Dates: Friday, April 21st, 2017 through Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

Location: Barry University Miami Shores, Florida

Saturday Conference Topics:

“Fun with FOTNOs – The Four Operations with Fractions and Forms of Number One”

Presenter: Mr. James McGhee II (Session 1)

Return to top of page.

“The Plight of Montessori Pedagogy in Middle School Education”

Presenter: Dr. William Cortezia (Session 1)

At present, there are no consensus defining Montessori middle school education. The Middle School pedagogy is an educational movement unparalleled in our American educational history. Its philosophy can be grounded in two areas: 1- our understanding of the unique nature of pre-adolescents: and 2- how we educators chose to respond to their needs. Middle school ushers in a new level of independence, which must be provided for in the Montessori environment by increasing activity from the point of view of work level, choices, and planning. It requires reflection and the renewal of resources, both physical and psychological.

Return to top of page.

“Practical Life in the Toddler Environment”

Presenters: Ms. Emily Breaux and Ms. Sara Aronson (Session1)

This presentation will prepare you to incorporate more practical life, a fundamental component of a Toddler program, into your classroom. We will cover care of self, care of the environment, food preparation, and care of the outdoor environment. You all come away with ideas and resources to challenge the older toddlers that are ready for longer, multi-step work, and the youngest toddler who is just entering the classroom. We will focus on the “why” of concrete practical life as well as the “how”.

Return to top of page.

“Math – Simplify and Learn More”

Presenter: Ms. Helen DeVere (Session 1)

The presentation will offer ideas on how to look at the connections within the math materials and group them according to concept, so that the child gains a deeper understanding of each concept. It will begin by establishing roots in Sensorial, pertaining to observation, order, and patterning. Then it will explore materials and activities across the math curriculum that teach: 0-9, teens, tens, decimal (Golden Beads) place value, composition of numbers, operations, memorization. There will be a power point presentation and a display of materials to illustrate the topics listed above.

The participants will gain an understanding of how to view Sensorial and Math as a continuum. They will see how to set up order and consistency in lessons so the child easily transitions from one activity to another, needing to learn only one new detail or concept. We will discuss observing the child’s readiness for new lessons.

Return to top of page.

“The Benefits of Yoga in Children and Adults”

Presenters: Ms. Diana McCarthy and Ms. Olga Portelo-Casanova (Session 1)

Return to top of page.

“Cultivating a Growth Mindset”

Presenter: Dr. Samuel Perkins (Session 1)

This interactive presentation focuses on the topic of developing and nurturing a growth mindset for education stakeholders’ personal and professional lives. A growth mindset is necessary for development, success, and fulfillment in our world, which is moving and changing at an ever-increasing rate and pace. Through the sharing of information and lived experiences, and participating in collaborative activities, this presentation aims to enable those receiving this information to facilitate growth in their own personal and professional lives and assist others in doing so.

Return to top of page.

“How to Become an Informed, Efficient and Prepared Assistant”

Presenter: Mrs. Monica Gargioulo-Benitez (All Day Session)

This course will allow current and aspiring Assistants to understand the dynamics of the Montessori classroom. Upon completion of this training, the candidate will have the necessary skills to support the Montessori Lead Teacher in providing a safe, nurturing, and richly prepared environment, allowing for the child’s self-paced learning and development.

Return to top of page.

“Planting a Mindset to Triumph” 

Presenter: Ms. Beatriz Martinez-Penalver (Luncheon Session)

Eight immediate and actionable steps to TRIUMPH

The main reason for depression and anxiety and what seeds to plant to avoid these conditions in the future of our children.

Neuroplasticity and the developing brain.

Techniques taught will:
Lead to triumph
Increase positivity
Promote concentration and attention
Cultivate fortitude in the face of challenges
Tap into unlimited potential and creativity.

Return to top of page.

“Childhood Experiences that Correlate to an Adult of Empowerment and Flourishing”

Presenter: Ms. AnaMaria Rivera (Session 2)

Transformational Parenting and Teaching are not about changing the child, but about the transformation of the parent, teacher, caregiver, or significant adult in the life of the child, by going back to his/her own source of Light and showering the child with the gift of experiences that correlate to an adulthood of empowerment and flourishing. This conference presents the result of a research project and exploration of those experiences.

Return to top of page.

