Montessori Mention in the Latest Council for American Private Education Newsletter

A nice mention of Montessori in an article regarding grants for Pre-School programs, published in the newsletter of the Council for American Private Education Newsletter.

(Download and read the full newsletter here.)

Preschool Grants

When she met with CAPE’s board of directors and state representatives last month, Libby Doggett, deputy assistant secretary for policy and early learning at the U.S. Department of Education, urged the CAPE community to weigh in on the public discussion regarding the design of the new Preschool Development Grants competition.

The private school community responded in force, with various CAPE member organizations and CAPE itself offering comments at a public meeting March 20 and through an online forum established to solicit input.

CAPE’s comments called for the new grants program to be open to diverse approaches to early education, observing that there is “no single combination of activities, lessons, methods, and settings best suited for all children in all circumstances.”

Specifically, CAPE recommended that the federal government require as an explicit condition for receiving a grant, “that a state’s quality rating system, professional development requirements, training and credentialing requirements, curriculum guidelines, even health and safety standards respect and accommodate a variety of truly distinctive approaches to quality early education, including those practiced in Montessori programs, faith-based programs, and Waldorf programs.”

Montessori programs, which are universally recognized as a time-honored, high-quality approach to education, sometimes run into difficulties in states that insist on a one-size-fits-all approach to pre-K. State standards can undermine the pedagogy and theory of child development espoused by the Montessori community.

The competition should insist that such standards only be developed “in consultation with representatives from the diverse early education community,” said CAPE. 

Download and read the full newsletter here.

Posted on May 9, 2014 and filed under Articles, Resources.

Thank You!

MNW's 2013-2014 Elementary and Primary Academic Year students.

A huge “Thank You” to our incredible Montessori community for sharing your wisdom and experience with our 61 primary and elementary MNW students during observation and practice teaching this year!

We couldn’t do it without you; and, thanks to your patience and generosity, when each of these students has a class of 25, that’s 1,525 children who can have a Montessori education next year!

 

Alcuin School
Bethany Village Montessori
Camas Montessori School
Cascadia Montessori School
Chestnut Grove Montessori Children’s House
Childpeace Montessori School
Community Roots School
Corvallis Montessori School
Franciscan Montessori Earth School
Good Shepherd Montessori
Harmony Montessori
Hershey Montessori School
Laurelhurst Montessori School
Lewis and Clark Montessori Charter School
Lighthouse Montessori
Little Oak Montessori School
Meher Montessori
Montessori Children’s House of Portland
Montessori House of St. Johns
Montessori in Redlands
Montessori School of Beaverton
Montessori Pathways
Northwest Montessori
Ottowa Montessori School
Pacific Crest Montessori School
Pioneer Meadows Montessori School
Portland Montessori Collaborative
Portland Montessori School
Puddletown Montessori School
The Renaissance International School
Sellwood Montessori School
Squamish Montessori
SunGarden Montessori School
Sunstone Montessori School
Three Tree Montessori School
Tiny Revolution Montessori School
West Hills Montessori School
Whole Child Montessori Center


Humble Beginnings

It has become somewhat of a MNW tradition to have one day when students and staff bring in childhood pictures of themselves and we all try to guess who’s who.  For example, the baby you see labeled as “33” is our own Primary Co-Director of training Ginni Sackett!

While pictures of us in the First Plane of Development (birth to age 6) are always charming, some students also were brave enough to share a picture of themselves at the often awkward age of 13, lest we forget where all children are going and from whence all of us have come.

Annual General Meeting in Amsterdam

Just over two weeks ago, close to two hundred international AMI members enjoyed a wonderful Annual General Meeting (AGM) Montessori Weekend in Amsterdam. Many people enjoyed getting to know colleagues from over 30 different countries and learning about the innovative Montessori work being done around the world. If you follow this link, you can read about the major activities of that weekend and get a visual impression from the many photographs that are included.

