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CMA SEPTEMBER 2014 NEWSLETTER
Mission
The Colorado Montessori Association is a membership organization that serves and unites the community of Montessori educators and supporters in our state. CMA prepares a respectful and collaborative environment for advocacy, networking, and professional development, which incubates our individual and collective potential to transform education in Colorado.
SAVE THE DATE!
Don't miss this fabulous CMA co-sponsored event coming up in September:


CMA has teamed up with the ECEA of Colorado to bring Administrators the annual Boot Camp Training Day on Tuesday September 26th.
 
See the "Upcoming Community Events"
section below for all of the exciting details!
UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS:
 

Assessment Follow-Up Meeting
What:       A follow-up meeting to discuss the new assessment regulations and their impact on our Public (and Charter) Montessori Schools
When:      Monday, September 15th, 2014, 5:00 pm
Where:     MECR, 4745 Walnut Street, Suite B, Boulder CO 80301


Directors' Network Meeting

Kick off the school year right, and come and join us on September 18th from 1:00-3:00 pm to hear P. Donohue Shortridge speak on "Rallying the School to Excellence in Montessori".

What:       Directors' Network Meeting
Speaker:  P. Donohue Shortridge
When:      Thursday, September 18th, 2014, 1:00-3:00 pm
Where:     Monarch Montessori, 4895 Peoria St. 80239
Topic:       Rallying the School to Excellence in Montessori
 
Come and join other Montessori Heads of School as we network, discuss relevant issues and support one another in leading our schools.  Don't miss it!
 
Boot Camp Training Day: For Owners, Directors, and Administrators
What:      Third Annual Boot Camp for Administrators
When:      Tuesday, September 26th, 2014
Where:     The Summit Conference and Event Center, 411 Sable Blvd. Aurora
Register Online:   http://www.coloradoecea.org/2014-boot-camp-training-day

CMA is partnering with the ECEA (Early Childhood Education Association of Colorado) to bring you the annual Administrators' Boot Camp Training Day.

Workshops include: New QRIS - "Colorado Shines", How to Hire Right and Retain Employees, Team-Building, Emotional Intelligence, Social/Emotional Tools, Montessori Topics, Emergency Preparedness, Future of Child Care - Owner's Only.  For more information, see full flier 
hereor visit the ECEA Website

CMA Meet and Greet
What:       CMA Meet and Greet
When:      Thursday, October 9th, 2014, 5:00-7:00 pm
Where:     RAFT, 3827 Steele St #C, Denver, CO 80205
Save the date now and be sure to join us!

Discipline Toolkit Workshop
What:      Susan Tracy McDaniel will be presenting a workshop for parents. She will share her most popular parenting tools in a one-day workshop for parents of children toddler through teens.
When:      Saturday, September 27th, 2014 from 10 am- 3:00 pm 
Where:     Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, 4745 Walnut Street, Boulder CO
For More Details and to Register:   www.learningtogethereducation.org and click on the Events tab.
See full flyer here!

Teachers can register for free by sending Susan an email via the link on her website. In exchange, Susan asks that you post the flyer at your school. 
The Second Plane Has Landed
by RB Fast
   
Throughout the whole of my parenthood experience, I have fancied myself somewhat of an expert. I have had years of formal education as well as real-world education and all of this prepared me very well to be a mom…until now. My area of expertise is what Dr. Montessori calls the First Plane of Development. This plane is defined by the first six years of life. My daughter is creeping up on 6 ½ and it is clear that my expertise in working with her is waning, and I’m terrified.

According to Montessori theory, there are Four Planes of Development. The first, as I already stated, is from birth to six years old. This is the time of the Absorbent Mind when the child is coming to understand the world and form independence. The Second Plane is from age six to twelve and we will be exploring it in depth in just a moment. The Third Plane is from twelve to eighteen. This plane (as if I have to tell you) is concerned with social development. The final phase of development happens from ages eighteen to twenty-four, when humans begin to discover their station in life. When you think about these periods in your own life, you can see how there are clear divisions in our developmental stages and it really isn’t until around age twenty-five that we feel as though we’re starting to get this “adult” thing figured out. The thought of her being an adult is way too much for me to handle right now, I’m still freaking out about her being in the Second Plane.

