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Online Newsletter Issue No. 20 
Spring 2015

The flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. At CMS, we are very excited to be spending more time outside.

Spring is always a busy time. Remember to take some time to reflect on the impact you make on children and families. It is easy to get busy planning the next week or for the next school year, but be sure to pause and take joy and pride in what your community has accomplished.

As I take time to look back and see what Cincinnati Montessori Society has accomplished, I am so proud of how CMS has grown their outreach in a short time. In the past two years, we have increased our membership by 70%. We have spread the word about Montessori Education in the Greater Cincinnati Area through social media and our presence in the community. The CMS volunteer board has created a regional conference to which people travel from many states to attend. We appreciate all the support and help we received from our members during the snow storm. We were happy that many were able to brave the weather, including all of our speakers to make this year's conference a memorable event. Though we missed many participants we hope you were able to take advantage of watching the videos online. We are also very excited to announce the details of our 2016 conference - see below for more information!

We look forward to continuing to provide educational opportunities and to further spread the word about the value of Montessori Education.

Kristin Patterson
Vice President

Saturday, April 9th 

Catherine McTamaney, EdD, is an award-winning Montessori teacher, former school director, and school consultant. Her writing appears in Montessori publications around the globe. Beloved by Montessori classroom teachers, teacher educators and parents around the globe, her books: "The Tao of Montessori," and "A Delicate Task," are found as frequently on bedside tables as on teacher-education required reading lists. McTamaney lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her two children, where she serves as the Director of Undergraduate Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College. Dr. McTamaney is additionally a member of the Social Computing Lab at the MIT Media Lab, where she directs the Wildflower Montessori project. Learn more about her here.

More conference details coming soon!
Benefits of a Montessori Education...
Years Later 
by Lisa Somer

Having raised three boys, who are all now wonderful grown men, I wish I could take credit for all of the wonderful attributes each of them possesses. In reality, I know that there are so many contributing factors that have led them to be who they are over the years. My oldest (Christopher) did not have the advantage of attending a Montessori school until age 9. My younger boys (Danny and Ayden) began their long educational careers as three-year-olds. I will admit, we have been to a few "Montessori" schools that did not live up to the philosophy, but we always seemed to know which to choose for our boys and
they have been wonderful.

Engaging Parents (and Kindergartners!)
in Outdoor Play 
by Melissa Sabo, Cincinnati Nature Center

Play is such a powerful way for young children to learn about themselves, their world, and how they fit together. It also allows them to make strong connections with new concepts and gives plentiful opportunities for building new connections in their minds. Teachers, parents, and other family members have the unique ability to deliver these opportunities to children long-term while instilling a love for the outdoors and a passion for continuous learning.

Cincinnati Nature Center has taken all of this into consideration with the development of a play-based program at Rowe Woods for Kindergarten students using our Nature PlayScape. Instead of Nature Center naturalists directing the program, parents and other school volunteers are trained to take the lead with support from our staff. They teach small groups of children, who rotate through six stations based around Kindergarten learning standards, play and discovery.
New School Montessori Students
Perform Macbeth Around Cincinnati
by Ann Baumgardner

Shakespeare is credited with adding thousands of words to the English language that we use daily like: champion, frugal, tranquil and hurried. Although understanding the language of Shakespeare has its challenges, New School Montessori 4th, 5th and 6th graders were not daunted by the language or the themes of Macbeth. Students read the play in its entirety with their after-school Shakespeare club leaders: TNSM assistant
director Jeff Groh and TNSM teacher Laura Slanker. They had many discussions about the dangers of blind ambition and Macbeth's and other characters' crises of conscience.

Safe and Easy Dismissal: Every Child,
Every Day   
by Kristi Vredeveld

It was 3:00 pm and I was sitting in carline at my children's school. I'll never forget the feeling in my stomach, or the look in the Principal's eyes, when only two of my three children got in the car. I raced home trying to "beat the bus" and fortunately I did. "That's enough," I thought. "There has to be a better way."