MNW employees, Ginni Sackett, Jennifer Davidson, and Glenn Goodfellow standing with new AMI president Philip O'Brien

MNW employees, Ginni Sackett, Jennifer Davidson, and Glenn Goodfellow standing with new AMI president Philip O'Brien

The weekend also saw a major change to the Board of the organization: André Roberfroid stepped down as president. The 10 years of his presidency have been very significant for the organization, and we are most grateful for his groundbreaking work. In recognition he was awarded honorary membership of AMI.

As new president we welcome Philip O'Brien, and in the bulletin you will find a short introduction to his background, and a message from Philip to the AMI membership.

We hope you will enjoy browsing the bulletin and connecting with your fellow Montessorians around the globe.

Ginni Sackett Published

Click above to download the full article.

Click above to download the full article.

The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), with which Montessori Northwest is affiliated, was founded by Maria Montessori in 1929 to protect the integrity of her life’s work. AMI upholds these origins by maintaining core functions that include overseeing/developing Montessori teacher training around the world, organizing conferences, overseeing the publication of Montessori’s work, and many other endeavors.

One of these ‘other endeavors’ is the publication of a periodic journal. This publication includes articles by Dr Montessori as well as scholarly papers on Montessori and related topics. Currently, two issues are published each year.

The most recent AMI Journal is a definitive double-issue reviewing Montessori literature on the psychology and implementation of peace on earth. It’s made extra special for two additional reasons:

  1. It reprints in book size NAMTA's exhibit, Guided by Nature, that appeared at the 2013 International Montessori Congress in Portland.
  2. It features the article “A Sharp Call to the Public Conscience: Maria Montessori and the Social Party of the Child” by Ginni Sackett.

Ginni Sackett, one of MNW’s very own Directors of Primary Training, is also an AMI consultant and examiner. She is passionate about advancing the international Montessori movement and bringing the benefits of Montessori education to children worldwide.

The AMI Journal is typically only available to AMI members, but we’ve received permission to make available Ginni’s great article for you to enjoy and share.

If you’re interested in obtaining the full journal for yourself, it can be purchased here.  

 

Posted on April 24, 2014 and filed under Articles, From our Trainers, Primary.

“Where's your sign?”

Since moving into our new beautiful facility at 622 SE Grand in late 2012, we hear the question “Where’s your sign?” quite often. And it’s no wonder—We don't currently have an external sign letting folks know where our training center is located.

No, this is not our attempt at being coy. Let me explain:

The building within which Montessori Northwest currently resides holds a historical designation with the city of Portland. This identification is given to properties that are deemed significant due to their age, provenance, or historical relevance.  Zoning a building or district as “Historic” safeguards that these special locations will be preserved for future use and appreciation.

In order to make structural changes to Historic Buildings, say like installing a large illuminated sign, a series of regulations has been put in place; including reviews by both a Design and Historic Resource team, notices sent to neighborhood associations, contacting nearby property owners for approval, a public comment period, and plenty of forms and paperwork.

But there’s no need to fret as we’re making great progress in having our exterior signage approved. Imbedded in this post are a few of the very-lifelike proposed designs that are currently under consideration. Don’t be surprised if one day soon you spot a beautiful Montessori Northwest sign glowing atop our building!

Posted on April 24, 2014 and filed under From MNW Staff, Portland.

2014 Montessori in the Square

Montessori Northwest is proud to once again offer “Montessori in the Square,” a public glass classroom event held in the heart of downtown Portland.

This celebration of Montessori education will feature three large interactive Montessori classrooms:  Assistants to Infancy (ages 0-3), Primary (3-6), and Elementary (6-12), activities for children, and information for parents. Trainers and guides will be on hand to assist viewers with questions.

This year’s classrooms are being hosted by Tiny Revolution Montessori (0-3), Sunstone Montessori School (3-6), and the Franciscan Montessori Earth School (6-12).

The inspiration for this event came from Dr. Montessori herself. During her second visit to the U.S. in 1915, Montessori was invited to participate in the World's Fair Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco. She set up a classroom at the Exposition, where spectators watched twenty-one children, all new to the Montessori Method, behind a glass wall for four months in what has since become known as “The Glass Classroom.”

Montessori in the Square helps the public better understand the importance of early childhood education and all the factors that can effect children’s development. It is expected that hundreds of people, both Montessorians and the general public, will come out to watch the children work in their beautifully prepared environments and see Montessori education in action--We hope to see you there!

