|Letter from the CMS President...
What is the greatest sign of success for a teacher transformed? It is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."
- Maria Montessori
I often stand in one of my school's observation rooms, speaking with parents, and listening to their comments of awe as they observe the quiet, busy hub of activity that is a Montessori classroom. They are truly amazed. But what is it that they are they actually observing? They see children who have a love of work, a love of order, a love of a peaceful surrounding, a love of independence and initiative, and a joy in what is real and beautiful.
What a joyful experience for the Montessori teacher; sitting in your classroom, observing your classroom of children, and recognizing that you are not needed in the room. This phenomenon, which Montessori described as a "normalized classroom" represents a moment of quiet fulfillment for the Montessori teacher and for the Montessori child. It is quite unique to the Montessori experience. It is also one of the more difficult concepts for parents, who are new to the Montessori world, to fully understand.
As we welcome the arrival of spring, I hope that you, my fellow Montessorians, are experiencing the fruits of your labor, and I hope that you are watching your classroom with that wonderful sense of awe that comes from observing the normalized child.
If you are a parent, and you are wondering if Montessori education may be right for your child, this can be a wonderful time of year to visit Montessori schools in your area.
Enjoy these last few months of school - Happy Spring!
The New School Montessori: Students Host a Visit from Cincinnati City Council Member
By: Ann Baumgardner
Ms. Yvette Simpson from Cincinnati City Council came to The New School Montessori last month to hear our fifth and sixth-grade students' city-planning proposals for the Greater Cincinnati Community. These students have been working throughout the school year on various aspects of city planning as part of their independent studies. Yvette Simpson joined a crowd of parents, grandparents and friends who listened attentively as the student-planning teams presented the projects they chose to research and design.
We heard a presentation from a group of students who studied potential plans for a Cincinnati subway system. Students shared small-scale models and posters comparing Cincinnati's plans with the Metro in Washington D.C. and presented their own recommendations for a future subway system in Cincinnati.
Another proposal included a project called H.O.M.E. (an acronym standing for Hope, Optimism, Miracle and Encouragement), which would provide interim housing and job training for those currently without a home. Ms. Simpson remarked, "I like H.O.M.E. very much; I might use that recommendation. We call our spaces transitional facilities, but I think H.O.M.E. is a little more homey."
The final presentation was called The Secret Garden and was designed as a complement to the H.O.M.E. project. It included an outdoor facility where residents could enjoy a small pond and greenhouse for growing vegetables to open spaces allowing for sports and playground activities.
At the end of the presentation, Ms. Simpson thanked the students for their work and asked if she could share their proposals with the city's planning committees. She felt encouraged that we have such fine young people who are so willing to research, innovate and share their dreams for improving our city. Teacher, Johnnye White, anticipates taking the students to a city-planning meeting where they will be invited to share their work with committee members.
Summer Bucket List: An Idea for Parents
By: Tricia Grawe
It's that time of year again. The school year is winding down and children will soon be home every day. Summertime brings the days of swimming at the local pool, bike riding and playing at the local parks. But, what about the rainy days or the days when the kids seem bored? Kelly from Little Wonders' Days blog has this great idea: The Summer Bucket List.
The idea is simple. Include your older children in developing a master list of ideas and activities that would be fun to do during the summer. On slips of paper, write the different activities or ideas. Use three different colors of paper according to the time it takes to complete each one. For example, yellow could be for an activity that lasts the whole day, blue for half day, and red for two hours or less.
Make sure you have materials available for certain activities before including it on your list. For example, if your child pulls out playing with shaving cream, be sure to have a can of it around the house. That way, it is still spontaneous but you don't have to fly by the seat of your pants. As Kelly says in her blog, "I'm sure there will be plenty of days we decide what to do without pulling a slip, change our minds and throw it back, or don't plan anything at all." But the Summer Bucket List certainly includes your children in the Summer planning process.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Yellow list ideas (whole day)
- Make taffy
- Decorate bikes and organize a neighborhood bike parade
- Visit the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens or Newport Aquarium
- Celebrate silly days - backward day, purple day, mystery day, be an animal day, etc.
