Living from Our Heart of Love – Friday April 5th, 2019 – Sonnie McFarlan

The more we open our Heart, the brighter the Spirit of Love shines through. When this happens we feel thoughtful, kind, caring, joyful, trusting and grateful. When we don’t pay much attention to the Heart, our mind takes over and often leads us to negative thinking and actions. At this time in history, it is imperative for all of us to do our conscious best to rise above negativity and reach out to one another with Love.

During this presentation, we will explore various ways and activities that will help us be more connected to the Light of Love dwelling within our Heart.

Meeting Parents Where They Are – It’s More than Parent Education! – Saturday April 6th, 2019 – Martha Teien

How do schools create a culture that includes the families? It does not mean the adults need to enter the classroom! It means that it is our job as teachers, administrators and assistants to let them know we want to work with them in raising their child. Communication is key, and most programs don’t do enough of it. Let’s utilize a variety of techniques to create a close-knit community.

“Resilience and Stewardship: Cultivating Connections with Nature” – Saturday April 6th, 2019 – Tammy Oesting

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” – Rachel Carson

Dr. Montessori delivered a path for earth’s children to actualize their potentiality and our role as their guides in this journey includes providing them with tools of resilience and the capacity to find joy and peace.

Discover the interconnectedness of all life: our own microbial ecology is interwoven in a great web of life. By deepening our connection to planet earth, and therefore those of our students, we create a culture of reverence and resilience resulting in the conservancy of their future.

From her very roots growing up in a risk-taking adventuresome family to her nomadic lifestyle today, Montessori educator Tammy Oesting recognizes her agency and grit is in large part due to her immersion in nature. She sees our mission as ‘saints, savants, and scientists’ is to channel the wonder around us, igniting our student’s curiosity and awe in the world.

Living the Montessori Way – Sunday April 7th, 2019 – Tim Seldin

Montessori is a way of thought, a way of being in the world with children and parents, and a way of thinking about life. This talk is intended to inspire us all to become more conscious and dedicated to practicing what we teach in our classrooms, schools, businesses, and homes.

Montessori, A Hope and a Promise – Sunday April 7th, 2019 – Kitty Bravo

The transformational potential of the Montessori experience, for adults, children, and the world.

We often talk about education as a preparation for life. While it is certainly important to prepare children for a bright future, this cannot be done at the expense of a joyful life in the here and now. Montessori environments inspire a passion for living and learning. In such an environment we lay a path for the future while being grounded in the present, enabling children to become happy, healthy and competent human beings. In this presentation we will look at real life examples, relating what happens in Montessori classrooms to the development of optimal human potential and celebrate how Montessori is providing hope and promise around the world.



Breakout Sessions

Tim Seldin

History and Geography

A comprehensive primary curriculum based on insights from both Montessori and Piagetian traditions that goes far beyond the ‘basics’. Topics will include: curriculum philosophy, developing the child’s concept of space and time, pre-mapping exercises, three-dimensional mapping, map reading, map and compass, the use of interactive timelines, and techniques to make history and cultural geography come alive.

Deepening Montessori Education after one is certified

Montessori teacher training is only the beginning. Most of us experience Montessori teacher education in a series of ongoing discoveries as experience and time allow us to uncover layer after layer of meaning and traditions of best practices that we may have not fully heard or appreciated during our initial training. One can either take advantage of experience and continue to learn and grow or decide that we completed our program and have no need to continue our education. This workshop will look at what and the many ways that we as Montessori guides can learn as we pass through the phases of our professional journey. Here how to become a better observer, reflective teacher, refresh our understanding from reading and attending conferences, but most of all, how to help create a culture of mutual support and continuous self-reflection and improvement


Tajali Tolan

Creative Peace Education Program

Academy Days, Shelf Work, Yoga and Mindfulness

With the expanding population of Elementary enrolment, we needed to be creative as to how to balance Specials (Physical Education, Art, Science Spanish and Peace Education). We created “Academy Fridays”, a day of specials including Peace Education.   In this workshop you learn how to expand creatively, integrate peace education skill in the Montessori Method, create Peace Self Work and cultivate a peaceful classroom.

Montessori Practices that Teach Mindfulness and Peace

Shelf Work, Yoga and Peace Circles.

Research is now discovering what Maria Montessori observed. Allow our children space to explore, concentrate and practice awareness meets their needs for social emotional learning. The benefits of mindfulness practice with children include reducing anxiety, hyperactivity, manage strong emotions, improve focus and concentration. Mindfulness helps children connect with their inner self and authentic self.

In this workshop we will explore simple structure for Peace Circles including mindfulness, hand shapes, yoga, connection, songs that support our children in feeling calm and peace. Participants will learn about Peace Shelf Work that builds on Montessori Practices and teaches peace skills of caring and kindness, sharing, self–regulation and gratitude.


