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Online Newsletter Issue No. 9 August  2012
It's hard to believe we are about to begin the 50th year of Montessori education in the Greater Cincinnati area. I have vivid memories of my first meeting with Beth Bronsil, the retired director of Xavier University's Montessori Teacher Education Program. By the time I left her office that January day, I had my class schedule firmly in hand. That was in 1981. I know many of you have similar memories and stories. 

In honor of our "golden" year, we have decided to redesign our website and newsletter. As you can see, it looks a bit different! We've been working hard in order to better support the many members of our Montessori Community.

Our new website is much more user friendly and includes a resource area that we hope teachers and parents will find useful. Please let us know if you have suggestions to add. We've also included a list of items available through the CMS Lending Library, contact us if you're interested.

The CMS Board has grown as well and we are excited to welcome several new membersThe board members are already working on getting things planned for the 50th conference event on March 23rd, 2013: Greater Cincinnati: A Montessori Goldmine, Celebrating 50 Years of Montessori Education. Dee Coulter will be joining us as the keynote speaker at The Northern Kentucky Convention Center. Call for Presentations is open, submit yours now!

What's a golden year without a party? Don't worry, CMS is throwing a party too! We will be hosting a Gala celebration in the evening after the conference. We hope you will join us in a day of renewal, professional development, and celebration. 

Here's to yet another exciting year of Montessori in Cincinnati - enjoy!
Julia Preziosi
CMS President

Save the Date for the CMS Annual Spring Conference!! 


The Greater Cincinnati area is a true Goldmine for Montessori Education, with more than 50 private Montessori schools and five public Montessori Schools. Cincinnati is the birthplace of Sands Montessori, the first public Montessori school and Clark Montessori, the first Montessori High School. The variety of teacher training programs in the Greater Cincinnati Area has helped develop the love and passion for Montessori education that is felt throughout our community. It is truly a treasure to have such a wealth of history in Montessori Education! 


We are excited to announce Dee Coulter, a nationally recognized neuroscientist educator, as our featured keynote speaker.


We are currently accepting presentation proposals for our breakout sessions. Submit your proposal by October 1st.


Join us in the evening after our conference for a Gala Celebration - details coming soon! 


We hope you will join us at the 2013 CMS Spring Conference; together we can celebrate 50 years of Montessori Education in the Greater Cincinnati area!

Playing and Creating in Nature

By: Rosemary Quaranta, Elementary Coordinator and Upper Elementary Teacher at Seton Montessori School and Institute  


"If I had influence with the good fairy, I would ask that her gift to each child be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life." -Rachel Carson


Yes, a sense of wonder in children is what makes teaching so rewarding and so exciting. Daniel A. Kriesberg says that, "Wonder leads to a desire to know more, to gain knowledge and understanding. If we wonder about something, we begin to care about it." Isn't it true that nature has everything in it to create a sense of awe and wonder? It is complete and filled with seasonal changes, animals both small and large, rocks, wood, dirt, and plants. Connecting to our natural world also helps us understand the normal cycles and through our understanding of nature, we begin to have a deep respect and love for it. 


However, today, our children are often disconnected with nature. They have a loss of wonder and curiosity seldom seeing the new flower opening up or the beautiful clouds up above. Their world is daily being transformed and evolving, but they are blind to the beauty and the changes. Some children are even afraid of being outside (ecophobia) and uncomfortable with insects, dirt, leaves and sticks. Richard Louve's book, "Last Child in the Woods" gives examples of how devastating this lack of connection to nature is and how it effects our children. He coined the phrase "Nature Deficit Disorder" and he believes that a lack of time outdoors in nature results in a variety of behavioral problems in children. 


Full article >>>

What to Expect from a 9-12 Child

By Kevin Vance, Assistant Principal, Mercy Montessori Center


When living and working with students in the 9 to 12 age range, you need to be prepared for almost anything! This time period encompasses wide-ranging and often explosive changes in a child's expression of emotions, physical body, and the manner in which they perceive and interact with their world, peers, and family. 


Rapid physical changes are characteristic of children in this age group. As students begin puberty, their physical being is changing very quickly and sometimes at unpredictable rates, which is developmentally appropriate. Some common physical characteristics that you may observe are: 

  • a desire to push and discover their new physical limits 
  • tiring more easily becoming restless and unable to sit for long periods of time 
  • complaints of numerous aches and pains due to "growing pains" resulting from the rapid development of muscles needed for jumping, running, etc. 

Cognitive growth also makes huge leaps during this period. One major change seen during this developmental stage is the shift from concrete thoughts, such as the recall of facts and rules, to employing more abstract thoughts, such as the understanding of justice and integrity. Students at this age enjoy (and often delight in) challenging adult explanations as they search for their own understanding of the world and social norms. They inwardly enjoy adult-like assignments such as researching and interviewing, while they often outwardly whine about the added responsibilities and expectations. Children may worry about world events, family members' health, school work and/or peer relationships, but begin to develop successful mediation and problem solving skills when given ample room and support from caring adults to resolve issues for themselves.


