Everything that Montessori is NOT

Sometimes the easiest way to understand what Montessori is is by seeing what it is NOT. Enjoy!

 

 


Parents experience Montessori through the eyes of a child

Practical life in Primary I.

Impressive. Peaceful. Inspiring. Zen. Focused. Interesting. Enlightening. Challenging. Enjoyable. Progressive. Happy. Engaging.

These are among the words MMS parents and friends chose to describe their impressions of our classrooms at a special “Montessori Journey and Discovery Experience” presented on Saturday, January 7. For a few hours, adults were allowed to go back in time and see and interact with our unique Montessori learning environments–primary, lower elementary, upper elementary and middle school–through the eyes of a child.

Immersed in the peace and beauty of our classrooms, the time flew by as parents were absorbed with a rich selection of materials, books and special exhibits designed to give them a child’s perspective on the Montessori method and deeper understanding of what their students do at school.

 

 

 

 

Discovering the Montessori magic

 

Lower elementary language materials.

The Montessori Journey and Discovery began with an exploration of the classroom environment through the lens of quiet observation, gathering first impressions as a child may have done in his or her first hours at school. Taking in the sensory richness and detail of the Montessori classrooms, adults experienced the sense of order and sequence which so elegantly engages the children who work within these walls.

Following the silent observation, parents actively engaged with some Montessori lessons and materials at each level… discovering the qualities that are so magical for children.

The event wrapped up with a discussion, as parents, friends and teachers joined together to share reflections and observations.

We are grateful for our guides and staff who designed such an impactful event and the many, many parents and friends who came along for the journey.

At MMS, we are a community of learners. The “Montessori Journey and Discovery Experience” is just one of the many events and opportunities available to parents and the public to gain deeper understanding of Montessori education, parenting and our school. Please watch for updates on future parent education activities.

 

Primary classroom

A lower elementary classroom.

Upper elementary classroom

Exploring middle school materials.

Visualizing atomic structure of copper on Bohr model.

Lower elementary geometry materials.

Primary math materials.

Geography work.

Map work.

Primary I sensorial area.

Sharing observations in Lower Elementary I.

 

 

 

 

 


Something to celebrate

Something to celebrate! For the third year in row, Mountaineer Montessori School has exceeded our $25,000 annual appeal fundraising goal, while also increasing the total number of donations! We are thrilled with this affirmation of and generous investment in our mission by our families, alumni, staff, board members and community friends. Your support made this year’s “Education in Living Color” campaign a great success and ensures a bright future at MMS for today’s students…and beyond.

Fundraisers such as the annual appeal provide necessary support for a variety of projects and programs that elevate the MMS experience, enabling us to offer an unmatched academic and arts curriculum to our students and community. This year’s annual fund campaign focus was financial aid, indoor and outdoor classroom environment enhancements and creative and physical expression opportunities. We would not be able to accomplish our goals without the dedicated and ongoing support of our families and friends.

Our total fundraising goal for the 2016-2017 school year is $55,000 and we are more than halfway to our total. We will end the year with a splash at one last “Education in Living Color” event on Saturday, May 20, 2016 at the Columbia Pipeline Group Auditorium: “Paint the Town.” Please mark your calendars and watch for updates for this uplifting and fun evening celebrating the art of education.

 


MMS on two hour delay on Friday, January 6

Due to hazardous road conditions, Mountaineer Montessori School will open with a two hour delay today, Friday, January 6.  Early drop off will be available starting at 9:00 a.m., with arrival beginning at 9:50 a.m. Please watch your email for further updates and announcements.

 

 

 

 

 


MMS snow policy reminder

Snow is falling!  As of now, MMS will follow a regular schedule today.  If this changes, you will be notified via email.  A posting will be made on Facebook and on our website, and we will contact the local radio and TV stations.

Please see our snow day policy below for more details:

When snow or ice causes school closings or delays, information is posted on our web site www.mountaineermontessori.org and sent by email. Additionally, local radio and TV stations will carry announcements regarding MMS school closings. (WQBE, V100, WVPR, WCHS, WCHS-TV, WSAZ-TV).

