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Online Newsletter Issue No. 15
Winter 2014

Happy New Year! January has blown in with quite the cold front, hopefully each of you are staying warm. We are working excitedly on final arrangements for our Annual Spring Conference, scheduled for Saturday, March 1st. We are so delighted with our presenters and exhibitors, many of whom are nationally known, and often appear at the American Montessori Society's National Conferences.

We are offering an unbelievable array of workshops, at a very affordable cost with age levels spanning from birth to adolescents. In addition, the Northern Kentucky Convention Center is within walking distance of several affordable hotels. For more details on hotels offering a special rate for our Conference participants, please visit our website.

Registration is now open!

We hope to see you there,
Heather Gerker
CMS President

Learn more ways to support different
learning styles in your Montessori classroom.
Keynote Session and 16 Different Breakout Sessions Topics for Infant/Toddler through Adolescent Teachers!
Professional Development Hours available.
See our website for details or


Leave No Child Inside! Free Resources for Teachers  

by:  Betsy Townsend, Co-Chair 


"Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment."   Maria Montessori

Experiential learning is imbedded deep in the heart of the Montessori Method, recognizing that throughout human history, children have learned through outdoor play.  Making up games, building forts and discovering nearby nature, they developed their imaginations, learned resourcefulness, important social skills and even a little engineering, never knowing that they were receiving an "education" at the same time.

In contrast, many of today's children have no safe place to play outdoors.  And, today's children spend an average of 7.38 hours a day plugged into electronic media .  Leave No Child Inside - Greater Cincinnati was founded in 2006 to assure that in today's increasingly urban world of iPads, television and Xbox, children retain the right to experience a healthy dose of nature in their everyday lives.  

Teachers and child care providers are joining our ranks, and with good reason!  For instance, did you know that:
*    School achievement is enhanced when curricula is  environment based
*    Even a view of nature out a window can improve academic performance and behavior
*    Nature helps reduce stress in highly stressed children
*    Many children with ADHD who spend as little as twenty minutes a day in a natural environment experience the same level of relief from their symptoms as by taking commonly prescribed medication

Leave No Child Inside - Greater Cincinnati wants to make it easy for you to connect your students with nature.  That's why we created a new School Program Finder that allows you to search for over 100 school outreach programs, field trips and camps in the Greater Cincinnati area.  We also have a special School and After School Page on our website with a host of resources, including a nature-based reading list with accompanying activities and Ten Ways You Can Add Vitamin N to Your Classroom and Beyond.   Please visit us at and join the movement to reconnect children with nature today!

Rideout, V.J., Foehr, U.G., & Roberts D.F. (2010).  Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-year olds.  Kaiser Family Foundation.

Lieberman, Gerald A.; and Linda L. Hoody.  "Closing the Achievement Gap: Using the Environment as an Integrating Context for Learning." 

SEER: Poway, CA, 1998, 2000 and "California Student Assessment Project Phase Two:  The Effects of Environment-Based Education on Student
Achievement." SEER: Poway CA, 2005.

Matsouka, R.H. (2008).  "High School Landscapes and Student Performance".  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Wells, N.M. and Evans, G.W. "Nearby Nature:   A Buffer of Life Stress Among Rural Children." Environment and Behavior.  Vol. 35:3, 311-330.

Faber Taylor, A., & Kuo, F. E. (2008).  "Children with Attention Deficits Concentrate Better after Walk in the  Park."  Journal of Attention Disorders.
Sally Moore: An Important Figure in Montessori Education in Cincinnati 


Montessori has lost one if its beloved activists this past year. To pay our respects to Sally Moore, we have included a short bio about her contributions to Montessori.

Sally Moore was one of the founders of Montessori in Cincinnati. In the late 1950's, she learned of Montessori and
became determined to create a school that could provide a Montessori experience for her own children and for others in the community.  At that time, Hilda Rothchild was teaching at the Cerebral Palsy Center in Cincinnati and along with Nonie Rich and Pants Lawrence, Sally persuaded her to join them in her effort to begin a Montessori school. They offered Bill Hopple, head of the lower school at Cincinnati Country Day, the opportunity to be the home for this new school.

At that time, Montessori was unknown and rather unique, so Bill was taking a chance. Within 2 years the classroom was fully set up and functioning, thanks to Hilda Rothchild, Sally, Moore, Pants Lawrence, and Noni Rich. Within a few years, these women, joined by Paula Lillard, Dolly Closson, and AK Carey, had created the Cincinnati Montessori Society, established a Montessori graduate program at Xavier University, commissioned a long-term study of Montessori effectiveness at the University of Cincinnati, and gotten a federal grant to establish Montessori classes in 3 inner city schools: Sands (then in the East End), Winton Terrace, and Millvale. Marcella Trice managed this program, and these classes have expanded and morphed into a significant and continuing Montessori presence in Cincinnati Public Schools and independent school education in Cincinnati.

