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Workshops [clear filter]
Thursday, March 22


Integrating MakerSpaces into Montessori Classrooms
MakerSpaces give students an opportunity to learn science and engineering through hands-on, collaborative exploration—in many ways an embodiment of the Montessori approach. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to set up a MakerSpace in your classroom as well as how to integrate its use into your regular daily routine by presenting your students with specific weekly challenges. You’ll leave informed about how to create your own fully accessible center for discovery, collaboration, and creation and inspired to get started.

avatar for Melanie Thiesse

Melanie Thiesse

Curriculum Coordinator, The Westmont Montessori School
Melanie Thiesse, M.Ed. is the Curriculum Coordinator at The Westmont Montessori School, a teacher educator, and a consultant. She has seventeen years of Montessori teaching experience and holds Montessori Elementary I & II certifications from AMS and NCME.

Thursday March 22, 2018 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Governor's Square 11 Plaza Concourse Level
Friday, March 23


An Observation Refresher
The basic principle of Montessori observational practice can fall away as teachers get caught up in other demands. Come be reminded of the importance of observing the child both in and out of the classroom environment and review Montessori learner outcomes, observation recording strategies, and ideas for applying observed information for student success.


Amy Callahan

Upper Elementary Teacher, Northglade Montessori Magnet School
Amy Callahan, MA, is an Upper Elementary teacher at Northglade Montessori School, in Kalamazoo, MI. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II).

ReQwal L. Duckworth

Upper Elementary Teacher, Northglade Montessori Magnet School
ReQwal L. Duckworth, MA, is an Upper Elementary teacher at Northglade Montessori Magnet School, in Kalamazoo, MI. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II).

Friday March 23, 2018 8:00am - 9:15am
Plaza D Plaza Concourse Level


Get Out & Rock: Geology & Earth Science in Your Town
Using a model of the Rocky Mountain region as an example, learn how to access and read geologic maps to make connections between your own local environment and the first 2 Montessori Great Lessons: the God with No Hands and the Timeline of Life. You will also have the opportunity to create materials to bring back to your own classrooms, inspired by a host of resources that will be shared, including scientific models, experiments, and language and math activities, as well as ideas for outdoor adventures.

avatar for Claudia Mann

Claudia Mann

Co-owner, Fossilicious
Claudia Mann, MEd, is the founder of Claudia Mann & Associates, a consultation service for Montessori schools, teachers, leaders and parents; co-founder/owner of Fossilicious, an online geology shop; co-author of numerous earth science curricula, on-line courses, materials, and books... Read More →

Friday March 23, 2018 8:00am - 9:15am
Govenor's Square 16 Plaza Concourse Level


Integrating Curriculum in the 3-Year Cycle
Overwhelmed trying to juggle cultural lessons, literature circles, and all the other pieces that make Montessori programs so rich? A truly integrated curriculum is the answer! This workshop will explore a model 3-year plan that incorporates Montessori lessons, connects state standards, and engages students; corresponding literature and activity ideas will be included.

avatar for Kieran McHugh

Kieran McHugh

Head of School, Renaissance Academy
Kieran McHugh, MEd, is co-founder and Head of School of Renaissance Academy, a private turned Charter Montessori School, in LaPorte, IN. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II).

Friday March 23, 2018 8:00am - 9:15am
Plaza E Plaza Concourse Level


Encouraging Spontaneity in the Elementary Environment
What does productive spontaneity look like, and how can it light a child’s spark of inspiration in Elementary environments? We’ll discuss the essential nature of the prepared environment in nurturing creativity and examine examples of student work and concrete tools that provide a structural base for imaginative exploration.


Adam Diamond

Upper Elementary Director, Northern Kentucky Montessori Academy
Adam Diamond, MEd, is Upper Elementary Director at Northern Kentucky Montessori Academy, in Crescent Springs, KY. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II). He grew up a Montessori student through age 12 and has been teaching in Montessori upper elementary environments for 10 years. He... Read More →

Laura Opfer

Laura Opfer, MEd, is a teaching professor at Xavier Montessori Institute and a head Lower Elementary teacher at Xavier University Montessori Lab School, both in Cincinnati, OH. She is the recipient of an AMS Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award (2004). AMS-credentialed (Elementary... Read More →

Friday March 23, 2018 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Plaza D Plaza Concourse Level


The Magic of Performing Shakespeare
When children perform Shakespeare, they discover inner strengths, transform themselves, and emerge as more powerful beings. In this participatory workshop, you’ll explore how to guide Elementary students to understand Shakespearean verse and its essential truths. This Montessori-aligned methodology introduces public speaking, brings the children into nature through outdoor performances, and fosters creativity, collaboration, patience, and generosity.

avatar for Larry Schanker

Larry Schanker

Executive Director, Brookview Montessori School
Larry Schanker is Executive Director at Brookview Montessori School in Benton Harbor, where he also serves as Music Specialist. He teaches Early Childhood and Lower Elementary Music and Movement, as well as an Upper Elementary course in Arts Infusion (with Laurie Stockton-Moreno... Read More →
avatar for Laurie Stockton-Moreno

Laurie Stockton-Moreno

Education Director/Lead Lower Elementary Teacher, Mission Montessori School
Laurie Stockton-Moreno is Elementary Program and Admissions Director at Mission Montessori School in San Francisco. Previously, she served in many capacities at Brookview Montessori School in Benton Harbor, MI, most recently as Lower Elementary Lead Teacher and Education Director... Read More →

Friday March 23, 2018 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Tower Court C Tower Building Second Level


Differentiated Montessori Instruction for Students with Learning Differences
Children with learning differences benefit most from teachers who understand what their differences are and who can analyze and modify lessons and presentations based upon keen observation. Come review these essentials for serving all your students, and learn simple modifications to presentations of Montessori lessons to best serve children with learning differences.


Casey Barnett

Casey Barnett is a teacher at the Shelton School & Evaluation Center, in Dallas, TX, and is co-author of the Montessori Applied to Children At Risk manuals. She has been teaching students with special needs for nearly 3 decades. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Elementary I).

Friday March 23, 2018 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Columbine Tower Terrace Level


Making the 3-Year Curriculum Manageable
This workshop will provide an organized, manageable approach to the massive amount of material covered in the 3-year Upper Elementary curriculum, broken down into annual, monthly, and weekly lessons. Come see examples of and learn strategies for lesson planning, scheduling, and follow-up and review work.


Aliceyn Applewhite

Aliceyn Applewhite, MEd, is an Upper Elementary teacher at Chesapeake Montessori School in Chesapeake, VA. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II).

Shanna Honan

Shanna Honan, MAEd, is head of Chesapeake Montessori School and program director for the Virginia Montessori Teacher Education Center, both in Chesapeake, VA. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II). NCME-credentialed (Early Childhood).

Friday March 23, 2018 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Plaza D Plaza Concourse Level
Saturday, March 24


Connecting through Personal Stories
“When I was a kid…” Start with these words, and watch any child’s eyes light up! Personal narratives offer a means to impart values, model social skills, and foster empathy and self-acceptance—and students love them. Come listen to a master storyteller share some of the countless stories of his own that he uses to help students interact with their world and reassure them that they are never alone. You will leave with an uderstanding of how to do the same in your own classrooms, including advice on how to get started, respect boundaries, and access the most effective story for a given teaching moment.


Stephen Rich

Stephen Rich, MEd, is an Upper Elementary teacher at Williamsburg Montessori School, in Williamsburg, VA. AMS-credentialed (Elementary II).

Saturday March 24, 2018 8:00am - 9:15am
Tower Court D Tower Building Second Level


Do They Have Something We Don’t? Analyzing Supplemental Math Programs
What draws Montessori parents to supplemental math and tutoring organizations? This workshop will examine the approaches of these programs and offer Montessori ways to elicit Russian-style problem solving, Singapore-like deep conceptual learning, and Kumon’s focus on automaticity. You’ll also discover strategies to describe and document Montessori Math to instill confidence so that parents don’t feel tempted by supplementary programs.

avatar for Seth Johnson

Seth Johnson

Upper Elementary Teacher, Lexington Montessori School
Seth Johnson, MS, is an Upper Elementary teacher at Lexington Montessori School and serves on the faculty of Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative (METTC) , both in Lexington, MA.. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II).
avatar for Biff Maier

Biff Maier

Director of Faculty and Curriculum Development, Lexington Montessori School
Biff Maier, MEd, is director of faculty and curriculum development at Lexington Montessori School and co-director of the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative, both in Lexington, MA. He is former chair of the Teachers Section of the AMS Board of Directors. AMS-credentialed... Read More →