- Visit the odds and ends store, collect items and use them to create something
- Have a "field day" with friends
- Hunt for fossils
- Visit the art museum and try new art media
- Visit Boonshoft Museum of Discovery (Dayton)
- Visit the Museum Center at Union Terminal and see an Omnimax show
- Dig in the backyard and make habitats for animals
Blue list ideas (half day)
- Make homemade playdoh and let the children mix the color
- Eat by the lake at Spring Grove Cemetery and feed the ducks
- Scavenger hunts in the back yard
- Flower pressing
- Rock/shell painting
- Landscaping sketching at the park
- Have a bike ride/picnic at Sawyer Point
- Visit the Land of Make Believe at Lunken Airport ($1.00 per person)
- Butterfly show at Krohn Conservatory (ends June 24th)
- Pick Strawberries
- Make sun tea
- Write a pen pal
- Make garden stepping stones
- Make cake balls
- Make homemade ice cream
- Learn the names of flowers in the garden
- Try a new cookie recipe
Red List ideas (2 hours or less)
- Play flashlight tag
- Play croquet or set up a mini golf course in the back yard
- Visit a farmers market
- Play hopscotch
- Make pin wheels
- Make fruit salad
- Have reading time by the lake
- Play in the sprinkler
- Send you teachers from last year a letter
- Make homemade ice cream sandwiches
- Play dress up and take silly pictures
- Make a special lunch and surprise daddy or grandparents with it
- Build forts out of couch cushions, tables and sheets
- Play with shaving cream (adding colors)
- Magazine collages
- Vacation scrapbooking
- Water table (use a storage bin)
For more ideas, you can google "Summer Bucket list for Children." Remember, even the simplest ideas can turn out to be a day of fun!
"I feel REFRESHED!" - A Comment from One CMS Conference Attendee
By: Valerie Dyas, M.Ed.
The annual Cincinnati Montessori Society Conference this year was held at the Sharonville Convention Center. The one-day conference took place on Saturday, March 24th 2012, from 8:30am - 3pm. Registration and a light breakfast started at 8 and Steve Hughes PhD., the keynote speaker, took the stage from 9:15am-11am. Dr. Steve Hughes is a renowned pediatric neuropsychologist. His powerful speech, School 2.0, included extensive scientific research on Montessori and the future of education. His session was powerful and beneficial to both educators and parents in the Montessori community.
- "Dr. Steven Hughes was outstanding!"
- "Keynote speaker was amazing, captivating, gracious and engaging."
- "Keynote address was encouraging and made me remember why I became committed to Montessori Education."
The Sharonville Convention Center proved to be a great venue for the annual CMS conference. Key amenities included capabilities to provide ample room for the keynote lecture, a large space for the vendor hall and plenty of space for nine breakout workshops per session, each with state-of-the-art technology. Furthermore, Sharonville Convention Center provided convenient parking, healthy boxed lunches and plenty of outdoor space for attendees to spread out and soak up the beautiful March day between workshops.
- "This year's location was wonderful-plenty of space and easy to find rooms."
- "Loved location-very organized."
Workshop topics included ideas for classroom techniques, non-violent communication and a question/answer session with a panel of well-known local Montessorians.
Overall, the conference was certainly a success. It brought Montessorians from across the country (and a few from Canada as well) together in one place and that is enough to be happy about!
We appreciate the feedback we received on the evaluations and have already started working diligently to plan an even better conference for 2013! Thank you to all who attended this year. We hope to see you next year when we celebrate 50 years of Montessori in Cincinnati.
An Invitation from the Ohio Montessori Alliance (OMA)
By: Laureen Golden, MEd, LISW
Join us in creating a unifying communication network connecting all Ohio Montessorians...
We are a group of Montessorians who seek to engage more of Ohio's children in meaningful learning throughout the developmental continuum, by fostering an inclusive and unified Ohio Montessori community, that will coordinate efforts to: (1) effect state policy and regulations; (2) reach out to families, universities, media and policy makers to educate/inform them about Montessori education; and (3) provide opportunities for Montessori professional development.
The Ohio Montessori Alliance is currently just an idea -- the actual organization will be whatever we, as a community, choose to make it become.