MMS does not follow any of the Kanawha County Schools weather related procedures. If circumstances require a delayed opening, MMS may open one or two hours late.

If you feel that the roads are in such poor condition that it would be difficult for you to get to school safely, please do not attempt to drive. We would much prefer that children stay home than have parents take unnecessary risks to get them to school.

Note: If school is in session when snow begins to fall, and you think that the roads are becoming treacherous, please come for your child immediately without first calling the school. It is much better to come get children than risk having the roads become so hazardous that you are unable to get to the school to pick them up at all. Mountaineer Montessori School does not make up snow days.

 

Posted Thursday, January 5, 2017, 11:20 a.m. 


Montessori Journey and Discovery: Through the Eyes of a Child

Montessori Journey and Discovery

Saturday, January, 7, 2017/2:00-5:00 p.m.

Mountaineer Montessori School/308 20th Street

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED/SPACE LIMITED

 

 

Montessori Morning 080Did you ever want to be a child again?

For a few hours on Saturday, January 7, you’ll have the chance as Mountaineer Montessori School presents a “Montessori Journey and Discovery” experience. This very special event is designed to allow you to view and interact with the Montessori environment through the eyes of a child.

The Montessori Journey and Discovery begins with an exploration of the classroom environment through the lens of quiet observation, gathering first impressions as your child may have done in his or her first hours at school. As you take in the sensory richness and detail of the Montessori classrooms, you may experience the sense of order and sequence which so elegantly engages the children who work within these walls.

Following the silent observation, you’ll have a chance to actively engage with some Montessori lessons and materials at each level… and to discover the qualities that are so magical for your child. Throughout this portion of the evening, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and share reflections with other parents and staff. Finally, we will all join together to share reflections and observations.

AGENDA:
2:00 p.m.: Welcome and brief overview of the day

2:15-4:15 p.m.: Exploration and engagement in each classroom environment — Primary, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary and Middle School

4:15-5:00 p.m.: Refreshments and reflections with MMS guides from every level

You will have ah-ha moments. You will be inspired. You will likely find yourself wishing you had a Montessori education as a child.

 

 

RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED AND SPACE IS LIMITED. To save your spot, please contact Beth George at bgeorge@mountaineermontessori.org; 304/342-7870.

Child care is available for MMS families. The cost is $15/three hours. Reservations required. Please contact Beth to make arrangements.

 


Education in Living Color-Keep the Future Bright

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Montessori is education in living color. Alive. Bright. Real.

For 40 years, Mountaineer Montessori School has brought learning to life, offering a hands-on, real world, world-class education that inspires children to discover and become who they were meant to be. Year after year, alumni and current students tell us that their MMS experience made a profound impact on their life, instilling a love of learning, self-confidence and leadership that carries with them wherever they go.

With your help, MMS not only met last year’s annual fund financial goal but exceeded it! As a result, we were able to:

  • Increase the number of financial aid awards by 18 percent.
  • Provide training for faculty to provide Parenting with Positive Discipline sessions to our school community and beyond.
  • Continue our commitment to staff excellence by sponsoring training and professional development for faculty and staff.

ilcEducation in Living Color is our 2016 campaign to fund our rich academic and arts programming and ensure excellence in the year ahead through:

  • Enhancements to primary outdoor classroom environment.
  • Guest artists and additional musical instruments for elementary students.
  • Expanded middle school creative and physical expression opportunities.
  • Continued growth of our financial aid program and the Dana Gilliland Memorial Scholarship.

This year’s goal is $25,000. The campaign is off to a very bright start with a $12,500 anonymous matching pledge to MMS.  Now is the time for our school community to come together to help us reach our goal.  With the matching funds, every dollar donated will go twice as far.  We need 100 percent participation to meet our goal and every gift of every size counts.

As MMS enters its fifth decade as a “sanctuary of learning,” we invite you to sustain our special tradition for students today and beyond. Let’s color their world together!

Make your online donation today!

 

Learn how MMS has colored the worlds of:

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Emily Beal, Ethan, Arie Spitz, Owen, Ellen and Tom Beal

“MMS gave me a wonderful foundation for my education and a love of learning.   Throughout my life, I have talked to people from many states and countries and different backgrounds, and I cannot name one person who had a better elementary school based both on happy memories and good education.” Emily Beal, PhD.