This new stage of development is marked by three very specific traits in the child, which Dr. Montessori would refer to as a “reasoning mind child.” The first, as indicated by the name, is the child’s need for reason and justice. This is the period of development in which the child’s sense of moral order is established and, because the child is so interested in morality, he needs to know the reason why everything happens. Dr. Montessori also spoke of children at this age as having a “need to get out of the traditional impositions set by the narrow circle of the family and the school.” In other words, they need to be involved in challenging activities that don’t involve their parents or their teachers as a central part of the experience. Gulp. That means I have to let go of control of her experiences and allow her to engage with the world on her own…letting go of control isn’t necessarily my strong suit. 

The third and final indicator of the Second Plane comes in the form of a significant intellectual development. Along with the ability to reason comes the ability to form mental abstractions. This frees the child to advance academically with leaps and bounds (this is incredibly helpful since our intellectual capacity is essentially shut down by our hormones during adolescence). This week her teacher checked out a chapter book from the library for her to read…on her own. Her teacher also let me know that she will be introducing her to long division, something I still can’t do without a calculator. I fear that her intellectual leaps are going to leave me in her dust.

As children work to define honor and virtue and integrate it into their moral compass, they need opportunities to experience “right” and “wrong”. This is most often facilitated by them in the context of their own behavior. Or, in more simple terms, they begin testing limits. We have seen this moral development realized in our home in ways that are delightful and challenging. She has recently attempted to refuse to do things such as wash herself and brush her teeth, similar to what she did as a toddler. Except that this time she is trying to understand the reasoning behind hygiene as well as her role in treating her own body respectfully. Do you want to know the stellar response I gave her when she inquired as to why I was requiring her to wash and brush? “Because it’s what everyone does.” Clearly I am unprepared for this stage. Oh dear.

We are, however, experiencing the positive side of her moral exploration. She has become inclined to spontaneously offer to do chores or cook us dinner (good thing she got all of that Practical Life experience in during the First Plane). She has also taken to setting up “surprises” for us in our bedroom. She will, for example, make our bed and then adorn our nightstands with various toys, drawings, and occasionally frozen blueberries covered in chocolate syrup (which is totally gross, in case you are wondering). After doing such a thing she will say several times over the next few hours, “Weren’t you so surprised and pleased when you saw what I did in your bedroom? Didn’t it make you feel good to know how much I love you?” This part of the Second Plane is something I can handle. It is beyond endearing. 

Children at this age are ready to understand the concepts of social justice and charity. While kindness exists in the First Plane, it becomes conscious and intentional in the Second Plane. I can see that she is now ready to understand the complex, and often sad, history of our nation and the world. We can tell her about our family history and all of the joys and sorrows that come with her heritage.  

She is ready for so much and I know that I must give it to her. It is time to take a deep breath and accept that she is not the tiny, incapable and vulnerable person she once was. What makes me sad about this is that developing a sense of morality requires her to see and know the terrible things people are capable of doing and this knowledge will change her profoundly. Innocence will be lost and, while I know that is supposed to happen, it doesn’t make it any easier to see happen before my eyes. The moral formation of a human being is a massive responsibility and I am resolved to swallow hard and do my best to model good choices and let her be free to form herself. I have to let go of the pains in my heart and trust my reasoning mind. I wish you all the best when your turn comes…  

“There are three points which serve to guide us: the child’s need to get out of (1) the traditional impositions set by the narrow circle of the family and the school; (2) the great intellectual development; (3) the building up of the moral constitution in the human soul. Getting out of the narrow circle means the need of a social experience which will enable the child to exercise and form moral sensibility, and attached to this there is all the development of culture.”  -Dr. Maria Montessori

Article Submitted by: RB Fast

TEACHER TIP - SEPTEMBER

Honoring the Child's Innate Love of Nature
By Illyce Kaarto


"There is no description, no image in any book that is capable of replacing the sight of real trees, and all of the life to be found around them in a real forest." ~Dr. Montessori

Last Wednesday, as I walked with my secondary students on one of our first field studies together, I happened to see a young toddler across the street. As he went bumbling along the sidewalk, as toddlers so heartwarmingly do, I watched joyfully. It was a lovely late summer day...the soft sunshine, the chirpy birds, and the lilting breeze made it so. The neighborhood was full of gorgeous flowers, diverse grasses, and fruit trees in full August bloom. I felt grateful for life.

