"Uplifting of the Inner Life of Humanity": Topics and Values in Humanities Projects

Overview: Many practitioners struggle with creating and implementing Humanities projects that both reach across disciplines as well as capstone the current unit of study. Other challenges include designing an experience that allows the adolescent to work freely and independently, while also providing enough structure and support to generate a meaningful final product. Case study examples will include the Classical World, Elizabethan England, World Religions, Study of Peace, American Government and Civics, Study of Place, Immigration, the Civil Rights Movement, and more.

“Opening Up Ways of Expression”

Overview: Participate in interactive activities, learn about a successful program, take home lesson plans, ask your questions and get answers.This session provides a connecting place for Montessori art educators, guides who have questions about integrating arts into their class syllabus, or Heads of School who are interested in starting an arts program.

“What was I Thinking?”

Overview: When confronted with a writing assignment a student may say “they have no ideas” when what they mean is they don’t know what their ideas are. Through learning to observe their own minds, and the world around them, material for writing becomes abundant and easily accessible. Participants will practice and explore three different techniques for working with adolescents in mindfulness and writing. 1) Starting with Silence 2) First Thought Best Thought, 3) Telling it Slant. Attendees can expect to leave with a more playful understanding of mindfulness practice, and a clearer understanding of its connection to the process of writing and intellectual work of all kinds.

“The Prepared Adult: Strong SEL for Adolescents Starts with Strong SEL for Adults”

Overview: Montessori teaches us to look first at ourselves and then at the environment before turning to the adolescent. This session will focus on us as Prepared Adults. We will discuss why dedicated time to prepare ourselves matters, process what we learned through our experiences with the activities, and brainstorm how to translate these ideas into our work with adolescents.

“How to Create a Permaculture Orchard for Farm School: Proof of Concept”

Overview: Participants will be given the nuts and bolts framework of a permaculture system that was constructed 100% from fundraising and community efforts. The takeaway is that these large scale systems are possible, and there are networks out there to connect to in order to make this more easily integrated into our schools. This workshop can be a bridge to achieving a Farm School for any program that is attempting to integrate an agricultural system but does not know where to begin or what the trajectory can be. An interactive component of the presentation after the presentation is to demonstrate Google Earth Pro (downloaded for free as an app on people's phones) and how it can be easily used as a free resource when starting the permaculture design process.

“Spreading the Buzz: Beekeeping in the Montessori Adolescent Program”

Overview: This workshop will present beekeeping as an option not only for farm-based programs, but also as an excellent urban-based endeavour. We will demonstrate how all aspects of beekeeping highlight the integrated and “cosmic” aspects of an Erdkinder experience: development of expertise through occupation, biology, history, math, literature, hive management, community education, and maintaining a micro-economy. The presenters will share how one small school has embraced beekeeping as part of their Middle School’s Erdkinder experience.

“The 1980s”

Overview: How do we take students to places like Narnia? or to a time like the 1980s? By transforming our environments, we can create intensive learning experiences that are deeply impactful, fun, and memorable. When one is fully immersed in an environment for an extended period of time, the brain has time to create new neural pathways, fundamentally changing the way one thinks, perceives, and understands. We see this often in foreign language, but we can create in-depth learning experiences for students in other areas as well. In this workshop, we will look at how to create these experiences for our students in our own classrooms by closely examining the planning and execution of two sample intensives; Myst and the 1980s.

"Let's Get Chickens! - Allowing Adolescents the Freedom to Build Their Own Programs”

Overview: This session will use a case study as a starting point to discuss student-led initiatives in adolescent programs and highlight the ways of trusting teenagers and involving students in building their own curricula leads to a more engaged student body. Participants should leave with a format and strategies for helping adolescents to realize their goals and become more engaged to both their school and the land. Additionally, participants will discuss strategies for how to incorporate more authentic Erdkinder principles at schools without access to a full land program.

“Unit Design with "Test Optional" Summative Assessment in a High School Science Classroom”

Overview: Tests are the standard way to assess learning outcomes in a traditional science classroom, but a Montessori classroom should allow for student choice and ownership in how students demonstrate learning. When given the choice, students feel much more in control of their own learning. This session will present differentiated learning objectives and summative assessment options used in a high school science classroom. Sample objectives, lessons, work and summative assignments (both a test and projects) will be shared. Participants will then have the opportunity to take a unit that is currently being taught in their classroom and apply the concepts to their own unit. To make the most of this session, teachers should bring a unit plan for a topic that they have taught before.

