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Saturday, November 10, 2018

7:00 AM Registration opens

7:30 – 8:15 AM Breakfast buffet & exhibits open SILENT AUCTION CONTINUES

8:15 – 8:30 AM Housekeeping & announcements

8:30 – 9:30 AM Introduction of our new executive director and keynote: Kathy Leitch

9:30 – 10:00 AM  Shopping with exhibitors and bidding on silent auction items

10:00 – 11:30 AM Session 4

Option 31 The Importance of Transitioning the Toddler at the Right Time
Terri Sherrill & Elaine Glier
The proliferation of Montessori infant and/or toddler programs is relatively new. For this reason, most in the Montessori community are scrambling to learn the developmental needs of this very important group (and about this foundational time in a child’s life). How can we best serve them? What are the signs of readiness for the Children’s House and what happens when we miss this sensitive period? How can the toddler teachers, primary guides, and heads of school work together to accomplish the best interests of all? Sizes and ratios of toddler programs will also be discussed.

OPTION 32   Botany and Zoology Nomenclature-Something for Everyone in 3-6
Cathie Perolman
Come and explore how these common materials in Botany and Zoology can meet the needs of all levels of learners in your 3-6 community. From Puzzles to Three Part Cards, Definition Books and Definition Cards this workshop will extend the learning of these materials incorporating Nature, Art and even the Movable Alphabet to entice children to enjoy their benefit to the fullest.

OPTION 33 Motivating the Unmotivated Child
Margaret Combs
Montessori teachers enter their classrooms each year full of hope, knowing the amazing gift the children will receive through the Montessori philosophy. We carefully prepare our environments then eagerly await the arrival of the children, knowing they are going to be so drawn to these beautiful materials! And they typically are – except for when they are not. Then we are left to struggle with how to entice that one (or few) children who just can’t seem to engage. They wander around, interrupt and distract others. This workshop will look at the inner workings of motivation: what it is, how we can nurture the child and set up the physical and emotional environment so that the child may find the most success in finding it. We will also look at practical tools you can utilize to help support the child’s journey towards intrinsic motivation.

OPTION 34   Practical Life, Practical Applications
Robin Howe
Come learn unique and useful ways to expand you Practical Life area! Practical Life is a very important in the early childhood classroom, but once a child transitions into elementary, this area is lost to the academic curriculum. The true purpose of lower and upper elementary is to give the child time to discover their talents and purpose in the universe. In order to help the child reach this discovery, they have to be apart of the decision making in their community and faced with real life challenges. During this workshop, we will discuss the parts of Practical Life and how that translates into the elementary classroom. You will learn ways to integrate other topics into Practical Life work and attach common core standards to it. You will get to see work and pictures of work that can be created for your Practical Life shelves. You will also get to make something that you can do with your students! We will discuss the connection between Practical Life and Peace Education and how they work together to help the child grow and transform!.

OPTION 35   Inquiry-Based Learning in the Montessori Middle and High School Pt 1
Paul Epstein & Jocelyn Swanson
During these three sessions we will conduct an inquiry into inquiry! Inquiry involves asking questions, collecting information, and then rendering meaning. The arts of inquiry, while natural to how we learn, require developmentally appropriate “prepared environments.” Young children naturally inquire and gather information with their senses. The children are immersed in didactic and other materials in the Children’s House environment. Secondary students learn to ask questions and to construct certainty about the answers they discover to their questions. These students also need hands-on learning to establish minds-on understanding.