Jayanthi Rajagopalan

The conundrums of discipline and the Montessori Guide

Discipline as we know it, is a list of Dos and Don’ts, of natural and logical consequences, a space where the teacher can have some peace and quiet. But nor for Maria Montessori who looked at it from a very different angle- as always from the point of view of the child and from the inside. She believed that discipline could only occur where there was freedom.

This workshop examines her rare insight into this rather baffling idea of freedom and discipline being two sides of the same coin and how we could facilitate this inner discipline among children.


Jayanthi Rajagopalan and Anahita Faroogh

The concept of time and the young child

Young children do not have a concept of time. The succession and duration of time is unstable for children below the age of six. So how do we teach this difficult concept to them? As with everything else in a Montessori classroom, it can be taught experientially. Come and get a hands-on experience of teaching the concept of time with appropriate materials.


Anahita Faroogh

Yoga in the Classroom

Anyone can bring the joy of yoga in their classroom! It’s so simple!

Come and join Anahita as she leads an interactive children’s yoga class with music, stories, laughter, and lots of fun!


Sonnie McFarland

Unveiling Our Children’s Authenticity

“All people, especially children, when manifesting the greater Self within, are Shining Mountains, glowing with eternal promise.” – Dr. Jim McFarland

During this workshop, we will explore numerous ways to better understand the inner life of our children, so we can consciously support the beautiful gifts hidden within them. We will discuss children’s learning process and what we can do to support their natural love of learning. As children develop confidence and joy in their abilities and feel loved, they manifest their Authentic Self more and more throughout their lives.

Peaceful Living Skills for Young Children

Children come into this world with pure love in their hearts. When this love is recognized and consistently related back to them, they are able to develop their fullest potential and become responsible, peace-loving citizens in the world.

During this workshop we will share activities that systematically nurture love and light within children. These activities reinforce how special they are, respect for others, and knowledge of how their bodies, minds, and emotions can be managed so that love and light can shine through all they do.


Allan Hirsch

Circle Time Tool Box

Maria Montessori created a unique method of educating young children. As a medical doctor, she had a special insight into the needs of children. She was the first to prescribe child sized furniture for schools. She helped develop a set of materials designed to promote individual learning. Her ideas have been adopted by educators all over the world. Her educational concepts continue to be rediscovered by educators unfamiliar with her work. Her discoveries have survived the test of time. Her ideas and those of educators, who have studied her work, have been proven to be quite successful. She had an amazing contribution to circle time too!

How to Make and Play Ancient Board Games of the World

In this workshop teachers of upper elementary aged children will learn how to construct board games that have been played for hundreds and even thousands of years.   Teachers need to bring a clear ruler and a few pieces’ paper or card stock cut into 10” squares. They will also need some old checkers, or counters for playing pieces.


Tammy Oesting

Nature’s Adaptations: Updated Lessons in Life Sciences

Learn how to highlight the remarkable unique adaptations plants and animals manifest from your playground to the earth’s great ecosystems. Discover effective lessons and materials easy to integrate into your life sciences curriculum in this engaging workshop that discuss the mechanisms of evolution.

Utilizing updated life science information with a focus on evolutionary mechanisms, this approach is sure to spark your student’s curiosity and kindle their wonder about how all life is interconnected and pave the way for greater reverence and stewardship of planet earth.


Tools to Amplify Learning: Research-Based Strategies for the Montessori Guide

Scientific observation is at the heart of Montessori practice and a vital​ ​tool that teachers utilize daily to engage their students. Current research reveals the inner workings of the brain and supports what Dr. Montessori identified through her keen observations of the child. Montessori educators who leverage their understanding of the science behind their practices, ​equipped with research-based teaching strategies, ​ enhance student learning and amplify outcomes.

Tapping into each teacher’s mission to become a scientist in the field, Tammy Oesting will inspire their spirit and optimize their practice with hands-on, research-based practical strategies loyal​ ​to Montessori pedagogy.

Tammy’s keen curiosity about why Montessori works, and her subsequent search for ways to reinforce lessons and interactions with children strengthened her understanding of Montessori pedagogy and led to more effective student outcomes


Outdoors In

Wee Recyclers and Nature Too

Does nature have garbage? We’ll discover what it is and how nature deals with it through a felt story board and a hands-on nature bin with worms, beetles and fungi! Your class will also discover where a piece of trash goes if it doesn’t get recycled and share with you how we can save those pieces of trash from going to the landfill with a recycle sorting activity.


Traudi Kelm

Open-ended Art Experiences: “Artist at Work”

Open-ended art is about the experience of creating, not the end result. It is a wonderful way to encourage artistic expression in young children. Open-ended art allows them to explore art materials to express their thoughts, observations and feelings through the creative process without being told what to create or what materials to use. Children who self-select and self-direct creative activities learn to solve problems and initiate actions which are useful traits in adulthood.

Workshop participants will explore open-ended art activities where children are free to follow whatever idea catches their fancy and create a works of art that have meaning to them personally.