The concept for OMA evolved from an online collaborative discussion ("Promoting Montessori Education in Ohio") through which it became evident that people are already deeply involved in promoting and safeguarding Montessori education in Ohio, but because there is no central communication network, we are often unaware of pertinent information and unable to coordinate our efforts to maximize their potential. In addition, without a communication tool it is impossible to be truly inclusive or unified in any of our efforts.
Therefore, we committed to reaching out to ALL individuals and organizations in Ohio who are invested in children and Montessori education, so that we can organize ourselves and our efforts.
We hope an inclusive community of educators and families coalesces, joined in reverence of the potential of each child, and in recognition of how the Montessori method serves to cultivate this potential.
Level of involvement can range from being kept INFORMED (about policies and regulations affecting Montessori education, and actions being taken to promote Montessori education) to getting INVOLVED (passionate individuals who are interested in discussions and organized, actionable steps are warmly welcomed and deeply appreciated).
If the concept of OMA resonates with you, we ask that you please encourage others to join in whatever capacity is comfortable for them.
There is much that is being done to promote Montessori education in Ohio! Recognizing that communication is a precursor to coordinated efforts, we invite you to join us in creating a central, unifying communication network connecting ALL Montessorians -- parents, alumni, teachers, administrators -- anyone invested in promoting Montessori education in Ohio.
If you would like to be included in this communication network, please email OMA. Indicating your INTEREST (to be kept informed, to get involved, etc), PASSION (policy, marketing, research, parent education, etc) and TALENTS (technology, accounting, lobbying, etc) in your email, would greatly help mobilize these efforts.
We need your help to reach ALL Ohio Montessorians! Please SHARE THIS INVITATION with colleagues, family and friends who value Montessori education.
The Ohio Montessori Alliance (OMA) Initiating Group:
Tammy Chabria, Jane's Montessori Academy
Pat Elder, Montessori Academy of Cincinnati
Heather Gerker, M.Ed., Greater Cincinnati Center for Montessori Education
Laureen Golden, MEd, LISW
Julie Kugler-Ackley, Xavier University
Peter Larrow, MEd, Montessori Opportunities, Inc.
Rosann Larrow, MEd, Montessori Opportunities, Inc.
Paula Leigh-Doyle, Hershey Montessori School
Gina Lofquist, M.Ed. Xavier University
Ginger Kelley McKenzie, Ed.D., M.A., Xavier University
Diane Meves, Montessori Parent & Advocate
Lori Sachs, Columbus Montessori Education Center
Lenn Turner, MEd, Columbus Montessori Education Center
Virginia Varga, PhD, Founder & Former Director of Gloria Dei Montessori School
Amy Williams, Columbus Montessori Education Center
Jill Wilson, MEd, 3-6 and 6-9 certified Montessori Directress and Parent
As you know, the Cincinnati Montessori Society is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring together parents, teachers and schools in order to promote and support the Montessori philosophy. It is governed by a volunteer board of trustees of Montessori parents, teachers, students, administrators and others interested in supporting Montessori education. If you are interested in serving on the board or have talents to share, please email your name and contact info to our nominations committee
Each year, as we vote in new board members, we examine how we are serving our customers and what else we can do to support and promote Montessori Education in Cincinnati. Your feedback is very important to us - comments, compliments and critiques!
- What do you like and/or dislike about our service?
- What ideas do you have to make our organization better?
- What areas do you think are important for CMS get involved in?
Executive Board Members
The Cincinnati Montessori Society is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring together parents, teachers, and schools in order to promote and support the Montessori philosophy. It is governed by a volunteer board of trustees, comprised of Montessori parents, teachers, students, administrators and others interested in supporting this method of education.
CMS Member Schools offering Summer Programs
Central Montessori Academy is offering summer programs designed to nurture children's curiosity, creativity and imagination. These goals are met through many outdoor activities, special theme weeks and the classrooms and teachers themselves. The program is divided into 3 sections: toddlers, preprimary, and school age. More information here.
Children's Meeting House offers Summer camps for children to experience hands-on learning and discovery in a stimulating and fun environment. From nature exploration and dinosaur discoveries to clay works and art appreciation, CMH offers a variety of creative opportunities for pre-primary through upper elementary levels. More information is available here.
