UMC Conference 2018

“Building Resilience, Resourcefulness and Reciprocity in Our Students and in Ourselves”

Friday and Saturday, February 2 – 3, 2018

Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek
75 South West Temple
Salt Lake City UT

Dear Montessorians:

We are pleased to present your program for our 15th Annual Conference, “Building Resilience, Resourcefulness and Reciprocity in Our Students and in Ourselves,” to be held at the Salt Lake Marriot Downtown at City Creek February 2 – 3, 2018.

This year’s conference features Christian Moore, author of The Resilience Breakthrough. We offer workshops by presenters from across the continent as well as our own local talent. On Friday we provide a choice of two beautiful schools to tour – Dancing Moose Montessori in West Valley City and. Mountain West Montessori Academy in South Jordan. Friday evening we will offer “We Are Family” Appy Hour including appetizers, the musical stylings of Icy Spike and Montessori Jenga with Daniel Jutras to start off your conference experience with old friends and new ones. Saturday will feature an array of talented presenters, a poster session spotlighting some of the excellent research going on within our community, exhibitors and vendors from across the country and a special luncheon for heads of schools. Our conference becomes richer each year as our members and friends step forward to contribute.

Please peruse the offerings and register early. Winter is always busy in Salt Lake City so make your hotel reservations early, too. There are limited rooms available at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown for the UMC rate of $129/night. Call 888-236-2427 to reserve your rooms now!

We are grateful to the dozens of volunteer organizers and presenters who make this event possible every year. Only with your gracious support are we able to offer a professional and affordable conference for Utah and surrounding states.

Early bird registration ends December 15th. The final registration deadline is January 15th. No late registration can be accepted.

Attendance is limited to UMC members only. Membership is open to all. If you are not a member of the UMC please download the membership application from www.utahmontessori.org and email it to duna@soaringwings.org. It’s free!

See you in February!

Namaste’

Duna Strachan, AMS MEd
UMC Conference Coordinator

Presenters,  please contact duna@soaringwings.org with a list of conference  events you would like to attend and your dietary preference.

Friday

1:00 – 4:00pm School Tour

  • Dancing Moose Montessori School – toddler thru lower elementary, 4428 Links Drive, West Valley City mydancingmoose.com
  • Mountain West Montessori Academy – kindergarten thru middle school, 4125 Foxview Drive, South Jordan mwmacademy.org

4:00 – 6:00pm Appy Hour

“We Are Family” Appy Hour – Salt Lake Marriott, Presidential Suite, 15th Floor
Sponsored by Soaring Wings International Montessori School & Dancing Moose Montessori School
Join us for appetizers, dancing to the tunes of Icy Spike, and Montessori Jenga with Dr. Daniel Jutras to start your conference experience off with old friends and new ones!

Saturday

8:00am Opening

  • Registration
  • Continental Breakfast
  • Montessori Mall
  • UMC Member Slide Show

Poster Sessions

Stop and visit with the authors of the latest Montessori research from our community.

8:00 – 8:30am
12:45 – 1:15pm
4:30 – 4:45pm

8:30am Welcome

Keynote Address
The Resilience Breakthrough – Christian Moore, MSW
Christian Moore is an internationally renowned author, keynote speaker, and the founder of the Why Try Program. His highly-acclaimed keynote demonstrates to audiences how resilience is something we’re all born with – from the most struggling students in our classrooms to the Harvard business grad. Most of us just haven’t learned how to access what’s already inside us. In his presentation, Christian Moore draws on his work as a learning-disabled social worker from an inner-city neighborhood to explain what it takes for a person to thrive in the face of any challenge. This engaging presentation will empower you to teach the vital skills of resilience to students of any background and learning style, enabling them to thrive not only in school, but in life.

10:45 – 12:00 Workshop Session A

A1. Attachment and Responsive Caregiving in Montessori Infant and Toddler Environments – Tracey Hall

This workshop will explore how attachment, responsive caregiving and infants’ capacities to self-regulate are interconnected. Discover best practices such as primary caregiving, consistency of care, informed observation, the infant’s prepared environment and the development of meaningful relationships with families. We will discuss how our practices change to follow the child’s development. We will look through the lens of Montessori’s writing to contemplate how our environments embody Montessori philosophy. Tracey Hall is a toddler guide at Rock Prairie Montessori School in Janesville, Wisconsin. She also leads the Montessori Beginnings (infant/parent) program there. She is a Montessori Teacher Educator for the Houston Montessori Center and the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.
Tracey has a B.A. in Psychology, an A.M.S. Infant and Toddler Montessori certification, and a Capstone Certificate from the University of Wisconsin- Madison in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health. (Infants, Toddlers)