Creative Story Telling

Story-telling opens many channels of communication and stimulates children’s emotional, imaginative and linguistic development. This hands-on workshop will provide participants with strategies to infuse imagination and early literacy into their programs. You will learn the art of story-telling, practice fun techniques and share ideas.



Kitty Bravo

Exploring Sensorial

Moving Beyond the Initial Presentation

Exploration or misuse? This is a question many teachers struggle with, and yet, exploration is vital for healthy development. Focusing on striking a balance we will explore ideas for encouraging respectful Sensorial exploration though games and extensions. We will also look at Sensorial connections to other areas of the curriculum, such as opportunities for language enrichment, Sensorial related art projects and Sensorial in nature.

Write for Life: Preparing the Hand and Mind to Communicate with Symbols

Given the right opportunities and fueled by the sensitive period for language, writing comes to the child with an explosion of passion and determination. This presentation will focus on the two processes for writing: The motoric process, preparation of the hand to form symbols; and the intellectual process, preparing the mind to creatively express one’s ideas using letter symbols. From the basics of hand preparation in practical life to the three cornerstone Montessori language materials, metal insets, sandpaper letters, moveable alphabet, and beyond, we will explore ways to support children in writing as a natural expression of the human tendency to communicate.


Jana Morgan Herman-Kentucky Montessori Alliance

Don’t Take it Personally: Supporting Children Through Challenges Without Losing Your Cool

Teachers have the great task of supporting children through any number of struggles. It can often be overwhelming to keep your cool when a child is acting out. There are strategies you may employ to help you and your teaching team gain perspective and support each other so that you can preserve the dignity of a child who struggles. Come and join us as we learn how to respond to a struggling child instead of merely reacting to a child’s behaviors so that the whole community benefits.

Creating Balance in the Age of Technology

MIT professor Sherry Turkle says “Technology is not good. Technology is not bad. Technology is powerful.” Research shows that many children spend most of their waking hours engaged in media. In this presentation we will look at reason why parents might want to consider more balanced interaction with technology, especially during the first planes of development. This presentation is a review of current research and a careful study of research over the last 10 years. Technology is here to stay, let’s see how to use it purposefully. Here is a link to a summary of my article for Montessori Life:

Eat, Play, Read: Parenting for Success

All current research shows 3 basic things parents can do at home to help children succeed socially, emotionally, and academically: play, read, and eat dinner with their kids. It sounds easy but has become rarer with media and today and busy lifestyles! Come see what the research reveals and learn how to build a parent education movement around it.


Carol Scarratt – Western Montessori Teacher’s College

Beyond the Leaf Cabinet: Working with flower shapes

Spring is in the Air! No matter the season, plan to attend this fun workshop and expand your botany area to include 10 flower corollas and materials especially developed to complement the leaf cabinet. We’ll review the necessary preparations and assign the work relevance to the parts of the plant, sensorial introductions, visual discrimination and language lessons. We will anchor the work in our review of the overall vegetable kingdom and isolate the parts of the plant with dissection and with silk realia discover the abundant connections of corolla terminologies to the environment.   This work is of interest to all learners and opportunities abound to apply this new learning with samples of handcrafts, games and curriculum connections to share as our time allows. This topic is made accessible and lessons cost-effective for all learners at all skill levels with the use of silk realia corolla specimens. All pre-registered attendees will receive a comprehensive handout with templates for making their own corolla material.


Seeing stars: Working with the all blue triangles

With the History of Mathematics as our backdrop for this workshop and a brief review of preparatory work in this area, we will use Constructive Triangles Box 6 and 12 all blue right-angled triangles and the relative sizes of their angles and then construct stars of multiple points. We will then develop other diaphragm shapes from which we will calculate and prove theorem to calculate the interior angles of any regular polygon. Moving from simplistic sensorial exploration to more complex constructions and the calculation of interior angles of all regular polygons in the geometric cabinet, this work appeals to all interest and ability levels. Extension of concepts into handcrafts and other curriculum areas provides intriguing application of learning outcomes. All pre-registered attendees will receive a comprehensive handout with sample templates. Come and discover geometry the Montessori way – it’s guaranteed to be fun!


Martha Tenien

Montessori and Executive Function

Executive Function is a buzz word in education. Let’s review the definition, why it is so important for children and how Dr. Montessori was helping children develop Executive Function long before it had a name!


Lori Karmazin

Revitalizing the Math Curriculum
Montessori materials provide an amazing introduction to math concepts, but sometimes children need to be enticed into this area. In addition, a child’s enthusiasm for learning these concepts is also an important factor to their success. This workshop will explore the many ways to enrich the Montessori math curriculum through variations and extensions and encourage the repetition needed for mastery of concepts in fun and engaging ways.

Developing a growth mindset in the classroom

The way we talk to children becomes their inner voice ~ Peggy O’Mara Our daily interactions with children leave a lasting impression and we have the power to make that impression a positive one. Together we will explore ways to foster a growth mindset in children through the language we use, the activities we offer and our own acceptance of the relationship between challenge and growth.