Or better yet, get involved!

School Involvement Guide

School Involvement Guide

Sponsorship/Vendor Guide  

Sponsorship/Vendor Guide

 

Print a Flyer

Print a Flyer

When and Where is Montessori in the Square?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

10AM-1PM

Pioneer Courthouse Square

How to Fancy Up a Box

Montessorians are the ultimate do-it-yourselfers. Need a blue box? You paint that box blue. Need a pink tray? You've got that covered, too, you creative maven. 

At Montessori Northwest, we try to model that DIY mentality as much as possible, both to keep our costs down and demonstrate how a little effort can yield lovely results for classroom materials.

Before: a fantastic thrift store purchase with lots of potential

One of our recent projects was refinishing a great little thrift store purchase: this charming wooden caddy. Intended for use in our Brass Polishing activity in the Primary classroom, the caddy was made of sturdy wood that had seen better days. Plus, its neutral tones didn't fit with our yellow color-coding for Brass Polishing.

Some sanding, some paint, some paper, some varnish, a little creativity, and a lot of patience while the paint dried ("C'mon, you're seriously not dry yet?"), and that rather modest little box was transformed into a charming and cheery caddy that fit nicely with the existing color coding.

After: a bright and cheery box ready for classroom use

Our students often ask about the methods we use for such a project as this. While there are many ways you could paint a box, we have the ones that we're used to, and we thought it would be a helpful thing to share them with our Montessori friends.

To that end, please find below a handy, step-by-step guide to "fancying up" a wooden box, caddy, tray, or other wooden container. If you have any questions, or are having problems viewing the pdf and would like it emailed to you as a Word document, please email Sally Coulter.

How to Fancy Up a Box.PDF

Posted on April 17, 2014 .

On the Hunt for Language

In the Montessori Children’s House for children 3 -6, reading activities begin very simply, building on what the child already knows. Doing so helps safeguard that the experience is a joyful one and the child is immediately successful.  Even for the earliest reading, based solely in phonetics, meaning is attached to reading a word, and reading comprehension is built right into every activity.

Here we see a completed “Scavenger Hunt” completed outdoors by two children.  They read the words on the card, then brought the items to their mat.

(Picture courtesy of Chestnut Grove Montessori)

(Picture courtesy of Chestnut Grove Montessori)

Posted on April 17, 2014 and filed under From MNW Staff, Portland, Primary, Resources.

Making the Color Tablets

Color Tablets, Box 3

Color Tablets, Box 3

The Color Boxes are a lovely material in the Primary classroom to develop the child's ability to distinguish different colors and hues. A few years ago, we decided to replace the commercially-made Color Tablets in the Primary model classroom with ones that were wound with embroidery floss. This was partly for aesthetic reasons, and partly because the commercially-made ones kicked up a lot of glare that impeded one's ability to easily distinguish the colors. We've been asked so frequently about the process of making this beautiful material that it seemed worthwhile to describe it here in more detail. (skip to the bottom of this post for a PDF of how to wind the embroidery floss onto the tablet).

I'm not going to lie: it's a big task, especially if you're doing all three Color Boxes. Firstly, we had a local carpenter make the wooden tablets and matching box for us (while he appreciated being able to help the training center, he made it clear that this was a one-time project, so we shall not disclose his name). Then Corinne Stastny, our intrepid Primary Course Assistant, journeyed to Joann's Fabrics for the task of selecting the colors.

The trick with the embroidery floss colors is not to worry too much about the exact color families that the manufacturer offers, but instead, just put together a gradation of seven colors yourself using your own judgement. You can bring a commercially-made set of Color Tablets to the store as a guide if you need it. In Color Box 3, the middle hue (number four in the gradation of seven) is exactly the same hue of that color that is used in Color Boxes 1 and 2. This will help to orient you to where the "middle" of the gradation is, and will help you know where the extremes are. You may find it easy to sit down with a bunch of embroidery floss colors from each color, find the middle one, and then work to the extremes from there. Remember, it doesn't matter if the manufacturer thinks the colors belong to a set. What matters is that to your eye, they look like a set. It also helps if all the colors that are from the "darkest" are about the same hue, and all the colors that are "lightest" are all about the same hue. We found that one skein of embroidery floss would make one tablet, with very little left over.

