2018 Conference Theme - FINAL

Montessori Florida Coalition Teacher and Parent Education Days 2018

“Her Dream Lives On”

On January 6th, 1907, Dr. Montessori opened the first Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House, with 60 children in a poor housing project in San Lorenzo, Rome. After receiving international notoriety for the amazing success of the Casa dei Bambini, she was set on a course that would change the world. Her dream of creating a better world for, and through, children was officially born. One hundred-ten years later, her dream lives on. Not only does it live on, it burns brightly throughout the world by the countless people who still passionately carry her torch and continue her work. In addition, the Montessori students whose lives were impacted by their years growing up in a Montessori setting have literally changed the world in unimaginable ways. The Montessori Florida Coalition celebrates and honors Dr. Montessori by reflecting upon her dream and the numerous ways in which it has lived on, and will continue to live on into the future.


Dates: Friday, January 19th, 2018 through Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Location: Barry University Miami Shores, Florida

Saturday Conference Topics:

“Cosmic Connections Through Geography and Science”

Presenter: Ms. Helen DeVere (Session 1)

Target Audience: Early Childhood

The traditional geography and science material sequences (parts of the Dr. Montessori’s cultural curriculum) are shown in the power point presentation along with supplemental ideas to encourage more involvement and discovery of the children. The sequence is not linear, but pulls ideas and questions from their interest. Art and Food Prep. are logical off-shoot of Geography and Science, relative to biomes, cultures, flags, artwork, planting, harvested and preparing food. The materials displayed are examples of supplementary materials children’s work. A small handout outlines many of these materials and ideas for leading children to new discoveries. “When the child is an active participant, s/he sees connectedness among these areas and often finds a lifetime interest.”

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“Music Education”

Presenter: Mr. Rodolfo Arteaga (Session 1)

Target Audience: All

Music education helps children and teenagers in both at school and in their personal life. From birth, parents use music to calm and soothe children, to express their love and joy, and to engage and interact.

Kids who learn music at a young age develop healthy learning habits that they can carry throughout their lives. Kids and teenagers who receive music education improve their academic skills, develop coordination, motor skills, and social skills. Learning music also help them to boost their self-esteem, and be more confident.

Through the learning of music students can improve their performance in classrooms and achieve a significant increase in effectiveness when they take their tests.

World Music Schools, is a company dedicated to the teaching of music with the license of Yamaha Music Education System, a worldwide corporation with more than 60 years applying a method in which children learn to play an instrument through 4 steps, singing, composing, reading and playing. Consequently interact with each other with the environment and with the instruments.


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“Como Convertirse en la Mano Derecha de la Guia Montessori”

Presenter: Ms. Monica Gargiulo-Benitez (Session 1)

Target Audience: Early Childhood, Elementary I-II

Este taller para asistentes actuales o aspirantes explicará las dinámicas del salón de clase Montessori. Aprendan cómo trabajan las/los asistentes para apoyar a las guías Montessori al proveer un ambiente propicio y ricamente preparado que alienta el aprendizaje y desarrollo auto-dirigido del niño. Entre los varios temas que exploraremos están los planos de desarrollo, la mente absorbente, y las áreas de Vida Prác ca, Sensorial, Matemá cas, Lenguaje, Cultural, y Arte.

This workshop for current or aspiring assistants will explain the dynamics of the Montessori classroom. Learn how the assistants work to support the Montessori Guides by providing an enabling and richly prepared environment that encourages the child’s self-directed learning and development. Among the various topics that we will explore are the blueprints of development, the absorbent mind, and the areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language, Culture, and Art.

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“A Developmental Approach to Building Social Competency”

Presenters: Dr. Leticia Pérez Miranda & Dr. Maria Pia del Castillo (Session 1)

Target Audience: All

It is widely known that having social success and forming interpersonal connections is extremely important for children’s overall well-being, life satisfaction, and productivity. As such, much emphasis has been placed on teaching social skills. However, learning rote social skills does not often amount to social competence. Given the dynamic nature of social interactions, it is crucial that social behaviors adapt to the demand of each situation. As such, in order to teach social competence, we must consider developmental processes that are prerequisites to accurate/effective social perceptions, understanding, problem-solving, and actions (social skills). In addition to exploring this developmental framework of social competence, this presentation will also provide suggestions for enhancing lagging developmental skills to promote social success.

