Literacy and Communication:
Montessori The Language of
2010 AMI/USA Public School Forum November 5-7, 2010 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Literacy and Communication:
Montessori The Language of
The Montessori Public School Forum is designed for AMI public school programs and those aspiring to AMI standards. This year’s forum will focus on the language that is offered by an AMI Montessori program and how this literacy supports the child in his or her achievements from the early years through high school. Participants will be immersed into the redesign of public education offered by Montessori.
Teachers, administrators, and superintendents will all gain a greater understanding of how language is implemented from the beginning and how it culminates in high school. The venue is Milwaukee, the first district to introduce AMI Montessori, over 20 years ago. Conference Policies Speakers are confirmed for the workshop, however, AMI/USA reserves the right to replace speakers who are unable to attend or to cancel presentations if necessary. Refund Policy: 75% of the registration fee paid will be refunded if the following procedures are followed. Requests must meet these criteria: • Request must be in writing (includes e-mail) • All requests must be received by October 22, 2010 No refund will be issued for phone requests or for requests received after October 22, 2010. © AMI/USA, August 2010 Association Montessori International / USA 410 Alexander Street, Rochester, NY 14607 (585) 461-5920, (585) 461-0075 (fax) firstname.lastname@example.org www.amiusa.org
9:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.
School Tours (Optional. Select either tour A or B when registering)
12:00 p.m.—1:30 p.m.
Lunch on your own
1:30 p.m.—3:30 p.m.
How to Start an Alternative Certification Program (Optional) Susan Ristow and Doreen Britton Lange
6:00 p.m.—7:15 p.m.
Welcome Heidi A. Ramierz Ph.D., Chief Academic Officer, Milwaukee Public Schools Keynote Address: Good at Doing Things: Montessori Education and Higher-Order Cognitive Functions Steven Hughes, Ph.D., L.P., ABPdN
7:30 p.m.—8:30 p.m.
Reception followed by dinner on your own
Saturday, November 6 9:00 a.m.—10:00 a.m.
Featured Address: Observation as a Foundation for Practice and Alternative for Assessment Molly O’Shaughnessy
10:00 a.m.—10:15 a.m.
10:15 a.m.—11:15 a.m. Breakout Sessions
• The Importance of Early Language Development Gretchen Hall • Helping Children Develop Reading Skills in the Lower Elementary and How to Continue in the Upper Elementary J. McKeever • Administrators: How to Observe and Support Staff in a Montessori Setting Elizabeth Slade • The Language of Art: Integrating Art in the Curriculum Kristina Snapp
11:20 a.m.—12:00 p.m.
Roundtable Discussions and Networking
12:00 p.m.—1:30 p.m.
Luncheon With special tribute to Hildegard Solzbacher, AMI trainer and History of Montessori in the Milwaukee Public Schools with Carol Hicks
1:30 p.m.—3:00 p.m. Breakout Sessions
• Assistants: The Practicalities of Language Uma Ramani • Empowering Children’s Literacy Emily Green • Developing an Early Intervention Process to Support Struggling Students Elizabeth Slade and Melissa Gagne • High School: Culmination of Literacy Chip Johnston and Terisa Folaron
3:00 p.m.—3:15 p.m.
3:15 p.m.—4:30 p.m.
Roundtable Discussions and Networking
Sunday, November 7 9:00 a.m.—10:15 a.m. 10:30 a.m.—11:15 a.m. 11:15 a.m.—12:00 p.m.
Plenary Address: Research Steven Hughes, Ph.D., L.P., ABPdN Panel: Transition from Montessori to Further Education Graduates of AMI Montessori Programs Future Planning and Closing Remarks
Friday, November 5
Event Descriptions School Tours Option A ($15.00) Maryland Montessori School and Craig Montessori School Option B ($15.00) Fernwood Montessori School and MacDowell Montessori School Optional Presentation: How to Start an Alternative Certification Program with Susan Ristow and Doreen Britton Lange In this session we will explain how Montessori trained teachers who teach in a public school setting in Milwaukee become state certified through the Milwaukee Teacher Education Center (MTEC) proficiency based certification program. Keynote Address: Good at Doing Things: Montessori Education and Higher-Order Cognitive Functions with Steven Hughes, Ph.D., L.P., ABPdN In this highly visual, rapid-paced and entertaining talk, Dr. Hughes describes how Maria Montessori’s brain-based approach to education provides an unparalleled foundation for the development of academic, social, and executive functions critical for advanced problem solving and lifetime success. He shows how Montessori education parallels what we now know about brain development and fosters the development of advanced cognitive functions, social cognition, and such higher-order competencies as empathy and leadership. Featured Address: Observation as a Foundation for Practice and Alternative for Assessment with Molly O’Shaughnessy Our work with children is not a teaching method, but rather a method based on deep and sustained observation. Dr. Montessori’s most profound discoveries were based on her scientific observations of children as they freely interacted with their environment in a meaningful way. Many discoveries and inventions that are attributed to genius actually germinate through observation coupled with patience and accurate interpretation. Explore some of the latest, yet surprisingly simple observation recording and interpreting techniques and rediscover why observation is the cornerstone of the Montessori method.