Full article >>>

A Changing Community at Central Montessori Academy

By Laura Saylor, Head of School, Central Montessori Academy


A quarter of a century ago, when I was a new teacher at a small school called The Children's Way (The former name of Central Montessori Academy) we offered half-day pre-primary programs only. In the 1980's there did not seem to be a need for full-day programs nor had anyone ever expressed an interest or need for an elementary program at our school. 


That was until a young mother, Rene' Steinkamp, came to visit The Children's Way looking for a Montessori school for her almost 3-year-old. She expressed to me how much she loved our school even though it was the furthest one from her home, yet there was a problem she had with the school. I listened eagerly for her to expand on her statement, wondering what she saw that I did not. She then shared with me that she wished there was an elementary program and asked if we planned on expanding. As if the stars were all aligned, she offered to help me start on a long journey. I do not remember the rest of the exchange that day, but I had no idea that her wish would become realized in less than two years. 


Central Montessori Academy, like so many schools, has evolved over time adjusting to the needs of our local and school community. In the past couple of decades, our school has added and expanded programs, moved and moved and moved, built buildings and playgrounds, and transformed from being a small parent cooperative to becoming an established independent Montessori school. 


As I now look back, I find it interesting how we as a society have changed with regards to our schools, our parenting, and our lives in general. The days of one parent working, with perhaps one parent staying home in the 1980's is nearly non-existent. Also, the trends from the 1990's and early 2000's of both parents working five days a week from nine to five has been pushed aside for more and more families. The lives of the families we see today are much more complicated and yet it seems that many families have more options within their professions to work from home or to flex their schedules around their family life.


Full article >>>

Introducing New Parents to the Montessori Philosophy

By Julia Preziosi, Executive Director, Northern Kentucky Montessori Center


Late summer is often a time that parents of preschoolers begin to worry about what to do for their child regarding school. Parents who are new to parenting have little experience with preschool education, and are often learning about these very pertinent concerns as their child grows and develops. It can be a confounding dilemma for the parent who doesn't know the difference between Montessori and other types of daycares and preschools. 


When I am introducing a new parent to the Montessori philosophy, I usually begin with describing the rationale behind the mixed-age grouping of children in a Montessori classroom. This one aspect of the Montessori philosophy is so huge in its impact, that it provides a great springboard into the other differences between Montessori and traditional preschool.


Full article >>>

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 contact us.
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?
Please send us your thoughts.
In This Issue
Annual Spring Conference
Playing and Creating in Nature
What to Expect from a 9-12 Child?
A Changing Community at Central Montessori Academy
Introducing New Parents to the Montessori Philosophy
Montessorians Making a Difference
10 Recommended Books for Montessori Kids and Teachers
Keynote Speaker Announced for CMS Spring Conference
Executive Board Members

Julia Preziosi, M.Ed.


Vice President
Heather Gerker, M.Ed.

Susan Flaspohler, M.Ed.
Membership Secretary
Meri Fox
Recording Secretary
Valerie Dyas, M.Ed.

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.

Montessorians Making a Difference

Betty Tisdale, 89--year--old founder of Helping and Loving Orphans, (HALO) arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 2nd, 2012 to open a nursery for infants at the House of Flowers Orphanage, run by PARSA. Famous for organizing the airlift out of Saigon of 219 orphans in 1975, Betty is internationally renowned for her advocacy and support for orphans in Asia. 
At a time, when American's are tired of the war in Afghanistan and ready to leave, Betty has renewed her efforts to support this unique program so that it becomes available to children throughout Afghanistan. 

Established in 2004, House of Flowers Orphanage has the first Montessori training program in the country and has been adopted by Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs as the model for orphanages around the country.

Call For Presentation Proposals

CMS AMS invites your submissions of presentation proposals for the 2013 Annual Spring Conference. Deadline to submit is October 1, 2012.
10 Recommended Books for Montessori Kids and Teachers
Organized by Andrea Bennett and Whitney Gleason

As teachers, we know how important it is for our students to read often and enjoy the process. However, it is often difficult to find new and exciting books for teachers and students alike. 

This is a list of books recommended for teachers, by teachers. The list includes books for students, teachers, parents, and administrators. These are books that will inspire reading, be helpful in the classroom community, and remind us of our passion as teachers. Enjoy!

Advertise With CMS

Opportunities to advertise with CMS include sponsoring the annual Spring Conference, reserving Vendor space at the conference, or purchasing advertising space in the CMS School Directory.

Keynote Speaker Announced for Spring Conference
Dee Coulter
We are excited to announce that Dee Coulter, a nationally recognized neuroscientist educator, will be our featured speaker at the CMS Annual Spring Conference.

Dee is known for her extensive early childhood education knowledge and her ability to entertain in a way that is extremely informative. She is a huge proponent of Montessori Education and the way the philosophy benefits all planes of development in children. She has her master's degree in special education and her doctorate in neuroscience and holistic education. 

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