Thank you, Sally!
Xavier University Montessori Lab School Opens First 9 - 12 Classroom
 by:  Joshua Shanklin
        Upper Elementary Teacher 
        Xavier Montessori Lab School

        Xavier University Clinical Faculty

I was sitting in my favorite reading chair in the new Upper Elementary classroom on the second floor of Xavier's Joseph Building.  Resting in my lap was a faded green copy of Rita Kramer's biography of Maria Montessori.  I will be teaching Montessori Philosophy in less than two weeks and I needed to brush up on some things.   As I reached for my favorite coffee filled mug which was resting on the window sill, I paused to take in the sunrise that was coloring the sky above Xavier's campus a light pink and soft orange.

I chuckled aloud to myself as I reflected on how I got to this moment.  Ten years ago, I was washing dishes at a coffee shop in Nashville.  Six years ago I started my first
 year in a 9-12 classroom in a Public Montessori school in Fort Wayne, IN.   Three years ago, I began working on my Master's degree in Montessori Education at Xavier.  Today, I am the first 9-12 teacher at the Xavier University Montessori
Lab School.

I am standing on the shoulders of the giants who have come before me in the Cincinnati Montessori community.  I am riding the wave of energy created by the university administration that understands the value and possibility of what Montessori is and can be.  Whoa.

I returned my attention to the book, and read this:
"What I want now is a body of colleagues, research workers, who will examine what I have already done, apply my principles as far as I have gone, not in a spirit of opposition or conviction, but as a matter of pure experiment.  Then they can help me with constructive criticism, after, not before, the event.  I have never yet had anyone, starting from my own previous body of knowledge, work shoulder
to shoulder with me in a scientific independence.  Now that doctors and psychologists are beginning to take an interest in normal children, perhaps some will help me." -Maria Montessori

In 1966, the Xavier University Montessori Lab School was established with the purpose of joining the body of colleagues and research workers that Dr. Montessori was pining for.  With the recent opening of our first 9-12 classroom, we are equipped to serve in a new way.   In just a few short months, this very first class of 9-12 year olds, that I affectionately refer to as, "the pioneers", has endeared themselves
to the University.  We have presented God With No Hands to a group of college students, interviewed the Provost for our class newspaper, dissected specimens from the Animal Kingdom with a university biology class, and assisted in the maintenance of Xavier's Sustainability Farm.

We've only just begun.  As the sun rises above the campus, it also rises on the potential and possibility of what is yet to come.  
From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom  
By: Becky Monohan

Ohio Gov. John Kasich delivered a commencement speech to University of Cincinnati graduates on Saturday, December 14th, 2013. One of the things he said in his speech was that "Every single person in this building has a unique set of gifts, and you graduates, some of you don't know that... When you embrace those gifts, you start leading a meaningful life."
I fully believe that " begins with the students" (Prensky, Marc, From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom, 2011).  The important thing is what students need and how we, as teachers, can give it to them.  The future students are dealing with a world characterized by variability, uncertainty, chaos and ambiguity.  In the situation, the role of the teacher becomes one of providing an education that will prepare students for these specific conditions.  The aforementioned article about digital wisdom is essentially about listening to our students.  This is so important in moving forward with an educational system that will provide the type of education that allows them to succeed.

Really listening to students is an important step toward preparing children to succeed in their own times and lives.  Current teachers, in our test-result driven education system, will need to be prepared to demonstrate "educational effectiveness" and "keeping our country competitive." (Prensky, Marc. From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom, 2011).  This does not align with what students will need to succeed.  In a beneficial educational system, the teacher would be creating important, useful, learning and life opportunities for our students.  I admit that technology is a key component to providing useful learning, as long as the technology is an aid and not simply a way of keeping
students "busy". 

The teacher plays a role in engaging students through making learning interesting and meaningful.  Rather than trying to lecture to students and get them to memorize facts to be tested on, teachers are realizing that they need to educate students to think more on their own.  This requires fully integrating skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving.  One excellent example of this would be the project we students worked on in our Xavier University Educational Technology class.  Our professor asked us to work together on a team of three, research a topic, and produce a web quest wiki for students to work through and learn by doing.  In this example we used technology, found information, and created a product that demonstrates our understanding of the work.
The most difficult part of this teaching approach is that there are many teachers who do not have the support of the school system.  They do not have the knowledge to implement, or the understanding of this project-driven, technology supported approach to teaching.  "The real changes our kids
require will only come, in America and the world, from what every teacher does differently in every classroom." (Prensky, Marc. From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom, 2011).
Bringing Montessori Principles into Your Home  
A Workshop from The Greater Cincinnati Center for Montessori Education

What is the Montessori Philosophy?  What makes a home Montessori?  And how can I use Montessori principles in my home?  In this 3 hour workshop, we will discuss ways to create a home environment that will help your child develop
independence and a strong sense of self.  An overview of the Montessori Philosophy will also be discussed. Focus will
primarily be on ages 0 - 6. Participants will receive a Resource Folder and will have the option to join an online
Montessori Parenting Support Group.