A2. Emotional Wellness – Aja Debruyn, PhD

Children come to us from a variety of emotional states. This workshop will focus on how to support the emotional needs of children in our care. Dr. Aja Staniszewski is a certified cognitive behavior therapist and is certified in Infant and Toddler, Primary and Elementary. She has worked with children and families in Montessori environments since 1999. She is the Head of Curriculum at Mountain Heights Montessori in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Early Childhood, Lower Elementary)

A3. Beyond the Bells: Enriching the Primary Curriculum through Music – Laurie Moreno, MArch & Larry Schanker, PhD

This workshop will present a cornucopia of musical ideas that enhance the 3 – 6-year-old’s curriculum by supporting creativity, grace and courtesy, fine and gross motor coordination, and appreciation of world cultures. Laurie Stockton-Moreno is Montessori certified 3-6, and 6-9, holds a Master’s degree in Architecture, and is Middle School Curriculum Supervisor at Brookview Montessori School, in Benton Harbor, Michigan. She has 18 years of Montessori experience and teaches as an adjunct for Institute for Montessori Innovation. Larry Schanker is Executive Director and Music Specialist at Brookview Montessori School in Benton Harbor, MI. He holds a PhD in Music Composition and has 30 years of experience writing music for theatre, dance, and sketch comedy. (Early Childhood)

A4. Who’s Afraid of the Golden Beads? Teresa Noble, MEd

The Golden Bead work is one of the most important parts of Montessori Mathematics. It provides the foundation for later abstraction in operations. Step by step procedures and experiences are crucial for children to internalize operation processes. And it is SO MUCH FUN! Yet, some guides don’t feel comfortable with the golden beads, and therefore skip important work with their students. Come and see just how lovely this work can be! Teresa is retired from the public schools of SC. She currently spends her time delivering Montessori Teacher Education and Consultation. She is serving her second term on the MACTE Board of Directors. (Early Childhood)

A5. Grace and Courtesy: A Fundamental Foundation for Self-awareness in the Elementary Years – Alicia Alicia Brady, MEd

Join us to review “Grace and Courtesy” from early childhood through adulthood and connect with the principles. We will discuss current ‘brain base’ learning and attain ideas to implement daily practices into the Montessori classroom. Like many other Montessori teachers, Alicia became involved in Montessori because of the educational needs of her own five children. Her passion is sharing her insight and love of children with others. Alicia holds Montessori certification in EC, EL1 and EL 2 and has a Master’s Degree in Education. She teaches lower elementary at Walden School of Liberal Arts in Provo. (Lower Elementary)

A6. The Teacher as Scientist: Dr. Montessori’s Revolutionary and Transformative Standard – Cathie Matthews & Nancy Lindeman, MEd

It is through observation and experimentation that the teacher becomes a scientist and puts herself in the service of children. Join Cathie and Nancy as they share a new classroom management tool that assists teachers in this transformative process. Cathie Mathews is an EC teacher at Montessori Community School in Salt Lake City. She has been a Montessori teacher for 12 years. She is an internationally known Montessori blogger. Cathie loves to design classroom management systems. Nancy Lindeman is the director of the Institute for Montessori Innovation at Westminster College. She holds an EC, El I-II and Administrators certificates from MEPI. She has been a special educator for 39 years. She teaches classes in classroom management, Montessori philosophy, El-I biology and EC art. She has been a Montessori educator since 1990 and has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. (Early Childhood, Lower Elementary, Heads of Schools)

A7. What Makes It Montessori at the Adolescent Level? Marta Donahoe, MEd

Montessori called the adolescent the social embryo and calls for adults to see this as a critical time for supporting the growth of the fully developed human being as a part of a caring community. So, just as with all the levels of development for the younger child, the needs of the adolescent are quite different and uniquely approached by Montessorians. In this workshop participants will participate in a variety of activities and discussions on the aspects that make a program “Montessori” at the adolescent level. Marta Donahoe is the founder of Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program (CMStep) and of for Clark Montessori Jr & Sr High School. Marta holds AMS credentials for ages 6–18 and is a certified instructor with Mindful Schools. (Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School)

A8. Maintaining Calm Through the Chaos – Jennifer Spikner, MEd

Leading a school brings joy…and challenges. In this workshop, Montessori administrators will discuss how to respond to various crises should they arise. Real life scenarios will be shared and examined. Jennifer Spikner holds a Master’s of Education as well as AMS certification in Lower and Upper Elementary and Montessori School Management. Jennifer is the Head of School at Elizabeth Academy, an inclusive Montessori school in Salt Lake City. (Heads of Schools)

A9. Resilience Can Be Taught! 10 Tools to Motivate Any Student – Christian Moore, MSW

Christian Moore is an internationally renowned speaker, social worker, and author of The Resilience Breakthrough. The WhyTry Program that he authored is used in 18,000 institutions worldwide, and has proven to effectively teach the social and emotional skills needed to thrive in school and life. (Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School, Heads of Schools)

12:00 – 1:00pm Luncheon 

12:00 – 1:00pm Heads of Schools Luncheon 

12:45 – 1:15pm Poster Session

1:15pm Door Prize Drawing

1:30 – 2:45pm Workshop Session B

B1. Practical Life: How Meaningful Work and Autonomy Aid a Toddler’s Developing Sense of Self – Tracey Hall

Explore how opportunities for meaningful work aid individual development and self-regulation, while supporting the emergence of a peaceful toddler community. Participants will be offered a connection between Maria Montessori’s writings in The Absorbent Mind and criteria for creating environments and materials that support a toddlers’ desire for autonomy, mastery and purpose. Tracey Hall is a Toddler guide at Rock Prairie Montessori School in Janesville, Wisconsin. She also leads the Montessori Beginnings (infant/parent) program there. She is a Montessori Teacher Educator for the Houston Montessori Center and the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Tracey has a B.A. in Psychology, an A.M.S. Infant and Toddler Montessori certification, and a Capstone Certificate from the University of Wisconsin- Madison in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health. (Toddler)

B2. Beyond the Bells: Enriching the Primary Curriculum through Music – Laurie Moreno, MArch and Larry Schanker, PhD

This workshop will present a cornucopia of musical ideas that enhance the 3 – 6-year-old’s curriculum by supporting creativity, grace and courtesy, fine and gross motor coordination, and appreciation of world cultures. Laurie Stockton-Moreno is Montessori certified 3-6, and 6-9, holds a Master’s degree in Architecture, and is Middle School Curriculum Supervisor at Brookview Montessori School, in Benton Harbor, Michigan. She has 18 years of Montessori experience and teaches as an adjunct for Institute for Montessori Innovation. Larry Schanker is Executive Director and Music Specialist at Brookview Montessori School in Benton Harbor, MI. He holds a PhD in Music Composition and has 30 years of experience writing music for theatre, dance, and sketch comedy. (Early Childhood)

B3. Oh! The Wonderful World of the Colored Beads – Daniel Jutras, PhD

Come and explore the numerous activities the children can do with them from dissecting the Snake Game in four trouble-free levels to the so cool properties of commutativity, associativity and dis-associativity without forgetting the concrete Pythagoras’ table of multiplication. Dr. Daniel Jutras is the founder, Master Teacher of The Canadian Montessori Teacher Education Institute; Daniel has received his Montessori Teacher Education, both from AMI and Montessori St. Nicholas Centre. For the last 28 years, he has prepared more than 2,300 Montessori Teacher Candidates, trained 14 Montessori trainers and tutored many Montessori Teacher Education Workshops and Courses in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. He has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Ottawa (1979), an AMI Diploma (3-6+) from Perugia, Italy, (1987) (his trainer was the late Dottoressa Antonietta Paolini who worked with Dr. Maria Montessori for more than 20 years as her special assistant) and a St. Nicholas Advanced Diploma (6-12) from England (1990). (Early Childhood, Lower Elementary)

B4. Grace and Courtesy: A Fundamental Foundation for Self-awareness in the Elementary Years – Alicia Brady, MEd

Review “Grace and Courtesy” from early childhood through adulthood. Connect with the principles, learn current ‘brain base’ learning and attain ideas to implement daily practices of the Montessori classroom. Like many other Montessori teachers, Alicia became involved because of the educational needs of her own five children. Her passion is sharing her insight and love of children others. Alicia holds Montessori certification in EC, EL1 and EL 2 (Lower Elementary, Upper elementary, Middle School, High School, Heads of Schools, Parents))

B5. Business Ventures: A Component of Practical Life in the Upper Elementary Curriculum – Margaret McDonald & Christian Olson

Join us for a look at business ventures in the upper elementary classroom. Margaret has more than 20 years’ experience in Montessori, 10 of them in the upper elementary classroom. Christian is in his third year as an upper elementary teaching assistant and will begin Montessori training soon. They both teach at Montessori Community School in Salt Lake City. (Lower and Upper Elementary)