Morning Breakout Sessions The Importance of Early Language Development with Gretchen Hall The early years of a child’s life are the most critical in terms of language development because it is the period when language is in its formation. Early language development is embedded in the social interactions that children have with their parents, caregivers, extended family and community. Research has shown that social risk factors, such as poverty, present obstacles to language development. The effects of such obstacles are lasting and are difficult to remediate, even once the child enters school. This session will address the importance of supporting early language development for at-risk children as a foundation for learning. Helping Children Develop Reading Skills in the Lower Elementary and How to Continue in the Upper Elementary with J. McKeever We hope that children enter our elementary classrooms having reaped the benefits of a full and rich children’s house experience, equipped with the basic tools of literacy that will enable them to explore the “seeds of culture” of cosmic education. We know that not all children have reached that point when they join us. One of our responsibilities is to assist each child in the attainment of requisite skills; as Montessorians, we are also obliged to do this in such a way that we appeal to the child’s second-plane characteristics. These two goals are not mutually exclusive. In this session, we will explore some strategies to help us reach these ends. Administrators: How to Observe and Support Staff in a Montessori Setting with Elizabeth Slade Working in a public Montessori setting holds a host of challenges for Montessori teachers. This session is designed for administrators to review the fundamental needs of public Montessori teachers and to reflect on ways to support their faculty. The presentation will be followed by an open discussion and an opportunity for questions. The Language of Art: Integrating Art in the Curriculum with Kristina Snapp The visual arts are a vehicle for expressive language for each child. Our students have a strong need and desire to create. The question remains how do we meet that need in the classroom in a meaningful, simple
approach that is teacher and student accessible and aligned to our curriculum? This presentation will provide hands-on, basic and essential art techniques, materials and art area organization that empowers all teachers to feel at ease with their own creative process and, in turn, channel that creativity into visual art lessons for the students. The language of art can be simple and powerful all at the same time!
Afternoon Breakout Sessions Assistants: The Practicalities of Language with Uma Ramani The language we use and what we communicate is a living, breathing part of the prepared environment of the classroom. As much as, or even more than, the material on the shelf, our use of words is key to the development of language in children. How can we as adults support the innate processes of language development in the toddler and primary classrooms? What can we do to support the conscious exploration of language in the elementary classroom? In this session we will explore ways in which our use of language can enrich the prepared environment of the classroom. Empowering Children’s Literacy with Emily Green Human beings are naturally drawn to communicate with each other. Today’s society rarely allows a child the chance to experience the strength of his own voice, thoughts and ideas. Creating an environment that emphasizes the importance of basic human communication is critical to a successful Montessori classroom. The Montessori approach to literacy is equally based on both an enriched language environment and opportunities for social development. Bringing each child’s individual voice to the forefront provides an appropriate context and empowers each child in their quest to move beyond listening and speaking to fluent writing and reading. We will examine how much of daily Montessori practice directly and indirectly bolsters the development of literacy in children. Developing an Early Intervention Process to Support Struggling Students with Elizabeth Slade and Melissa Gagne Our Montessori classrooms are filled with a variety of learners, with a range of skills and abilities. This early intervention process was designed to support teachers in supporting their struggling students. Using a team approach, teachers are offered new perspectives and ideas, an action plan is created collaboratively, and student growth is tracked until there is student success.
High School: Culmination of Literacy with Chip Johnston and Terisa Folaron Montessori educational philosophy treats education as the continuous development of the whole child, and as a result upper-adolescence is a developmental stage where skills, such as literacy, that were developed during earlier developmental stages are refined. This refinement can refer to the literacy of any medium, but more commonly refers to the mastery of language use in terms of grammar, syntax and register and the expansion of vocabulary in terms of specific lexicons. This session will also cover how to successfully integrate metacognitive practices with technology to increase students’ productivity, reading comprehension and understanding of their own word processing practices. In addition, the session covers the prerequisite language lessons that 11th grade students must successfully pass, such as semantic reaction, language code-switching, etc., before they can begin their literature work at the International Baccalaureate. The goal of the session is to give the audience practical tools that can be placed in prepared environments that will assist in their students’ development in terms of language literacy. Building Better Brains: Enriched Environments, Activity Based Learning and Higher Order Cognitive Functioning: The Neurological Case for Montessori Education and Why Children in the 21st Century Need it Now More Than Ever with Steven Hughes, Ph.D., L.P., ABPdN For over 100 years, Montessori educators, parents of Montessori children and Montessori children themselves have asserted, “Montessori works!” However, why Montessori works and what it does (and whether it fully lives up to its billing) has remained something of a mystery for many. Yet, when viewed from the perspective of environmental enrichment and activity-based learning, it is clear that Montessori education offers a profoundly developmental environment, one that may not be found in any other educational setting. This presentation will review research showing that Montessori’s approach anticipated—by decades—much of what we know about optimal environments for the development of human children. Panel: Transition From Montessori to Traditional Education with graduates from AMI Montessori programs A panel of students will discuss their experiences moving from an AMI Montessori program to further, traditional education.