The process of winding the thread on is time consuming, and I recommend doing at home, preferably on your sofa with your comfy pants on, Maybe a Netflix marathon playing in the background. Cats are not helpful for this process, by the way (I speak from experience). We've made a tutorial for winding the thread so you can see how to start it and how to finish it (see below for link to PDF). The method we use requires no glue or other fixative, and it's lasted for well over four years without coming undone.

The reverential gasps we get when visitors see the Color Tablets for the first time is worth the time and effort. We notice that people handle them more carefully, using only the edges to avoid touching the embroidery floss. They are indeed beautiful, and more than ever are a pleasure to use.

Tutorial: How to make the Color Tablets.PDF

NOTE: If the PDF is a bit wonky, please email Sally Coulter and she will send it to you as a Word document. Thanks!

Posted on April 10, 2014 and filed under From MNW Staff, Primary, Resources.

Two Complimentary Approaches to Working with Infants and Toddlers

The Oregon Montessori Association recently released a new interesting article by Breanne Monahan indicating that the Magda Gerber's Educaring® approach is a philosophy that compliments and supports Infant and Toddler Montessori environments.

We found it fascinating--perhaps you will too. Download the full document here:

A little background information:

RIE® (pronounced “rye”) is a philosophy for parents and caregivers of children from birth to 2 years of age developed by Magda Gerber, a child therapist and infant specialist. Gerber immigrated to the United States from Hungary in 1957. She was influenced by the work of Hungarian pediatrician and friend, Dr. Emmi Pikler. Dr. Pikler ran a residential home, Loczy, for infants in Hungary and was concerned with the challenges of providing quality group care to young children. Pikler’s simple yet revolutionary approach to infant care inspired many. In 1978, based on her work with Emmi Pikler and her own experiences with young children, Magda Gerber founded Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE), a non-profit organization based out of Los Angeles.

Posted on April 8, 2014 and filed under Articles, A-to-I, Resources.

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!

A Snakeskin Math Album?

The Addition Snake Game is a Montessori math activity, and would be played by children around 5 years and older. The goal of the game is to familiarize children with all of the basic addition facts as well as many different ways to make ten (1+9, 4+6, 3+2+5, etc...).

To play the game, the child makes a "snake" out of many different colored bead bars of varying lengths, and then begins counting the beads to get to 10. Every time 10 is reached, the child replaces the colored bead bars with a golden bar of ten beads, and any leftover beads are replaced with black/white “placeholder beads.” The child then continues counting, slowly transforming the colored snake into a golden snake. At the end of the game, there is a way for the child to check her work by comparing the sum of the colored bead bars to the golden bead bars.

In the AMI training, students create their own “teaching manuals” or “albums”  by watching the AMI Trainers give demonstrations of Montessori lessons. They make notes about the demonstrations, practice the presentations,  and turn their notes into guides for how to present these activities to children.  These presentations, and their accompanying illustrations, are the students’ own detailed summaries of the movements and key dialogue that define the Montessori activities.

Current Primary student and crafter extraordinaire Chelsae Roach created this amazing beaded cover for her Mathematics album showing the Addition Snake Game in process. It made the rounds at MNW today and received many oohs and aahs. We thought you might enjoy seeing it too!

Posted on April 7, 2014 and filed under From MNW Staff, Primary.

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.

Hotels that are located near Montessori Northwest

Inn at the Convention Center, 420 NE Holladay St, Portland, OR ‎ 97232

Inn at the Convention Center, 420 NE Holladay St, Portland, OR ‎ 97232

Red Lion Hotel Portland Convention Center, 1021 NE Grand Avenue, Portland, OR 97232

Red Lion Hotel Portland Convention Center, 1021 NE Grand Avenue, Portland, OR 97232

Doubletree by Hilton Lloyd Center, 1000 NE Multnomah St, Portland, OR 97232

Doubletree by Hilton Lloyd Center, 1000 NE Multnomah St, Portland, OR 97232

Crowne Plaza Portland Downtown Convention Center, 1441 NE 2nd Ave Portland OR 97232

Crowne Plaza Portland Downtown Convention Center, 1441 NE 2nd Ave Portland OR 97232

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.

