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Online Newsletter Issue No. 18
October 2014

October brings with it children who are comfortable in their
environments and classrooms who are coming together and forming a community of learners. It is my hope that your community has found a solid routine and all are settling in as the holidays approach.

Cincinnati Montessori Society has been hard at work planning the CMS Annual Conference. Are you interested in presenting
at this year's conference? We want our vibrant Montessori Community to share the work they are doing in their classrooms and communities. Please submit your conference proposal now. The deadline for proposals is November 1st. Keep up with the information on the 2015 Spring conference and save the date:


Building Pathways, Growing Partners...the Montessori Way
February 21st, 2015
Northern Kentucky Convention Center

Encourage your school to become a member of CMS or renew their membership to CMS. With school membership also comes conference discounts, free job posting, and online directory listings for your school.  

Thank you for continuing to support Cincinnati Montessori Society.


Heather Gerker
CMS President

 2015 CMS Conference - Save the Date!
We are excited to announce our 2015 Spring Conference will be on FEBRUARY 21st at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. Submit a presentation proposal now.
International Day of Peace at The New School  
by Ann Baumgardner

The New School Montessori was the only school in Ohio to be given a peace pole to decorate for this year's observance of the International Day of Peace. This annual celebration was established over 30 years ago by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly and has been observed throughout the world. Students age 3 to grade 6 created glass art that adorned the pole. Teachers and students assembled around the pole to sing, read poems and to talk about the importance of peace in our world and what they can do to promote peace today.

Biff Maier:  Keynote Speaker for CMS Conference
by Sarah K. Hattemer

We are excited to host Biff Maier as the 2015 Conference keynote speaker.  Biff is Director of Faculty and Curriculum Development at Lexington Montessori School in Massachusetts and he co-directs the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative in Lexington, MA. He also presents and consults for the Center for Montessori School Management.  He earned his B.A. in psychology from Duke University and his M.Ed. from Xavier University, where he also received his AMS Early Childhood and Elementary credentials. He also earned an AMI 6-12 credential from the International Center for Advanced Montessori Studies in Bergamo, Italy.

Biff has many connections to Cincinnati and is excited to return in February to reconnect with friends, family, and Montessorians.
Making It Stick:  How We Make a Lasting Difference in Kids' Lives 
by Biff Maier

Learning is a journey, and we are children's guides. Before we set off, we must choose where we are headed. What do we want them to see, to feel? These journeys are the stuff they will use to build their souls and to wire their minds.

Sometimes we find powerful advice in unlikely places. As I thought about how to make demonstrations, lessons and
impressions "stick", I turned to Gorilla Glue for answers:

Step One: Prepare the Surfaces
There are several aspects to the preparation. We have to make sure kids are ready, able and willing to participate.
Have they learned the behaviors and developed the will to stick to the protocol? Do they know what they should bring?
We must be sure that prerequisite work has been done. Montessori learned from Seguin the importance of breaking learning into small steps. To isolate the difficulty of a lesson, we must create momentum through previous experiences. Just as Gorilla Glue suggests that we "rough up the surfaces", we can cultivate curiosity and enthusiasm.

Pinwheels for Peace at Mercy Montessori  
by Gretchen Hooker

Mercy Montessori students celebrated Mercy Day and the International Day for Peace on September 24th by displaying 300 handcrafted pinwheels in the school's front yard.   Each student, from the preschool through the 8th grade, created a unique pinwheel with his or her messages for world peace and personal peace inscribed on the inside.  The goal with this project is to "have our wishes for peace to be blown on the wind to the larger community and beyond", said Art Teacher, Cathy Herring.   The Pinwheels of Peace event was started in 2005 and takes place annually across the globe.  Last year, more than 4 million pinwheels were displayed in over 3,500 locations around the world to celebrate children's wishes for peace. 