B6. What Makes It Montessori at the Adolescent Level? Marta Donahoe, MEd

Montessori called the adolescent the social embryo and calls for adults to see this as a critical time for supporting the growth of the fully developed human being as a part of a caring community. So, just as with all the levels of development for the younger child, the needs of the adolescent are quite different and uniquely approached by Montessorians. In this workshop participants will participate in a variety of activities and discussions on the aspects that make a program “Montessori” at the adolescent level. Marta Donahoe is the founder of Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program (CMStep) and of for Clark Montessori Jr & Sr High School. Marta holds AMS credentials for ages 6–18 and is a certified instructor with Mindful Schools. (Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School)

B7. 10+ Tools for Fostering Student Engagement – Tina Willmore, MEd; Kacee Weaver, MEd & Stephaney Williamson, MEd

Learn about research-based methods that foster student motivation at all ages. Presenters from EC as well as Lower and Upper Elementary will discuss their original MEd classroom action research. Explore practical skills regarding curriculum and classroom culture you can use. Tina holds an MEd as well as both EC and LE AMS credentials from IMI at Westminster College. She began teaching in 2014. Kacee is Assistant Director at Maria Montessori Academy in North Ogden. She holds a level 2 Utah teaching license, an MEd in Montessori Education from St. Catherine’s University and has a LE Montessori certification through the Institute for Guided Studies. Stephaney has worked in Montessori since 2012, is Montessori certified in ages 6-12 from AMS. She earned her MEd at Westminster College. (All)

B8. Positive Discipline in the Classroom, Part I – Jody Malterre, MAEd

No Montessori classroom is complete without effective and supportive classroom management tools. This workshop will explore several strategies to first understand misbehavior and then to provide the encouragement needed to prevent it. Walk away with some very practical tools. Jody Malterre has over 19 years experience in Montessori as a teacher, administrator and school owner. Currently, Jody teaches Positive Discipline classes to parents and teachers, consults with schools, and teaches at Westminster College. Note: registration is only accepted for Parts I & II. (All)

B9. Can They Really Do This? Shamby Polychronis, PhD

Inclusion begins with you! If you find yourself thinking “that kid is going to ruin this lesson” or “there is no way they can do that”? Come learn how to differentiate your lessons so that all students can learn! Dr. Polychronis is an Associate Professor in the Special Education program at Westminster College, and has experience teaching students with disabilities and advocating for inclusive educational practices. (All)

2:45 – 3:15pm Coffee, Tea and Chocolate 

3:15 – 4:30pm Workshop Session C

C1. The Teacher as Learner – Mercedes Castle, MEd & Mitra Hasan

The teacher as a learner uses self-reflection and observation to inform their teaching. Positive guidance, peaceful language and techniques and strategies for classroom management will be topics of interest. Mercedes Paine Castle, M.Ed. (Educational Leadership) is an Assistant to Infancy (AMS), Montessori advocate, wife, mother, and agent of change. She has been guiding toddlers and teachers towards independence since 2003. Mitra Hasan holds a B.A. in Sociology and has been working with infants and toddlers since 1998. Mitra has taken the RIE foundations course and is currently working towards her Infant Toddler credential. (Infants, Toddler, Parents, Heads of Schools)

C2. Oh! The Wonderful World of the Colored Beads – Daniel Jutras, PhD

Come and explore the numerous activities the children can do with them from dissecting the Snake Game in four trouble-free levels to the so cool properties of commutativity, associativity and dis-associativity without forgetting the concrete Pythagoras’ table of multiplication. Dr. Daniel Jutras is the founder, Master Teacher of The Canadian Montessori Teacher Education Institute; Daniel has received his Montessori Teacher Education, both from AMI and Montessori St.Nicholas Centre. For the last 28 years, he has prepared more than 2,300 Montessori Teacher Candidates, trained 14 Montessori trainers and tutored many Montessori Teacher Education Workshops and Courses in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. He has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Ottawa (1979), an AMI Diploma (3-6+) from Perugia, Italy, (1987) (his trainer was the late Dottoressa Antonietta Paolini who worked with Dr. Maria Montessori for more than 20 years as her special assistant) and a St. Nicholas Advanced Diploma (6-12) from England (1990). (Early Childhood, Lower Elementary)

C3. The Role of Art in the Early Childhood Classroom – Natalija Djunic, MEd

Making art and enjoying the art of other people and cultures is important for the development of the whole child. The purpose of this hands-on workshop is to allow the participants to experience some fun, age-appropriate art activities commonly found in the early childhood classroom. Natalija Djunic has worked in the field of early childhood education for 15 years. She was parent helper, Admissions Secretary and served on the Board of Trustees in a cooperative school in New York City. Natalija holds an early childhood AMS credential and a Master’s In Education from Westminster College. She has taught at Soaring Wings international Montessori School in Park City for three years. (Early Childhood, Parents)