OPTION 36   Strengthen the Parent Experience in the true Montessori Way……… to strengthen Enrollment, Community and Student Success through partnership education
Renee DuChainey-Farkas
Does your school deliver the Parent Experience in the true Montessori Way? Maria Montessori believed the school and family partnership was essential to help each child reach their greatest potential. She believed that the sharing of first hand observations from home and school brings the school to the home and the home to the school. This workshop will introduce the stages of development of parents, types and roles of parents, and will share ways that every school can take a new look at the unique relationship, the Parent Experience, in “the Montessori way”. It is essential to understand the parent’s stages of development as a prelude or preparation for our work to deepen and better define and understand the parent needs. We will review what research says about parents’ ideal expectations from schools and share programming to meet these expectations. By trying to meet parent needs, we can support their growth and development and help them be the best parent they can be. Participants will be able to review the design their school programs and determine if they are delivering on these expectations. Come discuss and see how partnerships with parents can enhance retention and enrollment, student success, build strong school communities and strengthen parent commitment. Learn ways to support parents in their own personal growth and development to help them feel more confident and less worried about parenting. In her early work, Maria Montessori always invited the parent to be part of the student’s learning experience. We will share what Maria believed about this and offers ways to do it, while respecting the daily operation of our schools. Note: “ Let us place the school in the home; not only that, but let us place it there as collective property, and let us place under the eyes of parents the entire life of the teacher, in the accomplishment of her high mission.” (Il metodo della pedagogia scientifica, 1909. p 45). Cited in an Appendix in The Normal Child and Primary Education by Arnold and Beatrice Gesell. Ginn and Company. Boston. 1912. This was the first review of Montessori’s work in America.

Option 37 Living the Montessori Way through the Lessons of Grace and Courtesy
Pam Shanks
We all know that the lessons of grace and courtesy are a critical component of “Living the Montessori Way.” However, in the daily life of a classroom these lessons often take a backseat to “important” academic lessons. Come and be inspired to support your community of learners through the lessons of grace and courtesy. Topics covered will include: 1) Grace and courtesy as an on-going means to prevent problems in classrooms; 2) How the prevalence of technology in our lives should affect your use of the lessons of grace and courtesy; and 3) How to help children attain mastery through a supportive social context. Walk away inspired by the words of Dr. Montessori and with a renewed sense of the value of these important lessons.

Kathy Leitch or Andrew Kutt
Topic: Gender and Sexual Diversity


Andrew Kutt or Jonathan Wolff or MaryBeth Ricks


11:30 AM – 11:45 AM shopping in Exhibit hall and bidding on silent auction items comes to a close at noon

 11:45 AM-12:30 buffet line open

12:30 – 12:45 PM Announcements/Silent auction winners-PLEASE BE READY TO CHECK OUT IF YOU ARE A WINNER

 12:45 PM- 1:30 PM Community time

1:30 – 3:00 PM Session 5

Lorna McGrath
Do you wish that you could have a Montessori parenting educator at your school? Now you can. Join Lorna McGrath to get a sneak preview and to find out how.
As educators, we know that, from infancy to adolescence, children can be a challenge and parenting is a puzzle. So, whether your school families have toddlers, teenagers, or anywhere in between, this course gives you and your key staff members the tools to facilitate a predesigned five-week Montessori family leadership class, The Parenting Puzzle: The Basics, live at your school. It is designed to lead families at your school through meaningful and transformative discussions, activities and readings using principles based on Montessori and Dreikurs.
Lorna’s workshop is the overview of the online course the Montessori Foundation has created to help parents around the world. If you are interested in more information about the online course as well as attending this workshop check it out on the website.

Katrina Williams
Appreciating Art Workshop is an overview of art activities for the early childhood classroom including cultural art, art theory and art appreciation activities. This workshop will be filled with ideas to take back to your classroom including hands on examples. Get ready to be creative and to appreciate the many skills the child builds as they do art in the classroom. Make sure the art curriculum in your classrooms is rich with experience and exposure to the world of art. The child will gain many skills through art activities to be used for all future learning. Exposure to famous artists, styles of art, and cultural art activities instills a an interest, curiosity and appreciation for art. The child will view art and their world with new eyes. The workshop will include many practical ideas to use in the classroom and to build a rich art curriculum.

OPTION 43 Supporting Families of Children with Exceptionalities
Ann Epstein
Some families say the hardest moment of parenting was when they realized their child was not learning or growing as they expected. As teachers, guides and administrators, part of our professional responsibility is to support families in meeting the specific needs of their child. This session will provide participants with opportunities to better understand current family dynamics when a child has an exceptionality, including how to support families who do not appear to see that their child is struggling. Our Montessori tradition provides a framework for incorporating 2018 evidence-based practices, including new insights into the grief cycle and an array of informative websites for families. We will study effective communication strategies and simulate a family meeting. Come ready to build your skills and perhaps even discover the lighter moments of partnering with your families on behalf of children with exceptionalities.


