A Closer Look at Montessori Math


The Montessori math curriculum is quite unlike the traditional approach that each of us experienced.  It is based on developing a strong foundation through concrete experience and manipulation until the time a child reaches the age of abstraction, typically around nine years old. As they engage in the Cosmic Curriculum, children are given a basis for the interconnectedness of all things and encouraged to engage in the wonder and magic of mathematical concepts.  Various activities and materials develop the mathematical mind, preparing the child for their inevitable explosion in to abstraction and connection to the power of relationships. The following was written by Lower Elementary Spanish teacher, Diana Haro Reynolds.Mathematics is the study of quantity, form, and magnitude. We live among it. It is in the position of the sun and in the shell of a snail. We carry math in our pockets, in our devices. It is what makes our communication...
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Montessori, Why Not?


I choose a Montessori school for my son almost as an act of faith. At that time my knowledge of the method was null, besides having heard of small chairs and colored beads. But seeing my son happy day after day encouraged me to study and deepen the Montessori’s ideas. What I had discovered astonished me as a father and as a scientist. As a father, I found how children are really respected and prepared for the future. As a scientist, I found solid scientific foundations for everything Maria Montessori proposed.
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A Peek Inside a Montessori Classroom

In a Montessori classroom, order and creativity coexist. Animated conversation and silent observation work together in the same space. In the best environments, children of all races and cultures learn side by side.The Montessori approach offers children intentionally prepared environments that are full of beauty and order. Materials in the classroom are appealing and designed to meet the developmental needs of each child. Montessori-trained teachers are the bridge between the environment and the student, first through careful observation of each child, and then by providing appropriate instruction and guidance.This video was created as part of the documentary film project, Building the Pink Tower. "What if we were to set aside the noise of failing schools, teacher evaluations, test scores, achievement gaps, and funding issues — and ask, instead, what is the true goal of education?" 

Montessori Meal Times

Food and meal times are an important and essential part of every day life.  In a Montessori classroom we work to create a peaceful and healthful meal experience for our children as we place great value on both the experience and the consumption of food.

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Farewell to 2014-2015 - End of Year Carnival

MCS was "rocking" on Friday evening, May 29th, as two high school bands from The Wasatch Music Coaching Academy performed for attendees at the "End of Year Carnival."  The young performers impressed young and old alike with their performances and several children really showed off their moves during an outstanding rendition of Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk."

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Uinta's May Outdoor Adventure

Early this month the Uinta class (Upper Elementary, 9-12 year olds) embarked on a great adventure to Fremont Indian State Park as part of their Great Outdoors Expedition.  The students have spent time in the classroom studying the Fremont Indians and on GO they have given attention to human interaction with nature and so this was a great way to culminate their studies as they walked the trails and read the stories of the Fremont Indians while eating and sleeping in the out of doors. Students, teachers and parent chaperones worked together to create a comfortable camp space and prepare delicious meals to be shared.  

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Praise and Punishment

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"Eventually we gave up either punishing or rewarding the children."—Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood It's a new year and many of us make resolutions. As parents, in spite of our best intentions, we sometimes get stuck in patterns that are no longer working or may not be the most beneficial for our children. What are some new ways to deal with the normal day-to-day challenges of being a parent? Re-Thinking Some Common Practices No one is really taught how to parent. We do what our parents did, or the direct opposite. Some practices enter the mainstream and are implemented by parents without much thought. How often do you use the phrase "Good job"? Do you use a "time-out" when your child is challenging your patience? Changing some of these rote responses can make a huge difference for children and parents alike. We can communicate to children in ways that help...
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Spring Cleaning as Brain Food by P. Donohue Shortridge

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The holidays have come and gone and spring is just around the corner.  This might be a fine time to consider sorting through your children's possessions.  If you take a close look at the sheer volume of your child's books and toys, you may determine that just like adults he uses only a percentage of them. Thinning the herd, so to speak, offers much to recommed it; Its a lot easier to find things if there are fewer things to find.  A place for everything and everything in its place is a cliche' based on sound thinking.  Our brains seek order, harmony and beauty in the world, your child's brain seeks it out too.  Additionally, there's an essential developmental incentive to clear the clutter out of your child's life.  Providing external order for your child allows him to organize his thinking.  He's already taken in so many impressions of the world...
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Raising Your Successful 35-Year-Old: Motherlode, New York Times