XU Announces Program Name Change 

On July 1, 2014, Xavier University's Montessori Program officially became the Xavier University Montessori Institute, (XUMI) with Gina Lofquist now serving as Assistant Dean of the Institute. This description and name more accurately reflects all components of Xavier's Montessori program.  These components include:
  • Teacher education for undergraduate and graduate level degrees, American Montessori Society credentialing and Ohio state licensing
  • the Montessori Lab School
  • the Montessori Center, a professional development, consultation, and material producing center 
When asked to describe the significance of the name change Lofquist said, "Becoming an institute better reflects our desire to grow Montessori, not only through teacher education but through a broad range of services intended to broaden the reach of Montessori."

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 Newsletter
International Day of Peace at New School
Biff Maier - Keynote for CMS Conference
Making It Stick by Biff Maier
Pinwheels for Peace At Mercy Montessori
XU Montessori Program Name Change
Community Calendar
Job Board
CMS Conference Going Green
XU Alum Survey Request
Why Choose Montessori? A parent's perspective
Great Outdoor Weekend at CMH
Board Member Highlight
Cincinnati Montessori Society
on Facebook
CMS Facebook Like
Montessori Community Calendar

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

Job Board

CMS Conference Is Going Green!

The 2015 Conference Building Pathways, Growing Partners... The Montessori Way is Going Green!  In an effort to reduce waste and save paper, we will make available conference workshop handouts on the our web site. Rather than load conference attendees up with paper, workshop handouts will be available one week prior to the conference. We will also be changing mail-in registration options, stay tuned for more information!
XU Montessori Alum Survey Request

By Gina Loftquist

Calling Xavier University Montessori Institute Alums...

We want to be in touch with you and bring our Montessori alumni community together.  You never know what changes this coming together will make possible for children. You have a voice in how we should make this happen. Please take a few minutes to respond to the survey below.
Why Choose Montessori
for Your Child?

by Missy Shade, mother of second grader, Will, who has been in Montessori for six years

When we decided on a Montessori education for our son, I was excited about what and how he was going to learn.  What I didn't know was how much I was going to learn.

Will started in his first Montessori classroom when he had just turned one.  We were in an Infant/Toddler class that introduced us both to the wonders of Montessori.  He was learning to work with other kids, how to wait his turn, and his part in taking care of an environment.  I learned the value of play and work with age- appro-priate materials.  We didn't need a lot of manufactured and bedazzled toys (although you wouldn't know that if you visited our house at the time).  He was interested in real-life objects, appropriate for his age and size that allowed him to explore and create. 

Great Outdoor Weekend at CMH   

On Sunday, September 28, Children's Meeting House Montessori School (CMH) was transformed into a treasure trove of nature activities as part of the 11th annual Great Outdoor Weekend (GOW).  

GOW is an area-wide initiative presented by the members of Green Umbrella, a regional sustainability alliance. The event
was crafted to help families, adults and children get a real taste of and enjoy different outdoor activities, encourage nature awareness and most importantly, embrace the variety of natural settings abundant in our area.

CMS Board Member Highlight 

Julie Kugler-Ackley

Current School/ Occupation:  
Xavier University Montessori Institute, Clinical Faculty

Years of Teaching:  19

Why did you choose Montessori? 
The pedagogy creates a very natural, creative  way for children and adults to learn. A child's individual strengths and natural tendencies and proclivities are considered. I also value its integrative nature, in that connections between content areas are drawn out, creating a big picture for children.

Why did you join the CMS board?  to further advocate for Montessori education in the community and the region.

Favorite teaching moment: 
I would add an "-s" to moment, because my favorite teaching moments come from so many places and times. But one funny moment was during my first year of teaching, in Atlanta.  I took my elementary children to Stone Mountain, Georgia for a Civil war gathering. I drove a ten-person school van across downtown Atlanta in rush hour traffic and got a ticket for not having the correct driving license for a working van. I then earned an industrial level drivers license in the state of Georgia.

Interesting personal fact:  I love to go to Disney World- I try to get there every other year and have been 12 times since it opened

What do you love most about Montessori?  the Cultural subjects, curriculum and the great lessons.

Interests and Hobbies: I love to go to concerts of all kinds of music and performers. I used to try to find out where bands were staying when they came to Cincinnati and stake out their hotels. 
CMS 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.

CMS Newsletter Staff

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