OPTION 44 The STORYTELLING Way to Grammar fun
Michael Dorer
Learn how to enliven Functions of Words lessons by harnessing the ancient power of storytelling with original stories about the parts of speech. You’ll learn storytelling techniques and tips, visit grammar story lessons like The Story of the Multitude, The Nouns Meet the Preposition, The Interjection is Born, and many more. You will also learn the background, techniques, and rationale for this imaginative approach. Come hear engaging and useful stories, take home samples to try, and discover Montessori grammar presentations your students will remember, love, and ask for again and again.

OPTION 45 Inquiry-Based Learning in the Montessori Middle and High School Pt 2
Paul Epstein & Jocelyn Swanson
The work continues.

OPTION 46   The Transformation of the Teacher: A Continuous Journey
Jaime Yeager
Maria Montessori stated,”The first step an intending Montessori teacher must take is to prepare herself.” This workshop will engage participants in an exploration of the ongoing journey that we take as Montessori educators. We will share in conversation about self-reflection and the practical supports we can use to examine our own preconceptions, the pressures we feel, our biases, and the values we bring to our classroom work. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in specific exercises to enrich personal growth and develop the “art” of being a Montessori teacher. We will explore, though analogy, the cycles Montessori teachers pass through on their continuous path of transformation. A practical take away of concrete steps teachers can take to staying open to self-development as well as accepting students as they come to us, will be generated and shared. As Dr. Montessori reminded us on the eve of her death, “Children come to us a rain of souls, as a richness and a promise which can always be fulfilled but which needs the help of our efforts for its fulfillment. Do not consider a child a weakling: the child is the builder of the human personality.” Through our continuous self-development as adults, we are best suited to allow the child to be the builder he is intended to be. “The Montessori teacher is constantly looking for a child who is not yet there.”

Option 47 Intentional Connections
Dorothy Harman
Parent teacher partnerships aren’t automatic, especially in the busy lives of working families. Parent engagement requires deliberate intention and action on the part of the teacher to develop a relationship between child, teacher, and home-creating a need to prepare that relationship with the same attention as preparing the classroom environment. Participants will gain strategies for involving busy parents in the education of their children through practical suggestions and examples including and moving beyond classroom volunteerism. Other parent involvement approaches will include sharing observations and work records, tools for parent teacher conferences, effective newsletter writing, parent education opportunities, at-home volunteerism, and easy to implement parent/child activities for the home.

OPTION 48   IMC ACCREDITATION–Why it’s right for your school
Tim Seldin, Lorna McGrath, MaryBeth Ricks, Claire Salkowski and Kathy Leitch and Andrew Kutt


OPTION 50   OPEN SPACE: Topics and moderators include: Follow up on Montessori in Nigeria,
Jonathan Wolff

3:00 – 3:30 PM break and shopping

 3:30 – 5:00 PM Session 6

OPTION 51 Equal Educational Opportunity for All: Supporting Our LGBTQ
Kresta Vuolo
Providing a safe and accepting educational environment for all students, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or gender non-conforming, begins with preparation of the adult and environment. In this workshop, participants will explore resources and tools available to help Montessorians prepare ourselves, our classrooms, and our schools to be inclusive and sensitive to the needs of LGBTQ students and their families. We will also discuss ways to address questions that are grounded in compassion, uphold confidentiality, and support expanding perspectives.

OPTION 52 Montessori Assistants 101
Barbara Ervin and Chris Sacerdote
Montessori assistants are a vital part of the classroom. Sometimes they are all but forgotten. The assistant may have some experience in the classroom but is usually looking for guidance how what to do and how to act. This workshop will give the basis for an assistant training. Using some humor and serious information the participants will understand how to educate their assistant(s) on the proper behavior and actions of how to contribute to the classroom.

OPTION 53 Inquiry-Based Learning in the Montessori Middle and High School Pt 3
Paul Epstein & Jocelyn Swanson
The work continues.