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“Less is More in the Toddler Environment”

Presenter: Ms. Joan Rodriguez-Malone (Session 1)

Target Audience: Infant/Toddler

Come see how a beautiful & uncluttered Toddler space meets the needs of the child during the first part of the first plane of development and participate in a discussion that will deepen your appreciation of how appropriate design and modest materials assist the young child’s maximal psychological and physiological development.

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“Cosmic Education in the 21st Century”

Presenter: Ms. Amanda Adair (Session 1)

Target Audience: Elementary

Maria Montessori first began developing the principles which would later become the concept of “Cosmic Education” in the 1940’s during WWII. This presentation, Cosmic Education for the 21st Century, will focus on these philosophical principles and the significance and relevance of these teachings in present day society. The curriculum guide, Cosmic Education, the Foundation of the Elementary Montessori Classroom, will outline the methodology of these teachings and demonstrate how classroom teachers can fulfill Maria’s Montessori’s vision with their students. The presentation will conclude with a Q&A session. Lesson materials and student work samples will be on display for participants to peruse.

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“What does it Mean for Education to be Relational and Why is it Critical for School Success?”

Presenter: Ms. Paola Arechabala Consuegra (Lucheon Session)

Target Audience: Head of Schools, Administrators

What does it mean for education to be relational and why is it critical to a school’s success? In her presentation, Paola will share both from her personal and professional experiences why all aspects of schools, if rooted in mission and relationships, will in turn impact overall school success.

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“Infant/Toddler Teacher Assistant Training”

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

Target Audience: Infant/Toddler

It is often the case in the teaching profession that assistants are hired with little time for training before they have to jump head first into working in a classroom, without having background information on Maria Montessori, what the infant toddler community is all about, what the expectations of the job are and the ever important details of the ins and outs of the classroom. There is so much to cover in so little time and we usually wind up starting the year before covering it all.

Join Melanie and Liz, AMS certified Infant Toddler Teachers, who have experienced different roles in a Montessori classroom and have come to conclusion that strongly any team can go from being strangers at the start to cohesive coworkers and great friends as long as certain fundamentals are in place to build a strong relationship between the teacher and assistant.

Join these ladies as they cover a brief history of Montessori education, discuss the goals of a infant toddler classroom, outline the expectations of a classroom assistant, and how to develop and cultivate a bond within the team to ensure a happy, healthy, and successful environment.

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“Tejido y Costura: Una secuencia de actividades desde Casa de Niños hasta la Primaria” 

Presenters: Ms. Mariel Gutierrez and Ms. Gaby Vilchez (Session 2)

Target Audience: Early Childhood, Elementary I, Bilingual Programs

Tejido y Costura: Una secuencia de actividades desde Casa de Niños hasta la Primaria.
Únete a nosotros para explorar diferentes culturas del mundo, a través del tejido y la costura. Mostraremos una secuencia que empieza con actividades simples para el niño de tres años y continúa con trabajos más avanzados y complejos para el alumno de primaria. Extiende los beneficios de Vida Práctica e integra las experiencias culturales a través del uso de la mano, desarrollando las habilidades de motricidad fina y la concentración.

Sewing and Weaving: A Sequence from Early Childhood to Elementary
Join us to explore cultures around the world through sewing and weaving. Experience a sewing and weaving sequence that begins with simple activities for the youngest child and continues to advanced and more intricate works for the elementary student. Extend the benefits of Practical Life and integrate cultural experiences through the use of the hand, developing stronger fine motor skills and concentration. This is a “make-and-take” session where you will have the chance to make samples of some of the activities shown.

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“Giving Every Child the Formula for Triumph”

Presenter: Ms. Beatriz Martinez-Peñalver (Session 2)

Target Audience: All

In this workshop you will learn that happiness is a skill that can be taught. There are multiple curricula in the school system for math, science, language arts, social studies; however, not one complete curriculum for emotional literacy.
It is our responsibility to give our children the tools to reduce any limiting thoughts, so they can grow up inspired to create the extraordinary they deserve. You will learn the effortless techniques to overcome depression, anxiety, decrease suicides, homicides and much more. Emotional literacy is the foundation for any other academic learning.

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“A New Concept: Physical Education, Montessori Style”

Presenters: Ms. Barbara Murphy and Mr. Martin Yaconis (Session 2)

Target Audience: All

A cornerstone of Maria Montessori’s approach to education is the development of the whole child, across all areas of life, from cognitive to social and physical. While dutifully following Maria’s original precepts in the classroom, most schools tend to rely on traditional methods for the teaching of physical education. As a result, the circle is still to be closed in terms of preparing the child for life in a truly Montessori fashion.

