The Colorado Montessori Association is a powerful voice for Montessori advocacy providing a forum for networking and professional growth in the Montessori community. It is a highly functioning, evolving professional organization, unified in its vision, respectful, purposeful and inclusive.

Fostering of Will Development in Young Children

By Roxanne Gongea

Will is the faculty of the mind by which a person decides and it involves receiving or absorbing sensory information. Volition, on the other hand, is the exercise of will, taking conscious voluntary action. While will is thinking, volition is action based on thinking. Since will  is not automatic and needs lots of practice to fully develop as a useful tool, the children learn with practice to override their impulses as their will develops.

In infancy and toddler-hood, will develops as the child seeks mastery over his body and he comes to independence for basic body functions such as dressing, feeding, toileting, vocabulary formation, etc. At around the age of three, the child's will is mostly focused in the language area. Children 3 to 5 may still be impulsive when their language skills may not be really developed and therefore they do not have the ability to have language mediate the input from the environment.

Since toddlers are usually environment-bound (they touch and manipulate the environment regardless of what we might say to the child), it is very important to help them understand that there is a word for each specific object. When the language becomes automatic for children, they can use language to control their actions. We can support the child's language development through our tone, eye contact, and engage him in back and forth conversations.

Motivation is the desire to do things and in really young children it involves the interest, sensory perceptions, and the point of interest (attraction to the environment). 

Volition is the power of using one's will and is all about movement, purposeful movement, in young children.

Some Montessori strategies to enhance the child's volition include freedom of choice (children are free to engage in pro-growth activities), freedom to move, long work cycles, repetition of exercise, learning environments that create distraction-free goal-oriented desired results, supporting child to support self-efficacy, refraining from praising the child but supporting his efforts and consistency in how we respond and interact with the child.

The character development in young children starts as a response to adaptation to the world. Since character development begins at home and continues at school, both parents and teachers can use some strategies that will allow character-building in children. Allowing freedom within limits, providing an environment that enhances children's option for purposeful movement or redirecting a child's disorderly behavior instead of criticizing or judging him are just a few strategies that will help a child develop his ideal person-hood. 

Source: Based upon P. Donohue Shortridge, "The Fostering of Will Development in Young Children," pg. 5-9. 15-18, Infants and Toddlers, Vol. 14, Number 3, Fall 2010.

Article Submitted by: Roxanne Gongea, Teacher Assistant at the Heart and Hands Montessori Center for Infants and Toddlers in Lafayette, CO. Roxanne completed Infant-Toddler classes through Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario, and is working currently towards gaining her lead teacher qualification.

Montessori Workshops are coming to the 
       Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference 2016!        

Early-Bird Discount ends January 18, 2016.
Click here to Register.

Join teachers, practitioners and advocates at this largest and leading regional conference that aims to support and solidify the growing understanding of the importance of investing in our youngest children.

WHEN: February 19-20, 2016
WHERE: Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO

Click here for detailed Montessori-track workshop information
(Savings on accommodations are also available until January 21. Click here for hotel discount info). 
January Meeting:
When: January 21st, 2016 1:00-3:00 pm
Where: Montessori School of Denver, 1460 S. Holly St. Denver, CO 80222 

Topic: Mindfulness.

Join us to build on Dr. Montessori's gift of The Silence Game by learning more about the current trend toward mindfulness in education. We will discuss how mindfulness improves executive function as well as practice some techniques that can be used with teachers as well as the children in your schools. As we begin 2016, we will take some time to pause, breathe, and be present together.

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!

If you are interested in hosting a Director's Network meeting at your school or in being a speaker, please email us at!

Pencil in the third Thursday of each month from 1:00-3:00 pm, and watch for the e*vites and newsletter announcements each month.
Best Practices in a Montessori Middle School
An Evening with Marta Donahue, MEd
Hosted by Montessori School of Denver
January 25, 2016

Marta Donahue, MEd, is the executive director of the Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education program. For over 18 years, she has coordinated the development and implementation of the middle and high school Montessori program at Clark Montessori (OH) and consults with Montessori schools all over the country.  Marta will be at MSD for two days working with our Middle School faculty and students and will spend one evening with parents discussing the elements of best practices in a middle school program and what makes a program Montessori at the adolescent level. This is an evening you don't want to miss!