OPTION 54 Strategies to Support Young Children with Who Struggle in Casa
Ann Epstein
Are you looking for ideas to help your Casa children who don’t seem to remember letter sounds, who struggle to use scissors and many practical life activities, and only want to build imaginative structures in Sensorial? We will discuss possible reasons why some of today’s typically-developing children don’t “click” with Montessori materials. We will explore variations and extensions with sand paper letters, evaluate several evidence-based Montessori-friendly early literacy activities, review adaptive supports for children with fine motor delays, and discuss the pros and cons of adaptive seating and lighting.

OPTION 55 THE ABC of Boards
Marybeth Ricks
This workshop will cover some of the most important key factors to help a school choose board members wisely:

* How to select the best BOT members for your school. * BOT interviews * Board Education * BOT review process

OPTION 56 Creating a Faculty and Community of Continuous Self Improvement and Development: What if every one of your teachers was committed to lifelong learning?
Kathleen Trewhella-Grant/Jonathan Wolff & Tanya Ryskind
…How do you a create a culture where Innovation and Inspiration flourishes? If Montessori is going to stay current in the 21st-century educational leadership need to embrace a learning culture that begins with school leadership and applies to every member of the Montessori community. (Parents, Teachers, Administrators) Too many Montessori educators view that their educational journey ends with the instructional methods and their albums. Discover ways to encourage and to implement plans that inspire learning in all areas of your community. The benefits of creating a life-long learning environment are many as they foster retention, creativity, and inspiration for ALL faculty and students.

OPTION 57 The power of story-time to create belonging and safety
Andrew Newman
Story-time is so much more than reading a book. It is rich with hidden mystery that you can use to lead children into some of the longest standing lessons and memories of their lives. Central to story time is the experience of self-recognition and identification with the characters in the story. Am I like the character? Or different to them? Have I faced their challenge before? Can I learn from them? Please join in this playful exploration of story where we will discuss: “ The role of story at different times of the day. “ How you can set the atmosphere for best receptivity. “ The benefit of making up a new story to help teach a skill. “ The power of story to create safety and belonging. “ Encouraging parents to read in the last 20 minutes of the day. “ Why the repetition of favorite stories is helpful. “ Bringing the characters to life outside of storytime. “ The difference between reading with and reading to.

OPTION 58 Filling the Gaps
Anya Bartlett
The Primary Montessori curriculum and materials are meticulously detailed and broken down to address all areas of content and learning. Moving into the Elementary level Montessori provided a framework and curriculum which addressed basic skills, while leaving many content areas open for discovery. In an ideal world students would cover topics not covered in the basic Montessori elementary curriculum such as graphing, story structure and measurement, through open exploration and student-driven learning, with the luxury of a three-year time frame. However, our present day reality of state-standards, test-driven curriculum and grade specific accountability require a more direct approach to ensuring our students have been exposed to all requisite material. How do we achieve an “authentic” Montessori approach with imposed requirements and standardized testing at the Elementary level? This workshop will break-down the traditional Montessori Elementary curriculum, uncovering areas of need, and highlighting gaps in content. We will look to Montessori’s own words for guidance as we discuss ways to enhance your syllabus using basic Montessori principles and pedagogy. The essential elements of manipulative materials designed for auto education and materialized abstraction will be discussed as we explore ways to fill in those curricular gaps with teacher-made materials, creative lesson planning, and student-centered learning. Strategies for lesson planning and a basic yearly plan for group lessons will be provided.


Final notes on Saturday.

 5:00 – 5:45 PM final shopping time with many of our exhibitors who will be packing up tonight.

Dinner tonight is on your own. Want to stay in? Show Currents waitstaff your conference badge and receive a 10% discount on your meal. After dinner why not stop by the fire pit. You’re sure to find some folks sitting around here or the pool networking.

Want to go out and explore Sarasota? We recommend the many wonderful restaurants in the down town area, a short 10 minute walk along the waterfront.

The Hyatt shuttle can take you over to St Armand’s Circle where outdoor dining and shops stay open late. The Circle is just a short walk down to Lido Beach. The hotel’s shuttle stops at around 9:00 PM but Uber and Lyft or taxi’s are very reasonable.

Have a good night and be ready to work bright and early Sunday morning!