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Maria Montessori: Celebrating the Life of an Innovative Educator

Montessori21stCentury's Weblog

Each year, on August 31st, Montessorians worldwide celebrate the birthday of Maria Montessori.    Kurious Kitty’s Kurio Kabait http://kuriouskitty.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-happy-birthday-month.html  and NAMC’s  Celebrating Maria Montessori’s Birthday in the Montessori Classroom http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2010/08/celebrating-maria-montessoris-birthday.html are just two websites that acknowledge the importance of this iconoclastic educator’s birthday.

Throughout the years, countless school and homeschool Montessorians have written to me and shared their personal Montessori success stories.   In the 2007 the AMC Montessori Centenary Newsletter http://www.amonco.org/montessori_centenary.pdf   some special Montessorians shared how the Montessori method impacted their lives. Some snippets from this special newsletter are included below.

“I was very fortunate to have been one of the first Americans assigned to investigate the research of Montessori and Piaget. My investigation took me to London where I was privileged to work with the Nuffield Foundation and, in particular Edith Biggs who was Her Majesties Minister of Maths. Montessori and Piaget were doing research for…

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Setting Up The Classroom for Success

The classroom environment provides the foundation for all the learning that will take place in the school year.  A pleasant, comfortable location with good organization, friendly interactions, and caring attention gives children their best chance to grow both personally and academically.

 

Whether this is your first year teaching or homeschooling, or your twentieth, you may find some helpful ideas in the following links

 

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“Getting to know you” tips for teachers and students

 

Starting a new schoolyear and meeting a new class group can be a challenge for both students and teachers.  Get off to a good start with these free tips, activities and lesson plan ideas.

 

Scholastic.com’s “Getting to Know Your Students http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/getting-know-your-students

 

Educational Leadership’s “How to Get to Know Your Students” http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb12/vol69/num05/How-You-Get-to-Know-Your-Students.aspx

 

UALR’s Getting Acquainted Activitieshttp://www.ualr.edu/blstanford/id18.htm

 

Sugardoodle’s “Get to Know You Games”http://www.sugardoodle.net/Get%20to%20know%20you%20games

 

Good Character.com’s Friendship Lesson Planshttp://www.goodcharacter.com/YCC/BeingFriends.html

 

NAMC’s Friendship as a Theme in the Montessori Classroomhttp://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2013/06/focusing-on-desired-behavior-montessori-friendship-theme.html#.UfexiW3wb1A

 

NAMC gives advice on various behavioral problems. http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2013/05/behavioral-challenges-montessori-class-gluing.html#.UfezPm3wb1A

 

Classroom set-up and dynamics

 

These two articles present tips and techniques for creating a Montessori classroom, either in a traditional setting http://www.amshq.org/Montessori-Education/Introduction-to-Montessori/Montessori-Classrooms.aspx

 

or in your own home. http://thelittlelist.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/setting-up-a-montessori-classroom-at-home

 

Bright Hub Education describes some of the components of a positive learning environment.http://www.brighthubeducation.com/classroom-management/13907-creating-a-positive-learning-environment

 

Teaching with Cents has some cute and clever ideas for do-it-yourself classroom tools and organizers. http://teachingwithcents.com/7-tools-for-classroom-set-up-and-organization

 

Georgette Baker from Cantemos suggests a relaxation exercise for the classroom. http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf

 

Learning styles

 

It is always important to remind ourselves that children are individuals with their own learning styles and aptitudes.  When we work with those natural tendencies and abilities, children flourish and growth is fostered.  

 

For whole body learners, tactile-kinesthetics, and basketball lovers of all learning styles,  Mariaemma from Coaching for Learning Success offers a fun basketball memorization game. http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori_summer2.pdf

 

Get off to a fresh, positive and organized start this year, and here’s to great relationships, great personal growth, and great academic progress!

 

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Accentuating Autumn with Some Innovative Lesson Planning Ideas

With autumn approaching, it’s time to review what’s new and relevant for the autumn months.

Please click on the following links for free lesson planning information:

Free Fall Lesson Planning

Free Fall Art Lessons for Montessorians

The Three R’s for Autumn Lesson Planning

Around the World in Food and Culture

Refocusing on Reading and Writing

Time to Tune Up on Math

Starting the School Year Right Back-to-School Ideas for the Montessori School and Home Classrooms

A Bilingual Spanish/English Unit Study About Plants

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Compass Montessori: A Possible Blueprint for a Model Montessori Charter School

Compass Montessori is a pioneer in Montessori charter education.

Here is the latest breaking news from Nathan Drake. 

 “I am excited to be joining Compass Montessori,” said Bill Kottenstette, Compass’s new Executive Director.  “Compass has accomplished so much since it was founded in 1997, and is truly delivering on its promise to utilize authentic Montessori methods to nurture the whole child.  Now we have the opportunity to lay the professional foundation for the school’s continued growth,” Mr. Kottenstette continued. 

“Since our charter was approved in 1997, Compass has evolved from a start-up to its current status as a viable, ongoing educational institution, recognized as a leader in Montessori education both nationally and internationally,” said Dan Snair, President of Compass’s board of directors.  “For much of that time, our school continued to rely on a traditional educational org chart, in which a “Head of School” is responsible for both pedagogical and organizational matters.  An important component of our evolution is our growth from an administrative model supervised by a single head of school to one in which an executive director is responsible for leading the entire school, and principals are focused on the quality of the education we offer our students,” Mr. Snare continued.

“Compass was looking for a leader with significant experience in a comparable leadership role, including experience with personnel management, fiscal issues, and Montessori- and/or charter school-specific matters,” said Mr. Snare.  “Members of Compass’s search committee and board of directors were unanimous in their conclusion that Bill Kottenstette possessed the ideal qualities to be Compass’s executive director.”

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About Compass

Compass Montessori is a public charter school with 650 students at two campuses west of Denver, Colorado, near the beautiful Rocky Mountain foothills.  Compass is a charter school affiliated with the Jefferson County Public School District.  One of Colorado’s first charter schools, Compass was founded in 1997 by parents seeking to provide children with a high quality, authentic Montessori education.  Now in its 16th year of operation, Compass is nationally recognized as the only public Montessori charter school in the United States serving students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

The mission of the Compass community is “to utilize authentic Montessori methods to nurture the whole child and to enrich the life of each student from preschool to 12th grade.”

About Montessori

Montessori education is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori and characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development.  Although a range of practices exists under the name “Montessori”, the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and the American Montessori Society (AMS) cite these elements as essential:  mixed age classrooms; student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options; uninterrupted blocks of work time; a “discovery” model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction; specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators; freedom of movement within the classroom; a trained Montessori teacher.

Compass strives to provide an authentic Montessori education to students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

To read this article in its entirety, please visit

Compass Montessori – A Possible Blueprint for a Model Charter School  (Click on Part X of this newsletter) at http://www.amonco.org/montessori_fall_handson.html

Compass welcomes inquiries from parents of prospective students, from parents and administrators considering starting a Montessori school, and from other Montessori schools facing similar challenges and opportunities.  For additional information, please contact Dan Snare at dsnare@jeffco.k12.co.us.

 

 

 

 

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