“Function of Words – Amazing Key Experiences”

Presenter: Ms. Sylvia Laurent (Session 2)

The function of words exercises in the Montessori elementary class (6 to 9 years old) are a series of activities in which the child is given a sensorial experience of the various parts of speech. They are designed to focus of one part of speech at a time. The function is highlighted by the child’s concrete sensorial experience and is further emphasized by the use of distinct and colorful symbols. These exercises offer the child possibilities to explore his home language. They are not grammar lessons, they are grammar experiences! The child simply experiences the function of each part of speech. Moreover, he/she also begins to absorb the name of each part as it is used conversationally. For example, when the child is playing “The Adjective Game” he will intuitively understand its meaning. Because of the sensitive period of language, each new function is an interesting new discovery. The activities are not only interesting and engaging but are also great fun. During this presentation, we will explore these sensorial experiences ourselves and add easy to implement extensions that will reignite the interest of your students in Grammar and overall Language Arts.

Return to top of page.

“Teaching Music in the Montessori Classroom”

Presenter: Ms. Sandra Curlees (Session 2)

Books, cards, and manipulatives will be presented and made available. How to use the materials will be demonstrated. Materials are on three levels, Early Childhood, Note Reading, and Theory. Ms. Curless will show how music instruction progresses on each level, and how teachers and parents who are not trained in music can easily use the materials to teach music in the classroom and home.

Return to top of page.

“Montessori and the Brain: Mainstream Using 10 Principles”

Presenter: Ms. Angela Storch-Updike (Session 2)

This presentation will cover ten guiding brain principles and how these naturally occur in a Montessori environment on a daily basis.

  • Emotion, the Brain, and Learning
  • Movement and Cognition is Closely Entwined
  • The Importance of Choice
  • Enriched Environments; Interest, Interaction & Inspiration
  • Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Rewards: Why Rewards Don’t Work
  • Peer Interaction is Powerful
  • Context: Contributing Factors to Meaning Making
  • Learning for Long Term Memory
  • The Brain Loves a Challenge, Not a Threat
  • Every Brain is Unique

The presentation will incorporate specific examples from Pre-K thru Middle School and integrate current research on how boys & girls learn differently.

Return to top of page.

“Food Prep and Beyond in the Toddler Environment”

Presenters: Ms. Melanie Binder and Ms. Elizabeth Campbell (Session 2)

The role of food preparation in the toddler environment will develop strength in the hand while providing purposeful and practical applications of those skills. Using a point of interest that captures the attention and curiosity of something most toddlers are familiar with and are drawn to – food.  This workshop will highlight different ways to incorporate food preparation into the daily routine of your toddler environments, whether it is in the form of individual food preparation, food preparation for snack, or baking as a way to celebrate.  Join us as we share how food in the classroom can develop fine motor skills, focus, and concentration simultaneously offering experiences in grace and courtesy, community building, and caring for others and the environment.

Return to top of page.

“The Fundamentals of Effective Discipline”

Presenter: Ms. Pepa Rivero de Wenrich (Session 2)

Not long ago, children went to school when they were ready to learn how to read and write. Today, most children attend school when they are very young, in many cases before they are potty trained. The hours they are at school are longer than ever, and many of them attend after school programs as well.

Parents are still the first and most important educators of their children. But the less time children spend at home with family, especially during the first years of their lives, the more important is the role that teachers play in building character and fomenting good behavior. And also, the more urgent it becomes that parents and teachers are on the same page.

In this workshop, I will share what John Rosemond calls “The fundamentals of Effective Discipline”. These principles work in a classroom the same way that they work at home. Children are not born knowing how to conduct themselves. They only know how to behave when they have installed the right thoughts in their heads and the right feelings in their hearts. Every conflict is an opportunity for the adult in charge to plant in the heads and hearts of their children the seeds of peace, tolerance, compassion, independence, responsibility and respect.
Return to top of page.

“How to Speak to Parents About Montessori Education”

Presenter: Ms. Judy Dempsey (Session 2)

Judy will present, “How to Speak to Parents about Montessori Education.” Explaining the Montessori philosophy is a skill that needs to be developed if Montessori teachers, administrators, or school heads want to excite their parents about Montessori and retain children in their programs, especially as the children are ready to enter the elementary years. Judy will share her 40 years of experience in helping parents to understand, and ultimately become passionate about, the Montessori philosophy. Her school has students from toddler through 8th grade with just under 500 students and its growth is directly related to helping parents develop an appreciation for, and understanding of, the Montessori philosophy. Bring your questions!