Date:  Saturday, Feb. 22nd, 2014
Time:  9am - 12pm
Place: GCCME Learning Environment
  1053 Madison Ave
  Covington, KY 41011
Cost:  $40 by Feb. 1, $50 after Feb. 1
(discounts offered for multiple registrations)

For more information, click here.
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
Leave No Child Inside: Free Resources for Teachers
Sally Moore: An Important Figure in Montessori Education
Xavier Lab School 9 - 12 Program
From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom
Montessori in the Home Workshop
Community Calendar
New Professional Development Requirements from AMS
Parent Article
Board Member Highlight
Job Board
Executive Board Members

Heather Gerker, M.Ed.


Vice President
Kristen Patterson, M.Ed.

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

Cincinnati Montessori Society
on Facebook
CMS Facebook Like
Montessori Community Calendar

Professional Development Workshop Opportunities, Montessori School Open Houses, and more!

New Professional Development Requirement from AMS

American Montessori Society (AMS) requires that holders of AMS credentials issued on or after July 1, 2013 complete 50 hours of professional development every 5 years for the credential to remain active. The first 5-year period begins with the date the credential was issued.

If professional development hours are not completed within the 5-year period, the credential will be considered inactive until the requirement is met. The credential holder must keep a record of his or her professional development and be able to provide print or electronic verification of the event host, location, date, topic, presenter(s), and number of hours attended.

To maintain an active credential, verification of professional development is to be submitted to AMS 30 days in advance of the 5-year anniversary of the issuance of the credential, and every 5 years thereafter.

For more information on professional development opportunities that meet AMS guidelines and a calendar of events, visit the AMS website.
My Son,
The Peace Builder 
by Sara Croxton
In the Montessori philosophy, one area that truly stands apart from other educational strategies, is the implementation of "peace education". Montessori was a big proponent of teaching children how to be peaceful in their communities. Today, many schools, including Mercy Montessori, have adopted the Peace Builders Pledge to help students of all ages understand how to build peace within their classrooms. For more information on this, please visit Everyone searches for a place where their child will thrive.  We have found that in our Montessori education.  We were looking for a setting in which our son could move at his own pace and challenge his inner being. 
I grew up in a Montessori home, so the indepen-
dence of the children has always called to me. 

Our son, Aiden, has become quite the Peace Builder.  Let me share with you our little moment of peace.  We have a 21- month-old daughter, Eva.  Everyday Aiden asks her, "Did you have a good day at school?" Everyday Eva responds, "No!"  About two weeks ago we picked Aiden up from school.  Per the usual, Aiden asked her, "Did you have a good day at school?"  Today Eva answered, "Yes!"  With admiration in his voice, he said, "Oh Eva, I am so proud of you.  You are a Peace Builder, not a negative bully.  I hope you have another wonderful day tomorrow."  With that, my five-year-old recited the peace builder pledge:

I am a peace builder
I Pledge to praise people
To give up put downs
To seek wise people
To notice and speak up about hurts I have caused
To right wrongs
To help others
I will build peace at home, at school, and in my community each day

As a parent this was one of those moments that you tear up with pride knowing that you made the right choice for your child.  I made the right choice in choosing a Montessori Education.


Are you a Montessori parent who would like to share your experience with the Montessori Philosophy with CMS? Do you know a parent that would like to share? 

CMS Board  
Member Highlight 

NAME: Mina Patel

CURRENT SCHOOL: Community Montessori School

YEARS TEACHING: This is my 7th year. 
ren's experience with Montessori inspired me to learn more about it and become a Montessori teacher. I continue to be inspired by how Montessori education nurtures a love of learning and fosters self- confi dence and initiative while following the child.  
I love watching children grow socially, emotionally, and academically at their own pace in a Montessori environment. Being in the classroom is such a peaceful and rewarding experience.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TEACHING MOMENT: There are so many wonderful moments. I really enjoy the funny and insightful things kids often say, but my favorite moments are watching a child truly connect with a material with joy and concentration.   
WHY DID YOU JOIN THE CMS BOARD: It is a great opportunity to meet other Montessorians who share a passion and love for the philosophy and  
Montessori teaching. It's wonderful to be able to share and discuss experiences and help support and promote Montessori education in the Cincinnati community.   
INTERESTING PERSONAL FACT: My first career was in Public Accounting as a CPA. 
WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS AND HOBBIES: I love reading, traveling, spending time with my family, and learning more about Montessori education. 
Job Board

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