Saturday March 24, 2018 8:00am - 9:15am
Governor's Square 17 Plaza Concourse Level


Navigating Media: Helping Students Stay Informed
Join a New York Times journalist and a Montessori educator in conversation about how to help students navigate the media landscape, including the Internet and social media, where even adults struggle to discern between credible sources, ”fake news,“ and opinion. You’ll receive lesson plans and other empowering resources for teaching current events and arming students for responsible participation in this critical aspect of global citizenry.

avatar for Susan Kambrich

Susan Kambrich

Head of School, Woodland Hill Montessori School
Susan Kambrich, MEd, is the interim chair of the Heads of School section of the AMS Board of Directors, where she also serves as board treasurer. Susan is the head of Woodland Hill Montessori School, in Rensselaer, NY, and a board member of the New York State Association of Independent... Read More →

Sandra Stevenson

The New York Times
Sandra M. Stevenson is visual editor at the New York Times and the Family Representative on the AMS Board of Directors.

Saturday March 24, 2018 8:00am - 9:15am
Vail Tower Majestic Level


Action Socialization Experiences: Community Building through Problem Solving
Action socialization experiences are group activities that encourage collaboration, cooperation, innovation, and creativity: critical skills for today’s learners and essential elements for any community, whether students, teachers, or staff. Join in this fun, participatory session and experience ways to build community through games and problem-solving initiatives.

avatar for Joel Wilkinson

Joel Wilkinson

Teacher Educator, METTC
Joel Wilkinson, MA, is an Upper Elementary teacher at the Homestead School, in Glen Spey, NY, and a faculty and board member of the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative, in Lexington, MA. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II).

Saturday March 24, 2018 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Governor's Square 17 Plaza Concourse Level


Mind the Gap!
Have you observed a gap between children’s use of materials and true conceptual abstraction? Do some of your students struggle to transfer knowledge between materials or show “here today, gone tomorrow” mastery? Learn how to apply principles of neuroscience to traditional Montessori lessons to mindfully close the gap, resulting in deeper, more resilient comprehension. You will see specific examples in Math, Language, and Cultural studies and learn how to keep children at the leading edge of their learning curve.

avatar for Betsy Lockhart

Betsy Lockhart

Elementary Coordinator Emeritus and Instructor, Montessori Education Center of the Rockies
Betsy Lockhart is Elementary coordinator emeritus and an instructor at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, in Boulder, CO. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II).
avatar for Diana Visser

Diana Visser

Lead Teacher, Montessori Peaks Academy
Diana Visser, MEd, is an Upper Elementary lead teacher at Montessori Peaks Academy Charter School, in Littleton, CO. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II).

Saturday March 24, 2018 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Plaza E Plaza Concourse Level


Character Development in the Modern World
This presentation of character-building ideas and lessons will address common issues such as peer pressure, bullying, feeling left out, and fitting in. Come explore group activities that promote intra- and interpersonal skills, and learn how to define and teach good character traits, design service and leadership activities that promote action, and encourage meaningful dialogue about concerns like social media use.

avatar for Gwen Shangle

Gwen Shangle

Director, Princeton Center Teacher Education
Gwen Shangle, MEd, is director of educational programs at Princeton Montessori School and director of Princeton Center Teacher Education, both in Princeton, NJ. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II).

Saturday March 24, 2018 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Governor's Square 14 Plaza Concourse Level


Storytelling & Mathematics: A Perfect Match
Enhance your presentation of Math—and build excitement, motivation, and understanding—by making storytelling a part of it! In this workshop, learn why, when, and how to use stories in Math work, and listen to engaging arithmetic and geometry stories that exemplify the power of this approach. Discover how to tell stories using the “LIBRA” method (listen, illustrate, block, rehearse, take action), and come away ready to tell these stories to your students right away.

avatar for Michael J. Dorer

Michael J. Dorer

Senior Consultant, The Montessori Foundation
Michael J. Dorer, EdD, is a senior consultant at The Montessori Foundation, in Sarasota, FL, a past president of the AMS Board of Directors, and author of The Deep Well of Time: The Transformative Power of Storytelling in the Classroom. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Elementary... Read More →

Saturday March 24, 2018 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Governor's Square 16 Plaza Concourse Level


Strengthening Classroom Communities with Group Initiatives
You’ll be on your feet in this active workshop, experiencing and learning about group initiatives as a means to deepen the relationships within your classroom community. Learn how to guide team-building exercises for groups of all sizes as well as how to elicit robust processing so your students can apply what they learn to other experiences.