As I listened to my adolescents chatter away brightly about our impending trek to the library, I continued to watch the happy toddler. Suddenly, he stopped in his tracks. He looked. What did he see? Why did he stop? A flower...

He stared at the fresh white daisy. He bent his little body over to smell it. He looked up at his mom and grinned luminously. His happiness was so natural and so pure. The gratitude I had felt for life just a few moments ago multiplied tenfold...and my heart was reminded of the inherent wonder for nature that all children come bursting into our universe with when they are born.

As Montessorians, we are so fortunate to be gifted with the brilliance of honoring the child's innate love of nature. Dr. Montessori urged us to grasp this opportunity by enabling our children to live in nature daily. Do you believe nature could foster both happiness in the moment...as well as valuing our universe and the peace within it?

What can we do with our children? I know it might feel overwhelming at first, but any small and simple outdoor experience is a hopeful first step...and may lead to more as they evolve! Simple nature activities with your children might include taking a walk each day, and just taking the time to look around and notice our world...just like the toddler did that day! Truly look at the clouds, at the grass, at the soil. If the children are inspired...write, draw, read, or create! Is there a space to garden? Can you plant a few herb pots? Are the children interested in building a bird feeder? Or painting some rocks for a rock garden? For the more adventurous, you might consider camping trips, family stargazing nights, volunteering for trail restoration, outdoor cooking, snowshoeing...the opportunities are endless.

The toddlers see the beauty of the universe... and Dr. Montessori begs us to simply listen.
 
For further nature and teaching ideas, see blog.childrenandnature.org.
 
Article Submitted by: Illyce Kaarto
Would You Like To Use Our New Member Logo?

If you are a member of the Colorado Montessori Association and would like to use our member logo (shown below) for promotional use with your school, please fill out a CMA Logo Use Application.
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
 
Call for Presenters - Montessori In The Mountains: Estes Park Retreat
Save September 25-27, 2015 for the second "Montessori in the Mountains" Conference Retreat at the YMCA Conference Center in Estes Park. This event is sponsored by Montessori Education Center of the Rockies and proposals from presenters are currently invited. (Deadline for proposals is 9/30/14). Please e-mail Dot Thompson dt@mecr.edu to request a Proposal Form or if you have any questions. Retreat registration will start in January 2015.
 
Raffle Prize Donations Needed
As we are gearing up for our annual CMA Meet and Greet Event, we are inviting our members to donate items for the Raffle Prizes. If you have an item or a service that you would like to donate, please email us at: coloradomontessoriassociation@gmail.com.
 
Member Schools can now sport the CMA "Member Program" Logo on their websites!
If you are a member school, and you want to show your connection to CMA on your website or handouts, you now can by just completing a copy of this Use Agreement form and sending it to CMA by email. Once received, CMA will send you a jpg copy of the CMA "Member Program" Logo (image below) to use in accordance with the agreement.

CMA thanks you for your support and your interest in using the CMA logo in association with your school. We see it as the highest compliment!
 
CMA Member School News
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To share news about your school, please contact us at coloradomontessoriassociation@gmail.com 
JOB POSTINGS
Lead Teachers
Montessori Children's House of Denver
Denver, CO

Position Description

MCHD is currently accepting applications for a Toddler Montessori Certified Lead Teacher for the 2014-2015 School Year. Apply now for an opportunity to work within the MCHD community!

Position Requirements
Montessori Certification at the Toddler Level through a MACTE accredited teacher training program.  Click here for more information on our Toddler Lead Teacher Position.