Against this backdrop, a new concept is proposed: to undertake physical education the Montessori way. With a palestra version of the Montessori classroom as the prepared environment, natural materials and functional stations support exercises that aid the normal development of physiological movements, along the lines of Montessori’s own notes on “muscular education.” By design, this novel approach to physical development considers and reinforces key pillars of the Montessori method, including independence, active learning, purposeful action around sensitive periods, cooperation and peer-learning.

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“Re-Discovering the Light Within: A Journey for Teachers Through A Peaceful Environment”

Presenter: Ms. Lorena Tasker (Session 2)

Target Audience: All

Peace time is a valuable component for children as well as teachers in a Montessori classroom. It is an on-going process that evolves as the teacher connects with the children at a spiritual level, therefore fulfilling a holistic approach to education. Teachers are powerful role models and, while introducing peaceful activities, both children and teachers re-discover their true essence of love.
We will explore concrete ways to nurture the spirit and aid in the development of the child’s hidden possibilities.

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“Practical Life in the Elementary Classroom”

Presenter: Ms. Gabriele Boehme (Session 2)

Target Audience: Elementary I & II

Practical Life activities are most commonly found in Early Childhood classrooms. There is most certainly a strong need for Practical Life in Elementary classrooms as well. Practical Life activities should be extended into the elementary years so that the older students continue to develop and believe in their own abilities. There are many “hands-on” Practical Life activities appropriate for older students involving different tools and materials such as wood, fabric, yarn, etc. Creating something new, unique and beautiful helps the students to strengthen their self-esteem and feel more competent as they learn new skills.
This workshop will share Practical Life activities for elementary students which teachers can use for both individual and group lessons.

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“Toddler Music: Circle Time for your Montessori Classroom”

Presenter:Ms. Jane Spinney (Session 2)

Target Audience: Infant/Toddler

Toddlers may not be ready for all enrichment classes, but they are definitely ready for music! Music prepares the ear, body and mind for all future learning. Learn strategies to add a weekly 30-minute music lesson to your circle time. Discussion topics include:
• The importance of music and movement and how toddlers learn music
• Songs, finger plays, movement and focused listening activities; all developmentally appropriate for toddlers
• How to become a better and more tuneful singer and sing in the vocal range of the young child
• A proven successful sequence of activities for the perfect 30-minute toddler music class
• How to equip your classroom with appropriate instruments and props

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“Montessori Bells Made Easy”

Presenter: Mrs. Beverly Alexander McGhee (Session 3)

Target Audience: Early Childhood, Elementary

Beginner and Advanced bells presentations will be demonstrated. A video will also be shared. Watching this video will make it easier for you to teach the Montessori Bells. Every Montessori child deserves this opportunity. Music is the international language that brings people together! Discover your music language ability today.

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“Creando un Ambiente Fuerte para el Aula Primaria Multi-edad de Montessori (6-12 años)”

Presenter: Ms. Karen Simon (Session 3)

Target Audience: Elementary I, II

Creando un ambiente fuerte para el aula primaria multi-edad de Montessori (6-12 años)
¿Qué hace que el aula Montessori sea un entorno multi-edad frente a uno de múltiples grados? ¿Cuáles son los componentes principales de un aula de edades múltiples? Echaremos un vistazo a la creación de un entorno físico, conductual, emocional y espiritual para fomentar una cultura de aula que desarrolle un fuerte sentido de comunidad, y una atmósfera segura y vibrante para el aprendizaje.
Creating a strong multi-age environment in the Montessori elementary classroom (6-12 years)
What makes the Montessori classroom a multi-age vs. a multi-grade environment? What are the main components of a multi-age classroom? We’ll take a look at creating a physical, behavioral, emotional and spiritual environment to foster a classroom culture that fosters a strong sense of community and a safe and vibrant atmosphere for learning.
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“The Magnificent Golden Beads: The Decimal System Sensorial and Key Presentations”

Presenters: Ms. Sylvia Laurent, Heidy Lilchin Simon and Alexandra Polanco (Session 3)

Target Audience: Early Childhood, Elementary I

ln the world of Math, the child has a great deal to accomplish. As we have seen before, math is different from language because it does not come spontaneously. While language is a process of absorption, math concepts are acquired by virtue of sensorial experiences and then by the abstraction process. That is why the Sensorial Presentations of the Decimal System are the key to the foundation of math concepts.