Montessori Academy of Cincinnati's Preprimary Day Camp offers activities that are planned around different weekly themes, from Dinosaurs to Cooking to Olympic Games and more! Specialists from Crystal Clear Science and Cool Critters will visit the camps for interactive demonstrations. More information is available here.
Montessori Center for Lifelong Learning is offering a Summer "Fun Camp" for ages 5-12. More information here.
Montessori Early Learning Academy is offering a Summer Program titled: Around the World in 70 Days. More information is available here.
Northern Kentucky Montessori Center will be debuting a new summer program for 2012. They will offer both half and full day programs for children ages 3 through 8 years of age. Art, music, and science will be explored through hands on experiences, special projects, and guest instructors from local outreach programs. More information is available here.
If your school is a CMS member and has a summer program you'd like us to add to our website, send information to our Newsletter Editor.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS
We are currently accepting proposals for our 2013 Annual Spring Conference. We will be celebrating 50 years of Montessori in Cincinnati!
Trent Montessori, founded by Jan Haas, Sept. 15th, 1981, began in a Victorian house at
324 Overton Street, Newport, KY, designated "The Trent House", a Kentucky Landmark. The school moved in 1982 to it's current location at 305 Park Avenue.
Jan's AMI (Association Montessori International) examiner was Renilda Montessori, who is Maria Montessori's (founder of the Montessori Education) granddaughter. Renilda was the one who inspired and encouraged Jan to start her own school.
In the early years of the school, Jan, and her husband, Eric, worked with the Mansion Hill Neighborhood Association to help transform the unsightly weed filled lot into a nice neighborhood park. Years later the Garden Club created a wonderful environment at the corner of 3rd and Park that was later dedicated to the memory of Gerri Jones.
The school began with 4 children. Today there is an enrollment of 64 children, ages 3 to 6 and a long waiting list. The policy is that a child may be placed on the waiting list as soon as the parents know the sex of the baby. Many children are already on the waiting list for the 2015-2016 school year.
Jan has taught close to a 1000 students over the past 30 years. Some of these students have returned to work at the school and now she is beginning to have her graduate's children enroll as students. Jan says, "Having the graduate's children start Trent doesn't make me feel old, just very proud."
Throughout the 2011-2012 school year the theme has been "Celebrating 30 Years of
Love, Learning and Laughter". Each month the teachers and children have CELEBRATED a different aspect of the school. They have celebrated: Montessori Education, Children, Parents, Teachers, Friendships, Success, Classroom, World, Laughter, Community and Alumni.
Any alumni of Trent who would like to return to visit, please contact email Jan Haas.
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| Calendar of Events
Advanced Seminar for 3-6 Montessori Teachers: Where Did We Store that Washboard? Revitalizing Practical Life.
July 30th - August 1st
More information here.
Dr. Angeline Lillard to speak at Cincinnati Country Day School Celebrating 50 years of Montessori education in Cincinnati
More information here.
Introduction to Montessori Method and Materials: A series of 8 workshops for classroom assistants, parents, or teachers interested in learning more about Montessori.
Mondays, September 10th -November 5th
6:00pm - 9:00pm
More information here.
Cultural Curriculum Workshop Series: An exploration of part of the Montessori Cultural Curriculum divided into three separate professional development workshops.
Workshop 1: The Science Shelf : Keeping It Real
Date: Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
Time: 6pm - 8pm
Presented by: Kristin Patterson
Workshop 2: Integrating Fine Art in the Primary Classroom
Date: Tuesday, January 22nd
Time: 6pm - 8pm
Presented by: Stephanie Burchett
Workshop 3: Promoting Mindfulness through Music in the Primary Classroom
Date: Tuesday, March 5th
Time: 6pm - 8pm
Presented by David Kisor and Heather Gerker
More information on Cultual Series Workshop here.
"Open" CMS Board Meeting
Interested in joining the board for a meeting? As a member of The Cincinnati Montessori Society, you are invited to join us for our final meeting of each year. This year we will be meeting in June. If you're interested, let us know!