Developmentally, I couldn't expect my children to remember their own dismissal plans. And I was frustrated by the current system of notes, phone calls and emails, each with their own pitfalls. How many notes could possibly be left on the kitchen counter... or never retrieved out of the backpack? Will the teacher have a chance to check the email I sent? How many phone calls does our school secretary handle in one day... and does the message make it to the teacher and/or my child? How many other children are in the wrong place at the wrong time? I needed a guaranteed way to show my children where to go, while letting the teachers know too. So, I made bright and colorful key tags. One for each dismissal option. Every morning as I drove them to school, I would pass the tags around and each child would clip the correct tag onto his or her backpack. All by themselves! They were so proud to know their plan each day. It was a great way to start the day and gave us all peace of mind all day long. Their teachers took notice and started recommending the same to other families struggling with dismissal.

Throwback to Backyard Summer Fun!
by Melissa Mauer
(Originally published in the Spring 2000 CMS newsletter)

In the coming editions of the CMS newsletter, we will be featuring some "throwback" articles from years past. These articles will include favorites from teachers, children, and parents. We hope you enjoy reading these still-applicable articles!

Spring is all around us! This has been a wonderful year for flowers and flowering trees. One reason is the cool weather. The other reason is the good balance of rain and sunshine. Rain is essential for good spring flowers. Rain also helps to clean the air. How does it do that?

Let's do a Backyard Biologist test to find out!

Here's what you will need:
*    grape Kool-aid mix
*    large container for 3 Styrofoam cups
*    a pencil
*    1 cup each of sand, pebbles, and soil
*    Tape
*    4 glasses
*    a nature journal

Continue reading 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 Newsletter
Cincinnati Montessori Society
on Facebook
CMS Facebook Like
Montessori Community Calendar

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

Job Board

CMS Board Member Highlight 


Sloan McKinney Doepke

Current School/ Occupation:   Cincinnati Country Day School - Montessori Lead Teacher and Team Leader

Years of Teaching: 
11 years

Why did you choose Montessori?
After part time preschool as a two-year old, my son, Malcolm, began school at Mercy Montessori at age three.  As I saw him grow in the environment, I fell in love with the method and philosophy shared by his teachers. I was in search of the next step in my growth as a person and a new career path, so I decided to pursue a Masters in Montessori Education at Xavier University. Within the first few philosophy classes, I was totally hooked!

Why did you join the CMS board?
I have a good friend, who was CMS Board President at the time, (Julia Preziosi) who introduced me to the Board. I love the collaboration and synergy in the amazing group of individuals on the Board!

Favorite teaching moment: 
Not sure I can narrow it down to one moment! The most exciting thing to me is to hear from parents that a child is talking about concepts at home that have been introduced and discussed during the school day. When a child can share their learning with others, I know they are beginning to have their own understanding and excitement about it!

Interesting personal fact: Montessori teaching is my third and most deeply satisfying career! My art/graphic design degree lead me to commercial and residential architectural design for many years, after which I worked in sales for an upscale commercial printing company.

What do you love most about Montessori?  The recognition that children are on their own path of growth as independent
and incredibly capable individuals... and they are ready for so much that the world has to offer. I believe it is  like the Field of Dreams mantra - "If you build it, they will come." If you offer information, they will learn! That is the beauty of the Montessori approach to education... we guide and direct, and offer a world of learning opportunities to children!

Interests and Hobbies: I am passionate about health, wellness and nutrition and considered pursuing a career in health and nutrition prior to discovering Montessori. I am devoted to regular exercise and a vegetarian diet.
Anything else? I always believe (and observe) that parents who really think about their child's education choose Montessori...once they know about the richness of experience available to their child, it is by far the only choice! 
CMS Executive Board Members

Heather Gerker, M.Ed.


Vice President
Kristin Patterson, M.Ed.

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

CMS Newsletter Staff

Content Editor: 

Layout Editor: