Montessori Leadership September 2014

Page 1

VOLUME 16, ISSUE 3 | 2014

Montessori Leadership is the official magazine of the International Montessori Council, a non-profit organization. The opinions expressed in Montessori Leadership editorials, columns, and features are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the magazine or the IMC. Acceptance of advertising does not represent endorsement of any product or service. The International Montessori Council does NOT grant permission to reprint material from Montessori Leadership in any other form (e.g., book, newsletter, journal). Copies of this issue or back issues are available for purchase online at .

Copyright 2014 by The International Montessori Council. All rights reserved.

Chair Tim Seldin, M.Ed Editor Joyce St. Giermaine Art Director/IMC Membership Director/ Conference Coordinator and Bookstore Manager: Margot Garfield-Anderson 800 632 4121 Phone 941 309 3961/FAX: 941 359 8166 Article submissions & Consulting: Tim Seldin | IMC Accreditation & Consulting Tim Seldin | IMC Accreditation Director Hillary Drinkell | Layout & Design Katrina Costedio Tomorrow’s Child Online: The Montessori Family Connection Lorna McGrath Phone: 941-729-9565/1-800-655-5843 Fax: 941-745-3111 email:

Montessori Leadership FEATURES 4

IMC School Accreditation


Some Thoughts on Parent-Staff Interaction

by Sharon Caldwell


All Hands On! Science Inquiry with Young Toddlers

by Ann Epstein, Ph.D., Kathy T. Willhite, Ph.D., & Dawn Hays 13 No More Packed School Lunches

by Sharon Caldwell

16 Nature Study and Montessori Philosophy: A Combination for Sprouting Life-Long Learning

by Kelly Johnson

21 Make Your Own Nature Journal

by Kelly Johnson

22 Use of the Montessori Method for Persons with Dementia

by Cameron J. Camp, Anna Fisher, Ph.D.,

Tim Fickenscher, M.Ed. & Alice Roberts, M.Ed.

For immediate service, use our secure online bookstore at For questions regarding an order, email: Subscriptions & Bookkeeping Don Dinsmore Phone: 941-729-9565/1-800-655-5843 Fax: 941-745-3111 email: Classified & Display Advertising Chelsea Howe Phone: 410-504-3872 Fax: 941-745-3111

cover photo by Katrina Costedio, NewGate School, The Lab School of the Montessori Foundation, Sarasota, Florida





The pilot phase of the IMC’s new school accreditation process has been streamlined to make it more user friendly. More and more




states (and parents) require schools to have this

to refine the language during this pilot

designation. So, we’ve compiled this quick

program, we ask schools involved in this

checklist to help your school determine its

accreditation program to participate in some

eligibility for candidacy in our accreditation

surveys to help us improve the process.


On occasion, your feedback may result in slight modifications, which we will

THE CHECKLIST This simple checklist will help you determine your school’s eligibility for candidacy in the IMC Accreditation Program

Has your school been educating children

immediately share with your school and

others involved.

for three or more full years?

 Are your lead classroom teachers

MACTE* or AMI** certified?

Candidates have two full years from the time

Does your program have a full

their applications are accepted to complete

2.5-3 hour uninterrupted work cycle,

the process and electronically submit their

free of pull-outs or specialists?

documents. We feel that this is the correct

Does your school have mixed-

amount of time for a school, without losing

age classrooms at all levels?

momentum in the process, to complete the

Is your program at least three

self-study. Schools that are unable to complete

consecutive days a week at toddler

the self-study in two years, may apply for a one-

level, and five days at all other levels?

year extension. If the school has not completed the process by then, the application fee will be

If you have answered yes to all of these

assessed again for each subsequent year it takes

questions, then your school can be considered

to complete, and all documents must be made

for IMC Accreditation Candidacy.

current before submission.

*MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education) is the international standard setting and accrediting body for Montessori teacher education. The IMC recognizes MACTE programs. **Association Montessori Internationale



Sharon Caldwell


t the Montessori Foundation we regularly receive queries regarding policies for relation-

ships between staff and parents. Many school heads express concerns over issues ranging from staff being ‘friends’ with parents on Facebook to babysitting for school families, to (in some cases) actual romantic involvements. The issues span those which are merely internal or personal preferences to matters that are dictated by legislation and regulations. What is unethical and what is simply bad form? As a starting point, we would say that every school should have a set of clearly worded policies, which spell out the ‘non-negotiables.’ These are shared with any prospective teacher before hiring, and any person not prepared to comply would probably not be a good match for your school.

The issues span those which are merely internal or personal preferences to matters that are dictated by legislation and regulations. What is unethical and what is simply bad form? in their free time. Or can they? While

ered unethical and may even be consid-

In many businesses, there are clear

businesses cannot restrict who staff

ered grounds for termination of services.

understandings about what types of

members interact with, they most cer-

interactions employees can have with cli-

tainly can set boundaries on what types

While it is understandable that parents

ents. While it may not be relevant if the

of services can be rendered, or what can

would approach a teacher they know

burger flipper in a fast-food restaurant

be discussed over coffee. An accountant

and trust to babysit for them, and while

dates a regular customer, a Montessori

working for an accounting firm cannot

in many instances there may be no

school teacher would be regarded as be-

agree to, in his spare time, do the books

problem, there are many pitfalls to this

ing somewhat unethical if she dated the

of a subsidiary of a major client. He

type of arrangement. When the child is

father of a child in her class.

cannot discuss the financial statements

at school, it is very clear what each role

of one client with a life-long friend

is. The parent is the customer, the teach-

On the other hand, no business can

who just happens to work for another

er the employee, employed by the head

really dictate what a staff member does

accounting firm. That would be consid-

of school. The school is the provider of



the service. The teacher is answerable

One way to avoid potential problems

Another problem that arises is that

to the head of school, and is, therefore,

is to have clear policies in place. These

teachers may form a closer, or at least

bound by the school’s code of conduct

policies are communicated clearly to

different, relationship with the children

and by legislation. The child knows and

parents and staff and are printed in the

they interact with outside school. Other

understands the relationship too, and

staff and parent handbooks. Instead of

children in the class will sense this dif-

the rules of the classroom are clear to all

blanket embargoes on babysitting, for

ference no matter how hard the teacher

concerned. When the teacher babysits,

example, it may be realistic to have a

may work at avoiding favoritism.

she is answerable to the parent. “House

requirement that such arrangements

rules” apply and not school rules.

are disclosed. Furthermore, very spe-

There may also be financial and

cific guidelines are given to parents and

legal implications for the teacher and

In respect to confidentiality, it takes

staff regarding issues of confidentiality.

the school. If, for example, a teacher

a very firm will, along with a clear vi-

While parents may be keen to find out

agrees to give a child a ride home, the

sion of boundaries, for a parent not to

just a little more about what is going on

school may be liable should there be an

be tempted to ‘talk shop,’ asking about

at school, they may not be comfortable

accident, as the teacher is an employee

how the child behaves at school, how the

about personal family details being dis-

of the school. What happens if there is

We don’t recommend regulating staff connections to parents. Rather, we suggest you focus on hiring the right teachers, helping your staff to keep talking about what appropriate ethical behavior means for your school, and putting in writing which lines simply cannot be crossed.


a disagreement or falling out between the teacher and the family, but then the teacher still needs to have this child in her class at school? There are many more implications to this type of relationship than might be obvious upfront. We don’t recommend regulating staff connections to parents. Rather, we suggest you focus on hiring the right teach-

child is progressing, and so on. Similar-

cussed in the staff room. Hence, staff

ers, helping your staff to keep talking

ly, it is difficult for a teacher, especially

members must understand that they will

about what appropriate ethical behavior

younger, inexperienced teachers, not

need to compartmentalize the two sepa-

means for your school, and putting in

to be drawn into comparisons and in-

rate roles and treat information gained

writing which lines simply cannot be

appropriate discussions with the parent

in each venue as discreet and separate.

crossed. Exactly what those lines are will

about the school.

They will then undertake not to discuss

differ from one school to another, but it

the child’s home life in staff meetings,

is important to clearly define where they

Generally, people who run Montes-

any more than they would discuss con-

are for your school.

sori schools are kind and caring people,

fidential school issues with the parent.

who tend to avoid very business-like

All well and good. But what if the home

Ensure that the lines are not crossed, and

arrangements. This can lead to trouble

situation is impacting the child’s life at

if they are, deal with the issues promptly

when either staff or parents overstep the

school? If the teacher knows something

and fairly. Where harsher measures are

invisible line and one party or the other

that is relevant, is she not required (pos-

called for, take whatever action is neces-

feels betrayed or used. This can lead to

sibly even by law) to disclose that where

sary and mandated by law. Inappropriate,

a rapid degeneration of the relationship

relevant? Because laws vary from state

unprofessional parent-staff relationships

between the school and the family, with

to state and country to country, schools

can be devastating to a school. n

the teacher in the middle (and the child

should take the time to get appropriate

as the victim in most cases).

legal advice on these issues.


Ann Epstein, Ph.D. & Kathy T. Willhite, Ph.D. & Dawn Hays


resenting the world of science to very young learners involves both opportunities and chal-



ity variables. Dr. Montessori saw concentration as the moment of selfdevelopment” (pp. 265 – 266).

lenges. Happily, toddler environments can be designed to meet both. The fol-

The Educational Broadcasting System,

Science activities, if designed appropri-

lowing article describes how Montessori

Thirteen Ed Online, and the Disney

ately, offer opportunities for toddlers to

principles contribute to inquiry-based

Learning Partnership collaborated ten

develop concentration. For example, a

learning for young children. Examples

years ago to create a series of research-

toddler may explore what is magnet-

of engaging, developmentally appro-

based online professional development

ic and what is not magnetic through

priate activities come from Rochester

workshops that remain timely. Their

repeated trials for as long as 15 minutes.

Montessori School’s toddler learning

Inquiry-Based Learning workshop states

He/she may explore pushing a tractor

environment as well as a traditional tod-

that “the process of inquiring begins

through a bin of dried beans, pausing to

dler classroom. The latter is consistent

with gathering information and data

attach a wagon and load it with beans, and

with fundamental Montessori princi-

through applying the human senses:

then resume investigating how to pull the

ples and is located on the campus of the

seeing, hearing, touching, feeling, tast-

tractor with the loaded wagon. Careful

University of Wisconsin in La Crosse,

ing, and smelling” (Exline & Costas,

and amazingly patient concentration ac-

WI (UW-L). Both classrooms serve chil-

2004). Inquiry-based learning is the

companies these scientific investigations.

dren between 24 and 36 months. Dawn

guiding premise for toddler exploration

Hayes teaches at Campus Child Care

and learning.

and Sarah Dennis is an assistant teacher

Montessori (1967) recognized children’s natural motivation to explore their en-

at Rochester Montessori. Dawn’s tod-

Dr. Montessori advised teachers to design

vironment. A well-prepared, safe envi-

dler class includes teaching assistants and

learning environments that foster con-

ronment becomes a rich opportunity for

student teachers from UW-L.

centration, order, and independence as

toddler inquiry. The Montessori teacher

well as fine-motor coordination (Montes-

either introduces toddlers to investiga-

First, we describe connections between

sori, 1967). Of these four developmental

tions through a short lesson or sets up

Montessori education and concepts that

aims, concentration typically captures the

an activity that the toddler then explores

address inquiry-based learning. Next, we

attention of classroom visitors. Both pro-

with the teacher’s assistance, if necessary.

review developmental aspects of toddlers

fessional educators and prospective par-

For example, the Montessori toddler

and the importance of respectful adult-

ents often express surprise at the degree

teacher may demonstrate how to paint

child interactions. Then, we describe

of concentration displayed by children

a simple background of grass and sky us-

activities that engage young explorers in

as young as 20 months. Lillard (2005)

ing green and blue watercolors on a small

the exciting world of science. Finally, we

pointed out a possible connection be-

canvas. Toddlers then choose this activity

apply these activities to an investigative

tween concentration and self-regulation.

during work time. The activity would

cycle of learning that aligns closely with Montessori principles of learning.

be supplied with materials for cleaning “…concentration might be an engine

up (a small bucket, sponge, and drying

of self-regulation, which is associ-

cloth). After watching his or her teacher

ated with many positive personal-

demonstrate how to paint the canvas and



then clean up, a toddler could choose this

Scientific inquiry reflects how scientists

Skills within each developmental domain

activity during work time and carry out

come to understand the natural world,

contribute to the success of these ongo-

the inquiry independently.

and it is at the heart of how students

ing explorations. Most young toddlers

learn. From a very early age, children

are sturdy walkers, and many are com-

Alternatively, the teacher could place an

interact with their environment, ask

petent runners. This mobility helps as

activity on a shelf or in a protected corner

questions, and seek ways to answer

they move from one object of interest

of the classroom. Investigating a simple

those questions. (NSTA Position

to the next. Even more helpful, they are

flashlight could occur by placing a plas-

Statement, 2004)

typically able to move from standing to

tic flashlight in a basket. An interested

kneeling, to squatting, to sitting, and

toddler could carry the basket to a rug or

Posing open-ended questions that ask

then back to standing with ease. They

table, unscrew the flashlight, remove the

why and how something happens is

are able to pick-up and explore small

two batteries, and then reassemble the

an essential aspect of inquiry-based

items and generally can resist mouthing

flashlight. A piece of tissue paper could

learning. While Montessorians also

them. Young toddlers understand simple

be taped over the top of the flashlight to

recognize the need for non-verbal

requests and are learning new words at

dim the light, protecting toddler eyes

demonstrations, they often nur-

an amazing rate. Eighteen-month-olds

from a direct beam of light.

ture toddler learning through short

have a vocabulary of approximately 5

statements and succinct questions.

to 20 words. At 24 months they have

Both Montessorian Sarah and tradi-

Effective toddler teachers also en-

increased their vocabulary to a range

tional teacher Dawn model scientific

courage young learners to make

of 150 to 300 words (Child Develop-

inquiry for young learners by showing

predictions that complement these

ment Institute, 2012). They can express

toddlers how to observe phenomenon,

questions (Worth & Grollman, 2003).

their own feelings and are beginning to

compare and contrast events, and then

Rather than only asking, “Will the piece

recognize how others feel as well.

question their discoveries (National Re-

of paper sink or float?” teachers extend

search Council, 2000). When teachers

thinking with follow-up questions such

Young toddlers work at making sense

provide young scientists with inquiry-

as, “What do you think makes the paper

of their world by comparing and con-

based learning opportunities, toddlers

float?” The ultimate goal is to promote

trasting. As they explore similarities and

can analyze and describe their discoveries

and extend curiosity and purposeful

differences, they are building percep-

with surprising detail (Smith, Cowan, &

approaches to science learning.

tual foundations that eventually form the

Culp, 2009; Ogu & Schmidt, 2009). Effective teachers (whether Montessori or traditional) scaffold understanding from

basis for understanding such abstract AMAZING DEVELOPMENTAL


simple to more complex levels by guid-

“What is different?” They begin to experience conservation by filling and

ing an individual child as he/she explores

Toddlers ages 24 to 36 months are nat-

dumping (is it the same amount in a tall,

and by assisting children as they inter-

urally curious. They wonder, “What

skinny container as in a short, flat container?)

act with more capable peers (Llewellyn,

will happen if...” as they explore their

(Geist, 2009). All of these skills con-

2002; Gilbert, 2009). This is particu-

surroundings with keen focus and high-

tribute to young toddlers’ inner drive to

larly effective in Montessori classrooms

energy (Honig, 2002). Will this car fit

explore and interact with their immedi-

of mixed-age children.

inside this box? Can I push this wagon over

ate environment (Copple & Bredekamp,

this hill? What’s going on in that room

2009; Montessori, 1946).

The National Science Teachers Asso-

around the corner? Toddlers are driven to

ciation emphasizes the importance of

explore their surroundings (Copple &

Early childhood science researchers Jean

an inquiry-based approach for young

Bredekamp, 2009; Montessori, 1967).

Harlan and Mary Rivkin acknowledge

children in the following statement.


questions as, “What is the same?” and

recent research linking cognition and


emotional development (Harlan &

activities for toddlers. Some were carried

Rivkin, 2009). They point to Stanley

out at Rochester Montessori School and

Greenspan’s six stages of emotional/intel-

some at the Child Care Center on the

lectual growth as children progress from

campus of the University of Wisconsin

infancy through preschool (Greenspan,

at La Crosse. All required an in-depth

1999). He described these stages as pro-

appreciation of how toddlers learn, an

gressive abilities to (1) focus, (2) engage,

understanding of inquiry-based learn-

(3) communicate, (4) problem-solve, (5)

ing, and respectful teacher-child interac-

share ideas, and (6) combine ideas into

tions. Several are seasonal activities for

new concepts. As stated by Harlan and

fall and winter. Deep learning occurred

Rivkin, “Greenspan’s fundamental in-

as toddlers explored the wonders of

sight is that from the beginning of life,

pumpkins, sunflowers, and marsh bugs

emotional interactions with caregivers

(life sciences) as well as the mysteries of

enable these abilities to unfold” (p. 19).

melting ice with a salt solution, sinking and floating, and investigating inclined

The quality of interactions between teachers and young toddlers is the heart of true learning.

planes with various sized balls (physical sciences). They experienced crosscurricular learning as they drove tractors through dried beans (farm vocabulary

The quality of interactions between

Dawn’s approach draws her young

and physical science) and painted with

teachers and young toddlers is the heart

explorers into science activities. She at-

colored ice (color vocabulary, art, and

of true learning. Dawn and Sarah model

tends to the varied personalities in her

physical science).

respectful, reciprocal, responsive inter-

group. Her respect for her learners’ curi-

actions (Gonzlez-Mena & Eyer, 2009).

osity is evident as she reflects on favorite

They facilitate learning by following

science activities.

toddlers’ cues. For example, they recog-

LIFE SCIENCE While a few children were hesitant to

nize that some children prefer to watch

We usually talk about the wind during

touch the gooey pulp inside pumpkins,

from a distance, while other enthusias-

a unit on spring. I bring in a fan, and

most were game to squish and squeeze

tic young scientists prefer to jump into

we try to guess which objects from the

the seeds and strands. Teachers pointed

activities with zest.

room the fan will move and then test it

out the slippery texture as well as the

out. We also fly a kite and use pinwheels

earthy aroma. Of course, they helped

An example of following a child’s lead can

on a windy day. Every year it makes me

children separate out the seeds so they

be found in Sarah’s decision to allow tod-

realize that the things I take for granted

could be baked for an afternoon snack.

dler Ben to turn a sewing project into a fish-

are new experiences for my group. They

Touching, smelling, and eventually

ing activity. Rather than redirecting Ben to

get so much joy out of this exploration

eating pumpkin seeds fully engaged

‘stitch’ in and out of holes punched around

(personal communication, September

this age group, providing evidence of

a cardboard cow, Sarah simply watched as

5, 2012).

toddler learning through sensory explorations and observations (Schaef-

he dangled the yarn over the edge of his table and murmured quietly, “Come on,


fer, Hall & Lynch, 2009; Schwartz &


Luckenbill, 2012).

successfully as he judged the amount of

The following descriptions offer exam-

Standing in the shadow of a tower-

‘line’ needed to attract his catch.

ples of engaging inquiry-based learning

ing sunflower sparks a sense of wonder

fishes! Here (you) go, fishes.” She noted Ben’s ability to maneuver his ‘fishing pole’



among young toddlers. Dawn guided

Young explorers then dispensed the solu-

toddlers through planting sunflower

tion onto the ice, observing it melt along

seeds, nurturing their growth, har-

with seeing the formation of new colors.

vesting mature plants, removing the seeds, and then feeding these seeds to

Toddlers in Sarah’s class worked coopera-

friendly birds visiting the feeder out-

tively in pairs to figure out how to roll balls

side their classroom window. Children,

down an inclined plane. They explored

thus, experienced a continous cycle of

whether two balls could fit down a narrow

botanical life.

plane together, whether they could roll a ball up an inclined plane, and if they could

The mother of one of Dawn’s toddlers

bounce a ball down an inclined plane.

with sequential steps. Sarah guided them

is a biology professor. This Mom invited

The trial and error of problem solving is

through the process of painting small

her students to create samples of marsh-

intriguing and fun with simple physical

white canvases with blue and green water

land that would be safe for young toddler

science investigations.

colors (representing sky and grass). She

explorations. Armed with magnifying glasses and their keen observation skills, toddlers searched carefully through the

then provided toddlers with an array of CROSS-CURRICULAR INVESTIGATIONS

plant life for tiny insects, delighting

farm-themed stickers to place on their water color canvasses. “Problem-solving occurred as they figured out how to cope

when one swam or jumped among the

Sarah offered her Montessori toddlers

with particularly sticky stickers,” she

marsh algae.

two cupcake-sized blocks of frozen

noted. Toddlers developed concentra-

paint, one blue and one yellow. While

tion along with an awareness of sticky

this offered the possibility of mixing col-

vs. non-sticky.


ors, most toddlers were more interested Investigating a variety of items is an in-

in exploring the cold temperature, and

viting aspect of sink/float activities. De-

seeing blue and yellow appear on their

pendent variables include weight (heavy

paper. They readily declared ‘blue’ and

and light) as well as texture (absorbent

‘yellow’ with accuracy, but ignored any

and repellent). While young toddlers are

blending of the two colors.

not yet able to process these abstractions,


A key to the success of these learning activities for toddlers was the use of spe-

they readily embrace guessing (a precur-

Toddlers in Sarah’s summer Montessori

cific, developmentally appropriate ques-

sor to predicting) whether items would

environment engaged in an array of farm-

tions. Opportunities to engage children

sink or float.

themed activities. The dried bean-tractor

through questions occur naturally as

station was among the more popular op-

children investigate the world around

Midwestern winters bring frozen side-

tions. Throughout the morning work

them. Appropriate science activities pro-

walks. Rock salt is used to melt icy

period, this station was usually selected.

vide a structure for closer investigations.

walkways in order to make them safe

Toddlers talked to themselves about

Six inquiry processes provide a helpful

for young children. Dawn noticed that

pushing the tractor through the beans,

framework for investigative questions

children were intrigued with this chemi-

attaching the wagon, loading the beans,

(Martin, Jean-Sigur, & Schmidt, 2005;

cal reaction and brainstormed ways to

positing the farmer to drive the tractor,

Padilla, 1990). Investigations begin with

create a safe, meaningful activity. She

dumping the beans from the wagon, and

observation, for example, looking care-

placed ice in clear plastic tubs, made

then repeating the sequence).

fully for those elusive insects in the marsh

colored salt-water solutions, and helped toddlers fill droppers with this solution.



water (see Figure 1). Simple questions Toddlers are ready for short projects

help young children focus their observa-


tions (where is the insect now? what colors is this?). Classification occurs as children form groups of objects (is the pumpkin a flower or a vegetable?). Young toddlers communicate new concepts as they respond to questions about their discoveries (tell me how the pulp/icy paint feels, how can you make the balls roll up the plane?). Investigations may involve measurement (how many droppers will it take to begin melting the ice? will more beans fit in the tractor wagon?) or predictions (will this ping-pong ball sink or float?). As young toddlers mature, they begin to make inferences (does this tall sunflower remind you of your Dad?) as they draw on previous experiences with

Figure 1.

similar scientific phenomena (see photo 10). While most young toddlers are not

the foundation for later abstractions.

Protecting and promoting children’s natural urge to ask questions and wonder about the world around them is a top priority for today’s teacher educators.

Protecting and promoting children’s

Montessori recognized this natural pro-

plorations related to science concepts. “It

natural urge to ask questions and won-

cess as the heart of education.

is fascinating and engaging for them. I

able to process this level of thinking, exposing them to meaningful inferences lays

der about the world around them is a

don’t even think of it as science (at least

top priority for today’s teacher educators

We discovered that education is not

not as I learned this subject). It is just fun

(Engel, 2009; Duschl, 2012). Curiosity,

something that the teacher does,

for the kids, and it is pertinent to what

science, and young children mix well.

but that it is a natural process that

is going on in their worlds.” In other

Open-ended, discovery-based science

develops spontaneously in the human

words, all hands on for inquiry-based

activities nurture enthusiastic, curious

being. It is not acquired by (only)

science with toddlers! ¾

young learners. Opportunities for young

listening to words, but by virtue of

children to observe, classify, predict,

experiences in which the child acts

measure, infer, and communicate occur

on his environment (1967a, p. 8).

naturally during scientific investigations.

REFERENCES Copple, C. & Bredekamp, S., eds. (2009). Devel-

The six components of the inquiry cycle

During an interview about engaging her

opmentally appropriate practice in early childhood

are typically applied to science. How-

young toddlers with science activities,

programs: Serving children from birth through age 8.

ever, they apply to the wider realm of

Dawn acknowledged that, as a student,

Washington DC: NAEYC.

the learning process. Toddlers learn

she did not like science: “It was my least

Duschl, R. (2012). The second dimension – crosscut-

about the world around them through

favorite subject.” Looking through a

ting concepts: Understanding a framework for K-12

each of these six processes. They ob-

recent batch of classroom photos, she

science education. The Science Teacher, 79(2), 34-38.

serve, predict, infer and communicate

noted, “Wow! I do a lot of science!”

Engel, S. (2011). Children’s need to know: Curiosity in

as they explore picture books or make

She was genuinely surprised to see how

schools. Harvard Educational Review. (81)4, 625-645.

muffins or count ants on the playground.

frequently she sets up inquiry-based ex-

Exline, J. & Costas, A. (2004). Inquiry-based learn-



ing. Retrieved from

velopment in children and teens. Child Development

National Science Teachers Association. (2004). Scien-


Institute. Retrieved from: http://childdevelopmentin-

tific Inquiry Position Statement. Arlington, VA: NSTA.

Geist, E. (2009). Infants and toddlers exploring math-

Ogu, U. & Schmidt, S. R. (2009). Investigating rocks

ematics. Young Children. 64(2), 39-41.


and sand: Addressing multiple learning styles through

Gilbert, A. (2009). Utilizing science philosophy state-

Lillard, A. S. (2005). Montessori: The science behind

an inquiry-based approach. Young Children, 64(2),

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the genius. New York: Oxford University Press.


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Llewellyn, D. (2002). Inquire within: Implementing

Padilla, M. (1990). The science process skills. Re-

hood Education Journal, 36(5), 431-438.

inquiry-based science standards. Thousand Oaks,

search Matters – to the Science Teacher, 9004. Res-

Gonzalez-Mena, J. & Eyer, D. W. (2009). Infants, tod-

CA: Corwin Press.

ton, VA: National Association for Research in Science

dlers, and caregivers: A curriculum of respectful, re-

Martin, D. J., Jean-Sigur, R., & Schmidt, E. (2005).

Teaching. Retrieved from

sponsive, relationship-based care and education (9th

Process-oriented inquiry – A constructivist approach


ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

to early childhood science education: Teaching teach-

Schaffer, L. F., Hall, E. & Lynch, M. (2009). Toddlers’

Greenspan, S. & Lewis, N. (1999). Building healthy

ers to do science. Journal of Elementary Science Edu-

scientific explorations: Encounters with insects. Young

minds: The six experiences that create intelligence

cation, 17(2), 13-26.

Children, 64(2),18-23.

and emotional growth in babies and young children.

Montessori, M. (1974). Education for a new world.

Schwarz, T. & Luckenbill, J. (2012). Let’s get messy!

Boston, MA: Da Capo Press.

Thiruvanmiyur, India: Kalakshetra Publications Press.

Exploring sensory and art activities with infants and

Harlan, J. D. & Rivkin, M. S. (2008). Science experi-

Montessori, M. (1967a). The absorbent mind. (C. A.

toddlers. Young Children, 67(4), 26-34.

ences for the early childhood years: An integrated

Claremont, Trans.). New York: Henry Holt.

Smith, D. C., Cowan, J. L. & Culp, A. M. (2009). Grow-

affective approach (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:

Montessori, M. (1967b). The discovery of the child.

ing seeds and scientists. Science and Children, 47(1),


New York City, NY: Ballantine Books.


Honig, A. (May 2002). How babies learn through

National Research Council. (2000). Inquiry and the

Worth, K. & Grollman, S. (2003). Worms, shadows,

discovery. Scholastic Early Childhood Today, 16(7),

national science education standards: A guide for

and whirlpools: Science in the early childhood class-


teaching and learning. Washington, DC: National

room. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann; Washington DC:

Language Development in Children. (n.d.). In Child

Academy Press.


development: How parents can promote healthy de-


Ann Epstein, Ph.D. is currently an

and assessment. She also coordinates a

from Xavier University, and a Doctorate

After thirty years as an early childhood

assistant professor and programdirector at

Professional Development School field

in Early Childhood Special Education from

professional, she still truly believes the

the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse in

experience and supervises student teachers.

the University of Maryland. Ann was a

best way to make the world a better place

the Department of Educational Studies. She

Ann holds a BS in Communicative

Montessori teacher with 3 through 6 year-

is to provide ALL young children and

teaches courses addressing Early Childhood,

Disorders from Northwestern University,

olds before completing her doctoral studies

their families with the highest quality early

Early Literacy, and Kindergarten curriculum

a Masters in Early Childhood Education

in Early Childhood Special Education.

learning experiences possible.

K.T. Willhite, Ph.D., after 36 years of

K.T. holds a B.A. in Elementary Education

& Instruction with an emphasis in science

students. She believes all students can learn.

teaching, is a retired professor from the

from Kearney State University, a Masters in

education from Kansas State University.

It is the teacher’s responsibility to know her

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. She

Education from the University of Nebraska

K.T. was a classroom teacher in a 2-room

students so she may then select a variety

is a science educator who has worked with

- Kearney, K-12 certification in special

schoolhouse, a 4th, 5th and 6th grade

of instructional strategies to meet their

K-16 students in making science come alive.

education and a doctorate in Curriculum

teacher and worked with gifted and talented

individual needs.

Dawn Hays is currently the lead teacher

years. In addition to her work with young

UW-L. Dawn holds a BS degree in Early

cation field since graduating in 1991. She

of the two-year-old group at the University

children, she serves as a mentor to student

Childhood and Elementary Education from

continues to enjoy viewing the world through

of Wisconsin - La Crosse Campus Child

teachers and field experience students from

the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

the eyes of very young children.

Center, a position she has held for twenty-one

the Early Childhood Education program at

and has worked in the Early Childhood Edu-


NO MORE PACKED SCHOOL LUNCHES Flipping the pattern of thinking, so that meal preparation, meal-time, and cleanup are essential lessons in Practical Life and Grace and Courtesy by Sharon Caldwell


ften, school meals, along with

meals and eating into a very different

sensations: tastes, smells, colors,



focus. In a typical school or workplace,

textures, blending, and changing

cleaning, are regarded as an

meals intrude on the real business or

—all that cooking entails. They are

intrusion on the school day. What is

learning or producing some end-product

given the opportunity to explore

required is to flip this pattern of think-

of commercial value. The Montessori en-

the otherwise forbidden realm of

ing over, to see meal preparation and the

vironment is focused on the living human

knives and fires. Working with the

washing of dishes as integral to Practical

child and the process of growing and de-

tools of cooking develops manual

Life and the meal process as an essential

veloping. This allows us to see mealtimes

dexterity. And, of course, cooking

exercise in Grace and Courtesy.

as an opportunity rather than a problem.

and eating is an occasion for inter-



action with one another. We had

Remember that the words ‘Montessori

Margot Waltuch, describing La Maison

a full-course meal daily. We ate

Classroom’ are something of a misnomer

des Enfants in Sèvres, France, between

with the children and discussed

that contributes to incorrect thinking

1933 and 1938, writes that:

their experiences in the parks, the museums, their parties, etc.

about the purpose of the environment. The Montessori prepared environment

“Sometimes at the beginning of the

They talked about future events

for children between 3 and 6 was called

school year, when first meeting the

and past events, always making

Casa dei Bambini by Maria Montessori,

children, it would be enough sim-

laughter and jokes. The French

and the correct translation of this is Chil-

ply to let them talk. We would listen

children were masters of conver-

dren’s Home. The implication is that this

to music, or we would share some

sation at the table. Also, typically

is a home-like, rather than a school-like

food, or simply go on a little walk

French, was the style of waiting

environment. That applies not only to

and pick wildflowers. Presentations

on the table. The eating and talk-

décor but also to the way the day is ar-

were much shorter and fewer than

ing alone usually took an hour.

ranged (no school or office-like sched-

what are done with a new class to-

Introduction of foods and their

ules) and the interactions between the

day.” (Waltuch, 1996).

preparation is still another form of sensory exploration. Noodle-

people using the space (occupants of a home have a significantly different rela-

Waltuch explains how cooking and eat-

making, bread-making, peeling,

tionship with the furnishings and other

ing were integrated into the day:

cutting, grinding, chopping, slicing, grating, squeezing—these are

objects than do the occupants of a school room or office). One of the implications

“Through cooking, children are in-

not only ways of extracting from

of this way of thinking is that it places

troduced to a whole new world of

nature what you need to eat but



great builders of hand-eye coordi-

soup, or to announce that he has

nation, sequence, and social life”

finished” (Montessori, 1912, p. 349).

(Waltuch, 1996).

Adults eat with the children, which To incorporate meals into the day in the

provides an opportunity to model and

way described above requires that the

present a wide range of skills, including:

curriculum be re-examined. Mealtimes

asking for more; offering; passing food;

become not an addition or a necessity

eating politely; excusing oneself cour-

but are interwoven into the Practical

teously; and engaging in appropriate

Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, and

conversation at the meal table.

Cultural areas of learning. If you have a garden (or even space for PRACTICAL LIFE AREA

pots of herbs that the children can tend), are a number of ways to do this. Meals

you can incorporate that into your cook-

The Practical Life area includes many

can be served buffet style, where chil-

ing, but if you can grow lettuce, toma-

activities that help the children learn the

dren serve their own food; alternatively,

toes, carrots, etc., then children can

basic skills and movements necessary for

bowls can be placed on the table for the

plant, harvest, prepare, cook, and eat

them to take part in food preparation,

children to help themselves. Another

foods from your garden. This leads per-

table preparation, serving, and clean-

option is for a few children to serve as

fectly into lessons that would normally be

ing up afterwards. Shelf activities must

waitstaff, as is described by Waltuch and

lifeless materials on the cultural shelves.

be carefully analyzed to ensure that they

by Maria Montessori herself: SENSORIAL, CULTURAL,

contain real activities that develop real “Anyone who has watched them

tivities. Once children have mastered

setting the table must have passed

basic skills (such as: buttering bread,

from one surprise to another. Lit-

washing, peeling, and chopping fruit

tle four-year-old waiters take the

Food preparation and eating provide

and vegetables, mixing, whisking, and

knives, forks, and spoons and dis-

endless opportunities for children to

so forth), they are able to take part in

tribute them to the different places;

extend their senses of taste, smell,

helping prepare the midday meal.

they carry trays holding as many as

texture, color and even sound, which

five water glasses, and, finally, they

have been refined through working with

Presentations of carrying tables and

go from table to table, carrying big

the Sensorial materials. Take time over

chairs allow children to re-arrange the

tureens full of hot soup” (Montes-

food preparation and mealtimes to talk

furniture for lunch. Instead of contrived

sori, 1912, p. 346).

about how each food item tastes. What

shelf-based table-setting work, children


is the texture? Does the child enjoy (or

lay the table for lunch. If tablecloths and

Not a mistake is made, not a glass is

not enjoy) a particular food or the way it

cloth serviettes are used, this provides a

broken, not a drop of soup is spilled.

has been prepared?

continuous stream of cloths for washing,

All during the meal, unobtrusive little

drying, and ironing (or at the very least,

waiters watch the table assiduously;

Have special days during which you re-

folding) by the children. Controlled

not a child empties his soup bowl

search and prepare food from a particu-

washing activities extend into washing

without being offered more; if he is

lar culture and experience the mealtime

the lunch dishes and packing them away.

ready for the next course, a waiter

courtesy that relates to that culture. Talk

briskly carries off his soup bowl.

about the origins of certain foods and

Not a child is forced to ask for more

link shelf materials, nomenclature cards,

The children serve the meals. There



skills, with lots of food-preparation ac-


and other items in the classroom to the

may need to negotiate around these

Life. If you take full advantage of all the

real, concrete experiences the children

limitations. Where you are able to le-

opportunities offered, you are covering

have had at mealtime. You could even

gally cook and eat with the children, it

many other curriculum areas as well and

use culture-specific dishes and utensils.

makes sense to take full advantage of the

can record them as such if you are con-

opportunity. It is obviously easier to

cerned about documenting ‘standards’

The opportunities to include Math

incorporate this approach into small

and ‘outcomes.’ This is not a break in

concepts are endless. Begin with simple

schools. If you have a larger school, with

the work cycle; it is part of the work

one-to-one correspondence. For ex-

a full commercial kitchen then you can

cycle, and if meal preparation is planned

ample, you can suggest that a child “Set

explore different options. Schools in

and executed in such a way that it does

enough places at the table for everyone in the

Reggio Emilia, Italy, ensure that the

not call the whole group away from oth-

class” and allow the child to solve the

kitchen staff is trained to work with

er work, it can enrich rather than disrupt

problem. On another day, say “There are

the children, and every day children are

the more academic program elements.

two children away today, how many places to

invited to help with food preparation.

Not all the children are involved in these

you think we will need?” This type of real

Alternatively, a specialized, child-sized

activities every day, so other work gets

problem is far better than the contrived

kitchen area can be created, and the

done as well. ¾

‘problem sums’ found in conventional

different classes in the school have the

workbooks. The challenges progress to

opportunity to use it on a rotational

Sharon Caldwell is currently working at the

fractions and ratios. This kind of activity

basis. Every situation will be different,

Montessori School of Tokyo, in Japan, where she

helps children understand the purpose of

but I have no doubt that every school

is establishing their middle school program.

mathematical operations and encourages

can find ways to introduce these activi-

them to think mathematically.

ties for their children to some degree.




Kahn, D. (1996). All day Montessori: Notes on the history of the experiment.

At the Elementary level, food prepara-

So how much time do you allow for

The NAMTA Journal, 21(3), 1–7.

tion and meal planning can be taken to

lunch? My response would be: As long

Montessori, M. (1912). The Montessori

a higher level and integrated into stud-

as you need! Preparation can take place

method. (A. George, Trans.) (2nd ed.).

ies related to fundamental human needs,

the whole morning interspersed with

New York: Frederick A. Stokes. Retrieved

history, science, biology, and so on.

other work. This is doubly true if you


Students can research and plan menus,

ensure that your work cycle is uninter-


assign tasks, budget, buy ingredients,

rupted by pull-outs and special lessons

Stephenson, M. (2000). Reminiscences

prepare meals, and even undertake

and if you limit whole-group activi-

and thoughts about Montessori day care.

research that gathers feedback from

ties (such as circle/line-time). I would

NAMTA Journal, 25(3), 45–52.

other students.

argue that sitting down together for a

Verschuur, M. B. (1986). Montessori and

meal is possibly the only whole-group

daycare: Making a distinction. The NAM-

activity that is most indispensible in a

TA Journal, 12(1), 66 – 73.

Montessori environment. If you are

Verschuur, M. B. (1996). All-day Montes-

Besides requiring something of a para-

not interrupting the work-cycle with

sori: Making it work. The NAMTA Journal,

digm shift, the approach to school meals

myriad other distractions, there is plenty

21(3), 57–68.

suggested above requires planning and

time to prepare and eat a civilized meal.

Waltuch, M. R. (1996). The casa of Sèvres

adjustments to your classroom design.

All cooking-related activity is Practical

France. The NAMTA Journal, 21(3), 43–

Some areas have licensing requirements

Life and, thus, has all the benefits nor-


that make this very difficult, and you

mally attributed to activities of Practical




A Combination for Sprouting Lifelong Nature Connection Kelly Johnson


very first-year teacher has a big learning curve, and

who grew it. These childhood nature experiences were the

for me that first class, 14 years ago, taught me that

foundation for my adult desire to create school, backyard, and

equally important as reading and math is keeping alive

community children’s gardens and to help adults create expe-

the children’s senses of wonder and connection to their natural

riences that build foundational nature connections with the

world. Of course, in theory, as Montessorians we know this,

children in their lives.

but in the thick of everyday classroom routines, it isn’t always so obvious. I was astounded at how disconnected my first and second graders were from the food in their lunch boxes and the


nature outside their doors. A few years ago I discovered the Nature-Study1 movement, At that time I was teaching in a small Montessori school in a

which, unknown to me at the time, had been influencing

beach community, where I assumed everyone regularly en-

my teaching style and work connecting children and nature

joyed the beach, marsh, and year-round outdoor entertain-

for years. This prominent movement2 sustained mainstream

ment opportunities. I also hadn’t considered that fact that not

popularity from the late 1800s through the early 1920s and

all children have grandparents who grow their food like I did.

promoted a conservation ethic in children through educa-

Fresh local seasonal veggies and spending time in the garden

tion and primary experience in and with nature. In America,

planting and picking with my grandfather was something I had

this movement paralleled Maria Montessori’s work in both

taken for granted, until that year. Starting with a small school-

time and progressive developmental necessity. The Nature-

yard garden bed, I made it my mission to open those children,

Study movement gained huge popularity across American

their families, and the ones that followed, to the wonders of a

culture and encompassed the various themes: the sentiment

seed, the fun of harvesting and cooking greens, and how deli-

of nature versus the science of nature; an integration of gar-

cious a tomato picked and eaten fresh off the plant can be.

dens in schools; the popularizing of the belief that children specifically, and humans in general, have a natural inher-

I have always had a strong connection to gardening and nature,

ent connection with nature3; the promotion of conservation

but as I look back, I understand on a deeper level the impor-

awareness; and the concept of nature’s intertwined relation-

tance of the connections to nature, wonder, beauty, and food

ship with aesthetics and art. Nature-Study also incorporated

that were built in my childhood. There was never any fuss over

the following sub-themes: elementary education reform as the

eating vegetables in my house because they were homegrown

primary outlet for changing society’s view on conservation,

and delicious! I had a connection with my food and the people

technology and industry contrasted with sympathy for nature,

I have chosen the hyphenated spelling of Nature-Study because I believe that this spelling portrays Nature-Study as a specific entity. Historic Nature-Study advocates were in conflict regarding the spelling and whether the movement would be perceived as the study of simply nature in scientific terms or the study of nature biologically while being inseparable from the connections, dependencies, and emotional relations humans have to nature. 2 The Nature-Study movement was very popular in America from the late 1800s through World War I, but had generally waned from popular culture by the Depression Era. Nature-Study was influenced by the likes of Thoreau, Whitman, and Agassiz and was essentially the first major environmental and conservation movement in the United States as it responded to changes and popular concern stemming from the Industrial Revolution and supported Progressive Era politics. Theodore Roosevelt was an avid supporter of this movement as was Ernest Thompson Seton, Gene Stratton Porter, Booker T. Washington, and many other influential progressive naturalists, artists, and educators of the early 1900s including Anna Botsford Comstock, Liberty Hyde Bailey, and John Dewey. 3 Now often referred to as biophilia “the innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike process.” (Wilson 1) 1



the desired outcome of Nature-Study

cerned, and active” (Blair 18). It is very

was “to teach it for loving,” rather than

intriguing how the rhetoric of today’s

controlling, nature (Comstock).

environmental and ‘green’ education movements mirror that of a century be-

During the rapid industrialization of the

fore. As Montessori teachers and parents,

early 20th Century, so similar in cul-

we need not struggle to integrate outdoor

tural change to today’s rapid comput-

learning across curricula and children’s

erization, the foremost advocates and

lives. The Nature-Study advocates have

educators of Nature-Study promoted

already figured out curriculum integra-

and the necessity of primary experience

the movement as the ultimate qualita-

tion for us, and Maria Montessori vali-

as the key to nature connection. When

tive, cross-curricular method for in-

dated the importance of slowing down

I first discovered these themes, I could

spiring connection to the natural world

and following the child. She observed

only think how inherent they are in both

during youth, with an outcome that

that children want to “bring their ac-

Montessori philosophy and method.

anticipated adults who would care for

tivity into immediate connection with

their natural world. Similar in intention

the products of nature,” and when she

Similarly to Montessorians, advocates

to Montessori’s goal of educating for

speaks on “the garden as being what

of Nature-Study believed that primary

peace, the Nature-Study advocates edu-

responds to the needs of the child’s

nature experience was critical and that

cated children on the power of nature

spirit,” I feel as if I can’t help create chil-

The combination of historic and modern research across fields of progressive education supports that the time for 21st-century Nature-Study has returned, and Montessori classrooms and home environments are great places to start! it provided children with the resources

for promoting peace. Nature-Study was

dren’s and school gardens fast enough

to help them critically assess popular

something that spanned indoor, out-

(Montessori, 2006).

culture and materialism (Armitage 21).

door, and home-learning environments.

Elementary science first began to take

It was a popular area of study as well as

These are only a sprout of the many

root within the Nature-Study move-

pastime, which I believe, as in Montes-

green ‘thumbs-ups’ Montessori gives

ment, and the majority of its proponents

sori philosophy, is one of the strengths.

us for incorporating outdoor environ-

“envisioned nature-study as a site where

When the child sees that their teachers

ments and nature into the life of the

all the sciences could be linked through

and family members all value a practice

child (and adolescent) as much as pos-

life experiences” (Kohlstedt 117). The

(whether Montessori or Nature-Study),

sible! The combination of historic and

major difference between modern sci-

it becomes an integral part of the child’s

modern research across fields of progres-

ence education and Nature-Study is that

ethical system.

sive education supports that the time

the latter employed a creative, child-

for 21st-century Nature-Study has re-

centered approach and focused on incor-

From a more academic standpoint,

turned, and Montessori classrooms and

porating nature across the entire school

Nature-Study documentation provides

home environments are great places to

curricula and child’s life (like a web)

consistent data, indicating modern re-

start! So, whether you have a flowerpot

through the use of observation and the

search’s outcome that “adults who had

in a sunny window, a full-scale school

arts, rather than the view of natural his-

significant and positive exposure to

farm, or access to a bed in a community

tory being a separate discipline. Unlike

nature as children...were more likely

garden, integrating nature and garden-

traditional modern science education,

to be environmentally sensitive, con-

ing across Montessori curricula and the



home life of the child is the perfect way

and mystery and was far “ahead of her

to fulfill developmental needs for con-

time in urging natural beauty as an im-

nection with the natural world in a ho-

portant value in preserving an historic

listic, meaningful way, with the added

landscape” (Lear 401). When children

potential for a future ecologically literate

are allowed free time in nature to in-

culture. Let’s get planting!

dependently observe and discover, they build unbreakable bonds that influence



the lifestyle choices they make as adults. While Potter’s Tales are often considered nursery stories, they make excellent nature journal teaching tools because so many children are familiar with them.

Anna Botsford Comstock

Potter’s animal characters, drawn from

Perhaps Anna Botsford Comstock was

her nature observations, have inspired

sensitive to nature’s subtleties because

countless children’s imaginations, and I

she was, first and foremost, an artist. As an educator, Comstock was instrumental in promoting nature education in rural schools and in creating teacher

The nature journal is a time-tested way to document and assimilate nature experience and discovery.

resource materials for Nature-Study ap-

hope that Potter’s work in land conser-

Carson’s death, her powerful writing

plication. She wrote numerous leaflets

vation models environmental preserva-

and personal dedication continues to in-

and the immensely popular Handbook of

tion to the adults who loved her stories.

spire environmental protection efforts. I

Nature Study, which is still in print and


recommend her book The Sense of Won-

remains highly relevant. Comstock be-

Rachel Carson

der for any adult who wants to connect

lieved that the scientific aspects of nature

“If facts are the seeds that later produce

children and nature and The Sea Around

would fall into place after the wonder of

wisdom, then the emotions and the im-

Us for teaching the timeline of life.

nature was established in childhood, and

pressions of the senses are the fertile soil

she promoted the belief that “it was the

in which the seeds must grow” (Carson

‘spirit’ of nature-study that mattered...

45). It is this ability to feel and to trust

its aesthetic dimensions: artistic repre-

the wisdom that comes from opening

sentations, photographs, and poetry”

oneself up to various types of learning

(Kohlstedt 127). She and her Cornell

that allowed Rachel Carson to accom-

University colleagues believed that de-

plish her life’s work. Carson may be

The nature journal is a time-tested way

veloping imagination and sentiment

best known in the field of early child-

to document and assimilate nature expe-

were of the utmost importance.

hood education for defining and popu-

rience and discovery and was a very pop-

larizing the recent buzz phrase “sense

ular pastime during the Nature-Study

Beatrix Potter

of wonder” in her 1950s work of the

movement. Nature has been an inspira-

Beatrix Potter had a visionary enthusi-

same name. Her own wonder and in-

tion to humans throughout history, and

asm and unshakeable wonder that drove

stinct guided her throughout her envi-

nature journaling has been practiced by

both her artistic and conservation en-

ronmentally-based careers as a biologist

some of humankind’s greatest thinkers,

deavors throughout her life. Potter, a

and a writer, while a combination of

artists, naturalists, and scientists, includ-

childhood student of Nature-Study,

science and sentiment drove her eth-

ing Dr. Montessori herself! The journal

valued the natural world for its beauty

ics throughout this work. Decades after

is a place to document observations and





into the botany, biology, and geography curricula threads. Any unidentified natural object discovered on an outing or in the schoolyard can be carefully drawn in the journal and be brought back to the indoor classroom for further research, which often ends up involving the entire class in a new discovery. The findings can then be prepared and presented at sharing/ show-and-tell time, to other classes, at a parent event, or in a common area. I once had a student who, for our monthly sharing time, would create the most wonderful posters telling the stories of her nature findings or nature-based outing, such as a

Take the journals to urban plazas and have the children discover and document the unexpected nature found there. information. The journalist can then as-

the nature journals on outings to natu-

trip to pick apples. Her mother did a won-

similate discoveries in a creative, yet sci-

ral areas or to museums. These locations

derful job of interconnecting the school-

entific, way and generate inspiration for

provide inspiration and can exhibit the

based Nature-Study work with family

their life’s work. Through journaling,

patterns often witnessed in the near-

experiences and then creating family and

patterns and observations discovered in

by environments. Use the journal as a

class-engaged outlets for her child’s

nature that may have otherwise gone

way to focus high energy levels gener-

assimilation of experiential learning.

unnoticed or overlooked can be tracked.

ated from outdoor excitement. Take

This type of pattern work enhances

the journals to urban plazas and have

For those schools working to incorpo-

students’ ecological intelligence and

children discover and document the

rate technology initiatives, nature jour-

connections to the natural world, while

unexpected nature found there.

nals can prove to be beneficial tools that

cultivating the skill of focused observa-

bring a softer side to technology in the

tion. The nature journal is also a won-

Upon returning to home or school,

Montessori environment. Try this with

derful anecdotal record-keeping tool.

have students share a favorite sketch or

elementary-age students: create a na-

Teachers can track observation, draw-

thought from their journal regarding the

ture walk through a nearby wooded area

ing, and writing skills, as well as pattern

day’s activity. This is a great way to recap,

or the schoolyard’s perimeter using a

thinking, once the children become

assimilate the experience, and assess the

hand-held technological device with the

more adept at writing about their dis-

child’s learning. Then, embark on level-

ability to identify birdsongs (an app for

coveries. It is a natural cross-curricular

appropriate cultural research projects that

example). In the journals, track and re-

learning tool that seamlessly integrates

identify and elaborate on what has been

cord the types of birds heard on the walk

across curricula threads.

discovered in these locations and compare

and any other important details pertain-

them to what is known about the school

ing to song cadence, the time, season,

In addition to regular daily or weekly

or backyard environment. This makes the

weather, and habitat. Use a digital cam-

time to journal in the outdoor environ-

journal a springboard for biological and

era to try to get photographs of the birds

ment at school or home, always bring

historical research that integrates directly

and their habitats. In the classroom, have



the students research the anatomy, nest-

and could even be incorporated in a re-

Lives and creator of the interactive world of

ing styles, food needs, desired habitats,

cycling lesson if you use recycled paper.

nature and arts based educational resources,

migration habits, and historical signifi-

The adult preparation time is about one

consulting, and workshops of the same name:

cance of the birds that were discovered.

hour for twenty-five journals. If the stu-

Wings, Worms, and Wonder. She is a garden

Then, write accounts documenting the

dents are younger than third grade, they

advisor at Montessori Tides School in Jack-

important facts and create poems or

will need an adult to assemble the books

sonville Beach, FL; instructs in the Univer-

drawings expressing the birds and the

with them, so this project may be best

sity of Richmond’s Nature and Sustainability

experience. Then use this documenta-

done with a volunteer parent. Remem-

Institute; is Children’s Education Director

tion to create a school or back-yard field

ber to make a journal for yourself, any

for DIG Local and the Beaches Local Food

guide pamphlet using a design program

assistant teachers, or family members so

Network Children’s Garden; and consults,

or a blog in a photo-essay format that fea-

that everyone can journal together.

builds, creates, and facilitates programming

tures their natural history research, pho-

for school and community gardens. Discover

tography, and creative interpretations of

Let the children know that the journals

how to integrate nature and gardening into

local birds. Update the blog monthly or

are a place to record in words and pic-

children’s lives, follow the blog, get the news-

seasonally and visit the areas being docu-

tures all of the things they see and dis-

letter, attend a workshop, create an education

mented regularly. Keep a running chart

cover in nature. As well as a place to re-

event, or schedule a school garden consultation

of bird sightings posted in the classroom

cord their questions and feelings about


to encourage constant enthusiasm and

nature. Try to use the nature journal

observation. Similar projects can be cre-

frequently. The more the children (and

ated identifying local flora and fauna

adults) use the journal, the better they

through various apps and drawing on

will get at observation, documentation,

Armitage, K. (2009). The Nature Study

local naturalists. Birds are a just an

and detecting patterns in nature.

Movement: the forgotten popularizer of


america’s conservation ethic. Lawrence:

engaging place to start!

Once you feel that the children have


UP Kansas.

reached a minimal level of proficiency,

Blair, D. (2009). The child in the garden: an

introduce the use of viewfinders, rulers,

evaluative review of the benefits of school

magnifying lenses, field bags, bug boxes,

gardening. The Journal of Environmental

and technological devices into the jour-

Education 40.2: 15-38.

Of course, a nature journal can be made

naling process. Depending on age level,

Carson, R. (1965). The sense of wonder.

from any notebook or sketchbook, but

use discretion when introducing new

New York: Harper & Row.

there is something extra special about

field materials (especially if using tech-

Kohlstedt, S. (2010). Teaching children

having children make their own. I have

nological devices), so that handling the

science: hands-on nature study in North

observed that creating the journal en-

materials does not cause too much dis-

America, 1890-1930. Chicago: U Chicago.

courages more personal accountability

traction away from the journaling process.

Lear, L. (2007). Beatrix Potter: a life in na-


ture. New York: St. Martin’s.

for the journal when it is taken out of the classroom and distinguishes it from any other notebook in the desk or cub-

 (see page 21 for Kelly’s instructions on how to make your own journal) ¾

Montessori, M. (2006). The discovery of the child. Madras: Kalakshetra. Wilson, E. (1984) Biophilia: the human

by. These journals are easily made by elementary-age children. Younger chil-

Kelly Johnson (BFA, MA, AMS El-

bond with other species. Cambridge:

dren need some assembly help.

ementary I) is the author and illustrator of

Harvard UP.

Wings, Worms, and Wonder: A Guide


Journals can be made from materials

for Creatively Integrating Gardening

found in the average classroom or home

and Outdoor Learning Into Children’s


THE NATURE JOURNAL is a time-tested way to document and

Of course, a nature journal can be made from any notebook or

assimilate nature experience and discovery and was a very

sketchbook, but there is something extra special about having

popular pastime during the Nature-Study movement.

children make their own.

YOU WILL NEED: r 8.5x11 inch sheets of paper (ideally 100% post-consumer recycled). The number of sheets will depend on how many pages are desired in the journal. More pages can be easily added later if needed. r 1 piece of construction paper or other decorative cover paper, 9x12 inches, also easily found recycled r 1 regular rubber band r 1 thin stick or bamboo skewer, 8.5 inches long r A single hole punch r Colored pencils or markers to decorate the covers

PREPARATION: 1. Fold the 8.5x11 inch sheets of paper in half horizontally to create 8.5x5.5 inch folded sheets. Depending on the number of pages, the sheets may need to be folded in smaller groups and then compiled into one ‘book block’ or stack of folded pages. 2. Measure 1.5 inches from the top and bottom of the ‘book block’ and punch a hole at each mark. Depending on the thickness of the ‘book block,’ the hole punching may also need to be done in smaller groups of pages and then the pages recompiled. 3. Fold the cover paper in half horizontally. 4. Measure 1.75 inches from the top and bottom of the cover paper and punch a hole at each mark.

ASSEMBLY: 1. Give each child a ‘book block,’ cover paper, rubber band, and stick. 2. Insert the ‘book block’ making sure all holes line up. Have the children check if they can see through the hole, if so, then they know the holes are lined up. 3. Pinch the rubber band in half and from the bottom, thread it up through one hole so a little loop pokes through. 4. Insert one end of the stick or skewer through the loop securing it from falling back through the hole. The stick will be on the top side of the journal. 5. Flip the journal over and holding the rubber band tightly, stretch it to the other hole. Pinch and insert the rubber band through the hole. Thread it up through the hole so a little loop pokes through on the top side. 6. Tightly holding the loop through the hole, flip the journal back over to the top side and slide the free end of the stick or skewer through the bottom loop securing it from falling back through the hole. 7. Have children write their names on and decorate the covers. 8. To add more pages, disassemble the book and add a second ‘book block’ stacked underneath the first. Do not place the new ‘book block’ inside or around the first, this will rearrange the journal’s chronological order. Reassemble the rubber band and stick or skewer.



Outline of a New Stage of Training for Montessorians Cameron J. Camp, Ph.D. (Center for Applied Research in Dementia)

Tim Fickenscher, M.Ed. (Montessori International School of the Plains)

Anna Fisher, Ph.D. (Hillcrest Health Services)

Alice Roberts, M.Ed. (Montessori International School of the Plains)

Introduction over the course of decades of living, and their need to be enn this article we will discuss the evolution of the use of

gaged in meaningful, purposeful activity. Children are not

the Montessori Method as applied with persons with

provided ‘busy work’ in a Montessori classroom for the same

dementia. A growing research base has demonstrated

reason that older adults never should be given activity without

the effectiveness of this approach. We then will describe our

a purpose. The key thing to remember is that, simply put, we

initial thoughts for a proposed new level of training and

should treat older adults with dementia in the same way that

certification for Montessorians, and situations in which

we wish to be treated.

persons receiving such training might be employed.

Most importantly, the systems we create to provide care for


Dementia refers to a set of symptoms, including short-term

persons with dementia are those we will live in if we develop

memory loss and other cognitive deficits—often involving

dementia. While the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease

language and reasoning. Dementia is thought to progress in

and other causes of dementia is ongoing (after three decades

stages, with advanced stages involving more serious deficits.

of research, the cure is not in sight), there is an immediate

Alzheimer’s disease is thought to be the leading cause of de-

and pressing need to change the way we think about demen-

mentia, but other causes such as vascular disease also can create

tia. As discussed elsewhere (Mast, Shouse, & Camp, in press),

these symptoms. Use of the Montessori Method for persons

we need to consider dementia as a disability rather than a dis-

with dementia and related disorders has evolved over the past

ease. When we do this, we begin to focus on abilities rath-

two decades (Camp, 2006; 2010; 2013; Camp et al., 1993;

er than deficits and to consider ways to utilize capacities to

Dreher, 1997; Vance, Camp, Kabacoff & Greenwalt, 1996).

circumvent deficits. It is not surprising, nor coincidental, that

There are many reasons why using this approach has been

Montessori’s original work was with children with disabilities

shown to have benefits for persons with dementia and their

and that her use of rehabilitation techniques became the fo-

caregivers. The first involves core principles of Montessori’s

cus of her educational approach for all children. In the same

philosophy and way of living: respect and dignity shown to all

way, when we work with persons with dementia using the

human beings.

Montessori method, we focus on preparing environments and

materials to enable these adults to circumvent deficits and to

Sometimes we are asked, “Doesn’t using a Montessori

display competence.

approach mean that you treat older adults with dementia like

children?” The obvious answer, of course, is that doing so

Another Montessori principle which we emphasize is that of

would absolutely contradict these core principles. We honor

equality. This is seen when a Montessori teacher/guide greets

the older adult’s life experiences, skills, and expertise obtained

a three-year old, stooping down to address the child eye-


describes the evolution of this idea in great detail, with two of his children attending Montessori schools, a wife who became a Pre-K Montessori teacher, and his own experience teaching Child Development at a Montessori training center in New Orleans. Research in the use of Montessori approaches for persons with dementia first involved training older adults with

We need to consider dementia as a disability rather than a disease. When we do this, we begin to focus on abilities rather than deficits and to consider ways to utilize capacities to circumvent deficits. to-eye. We emphasize the same thing

munity through acts of service, learning

dementia in nursing home and adult

when conversing with an older adult in

experiences off-campus, and a variety of

day health-care settings to work with

a wheelchair and for the same reason. In

other opportunities to engage with larg-

children by training the older adults to

a classroom, where boys iron shirts and

er social systems. In a similar way, we

present preschool children with Mon-

girls work with wrenches, and where

emphasize the need to create coopera-

tessori-based activities (Camp et al.,

children from diverse language and cul-

tive communities among persons with

1997; Camp & Lee, 2011; Camp et al.,

tural backgrounds work cooperatively,

dementia, to enable these persons to fill

2004; Lee, Camp, & Malone, 2007).

the principle of equality is lived each

meaningful social roles, and for mem-

This inter-generational programming

day. Once again, when we think of de-

bers of this community to have access

was followed by the use of Montessori-

mentia as a disability it becomes easier

and contribute to larger social systems.

based activities directly with older adults

to emphasize the principle of equality when interacting with persons with

with dementia in long-term care and

History of This Approach

dementia. When we treat dementia as a

in adult day-health care (Camp, 2006). Further evolution of this line of research

disease, as emphasized in a medicalized

A second reason for adoption of Mon-

focused on training older adults with

approach, with its hierarchies of author-

tessori techniques in working with per-

mild to moderate dementia to serve as

ity and viewing persons as ‘patients,’ the

sons with dementia involves a steadily

small group activity leaders for other

concept of equality can disappear.

growing research base emphasizing the

adults with more advanced dementia

benefits of this approach, followed by

and to train nursing-home staff to suc-

This leads to a fourth key concept

development of training regimens for

cessfully implement such programming

within the Montessori Method: the cre-

persons working in the field of demen-

for residents (Skrajner & Camp, 2007;

ation of a community. In Montessori

tia-care provision. The concept of using

Skrajner et al., 2012; in press).

schools, students work cooperatively to

the Montessori Method for working

serve meals, care for their environment,

with persons with dementia was initially

Other international researchers have

etc. Older children assume responsibil-

proposed by Camp and his colleagues

been actively engaged in demonstrating

ity for assisting younger children. The

(Camp et al., 1993; Vance, Camp, Kaba-

the benefits of using Montessori-based

community of the classroom is further

coff & Greenwalt, 1996) and indepen-

activities for persons with dementia,

connected with the larger social com-

dently by Dreher (1997). Camp (2010)

including work in Taiwan, Australia,



Canada, and Spain. Reports of its suc-

During the last three years, the students

cessful implementation in dementia-care

and faculty of MISP have conducted

settings also have come from France,

Friday classroom sessions at Hillcrest

Switzerland, Greece, and Hong Kong.

Mabel Rose. Students have formed rela-

Trainings to initiate successful imple-

tionships with residents in both the gen-

mentation of the Montessori Method

eral assisted-living and memory-support

for persons with dementia have recently

communities. These interactions have

take place in Singapore, Malaysia, Ire-

been beneficial to both students and

land, and Italy. Currently, we have been

residents. Students have experienced

developing a “Social Template Model”

having residents as members of their

for implementing Montessori approach-

class during specific study projects. The

es on a system-wide scale within care

students provide the computer expertise,

settings, emphasizing the need to incul-

while older adults demonstrate a good

cate the four key principles mentioned

work ethic and a ‘stick-to-it’ attitude.

above in all aspects of the daily lives of

Older adults also have life experiences

persons with dementia.

that they share with the adolescents. For example, on a study of WWII, one of

Direct Involvement of Montessorians in Dementia Care

the residents shared his remembrances of being present at the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Discussions with adults, who are not their parents or teachers, broadens the

The work described thus far has involved

involvement of caring and interested

perspective of our students and creates

attempts to infuse elements of Mon-

adults can be an important social sup-

richer life experiences for all involved.

tessori’s philosophy and approach into

port and make a real difference in their

dementia-care systems by gerontologists

lives. These relationships encourage

The use of Montessori approach with

familiar with the Montessori Method in

academic achievement and graduation

the memory-unit residents has taught

consultation with Montessori teachers

from high school (Freedman, 1989).

the students compassion, responsibil-

and trainers. Recently, we have begun to see direct involvement of Montes-

As a result, based on this precept, the

health-care field. The students also are

sorians in dementia-care settings. An

school has formed a partnership with

able to use something familiar—Mon-

example of this approach has been im-

an assisted living community: Hillcrest

tessori materials—to assist adults with

plemented by Montessori International

Mabel Rose in Bellevue, Nebraska.

more severe dementia. For example, a

School of the Plains (MISP), a junior

Some persons living at the residence

group of students were working in the

and senior high school in Omaha, Ne-

need assistance with activities of daily

memory community, and one resident

braska that began in 2010. The school’s

living due to physical challenges, and

in particular was not engaged with any-

main mission is to provide a Montessori

others reside in assisted living with

thing or anyone. A student piqued her

education to any secondary student who

memory support. Since the inception

interested in pouring, using a pretty tea-

desires this non-traditional option. The

of the school, the founders of MISP

pot and cup. Following this activity, the

directors, Tim Fickenscher and Alice

have worked with Dr. Camp to develop

resident became interested in a set of ta-

Roberts, realized that their students of-

MISP as an inter-generational Montes-

ble bells. The student demonstrated how

ten live far from extended family, such

sori Secondary school that can include

to use them. The resident worked for 40

as their grandparents. For adolescents,

elders with dementia.

minutes with the bells. She graded the

especially those who may be at risk, the


ity, psychology, and a little about the

bells to musical scale, played a simple


We have begun to create a proposed outline for a new stage of training for Montessorians: working with persons with dementia. tune, and accurately remarked that a

for those working in this area to under-

evidence that depression in people with

note was missing. The student later dis-

stand physical and psychological issues,

dementia is seriously under-recognized

covered that the resident had been a mu-

especially chronic conditions, related

and under-treated. This is mainly due

sic teacher. The staff reported that she

to older adults (e.g., hypertension; ar-

to the challenges in relying on self-

rarely speaks or engages in activity. Ma-

thritis; changing social roles; diabetes;

report in this population. The follow-

ria Montessori wrote, “Joy, feeling one’s

challenges to mobility, etc.)

ing guide is used for caregivers to better

own value, being appreciated and loved

understand the differences.

by others, feeling useful and capable of

Training In Dementia. An older adult

production are all factors of enormous

with dementia, even in its earliest

§ Symptoms of Depression

value for the human soul” (Montessori,

manifestation, usually has disabilities

§ Symptoms of Dementia

1973). The inter-generational experi-

related to short-term memory loss that

§ Mental decline is relatively rapid

ence with Montessori brings benefits to

are somewhat different than those seen

§ Mental decline happens slowly

young and old. The adolescents at MISP

in the school room. In addition, these

§ Knows the correct time, date,

have the opportunity to see that they

persons have had decades of life expe-

and where he or she is

make a difference. They see the real life

riences as adults, often in positions of

§ Confused and disoriented;

consequences of their work.

authority and responsibility. Under-

becomes lost in familiar locations

standing cognitive and psychological

§ Difficulty concentrating

changes that occur across the different

§ Difficulty with short-term memory

phases of the dementia journey as the

§ Language and motor skills

condition progresses, along with corre-

are slow but normal

As a result of collaboration among the

sponding challenging behaviors related

§ Writing, speaking, and



to these changes, will be critical. In ad-

motor skills are impaired

recent and upcoming presentations at

dition, while most persons with demen-

Montessori conferences, we have begun

tia are older, dementia can occur at any

Training in translation of Montessori

to create a proposed outline for a new

age. This is increasingly evidenced by

techniques to dementia care. The

stage of training for Montessorians:

younger adults (under 60 years of age)

good news is that training in the Mon-

working with persons with dementia.

being admitted to diverse health-care

tessori Method is readily translatable

We envision that this would be an

settings. Providers must be sensitive to

into good practice in dementia care. Re-

accreditation achieved through course-

the psychological / psychosocial issues

search has shown that a helpful model in

work and hands-on experience, similar

of individuals with younger-onset de-

guiding clinical care for individuals with

to the process Montessori educators go

mentia as well as those of persons where

dementia considers needs from three

through before working with elementa-

dementia’s onset occurs later.

perspectives: cognitive and functional

A New Stage of Training for Montessorians of



ry or high school students in Montessori

abilities; motor function; and behavioral

classroom settings. We imagine the

In another example, we are also seeing

and psychological issues (Camp, 2010).

general outline of the training thus:

the importance of understanding the

The Montessori Method in dementia

differences between dementia and de-

care is an effective non-pharmacological

Training In Geriatrics/Gerontology.

pression in the aging adult. Often times,

approach to providing quality care and

For the most part, persons with demen-

elderly individuals are misdiagnosed:

meaningful activity for this population.

tia are older adults. Thus, it is important

Is it depression or dementia? There is

Use of templates, external aids, building



on existing knowledge, categorization,

Over time, the number of sites and times

first Montessori school was created for

breaking down tasks into steps, and hav-

for such experiences could expand.

children with ‘challenging behaviors.’)

Work Settings for Trainees


culty remembering recent life episodes,

Traditional work settings for dementia

The primary message we wish to convey

they still show increasing improvement

care include the home of persons with

is that Maria Montessori’s teachings and

when practicing procedures. For ex-

dementia, adult day centers, assisted liv-

philosophy are highly relevant today and

ample, persons with dementia can use

ing, assisted living with memory support

in the future as transforming agents for

standard Montessori techniques to learn

communities, and skilled nursing resi-

the way we deal with dementia and re-

how to use chopsticks, even if they do

dences. There also is need for implemen-

lated disorders as individuals and as a

not remember that they practiced with

tation of this approach in hospitals and

society. We envision persons who have

them in the past. Montessori’s statement

other medical settings, such as acute care,

worked in Montessori classrooms apply-

that they will learn through their hands

post-acute care, rehabilitation in-patient

ing their skills, passion, and ways of

is especially relevant here.

and rehabilitation outpatient care.

living to a new group of person who are

desperately in need of these gifts. The

Online Training. Much coursework

Of course, with the creation of a new

first author, after finishing three days of

in such a program could be completed

stage of training for Montessorians,

training in this approach in the south of

through online training. Existing cours-

we envision the creation of new forms

France, saw a hand raised by a graduate

es in geriatrics and gerontology could be

of dementia care, including learning

student in psychology about to go into a

utilized. For example, Bellevue Univer-

centers where persons with dementia

nursing home work setting. She said,

sity has a course titled Normal Aging

can come to acquire new experiences,

“Now I understand. This is about

and Disease Change, which is part of its

new abilities, and renewed capacity

changing civilization.” This, as always,

Certificate of Completion in Nursing

to maintain meaningful social roles

is the true meaning and legacy of Maria

Home Care. In addition, online train-

within communities. Such new forms

Montessori’s lifework.

ing has been provided for some time

of care may emerge from within

from Montessori training centers, and

existing models or may become free

creation of new coursework for trans-

standing entities.

ing purpose in activity with immediate feedback are beneficial at any age. While persons with dementia may have diffi-

Camp, C. J. (2006). Montessori-Based De-

lation of the Montessori Method, as



applied to dementia populations, could

Regardless of the setting, providers

mentia Programming™ in long-term care: A

be provided through existing infrastruc-

must assist individuals with dementia by

case study of disseminating an intervention

ture, such as the Montessori Leader-

encouraging meaningful activities that

for persons with dementia. In R. C. Intrieri &

ship Courses Online provided by The

can be tailored to the individual. Pro-

L Hyer (Eds). Clinical applied gerontological

Montessori Foundation.

viders (in all settings) should encourage

interventions in long-term care (pp. 295-

social interaction and assist individuals

314). New York: Springer.

Summer Hands-On Training. We also

to maintain their connections with their

Camp, C. J. (2010). Origins of Montessori

envision required ‘hands-on’ applica-

environments, both physical and social.

Programming for Dementia. Non-Pharmaco-

tion of distance-training content. A first

Through the use of the Montessori

logic Therapies in Dementia, 1(2): 163-174.

group of trainees could take advantage,

Method, these individuals may enjoy a

Camp, C. J. (2013). The Montessori ap-

for example, of the existing relation-

higher quality of life, show an increase

proach to dementia care. Australian Journal

ship between Montessori International

in improved functional ability and en-

of Dementia Care, 2(5), 10-11.

School of the Plains and Hillcrest Health

gagement, as well as a decrease in chal-

Camp, C. J., Foss, J. W., Stevens, A. B.,

Services to create summer internships.

lenging behaviors. (Remember that the

Reichard, C.C., McKitrick, L. A., & O’Hanlon,


A. M. (1993). Memory training in normal and

Dreher, B. B. (1997). Montessori and Al-

Skrajner, M. J., & Camp, C. J. (2007). Res-

demented populations: The EIEIO model.

zheimer’s: A partnership that works. Ameri-


Experimental Aging Research, 19, 277290.

can Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 12, 138-

(RAMP™): Use of a small group reading ac-

Camp, C. J., Judge, K. S., Bye, C. A., Fox,


tivity run by persons with dementia in adult

K. M., Bowden, J., Bell, M., et al. (1997). An

Freedman, M. (1989) Fostering intergenera-

day health care and long-term care settings.

intergenerational program for persons with

tional relationships for at-risk youth. Children

The American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease

dementia using Montessori methods. The

Today, 18, 10-15.

& Other Dementias, 22(1), 27-36.

Gerontologist, 37, 688-692.

Lee, M. M., Camp, C. J., & Malone, M. L.

Skrajner, M. M., Haberman, J. L., Camp,

Camp, C. J., & Lee, M. M. (2011). Montes-

(2007). Effects of Intergenerational Montes-

C. J., Tusick, M., Frentiu, C., & Gorzelle,

sori-based activities as a trans-generational

sori-based Activities Programming on En-

G. (2012). Training nursing home residents

interface for persons with dementia and pre-

gagement of Nursing Home Residents with

to serve as group activity leaders: Lessons

school children. Journal of Intergenerational

Dementia. Clinical Interventions in Aging,

learned and preliminary results from the RAP

Relationships, 9, 366-373.

2(3), 1-7.

project. Dementia, 11: 263-274.

Camp, C. J., Orsulic-Jeras, S., Lee, M. M.,

Mast, B. T., Shouse, J., & Camp, C. J. (in

Skrajner, M. M., Haberman, J. L., Camp, C.

& Judge, K. S. (2004). Effects of a Montes-

press). Person-centered assessment and

J., Tusick, M., Frentiu, C., & Gorzelle, G. (in

sori-based intergenerational program on

intervention for people with dementia. In B.

press). Effects of using nursing home resi-

engagement and affect for adult day care

Mast & P. A. Lichtenberg (Eds.) American

dents to serve as group activity leaders: Les-

clients with dementia. In M. L. Wykle, P. J.

Psychological Association Handbook of

sons learned from the RAP project. Demen-

Whitehouse, & D. L. Morris (Eds.), Success-

Clinical Geropsychology. Washington, D.C.

tia. Published online before print August 27,

ful aging through the life span: Intergenera-



tional issues in health. New York: Springer,

Montessori, M. (1973). From childhood to

Vance, D., Camp, C. J., Kabacoff, M., &

(pp. 159-176).

adolescence. New York, Schocken Books.

Greenwalt, L. (1996). Montessori methods:



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6 WEEK COURSES Distance learning is fast becoming the easiest For more information please visit Classes and schedules will be posted as soon as they are determined.

way for busy administrators and administration personnel at your school to keep up with new information or gain valuable insights. Learn on your computer, in your own office or home, lead by Tim Seldin and Sharon Caldwell of The Montessori Foundation. Special discount for staff of IMC member schools and multiple attendees from the same school.


For complete information, visit the Montessori Leadership wing of Š MO N T E SSO R I L E A DE R SH I P | W W W. M O NTESSORI.ORG/IMC | VOLUME 16 ISSUE 3 w 2014


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Custom support and service enhancement

Premium hardwood Montessori materials

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Solutions for all classrooms designed to meet your needs Requirements & design

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Authentic Montessori curriculum

YourYour satisfaction howwewe measure our success. No one your plans and needs than you do. satisfaction is is how measure our success. No one knows yourknows plans and needs better than you do.better However, However, when ittocomes to asetting up and a classroom and that using materials that our name, when it comes setting up classroom using materials carry our name, wecarry need to make surewe thatneed you to make are completely satisfi ed. To do this every one of our packages contains premium materials, and complete, up-to-date sure that you are completely satisfied. To do this every one of our packages contains premium materials, and Montessori curricula. Montessori We also begincurricula. by listeningWe carefully, to listen throughout our relationship. Oncethroughout complete, up-to-date beginand bycontinue listening carefully, and continue to listen we understand your needs for today and the future, we can show you how using our classroom set-ups can improve our relationship. Once we understand your needs for today and the future, we can show you how using our your educational processes while allowing you to maintain a competitive edge. materials and full classroom solutions can improve your educational processes while allowing you to maintain a competitive edge.

Existing Classrooms - Innovative curriculum solutions

Materials and Full Classroom Solutions for New and Existing Environments

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New Classrooms - Full classroom solutions

For our clients who wish to open a new classroom with new Montessori curriculum and new hardwood materials. Elementary I (Level 6-9) complete classroom solutions Elementary II (Level 9-12) complete classroom solutions

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our clients EarlyFor Childhood (Levelwho 3-6)wish to simply update their Montessori curriculum while keeping their existing hardwood materials. Elementary I (Level 6-9) - includes 12 months of free update assurance Elementary II (Level 9-12) - includes 12 months of free update assurance Elementary I (Level 6-9)- includes complete solutions Elementary I & II (Level 6-12) 12curriculum months of free update- includes assurance12 months of free update assurance Elementary Middle School II (Level 9-12) complete curriculum solutions - includes 12 months of free update assurance



Ever wish for something to hand out at community events or open houses that easily explained or visually showed some aspect of Montessori that didn’t overwhelm the reader? Who better than the people who wrote the book, The Montessori Way, to introduce such a product!

Our 3 best t) sellers (righ e in l b a l i a v a o als Spanish!

NINE Montessori titles now available. Use the form below to order & stock up now.

Each pamphlet bundle contains 50 of the same title and is incredibly affordable at $15 USD per bundle plus postage. The items are in stock and ready to ship. They may be purchased the following ways: 1. Through our online publication center located at the Foundation’s website: (go right into the ‘bookstore’ tab) 2. By calling Margot at 800 632 4121 (IMC school members receive a discount on this item and will need to call with credit card. Should your IMC school membership need to be renewed, we will do that at the same time.) 3. Use this order form and either mail or fax your order. Make checks payable to: The Montessori Foundation and mail to: 19600 E State Road 64, Bradenton, FL 34212 USA. Or Fax us at 941 359 8166. To obtain shipping-cost information for orders outside US email: Expedited courier service, such as FEDEX/UPS is substantially more expensive (price is determined by weight and location by the courier). We will estimate this for you if USPS can not deliver to your area, before charging out). Fed Ex and UPS cannot deliver to a PO BOX. 1. What is Montessori? ❑ English ❑ Spanish

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2. Why Would You Start Your Three-year-old in School? ❑ English ❑ Spanish

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3. Montessori Nurtures Curiosity, Creativity & Imagination

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5. Creating a Culture of Partnership, Kindness, Respect & Peace

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6. The Importance of Montessori for Kindergarten ❑ English ❑ Spanish

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7. Joyful Scholars: Montessori for the Elementary Years

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IMC membership number ___________ for discounted pricing of $12.50 per bundle. To obtain shipping-cost information for orders outside US, call 941-309-3961 or email: Credit card#____________________________________ Name on Card____________________________________Exp. date_________ EMAIL address for receipt_________________________(please print clearly) Phone number in case we have a question(_____) ____________ Mailing address and name of contact person___________________________________________________________________________ SAMPLES ARE $1.00 EACH PLUS $1.44 S&H (US) ($2.44 CANADA) (S&H APPLIES FOR UP TO NINE BROCHURES). CIRCLE: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9





Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage PAID St. Petersburg, FL PERMIT # 597

The International Montessori Council 19600 E SR 64 • Bradenton, FL 34212

Online Montessori Record Keeping Software Classroom Management | School Administration | Parent Communication *Includes Comprehensive Scope & Sequence with Common Core Alignment!

Record daily classroom activity & observations in mere seconds from ANY web-enabled device! No cumbersome steps, no needlessly long learning curve. MC is a great solution for busy Montessori Educators who are seeking a record keeping solution that just works. All record keeping data is saved and tagged to student profiles in real-time. Progress reports can be generated instantly and parent communication has never been easier. MC includes a comprehensive Montessori Scope & Sequence (Infant - Age 12) with CCSS alignment. In addition, parentfriendly descriptions & photos of Montessori materials are available to help educate the parent alongside the child.

Classroom Management Features: Record Keeping Classroom Observations Attendance Lesson Plans Customized Trackers & Much More!


Montessori Compass is the user-friendly online record keeping system you have been searching for!

School Management Features: Student Profiles Messaging School Calendar Real-Time Student Metrics Standards Alignment & Much More!

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