When:     Monday, January 25 at 6:00PM
Where:    Montessori School of Denver, 1460 South Holly Street, Denver, CO 80222
Phone:    303-756-9441
For More Details:    Please click here for the MSD flyer. 

Please RSVP to Ashley Randle, MSD Receptionist, by email ( or by phone (303-756-9441).
Montessori Applied to Children at Risk
A Seminar Offered by the Shelton School, Dallas, TX
Hosted by Compass Montessori School, Golden, CO
February 5-7, 2016
The goal of this workshop is to understand the specific needs of children diagnosed with learning differences and provide specific strategies to the registrant for matching the Montessori educational method to those needs.
Keynote Speaker:  Amy Kelton, Assistant Head of Instruction for the Lower and Upper Elementary programs at June Shelton School and Evaluation Center in Dallas, TX. She is certified in Sequential English Education and the Association Method programs for the remediation of written language disorders, as well as advanced levels of Montessori Applied to Children at Risk. Amy holds a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and is Montessori-credentialed (E1) MACTE.
When:     Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 5-7, 2016
Where:    Sheraton Denver West Hotel, 360 Union Boulevard, Lakewood, CO 80228
Phone:    303-420-8288
Cost:       $400 to include light breakfast, light snacks, and lunch
Topics Include:    
  • An overview of learning differences at all ages
  • Understanding the child who is at-risk for learning differences
  • Applications of the Montessori Method and techniques
  • Practical Life, Sensorial, and Mathematics for the at-risk child
  • Oral and written language program
  • Social skills development
For more information on MACAR, please visit
Further details on this seminar are available on the attached flyer. 
Please RSVP at the following link: https;//
Montessori Education Center of the Rockies
Invites you to attend two workshops presented by
the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector 

February 12 & 13, 2016

Keynote Speaker: 
Melissa Harbert, currently Head of School at Lewis and Clark Montessori Charter School in Gresham, OR, is the NCMPS speaker for these two presentations.

Friday, February 12, 2016 (6:00-8:30pm)
Vision, Mission Action: Establishing a Healthy Professional Community

Saturday, February 13, 2016 (9:00-11:30am)
Following the Family: Holistic Approaches to Family Engagement

Where:    Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, 4745 Walnut Street, Boulder, CO 80301
Phone:    303-494-3002
Cost:       Cost for each workshop individually is $60, or you may register for both together for $100. 
For more information about these programs, please call MECR at 303-494-3002, and to register, go to the MECR website for registration information.
Colorado League of Charter Schools Conference
February 25-27, 2016

Come talk Montessori and the future of public accountability at the Colorado League of Charter Schools Conference
on Friday, February 26!

Have you ever considered whether the state could develop a new accountability system that is better aligned to Montessori practice? With recent passage of the Ever Student Succeeds Act at the federal level, the potential for something better is possible -- and it may lie in competency-based system design. 

On Friday, February 26, CDE and its collaborating partner CEI will be presenting a 75-minute session on Competency-Based Systems and there will then be a special breakout for Montessori schools to talk about whether this new design framework may be a better fit for public Montessori schools. 

To register for the League conference, please follow this link:
Public Comment Period on Colorado's Child Care Development Fund State Plan 
Ends January 31, 2016

On November 19, 2014, President Obama signed the bipartisan-supported Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 into law. The law reauthorizes and significantly revises the purpose of the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) program and requirements. The law establishes minimum child care assistance eligibility periods, health and safety standards and training requirements for providers, monitoring, consumer information and other components that will strengthen child care and support child and family success.