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“The Call for Secondary Education”

Presenters: Ms. Stephanie Lipp (Session 3)

Target Audience: Upper Elementary, Adolescence, Administrators

Framed within the problem that traditional schools are not maximizing human potential, both parents and students seek alternative schools. Montessori schools have been in existence for the past century as a school option. Research shows that there have been a growing number of Montessori schools at the secondary level in the United States. Hear the voices of middle school-aged children and their supportive parents who choose to enroll in secondary Montessori versus traditional schools. This presentation summons leaders of Montessori schools at the elementary level who need motive to be vested in expanding, offering a secondary Montessori program as a calling from the parents and students themselves.

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“Mindfulness in Movement: bringing peace to your classroom”

Presenter:Ms. Cynthia Zak (Session 3)

Target Audience: All

Why is it important to live in the present moment? How does it benefit our classroom atmosphere? How can we stop bullying, strengthen self-esteem and confidence, and create future generations of compassionate, responsible, conscious beings who are peaceful, loving, respectful and happy? Learn simple and easy to implement techniques to be incorporated in the daily routines in the classroom blending music into mindful movement through Yomu’s compilation of more than 90 bilingüal and multilingual songs, affirmations and meditations for all ages.

Yomu is a system of values that combines techniques like mindfulness in movement, yoga, breathing exercises, brain gymnastics, body percussion, music and neuroscience. It is a powerful toolbox for everyday life that can become the key to finding and experiencing calmness and mindfulness.

The workshop is open for all. No yoga or musical background is needed.

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“Aulas en Calma”

Presenter: Ms. Victoria Alvarez (Session 4)

Target Audience: All

Victoria Alvarez, especialista en desordenes del desarrollo de la infancia, ofrece estrategias simples y efectivas basadas en la Neurociencia. En su conferencia:“AULAS EN CALMA” los profesores encontraran como desarrollar la armonia en las mentes en desarrollo de los estudiantes con deficiencia de atención.

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“The Art of Communication”

Presenter: Ms. Carolina Chacon (Session 4)

Target Audience: All

Being a teacher is a challenging and exciting task. Let these NLP techniques help you:
– Maximize the effectiveness of your communication and achieve maximum results with team members, students, partners and family members
– Be able to connect with every student and have the ability to motivate and inspire all of the students in your class
– Easily identify your students’ “Learning Styles” and how this information could maximize the potential of each student

– Understand the power of positive language: what happens in our brain when we use commonly used words such as: Try, Don’t, Never, Always
– And much more…
Neuro Linguistics Programming techniques provide teachers with the tools necessary to create more effective learners in their classroom through enhanced motivation and engagement of students

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“The Importance of Music and Movement”

Presenter: Ms. Laura Ramos (Session 4)

Target Audience: Toddler, Early Childhood

Just like math, science, reading or writing, music and movement play an important role in a child’s development. Music and Movement activities stimulate development in every area of the brain helping develop
– Vision
– Balance
– Sensation
– Hearing
– Speech
– Coordination
– Behavior
– Emotion
Teaching music through movement is a powerful tool with young children who enjoy exploring their world through moving.

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“Presenting a Seamless and Professional Montessori School Office”

Presenter: Ms. Melanie Jacocks (Session 4)

Target Audience: Administrators

There are many characteristics which make a “great” school. In this seminar we will focus on the front office or the “face” of the school. Since the front office is the first “face” that your potential parents will see and speak to, we have to be prepared to dazzle them from the start. We will explore the way that we speak to them on the telephone, to the way that we present or tour the school. What to highlight during the tour, how to determine what the parent is looking for in a school, and how to ensure that the front office procedures are streamlined and efficient.

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“The Teeneage Brain: Helping Teens Navigate Adolescence”

Presenter: Ms. Angela Storch-Updike (Session 4)

Target Audience: Upper Elementary, Adolescence

Did You Know?

· 11% of youth have a mood disorder/8% of youth have an anxiety disorder.*
· The average age of a boy who tries alcohol is 11, girls 13.*
· 50% of mental illnesses begin before age 14.*

This workshop discusses the state of adolescents in today’s society as well as the pressure and anxiety they experience in a 24/7 world. Many therapists suggest social media and a “helicopter-parenting style that doesn’t allow adolescents to experience failure” has contributed to poor coping skills. Do Montessori students handle these challenges differently than the average teen? We will break this issue down into three main areas; the adolescent brain, teen’s social and emotional challenges, as well as techniques educators and parents can use for reducing adolescents’ anxiety and stress during this tumultuous time.

*National College Health Assessment (NAMI)

· Tools for reducing anxiety & stress
· Resource List

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