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What do we mean when we say we want to raise “successful” children? Too often, especially around this time of year, that conversation centers on college or the kinds of academics and activities that lead to college. “Success” is hard to measure, and those external markers make for comforting milestones along the way. Comforting, but dangerous. Because when checking off the achievement box is what defines success, it’s too easy to forget that it’s the qualities in our children that might lead to those accomplishments that matter — not the goals themselves. Achievements, from the A on the science project to the letter of acceptance from Big U, can be the gold stars for parents. They’re the visible signs that we’re doing something right, and that makes it tempting to push our children forward, just a little (or maybe a lot) by stepping in when it looks as if they might...
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"Go Outside and Play"

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"Children will be smarter, better able to get along with others, healthier and happier when they have regular opportunities for free and unstructured play in the out-of-doors."—American Medical Association, 2005 Spring has arrived! I can't help but be excited by the thought of sunshine, hikes, water and fresh air! This article written by Jane M. Jacobs, M.A., a Montessori Educational Consultant at Montessori Services spoke to me in considering how outdoor time is such a powerful tool for our children. In the article, Jane offers a variety of ideas for making the best of your outside time with your little one.  Enjoy! Were you told to "go out and play" when you were a child? Now, as a parent, do you give your children the same instructions? Perhaps not, but even for the urban, over-scheduled family, there are ways to give our children more opportunities to explore the outdoors. For centuries it...
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Rhombus, Reniform and Rembrandt

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Your child’s education in Montessori is different – so different that it makes you shake your head in wonder and say, “Is this something my child is really learning?” As parents we want our children to excel at reading, writing and math. Yet their Montessori education leads them through strange and esoteric materials. (At least they are foreign to most adults.) Why would a three year old need to be versed in geometry? Fine, a nice circle, a square and maybe a triangle but what purpose for an isosceles triangle, parallelogram or a rhombus? Then if that is not enough esoteric learning, your child moves on to the botany cabinet. How many three year olds need botany? They are introduced to leaf forms like spatulate, orbiculate, sagitate and reniform. Most of us adults can’t even pronounce them let alone know what they are. If that is not enough diversity in the...
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Parent Teacher Conferences, Feb. 27, 2015

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Parent Teacher Conferences will be held on Friday, February 27th. There will be no school that day. Sign-up sheets for the conferences are on a table in the lobby, arranged by class, from Toddlers to Middle School (please check the top of each page for the name of the class). As we do every year, we ask that you observe the following requests: · Please sign up for one meeting time per child.· Please be on time for your conference.· Please help the teachers to stay on time.· Please arrange for childcare during Parent/Teacher conferences. We have had parents make requests for child care during the conferences.  Unfortunately, as our staff is busy meeting with parents and all of our classrooms, along with some other spaces in the school, are being used we have not been able to accommodate this request.  Please note that our playgrounds and our Outdoor Classroom are...
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MCS Student Television Debut - Good Things Utah

MCS Lower Elementary student Diego Reyes-Lisieski recently appeared on KSL's Good Things Utah where he shared his talent and passion for cooking as a representative of the Salt Lake Culinary School which he attends.  Diego has shared this talent with his classmates at school as well.  He has been a student at Montessori Community School since 2010 and has enjoyed his cooking hobby since he was very young. Nice work, Diego!  

Discipline as Guidance by P. Donohue Shortridge

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Your child wants to do what is right, even at the youngest age.  First of all, she wants to because she loves you and wants to be just like you.  She also has a powerful inner drive to adapt to the world around her, the world of your home, and to do so she needs to know what the rules for life are.  She looks to you to show her.  As parents, if you can keep that in mind, you can create an approach to discipline that is positive, less stressful on everyone and it will assist your child in developing into a competent, civilized, compassionate and joyful person. So, what are some strategies that you might employ? First of all, model the correct behavior for your child. For example, if you do not want your child to leave the dinner table in the middle of the meal, then don't you...
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Silent Journey and Discovery 2015

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  The Silent Journey and Discovery is coming up on February 7th from 9:00am - 1:00pm. Sign up in the office, space is limited. Attendance is free of charge, brunch will be served & child care will be provided to those who sign up in advance. The MCS Silent Journey and Discovery is an event dedicated to parents to provide the meaningful experience of visiting each of our programs, from Toddlers through Middle School, to experience for yourself the magic of the Montessori materials and discover how the lessons learned in our early programs set the tone and lay important foundations for later learning. This is a wonderful opportunity to gain a sense of how the Montessori Curriculum unfolds through the eyes of a child to guide and nurture the natural unfolding of the whole child to inspire a lifetime love of learning and peace. Click on the following link to...
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Admissions Information Meeting - Open to the public

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What: Admissions Information Meeting When: Thursday, January 15th from 6:30 - 8:00pm Where: Montessori Community School Who: Parents interested in learning more about Montessori Community School. Open to the public. Sorry, adults only - no childcare provided. The teachers and administration of Montessori Community School would like to invite you to learn more about our program. During this hour and a half long presentation we will introduce our programs, administration and staff. And, you will have the opportunity to visit each of our classrooms and meet and greet with the teachers. We look forward to sharing our approach to education and the Montessori method. Montessori Community School serves children aged 18 months through 8th grade and we offer an extended day program, 7:30am - 6:00pm. Montessori Community School's mission is to provide a rich, individualized educational experience, which guides and nurtures the natural unfolding of the whole individual and inspires a lifetime love...
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Help me do it myself! The drive for independence.

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The biggest challenge parents face is their children’s drive for independence. A toddler or a preschooler’s drive for independence is even fiercer than a teenager’s. While a teenager may be looking to undo parental control your preschooler is looking to share control. They are trying to become part of your world by taking responsibility for their own actions. This drive for independence is slow and messy. Learning to walk – the first great independence is full of falls and scares (more for Mom than for baby). And it is a slow and unsteady success. Even when they accomplish vertical independence their rate of locomotion impels us to pick them up and carry them if we want to get anywhere now. Learning to feed oneself is a second (and very messy) independence. Graduating from hands to utensils is a major success of coordination and development. Again, if we want to finish dinner...
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TGR “Almost Ablaze” Flood Fundraiser Movie Event

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” --Margaret Mead When Annie Guerrero, mother of an MCS Upper Elementary student, came to us in October and presented her idea to screen an extreme skiing movie in order to raise funds to offset the losses from the flood, we loved her suggestion but had no idea where to begin. We were busy moving the classrooms, settling them in, communicating with parents; Robyn, the Head of School, was knee deep in choosing new tiles and cabinets, carpets, and baseboards. Fortunately, without much help from us Annie took her idea and saw it through every step of the way until it was realized on Wednesday, December 3.   Annie’s main goal was to provide MCS with a fundraiser at no cost to us. She and her husband Ryan Carlson began...
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ALMOST ABLAZE - Teton Gravity Research


Awarded "Film Of The Year" at the 2014 International Freeski Film Festival, TGR's Almost Ablaze is a global odyssey combining state-of-the-art cinematography and the most progressive riding on The Planet. Experience a new level of sensory overload as each athlete is wired for sound, immersing the audience completely in the moment. Watch as athletes push the edge to realize a heightened state. Special screening at the Tower Theatre at 7:00pm on Wednesday - December 3, 2014. [ read more... ] Every ticket holder will receive a Powder Mountain 2-for-1 Day Pass at the event. Movie trailer here: www.tetongravity.com/films/almost-ablaze On October 10th, just before 9 PM, a 48" water main pipe broke on Foothill Blvd sending over 2.5 million gallons of water down 1700 South. The Montessori Community School was one of the unfortunate victims of the flood. The lower level classrooms, and the maintenance room were flooded and nearly 100 students...
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Middle School Career Investigations Immersion, November 10-14

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The MCS Middle School's second cycle (6-week period) of the year focused on “Changes,” in literature, in the natural and physical world around us (fungi, protists, and matter), and how we can be catalysts for positive change in society. The immersion week offers students an opportunity to apply and integrate what they have learned throughout the previous five weeks. For Cycle 2 the immersion was a Career Investigations week. Leading up to the immersion, students utilized expository writing methods to research possible careers. During the immersion week, they investigated different professions through interviews, field trips and job shadowing. The first professional to visit was a local paramedic and firefighter. He brought his fire gear along, which weighed about 30 pounds, not including an oxygen tank. Nearly everyone in the class took the opportunity to try it on. He also brought his medical supplies and allowed the students to experience the powerful...
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