 

School Leaders Gathering

On Tuesday March 11, 2014 Montessori Northwest hosted a reception for school leaders in order to communicate some updates and to discuss streamlining our partnerships within this incredibly supportive Montessori community.  A summary of current projects and exciting developments that were shared at this meeting can be found below.   

Click above to download the full document.

Click above to download the full document.

Montessori Northwest recognizes the invaluable partnerships that we share with schools for training teachers, providing community education and outreach on behalf of Montessori.  One of our best examples is that we rely on school administrators and teachers to open their classrooms to students to complete their essential observation and practice teaching tasks.  During the gathering MNW board member Jackie Cossentino was able to speak to the incredibly high demand for trained teachers around the country specifically in the public sector.  

As the number of students in our courses expand, school that open their doors for observation and practice teaching make it possible for MNW graduates to fill positions around the globe where a well-prepared Montessori teacher is urgently needed.  We are so grateful to the schools and teachers who consistently support us in this work and encourage anyone interested in assisting to contact us with any questions.  Our students can learn so much from visiting classrooms "still in progress" and we encourage all teachers and schools to participate. 

Our organization has set some lofty goals for growing teacher training programs, advocating for more accessible Montessori education, and providing greater public understanding of Montessori education.  Schools are essential partners with us in this work and we are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support that is offered.  We also strive that our community education, professional development, model classrooms, and web resources are valuable to schools. If you have suggestions or ideas of how MNW can better meet the needs of the community, please let us know.  Our doors are always open.

Posted on March 27, 2014 .

Spring Break Wood Polishing

Spring Break wood polishing happening right now at MNW.

Stella, the 4.5 year old daughter of our Primary Course Assistant, is visiting today. After declaring a general interest in “cleaning somethin’, she went on to vigorously beautify of one of the stools used here for student presentations. In addition to occasional visits to MNW, Stella is featured regularly in photos sent to us by her Montessori guide that we share with the teachers-in-training.  Always a treat to see a child delighting in independently chosen activity!  

Interested in learning more about what happens inside Montessori classrooms?

Posted on March 26, 2014 and filed under From MNW Staff, Past Students | Testimony, Primary.

Assistants to Infancy, Applied in the Home

A few days ago, a recent MNW graduate, Ms. Junnifa Uzodike, shared some pictures of her son. Beyond their obvious cuteness, they also demonstrate some great Montessori principles that can be applied in the home. To better explain what you see here, Gloria Singh, Assistants to Infancy Course Assistant, has contributed a few notes.

On the bottom left we see her child looking at himself in the mirror, getting visual feedback about himself and also getting a view of the rest of the room--very beneficial when a baby can't move well independently to see what's around. Babies really enjoy looking at faces, studying the expressions, watching lips move in talking--even their own.

In the background, you can see the toys organized simply, with very easy access for the child.

We also see the baby very busy at the weaning chair and table, in this case he likely used it to pull himself up into a standing position so that his hands can be free to explore whatever has captured his interest. Non-walking children use the smallest chairs with arms--the arms give lots of support if their sitting is still unsteady and also helps them to stay at the weaning table until they are done with their eating.

A chair without arms at a table is best for children who have begun walking, because it is much easier for them to get into the chair without having to maneuver around the arms and they likely will not have learned to pull out the chair to make room for their bodies to get into it.

Have you ever watched a young child work out how to sit down in a chair? It's quite an event to witness. "How to Sit in a Chair" is a Practical Life activity that we learn to demonstrate for young children on the A to I course.

We also talk a lot about how simple, uncluttered, and appealing an appropriate environment is for young children--a few toys that get rotated, a mixture of materials (fabrics, wood, metal, etc.). You can see this here too.

Want to learn more about MNW’s Assistants to Infancy Course? Click here for additional information.