Return to top of page.
“Conscious Curriculum for the Senior Elementary and Middle School Educator”

Presenters: Ms. Stephanie Lipp and Ms. Tracey Etelson (Session 3)

According to Montessori philosophy, students require a learning environment supportive of inquiry-based learning. The presenters will share their vision for a ‘Conscious Curriculum for the Elementary and Secondary Montessori Educator’ which builds upon a child’s natural curiosity for learning and creates conscious world citizens empowered to create a peaceful planet. Attendees will learn about curriculum planning tools and authentic assessment from which each educator can create streamlined, multidimensional units of study for powerful and engaged learning.

Return to top of page.
“Childhood Development Across the Spectrum: Identifying Normal Variation in Development, Giftedness, and Developmental Delays”

Presenters: Dr. Jessica Garcia and Mr. Levi Defilipp (Session 3)

The presentation will provide an overview on normal variability in language, social, and motor skills in toddlers and preschool children. The presenters will provide information on red flags of atypical developmental patterns including Giftedness, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Dyslexia. Recommended practices for referring students for developmental evaluations will also be discussed.

Return to top of page.
“Mrs. A”

Presenter: Dr. Bindu Mayi (Session 3)

I would like to talk about my book, Mrs. A which has been getting great reviews. My talk will include the following: Andy’s story from the book, bullying in America, mentoring, goal setting, and then lastly, a bit about prevention of MRSA.

Return to top of page.
“Sensory Approach to Maximizing Students’ Potential”

Presenter: Ms. Nancy Amar OTR/L (Session 3)

Return to top of page.
“I am a Child of the Universe: Understanding Educational Neuro-Science in 21st Century Teaching and Learning”

Presenter: Dr. Javier Gonzalez (Session 3)

The brain-the organ of learning- remains a mystery especially to educators struggling to understand how to integrate the dramatic and evolving advancements in neuroscience with pedagogical practices and decision-making. This in-depth presentation will synthesize the current literature and explore avenues to bridge educational neuroscience with teaching and learning. In particular, the presentation’s foci will include: the architecture of the brain, early brain development, impact of neurotoxins on the developing brain, early social/emotional experiences, toxic stress (disruption due to poverty, violence, fear, anxiety, neglect), biology of love, effects of media on cognitive development, executive function in childhood/adolescence, teacher/learner pedagogical relationship, and mindset (positive resilient minds). The presentation will culminate in current research-based brain activities/ideas for educators to implement in their classroom.

Return to top of page.
“The Magic of Grace and Courtesy”

Presenter: Ms. Ashly Chavez

Dr. Maria Montessori considers humankind as a whole, and while she marks human defects, she sees that all have a common aspiration, which is spiritual. If children, like adults, feel peace in their hearts, they can more easily relate peacefully to the world around them. In today’s society, with so much going on, it is often a challenge for children to develop this inner calm. However, in the Montessori classroom it is organically cultivated through the use of Grace and Courtesy within the curriculum.

This presentation suggests ways to use Grace and Courtesy lessons in the classroom to develop and support emotional intelligence amongst all students of various ages.
Getting in touch with inner goodness, building self-love, and reducing stress stem from cultivating a positive classroom climate. How do we achieve this in a Montessori classroom? What can we do as teachers to model the virtues we all possess? Delve into the “Magic of Grace and Courtesy” and how it is a natural element in a Montessori environment.

Return to top of page.
“How to Become a Credentialed Montessori Teacher”

Presenters: Ms. Joan Rodriguez-Malone, Ms. Helen DeVere, Mr. Alan Koesten, Ms. Judy Dempsey, Ms. Jeanne Hudlett, Ms. Monica Gargiulo-Benitez, Mr. Daniel Benitez-Oliveira (Session 4)

During this interactive session you will learn the different options available to become a Montessori Credentialed Teacher in the areas of Infant/Toddler, Early Childhood, and Elementary I and II.

Return to top of page.
“Linking Montessorians: A Networking Session for Teachers and Administrators”

Presenter/Facilitator: Ms. Leslie Lasseville (Session 4)

Teachers and Administrators of Montessori schools: come together to contemplate issues relevant to your work. This will be a prime opportunity to make new connections among the community of passionate educators working to develop the next generation.

Return to top of page.
“Teacher Assistants and Interns Networking”

Presenter/Facilitator: Lorena Tasker (Session 4)

Calling all Teacher Assistants and Interns. Lets come together to get insight and tools for being an effective support for the Lead teacher. This will be an opportunity to create support, provide perspectives, and gain insights from others who share similar goals, challenges, and experiences.

Return to top of page.