The Division of Early Care and Learning is seeking public input on the draft version of Colorado's CCDF State Plan. The public comment period ends January 31, 2016. The final version of Colorado's CCDF State Plan is due to the federal Administration of Children and Families on March 1, 2016. 

Public comments must be submitted using one of the following methods:
- The link provided HERE
- The Office of Early Childhood website
- During public hearings. 
Click here for full public hearing details.
REGISTER HERE to attend a Child Care Development Fund State Plan Public Hearing. 

Questions may be directed to the Office of Early Childhood at 1-800-799-5876 or
"Let us give the child a vision of the Whole Universe... the Universe is an important reality, and an answer to all questions. We shall walk together on this path of life: for all things are a part of the Universe, and are connected with each other to form one whole unity."
-Dr. Maria Montessori
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!  
Without members like you, CMA's work to ensure Montessori training for QRIS quality raters, advocacy for testing options for public Montessori schools, and the passing of House Bill 1276 allowing breakable waivers for Montessori schools wouldn't be possible...
If you aren't already a member, click here to sign up now. 

Member Schools can now sport the CMA "Member Program" Logo on their websites!
If you are a CMA member school or organization in good standing, it’s worth sharing that information!   That you have chosen to partner with other Montessori programs in the state gives additional credibility to not only your school, but Montessori education in general.
You are invited to add this “CMA Member Program” logo to your website, or use it in print publications.  We ask that you complete a “CMA Logo Use Application Form”, and send a signed copy to CMA via email to: Upon receipt of a signed agreement, we will respond to your email with a digital version of the program member logo shown below for your use.  

Lead Montessori Teacher
Family Star Montessori School
Denver, CO

Job Description:
Family Star is currently seeking a warm, humble, compassionate, engaged, flexible, open-minded, and creative leader that is committed to inclusivity for a Montessori certified (0-3) A to I Montessori Teacher position. Family Star is a nationally recognized and unique program that implements an authentic and inclusive Montessori philosophy for ages 2 months to 6 years of age. It is one of the only programs in the US that offers authentic Montessori education to primarily low income and at-risk children, and it has been selected as one of four exemplary early education programs in the US to be studied for the purposes of replication. Family Star is committed to early childhood education in an inclusive environment of ethnic and economic diversity. Children and families across the economic spectrum have the opportunity to develop a strong sense of mutual support and community. As an Early Head Start/Head Start program, we are able to fulfill our mission of ensuring that the children who can benefit the most have access to the best program.

This is a full-time, year-round position with excellent benefits, including paid holidays, paid time off, health/dental coverage, 401K, plus training and education opportunities.

- Must have current A to I Montessori Diploma (or in the process of completing the diploma). 
- Associate Degree or higher degree in Early Childhood Education; or an Associate Degree in a related field with experience teaching pre-school age children.
- 2-5 years of teaching experience with ages 0-3.
- Experience and commitment to working with children and families of diverse populations.

2246 Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80211:
IC (Toddler) Lead Teacher (A to I)

2940 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80205
Nido (infants) Lead Teacher (A to I)

For More Information:
For more information about Family Star: 

To Apply:
Family Star has retained National Recruiting Solutions to conduct the search for this critical position. To be considered, send your resume and cover letter to: Joanne Bennett, Principal Recruiter, National Recruiting Solutions ( 



Middle School Director
DCS Montessori Charter School
Castle Pines, CO

About Us: 
DCS Montessori is a public charter school located in Castle Pines, CO, just 30 minutes south of Denver and 1+ hours away from year-round Rocky Mountain recreation. Our mission is to provide our students with an opportunity to acquire an education based on an authentic and accredited curriculum founded on the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori. Since our founding, we are proud to have fulfilled this mission as we have grown our pre-K through 8th grade school community from 5 classrooms and 125 students to 20+ classrooms and roughly 510 students, In this time, we have created a strong foundation, both educational and financial, through our staff, our Board of Directors, our parents, and especially our children. 