Maribeth Brown

Maribeth Brown, MEd, MA, is a Secondary teacher at Maria Montessori School in San Diego, CA. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II, Secondary I–II).
avatar for Brandt Smith

Brandt Smith

Brandt Smith, MEd, is an instructor at the Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program and is the student academy director at Leadership Scholars, also in Cincinnati, OH, a nonprofit that empowers students and parents with mindfulness and college readiness. AMS-credentialed... Read More →

Saturday March 24, 2018 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Governor's Square 17 Plaza Concourse Level


Student-Led Service Learning
This workshop will give a framework for service learning and its 3 distinct and equally important components—education, direct service, and reflection—which are all necessary to help individuals move from volunteers to active citizens. You’ll learn how to create and sustain a thriving program that supports social justice and character development while giving students ownership of meaningful and impactful projects.

avatar for Aimee Allen

Aimee Allen

Head of School, Harbor Montessori School
I love to read, write and run. I'm a huge lover of people, animals and desserts. While I live in Washington state, I'm a Boston girl and love all Boston sports. I love hiking with my family and I find any excuse to be silly.Aimee Allen, MEd, is head of Harbor Montessori School, in... Read More →

Saturday March 24, 2018 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Vail Tower Majestic Level
Sunday, March 25


Building Confidence and Fluency with Readers Theater
Discover Readers Theatre, a holistic and exciting teaching tool that delivers culturally diverse literature, increased reading comprehension and confidence, vocabulary expansion, vocal expression and oral presentation competency, team building, and so much more. In this interactive workshop, explore a variety of scripts, practice your own mini-performance, and learn how to create and execute your own Readers Theater through resources for scripting, staging, rehearsing, and performing.

avatar for Karol Antrim

Karol Antrim

Librarian, The Montessori School of San Antonio
I love my job! It's my sixteenth year in the MSSA library and every day is a new adventure working with 3-14 year olds. I look forward to sharing with you one of my favorite community activities -- readers' theatre!
avatar for Maria Flores

Maria Flores

Lower Elementary Teacher, The Montessori School of San Antonio
Maria Flores is a Lower Elementary teacher at the Montessori School of San Antonio, TX. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I).

Sunday March 25, 2018 10:15am - 11:30am
Governor's Square 15 Plaza Concourse Level


Public Montessori & the Upper Elementary Child
This workshop will invite Upper Elementary guides who work in the public sector to share the challenges of merging the Montessori Method with state and local requirements. Join a roundtable discussion and connect with a community of support as we work together to solve problems with the developmental needs of the second-half-of-the–Second Plane child in mind.

avatar for Adam Egherman

Adam Egherman

E2 teacher, Cowles
Adam Egherman, MEd, is an Upper Elementary teacher with Des Moines (IA) Public Schools. He was named 2017 Teacher of the Year by the Iowa Division of the Izaak Walton League of America. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II).
avatar for Elizabeth Maxwell

Elizabeth Maxwell

Teacher, Cowles Montessori School
Elizabeth Maxwell, MEd, is an Upper Elementary teacher at Cowles Montessori School, in Des Moines, IA. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II).

Sunday March 25, 2018 10:15am - 11:30am
Governor's Square 17 Plaza Concourse Level


The Design-Thinking Innovation Studio
How often do 9–12 environments become a rehash of 6–9, with tougher expectations? How can we use design-thinking principles to reimagine the implementation of the 9–12 curriculum in a way that honors the Upper Elementary child and stays true to Montessori principles? This workshop will explore one school’s experiment with a student-centered innovation studio and give you practical ideas, inspiration, and a re-creatable process to use with your students.


Joshua Shanklin

Joshua Shanklin, MEd, is a clinical faculty member at Xavier Montessori Institute and an Upper Elementary teacher at Xavier University Montessori Lab School, both in Cincinnati, OH. AMS-credentialed (Elementary II).

Jason Waters

Jason Waters is an assistant Upper Elementary teacher at Xavier University Montessori Lab School, in Cincinnati, OH.

Sunday March 25, 2018 10:15am - 11:30am
Governor's Square 16 Plaza Concourse Level

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