from extensive training and foundational knowledge.

Options for undergraduate and graduate credit are available through colleges and universities affiliated with individual training centers. Explore our Teacher Training section to learn more. 

Foundation Work in Elementary

Elementary students at Montessori Northwest have a unique Foundations Course integrated into their learning experience. Several times throughout the year, they hear from MNW’s Primary Trainers to learn about the first plane child. The focus of these lectures is the work of self-construction as it relates to foundational theory, physical, emotional, and social development. These areas of focus, along with the development of literacy and numeracy for the child under age six, create a “foundation” for what is built upon in the years that follow. 

We asked a current Montessori Northwest Elementary student to share her thoughts on the Foundation Course. Here’s what she so eloquently said:

There are 23 of us, all eager to learn about Montessori education for the Elementary children. But in order to understand the 6 to 12 year olds, we need to understand their previous experiences.  The integrated Foundation Course is our opportunity to learn about the child in his formative years, the child who will become our Elementary learner.  From lecture readings to dramatizations, from the exploration of the environment to Walking on the Line, from Maria Montessori’s discoveries of the child to the trainers' profound knowledge and wisdom, we truly immersed ourselves in the world of the 1st plane child.  Through our work on the Foundation Course, we were all able to learn about and to communicate our understanding of the 0-6 year old, the trained adult who supports this child and the prepared environment. 

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With this foundation in place, we have an understanding of how the child’s absorbent mind and sensitive periods guide him in becoming the person he is, and how the adult and the environment can positively serve that child’s potential.  Our task, as elementary teachers, is to collaborate with him in his next stage of development.

From a personal standpoint, having previously undergone the primary training, I had the opportunity to re-visit and reflect upon principles of practice.  What stands out in that reflection is the importance of understanding the difference between child work and adult work, and the significant implications of that understanding.  Our Montessori theory tells us that the child is internally-motivated and process-oriented, whereas the adult is externally-motivated and product-oriented.  The child’s work is to self-construct so that he can ultimately be a productive member of an adult society. 

As is often the case, understanding the theory is the easy part.  The challenge lies in the practice.  As Montessori educators, we have the clear advantage of working in an environment that supports and guides the child’s self-construction. Within a structured frame-work, we allow them to work at their own rhythm, with developmentally- appropriate materials that are freely-chosen so that they can respond to their inner directives. That being said we are still adults who can fall into the pitfalls of our agendas and timelines.  In our spiritual preparation we must regularly examine ourselves to ensure that we are staying true to our Montessori principles of following the child, and not imposing our adult expectations on them.  In doing so, we will create a psychological atmosphere that tells the child that he is in a safe place to do his work, with adults that are on his side.  The result will be children who are among things, joyful, benevolent, trusting, and non-competitive.  These characteristics are in fact manifestations of the child’s natural state.

Many adults and parents believe otherwise.  They think of children as having tantrums, being whiny, uncontrolled and generally demanding.   Unbeknownst to them, these negative behaviors are defense mechanisms that the children build to defend themselves against adults who are imposing their adult rhythm on the child.  When the child is able to follow his inner laws of development, he will drop his defense mechanisms and choose pro-social behaviors. 

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It is our task to advocate for young children by finding accessible ways to inform parents and caregivers on the child’s need for a process- oriented, self-directed learning opportunity.  Of course, this has to be done in a way that does not critic nor judge, but rather inform in a compassionate and supportive way.  We live in a society where there are many working parents who are under high demands from the working world, and we do not want to add to their stress.  We do however want to stress the importance of temporarily altering our adult characteristics for the sake of the child’s developmental rhythm and needs, and ultimately for the sake of a better world because put simply: happy children make for happy adults. 

Our future work as Montessori educators will be charged with many wonderful and eye-opening moments with children, but it is also one that comes with a great deal of social responsibility.  I think we can take comfort in knowing that the child will be our ally if we trust his human potential and stay true to the Montessori principles. 

Yours in training--Maryse Cohen 

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