Job Description:
In 2012, we expanded to include a middle school and are now looking for a Middle School Director to grow our Middle School program to the next level of success. This is a full-time Education Administration position overseeing about 65 students in a 7th and 8th grade Montessori Middle School, with 5 teaching positions who report to them, and report to the DCS Montessori Head of School. 

- Exhibit mastery and enthusiasm for the Montessori Middle School curriculum. May have student advisement duties, overseeing academic and student life. This responsibility includes taking attendance, holding regular conferences, meeting with advisee's parents and communicating with parents and students regularly, leading literature and current event discussion groups.
- Middle School guides are expected to model, live, and reinforce the school's core values and policies inside and outside the classroom.
- To plan and implement a variety of assessments that measure progress toward learning outcomes and use data to inform teaching. 
- Prepare, plan, and support implementation of all academic plans: Advanced Learning Plans (ALP), Individual Education Plans (IEP), and 504 plans.
- Plan and implement educational modules that meet core standards and expectations for assigned subject areas as well as guiding the students to a hands-on understanding of the "real world" application of these studies.
- While the Director may have an area of specialty, they will be called upon to also teach in some subject areas as part of our interdisciplinary focus. 

Approximately $70,000, depending on level of education and experience.
Our school is on a traditional calendar. Multi-grade/multi-age classroom setting. Work day hours: 8 hours daily, Monday - Friday. 
DCS Montessori is an equal opportunity education institution and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or disability in its programs or activities. 

To Apply: 
Please visit our website at to learn more about our school. We ask applicants to submit three documents: a cover letter, our Employment Application (visit to download or stop by our school), a resume). 



Head of School
Mountain Village Montessori Charter School
Steamboat Springs, CO

About Us: 
Want to be part of something special? Mountain Village Montessori Charter School is the new Montessori Charter located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Steamboat Springs is a small, rural community famous for world class skiing and a family environment located in Northwest Colorado. It's a town of approximately 12,000 people. This community values education, family, and the outdoors. Our charter has been approved and we are scheduled to open in the fall of 2016.

We are currently seeking a dynamic leader for the Head of School position who has the energy and foresight to help create and implement a wonderful Montessori program in our community. Please visit our website for a full description of the HOS position. The position will be available in February, but we are willing to work with the hired Head of School to fit their timeline and ours.

Preferred Qualifications:
- Montessori Certification from a AMI, AMS, MACTE accredited program -- but willing to train the right person
- Charter experience
- Director Qualification
- Experience in administration
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Leadership qualities
To Apply:
If you are interested in this position, please send a cover letter explaining why you are interested in this position, and what skills you think you could bring to the school, along with a current resume to



Lead Teachers for the 2016-2017 School Year
Montessori Children's House of Denver
Denver, CO

Position Description: 
MCHD is currently accepting applications from Montessori Certified Lead Teachers for the 2016-2017 School Year. Apply now for an opportunity to work within the MCHD community!

Position Requirements:
- Montessori Certification through a MACTE accredited teacher training program. 
- BA and 2 or more years of lead teaching experience preferred, but not required
Click here for more information about the Montessori Children's House of Denver

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

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

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.
Get Involved with CMA... 
Articles & Images Needed - Submission deadline: the 3rd Friday of each month.
  • Are you a published author or photographer? Would you like to be? Submit your original work to CMA by the 3rd Friday of each month with the possibility of having your photographs and/or article selected for one of the future newsletters. Submit photographs and articles for consideration to CMA at 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!
Reach for the Stars
From Pinterest and Room 1109

Sensory Balloons
From Pinterest and i thought of it second

Button Bookmarks
From Pinterest and

CMA Board of Directors
Kathryn Ross - President
RB Fast - Vice President

Lyn Mead - Treasurer
Rachel Averch - Secretary
Sheila Wolfe

Karen Farquharson
Jim Barrett
Martha Teien

January Board Meeting:

Tuesday, January 26, 2015
Location TBD

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.
Would you like to have an article you have written published, or do you have any great 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 for the coming month's newsletter.
Like us on Facebook!
Edited by: Katie Beglin