C4. Wilted by the Thought of Botany? Get Rooted and Blossom! – Brandi Allen & Amy Larkin

Botany is often an overlooked area of the curriculum. Join us to learn ways of deepening your connection with plant life and renew your enthusiasm for botany in the Montessori environment. Brandi Allen and Amy Larkin grew up on farms, playing outdoors and with their hands in dirt. Brandi has been teaching Montessori for 18 years and has an EI AMS Montessori credential and Amy has been teaching Montessori for 8 years and has an EI-II AMS Montessori credential. They both have degrees in elementary education and have taught children in different settings for about 25 years each. They enjoy hiking and appreciating nature together. (All)

C5. Finding Peace through Collaboration and Team-building in All Areas of the Classroom – Nicoletta Householder, MEd & Amy Otto

This workshop will provide tools of different initiatives that can be used throughout the school year in the classroom of all areas- math, language, and cultural subjects. Initiatives offer guidance of collaboration and team building fostering trust within the classroom, thus creating a peaceful community within the classroom. Nicoletta holds Lower and Upper Elementary credentials through IGS and has worked in both private and charter schools. She taught Upper Elementary for 12 years and is currently the Instructional Coach at Maria Montessori Academy. She has been an active MEPI Board Member for the past three years. Amy is married to her best friend, and is mother to four wonderful children. She is MEPI certified and has been an Upper Elementary Teacher at Maria Montessori Academy in Ogden for 5 years. (Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary)

C6. Have Backpack, Will Travel: How to Plan and Execute Unforgettable National and International Expeditions – Diana West & Hannah West

From backpacking treks in the Wasatch Mountains to adventures as far afield as India, we have been taking students around the world since 2004. We would love to share what we have learned (sometimes the hard way) with you! One of the founders of Walden School of Liberal Arts in Provo, Diana has been organizing trips and sharing adventures with Walden students for over a decade. Assistant Director at Walden, Hannah has circled the globe several times as a trip leader for the school and as a staff member of the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop. (Middle School, High School)

C7. Can They Really Do This? Shamby Polychronis, PhD

Inclusion begins with you! If you find yourself thinking “that kid is going to ruin this lesson” or “there is no way they can do that”? Come learn how to differentiate your lessons so that all students can learn! Dr. Polychronis is an Associate Professor in the Special Education program at Westminster College, and has experience teaching students with disabilities and advocating for inclusive educational practices. (All)

C8. Positive Discipline in the Classroom, Part II – Jody Malterre, MAEd (Participants must register for Part I)

No Montessori classroom is complete without effective and supportive classroom management tools. This workshop will explore several strategies to first understand misbehavior and then to provide the encouragement needed to prevent it. Walk away with some very practical tools. Jody Malterre has over 19 years experience in Montessori as a teacher, administrator and school owner. Currently, Jody teaches Positive Discipline classes to parents and teachers, consults with schools, and teaches at Westminster College. Note: registration is only accepted for Parts I & II. (All)

C9. UMC Annual Meeting

We invite representatives of each school to join us to review the year’s highlights and plan for future UMC events. If you have an item for the agenda please contact Duna Strachan at duna@soaringwings.org by January 15th. The general membership of the UMC normally only meets once each year so if you have comments on building a better UMC, please join us!

4:30pm Closing

Stop by the Registration Table on your way out to drop off your comment card and name tag and participate in the Closing Ceremony.

4:30 – 4:45 Poster Session

Presenters,  please contact duna@soaringwings.org with a list of conference  events you would like to attend and your dietary preference.

Early Bird registration deadline is December 15th

Final registration deadline is January 15th

No late registration can be accepted

Attendance is limited to UMC members only. Membership is open to all. If you are not a member of the UMC please download the membership application from www.utahmontessori.org and email it to duna@soaringwings.org. It’s free!

To nominate anyone who has been working in Montessori education for 20 years or longer to the UMC Council of Elders, contact duna@soaringwings.org

Upcoming Events

Going with the Flow Throughout the Day

Friday, May 19th, 2017 by Bruce King

Our school has had the honor of working with Dr. Kevin Rathunde and his colleagues from the University of Utah over the past year. Kevin is a celebrity in flow theory research and it has been a delight to be a part of his work. Flow is a state of joyous concentration in which the…

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