Speaker Biographies Steven Hughes, Ph.D., L.P., ABPdN, 2010 Keynote Speaker
is a pediatric neuropsychologist and assistant professor of pediatrics and neurology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is also a diplomat of the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology. For many years, Dr. Hughes has been a consultant to families of children with learning, behavior or developmental concerns who attend Montessori schools.
Molly O’Shaughnessy, Featured Speaker Molly is a leader in Montessori education, a national and international speaker and a published author on Montessori education. Since 1996, she has served as director of training at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota (MTCM), adjunct professor for Loyola University, as well as a community faculty member for Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul. Terisa Folaron teaches International Baccalaureate (IB) world literature at Montessori High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she is also the English chair.
Doreen Britton Lange is co-director of the Southeastern Wisconsin Assessment Collaborative (SEWAC) and the director of the MPA/ Alverno Administrator Mentoring Program.
Melissa Gagne is the principal of the CREC Montessori Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut, and has worked as a literacy teacher, dean of students, and department chair.
J. McKeever is an elementary trainer, examiner and consultant. She is currently the codirector of training at The Montessori Institute of Milwaukee.
Emily Green is the past founder and Montessori implementer of San Francisco Unified School District’s first public Montessori school .
Uma Ramani is an AMI primary trainer and is associated with the Montessori Training Center of New England.
Gretchen Hall is the AMI primary director of training at the Montessori Training Center of New England as well as the assistant director of the CREC Montessori Magnet School.
Susan Ristow is the administrator of the Milwaukee Teacher Education Center’s (MTEC) teacher certification program and taught in Milwaukee public schools for 33 years.
Carol Hicks is an AMI elementary trainer, consultant and examiner. She is currently the director of training at the Kansas City campus of The Montessori Institute of Milwaukee.
Elizabeth Slade runs New View Montessori Consultancy and works part-time at the Montessori Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut.
Chip Johnston is the executive director of curriculum and instruction, International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program coordinator and IB history teacher at Montessori High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Kristina Snapp has worked as an art educator for over 19 years and is currently in her fourth year as a lower elementary teacher at MacDowell Montessori School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Why Milwaukee? Wisconsin’s largest city located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan is much more than just a brewing and manufacturing authority. Milwaukee’s attractions include: • The Milwaukee Art Museum: Milwaukee’s first art gallery opened in 1888 and now holds more than 20,000 works of art and is also internationally renowned for its architecture.
Hyatt Regency in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin 333 West Kilbourn Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53203 (414) 276-1234 www.milwaukee.hyatt.com
Group Rates: $109 single or double occupancy $129 triple occupancy $149 quadruple occupancy To receive the group rate when making your reservations, please use our name: The Public School Montessori Forum To register online at the Hyatt website, please use the link: https://resweb.passkey.com/ go/MONTESSORI2010 Or call the Hyatt toll-free at: 1-888-421-1442 To receive the conference rate you must make your reservations by October 14, 2010. The hotel will continue to accept reservations after this date on a space and rate available basis only. A first night room and tax deposit and major credit card number must accompany all individual reservations. Individuals will be charged one night room and tax for failure to cancel a room reservation 48 hours in advance of the conference.
• The Milwaukee RiverWalk: spanning nearly three miles of the Milwaukee River, the RiverWalk is the place to go for shopping, dining, theater and entertainment and is just steps from the hotel. • Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin: includes interactive science, technology and freshwater exhibits, learning labs, theaters, television and audio studios and fresh and saltwater aquariums. • Marcus Center for Performing Arts: one of Milwaukee’s cultural centers and home to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Ballet Company, Florentine Opera Company, First Stage Milwaukee, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and more. • Harley Davidson Museum: this newly opened state-of-the-art museum pays tribute to any and all things Harley Davidson with a multitude of tour options. • Miller Brewery: visit one of the world’s largest breweries and go on a free, onehour indoor/outdoor guided walking tour and see every step of the brewing process as well as enjoy the Historic Caves, Miller Inn and frosty samples.
2010 Registration Form
(you may also register and pay online at www.amiusa.org)
Personal Information Name Address City, State, Zip Code and Country (if outside the U.S.) E-mail Phone
Meal Preference: Standard Vegetarian
Event Registration $175 Early Registration (submitted through 10/21/10)
$195 Standard Registration (postmarked after 10/21/10)
Breakout Sessions: Choose one morning and one afternoon session The Importance of Early Language Development
Helping Children Develop Reading Skills in the Lower Elementary and How to Continue in the Upper Elementary Administrators: How to Observe and Support Staff in a Montessori Setting The Language of Art: Integrating Art in the Curriculum Assistants: The Practicalities of Language
Empowering Childrenâ€™s Literacy Developing an Early Intervention Process to Support Struggling Students High School: Culmination of Literacy School Tours: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Friday, November 5 (Optional, please add extra fee to your total) Option B (add $15.00) Option A (add $15.00)
AMI Membership (optional) $50 U.S. Membership
$70 non-U.S. Resident Membership
Total Due $ I will mail a check to the AMI/USA office Make check payable to AMI/USA and mail (with form) to 410 Alexander Street, Rochester, NY 14607 Charge the total due to my credit card (please provide your credit card information below) Name on Card Credit Card Number