“Joyous and Just Observation: Montessori Methodologies and Equity and Justice Work”

Overview: How can we do Equity, Inclusion, and Justice work through a Montessori framework? This session will provide one answer to that question. In this interactive workshop, we’ll explore how Maria Montessori’s mandates to observe and to practice pedagogy of place can set the foundation for a holistic shift, at all levels, in how our schools approach justice philosophies and programming.

Humanities: Uplifting of the Inner Life of Humanity

“Uplifting of the Inner Life of Humanity”: Topics and Values in Humanities Projects
Presenter: Emma Rodwin - Butler Montessori, Maryland

Arts: Visual Arts in the Montessori Adolescent Environment

“Opening Up Ways of Expression” - Dr. Montessori
Presenter: Amy Nottingham - The Grove School, California

Writing: What was I Thinking?

“What Was I Thinking: Using Mindfulness Techniques in the Teaching of Writing”
Presenter: Barbara Roether - Ideas for Class, North Carolina

Social Science: The Prepared Adult

“The Prepared Adult: Strong SEL for Adolescents Starts with Strong SEL for Adults”
Presenter: Sara Cotner - Montessori for All, Texas


Permaculture: Proof of Concept

“How to Create a Permaculture Orchard for Farm School: Proof of Concept”
Presenter: Randie Piscitello - Goodwater Montessori Public Charter School, Texas

Beekeeping: Spreading the Buzz

“Spreading the Buzz: Beekeeping in the Montessori Adolescent Program”
Presenter: Christina Gasbarro - Woodside Montessori Academy, Massachusetts

Immersive Experiences: The 1980s - Creating Immersive Experiences for Adolescents

“The 1980s”
Presenter: Michael Waski - Great Work, Inc., Colorado

Student Ownership: Let’s Get Chickens!

"Let's Get Chickens! - Allowing Adolescents the Freedom to Build Their Own Programs”
Presenter: David Tyler - Arbor Montessori, Georgia


Unit Design: High School Science Classroom

“Unit Design with "Test Optional" Summative Assessment in a High School Science Classroom”
Presenter: Jen Terry & Danny Rudnick - Beacon Academy, Illinois

Innovation as its best; supporting teens as they INNOVATE via grants and partnerships with local non profit

“Innovation as its best; supporting teens as they INNOVATE via grants and partnerships with local non profit”
Presenter: Carrie Wilson Herndon - The Fulton School, Missouri

Everlasting Harvest: Food Justice and the Adolescent

“Food Justice and the Adolescent”
Presenter: Alexia Zuilani - Annie Fisher Montessori Magnet School, Connecticut

Equity & Justice: Joyous & Just Observation

“Joyous & Just Observation: Montessori Methodologies & Equity & Justice Work”
Presenter: Clarise Dixon - Beacon Academy, Illinois

Positive Education: Guiding Adolescents to Wellbeing

“Positive Education - Guiding Adolescents to Wellbeing”
Presenter: Tania Bertolone - Hershey Montessori, Ohio

Real Work: Building Montessori Pedagogy for High School History Classes

“Building Montessori Pedagogy for High School History Classes”
Presenter: Stefanie Bator - Beacon Academy, Illinois


Universal Child: Meeting the Cosmic Adolescent

“Universal Child: Meeting the Cosmic Adolescent”
Presenter: Jack Yu - Great Work, Inc., Colorado

The Play’s the Thing: Drama as a Tool for SEL with Young Adolescents

“The Play’s the Thing: Drama as a Tool for SEL with Young Adolescents”
Presenter: Rebecca Gomez - Nature's Way Montessori, Tennessee

Insights Discovery

“Insights Discovery”
Presenter: Jack Rice - Loyola University, Maryland

Land Lab for the Adolescent

“Land Lab for the Adolescent”
Presenter: Geoffrey E. Bishop - Nature's Classroom Institute and Montessori School, Wisconsin

Self-Reflection in a High School Science Classroom

“Self-Reflection in a High School Science Classroom”
Presenter: Jen Terry - Beacon Academy, Illinois

Practical Woodshop Lessons from the Farm

“Practical Woodshop Lessons from the Farm”
Presenter: Rober Hale McKinnon - Staunton Montessori, Virginia