Contact
Please email or fax resume to Attn: Michelle O'Donoghue, Executive Director. 
Email: 
excdirector@mchdenver.org Fax: 303-355-8629  Phone: 303-322-8324 x 121


Assistants
Fort Collins Montessori School
Fort Collins, CO

Position Description
Fort Collins Montessori School has immediate openings for a full day Primary Assistant, a part day Primary Assistant, an After Care teacher, and an After Care assistant.  We are a public school with a tuition-based preschool. We are opening as a pre/K – 3rd grade school in August 2014 (School Calendar), and will add one grade per year through 9th grade in 2020. We are PSD’s first public Montessori school, and the only option for continuance of Montessori education beyond the primary level in Fort Collins.

Contact
Interested candidates should contact Frank Vincent at HOSFCMS@gmail.com for details.

Substitutes
Fort Collins Montessori School
Fort Collins, CO

Position Description
Fort Collins Montessori School is looking for substitute teachers for both Primary and Elementary.   We are a public school with a tuition-based preschool. We are opening as a pre/K – 3rd grade school in August 2014 (School Calendar), and will add one grade per year through 9th grade in 2020. We are PSD’s first public Montessori school, and the only option for continuance of Montessori education beyond the primary level in Fort Collins.

Contact
Interested candidates should contact Frank Vincent at HOSFCMS@gmail.com for details.


 
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If you have a position that you would like to see posted in the CMA newsletter, please contact us with your position information at:

coloradomontessoriassociation@gmail.com 


Cost:  $35.00 per month for Member Schools, $75.00 per month for Non-Member Schools. 

Position posting deadline is the 3rd Friday of each month for the coming month's newsletter.

To become a CMA member school, click here.
CMA NEEDS YOU!
 
Get Involved with CMA... 
Articles Needed - Submission deadline: the 3rd Friday of each month.
  • Are you a published author? Would you like to be? Submit your original work to CMA by the 3rd Friday of each month with the possibility of having your article selected for one of the future newsletters. Submit articles for consideration to CMA at coloradomontessoriassociation@gmail.com with a copy of your article and some details about yourself. (CMA reserves the right to edit all material prior to publication). 
Be a member!
  • If you aren't already, sign up to become a member of the Colorado Montessori Association, by clicking here.  
  • If you are already a member, don't forget to renew your membership now!
Colorado Montessorians unite! Support Montessori advocacy in Colorado while also enjoying the benefits of networking, community forums and discounts on events, including great speakers like David Kahn, Jackie Cossentino, Tim Seldin and Phil Gang!  
 
If you aren't already a member, click here to sign up now. 
POINTS OF INTEREST
Montessori-Inspired Poetry Activities
from: Pinterest and Living Montessori Now
 Montessori-Inspired Poetry Activities (Photo from http://chasingcheerios.blogspot.com/2011/07/our-summer-poetry-basket.html  Roundup post from http://livingmontessorinow.com/2012/04/24/montessori-inspired-poetry-activities/). Lots of ideas for both parents and teachers - preschool through elementary.
Penmanship Activity
From Pinterest and NAMC Montessori Teacher Training
NAMC montessori elementary activities work developing improving penmanship design paper activity
CMA Board of Directors
 
Kathryn Ross - President
RB Fast - Vice President
Rachel Averch - Secretary

Katy Myers - Treasurer
Sheila Wolfe
Lyn Mead
Karen Farquharson
Jim Barrett
Martha Teien


Contact us by e*mail
Join CMA Today!

Member Benefits:

  • Two program administrators are enrolled at no extra charge.
  • Lead teachers receive a $10 discount on membership.
  • Discounts on admission to CMA sponsored professional development events.
  • Featured on CMA website with a link to the school’s website.
  • $40 discount on job advertisements in the CMA newsletter.
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SHARE YOUR PHOTOS, TEACHER TIPS, ARTICLES & NOTEWORTHY EVENTS!
Would you like to have an article you have written published, or do you have any great teacher tips, photos or noteworthy events that you would like to share in the CMA Newsletter?  If so, please e*mail CMA! The deadline for newsletter submitting is the 3rd Friday of each month.
Edited by: Rose Henson