Read Emily’s story

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ukiah Cordell

“MMS is a place that I can be myself without worrying about judgment.” Ukiah Cordell, seventh year student.

Real more about Ukiah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yasin, Bettina Werner, Dr. Ali Shams and Amin

“The most important decision parents make in their life is how to provide the best education for their children in order to make them happy and successful individuals. After doing extensive research we decided that a Montessori school was the best choice for us. Montessori schools keep the curiosity and the love of learning that every child is born with alive, and help them become happy individuals by showing them there are no limits to what they can do.”  Ali Shams, M.D.

Learn more from the Shams family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

kahwash-sisters-c2“Montessori influenced my education by reminding me the point of why I go to school. It’s easy to get lost in the point and grade system, so having the background of Montessori helped me not lose sight of learning.” Deema Kahwash, senior, George Washington High School; National Merit Semi Finalist, Beta Club.

“… although Montessori has greatly influenced my success in academics, the most important things I learned there were not from a book. The teachers treated me and all of the students as equal and did not dismiss opinions and concerns just because of the age of the speaker, but listened and took every child into consideration. I learned, through my experiences, to respect everyone, especially those who share vastly different opinions than me. I learned to appreciate diversity and the value of knowing people from different backgrounds and learning from their stories.” Jenna Kahwash, 10th grade, George Washington High School; Beta Club. 

“Montessori has influenced my education and interests in an amazingly positive way. It has helped me think deeply about situations and analyze them differently.” Leana Kahwash, sixth year student

Learn more about Deema, Jenna and Leanna

 

Tysean Lynch, Samantha Van Den Berge-Lynch, primary guide, and Xavi, second year student

Tysean Lynch, Samantha Van Den Berge-Lynch, primary guide, and Xavi, second year student

“The Montessori difference is that the education the child receives is for the whole child and that it is such a personal path. I think that one of my favorite components of the Montessori approach is the concept of ‘following the child.’ I think it’s such a beautiful opportunity for children to take the lead and show the guide what resonates most with them. As I think of my son growing up, I hope most that he will always be engaged in the direction his life path goes that is what he has learned and continues to learn at Mountaineer Montessori.” Samantha Van Den Berghe-Lynch, Primary II Lead Guide

Read Samantha’s story

 

Make your online donation today!

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Education in Living Color: Emily Beal

Love of learning

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Emily Beal, Ethan (primary student), Arie Spitz, Owen, and Ellen and Tom Beal

How did Montessori influence your own education and career?

MMS provided with me with a strong foundation in all disciplines.  At MMS I learned grammar and language, math, science, history, art, and music. I learned that wondering and questioning are good things and how to research to find the answers to my questions.  I learned to love learning.  In high school, I studied abroad in Austria for a year.  I left my home in WV not knowing who I was going to live with or the language in the country I was to live in.  The independence and the strong foundation I had from going to MMS allowed me to tackle the language and learn it quickly and helped to give me the strength to know that I could do it.

In college, I majored in astronomy/astrophysics with a minor in international studies.  I switched fields for my PhD.  I received a dual degree PhD in geosciences (with a focus on geomicrobiology) and astrobiology.  The strong foundation, the independence, and the love of learning that I had from MMS helped me to pursue these studies.  When I decided to switch fields for my PhD, I was a bit nervous to enter a field about which I knew almost nothing.

However, I had learned a very important thing from MMS — the ability to teach yourself and answer your own questions.  Without the education I received from MMS, I do no think I would have had the courage or the confidence to pursue many of the things that I have.

 

emily-beal-ice-cream-cDo you have a favorite Montessori memory?

“I have so many wonderful memories from MMS, it is almost impossible to pick one.  I have many great memories from primary.  I remember making butter.  I remember learning to write my letters and numbers and being excited that I could do it.  I remember the first day I zipped my jacket on my own.  I remember getting into the loft to read.  I also have wonderful memories from elementary school.  I remember making up songs about sentence analysis and square root problems.

I remember going on wonderful field trips – spending the night in a museum, camping (in the snow when the boys’ tent fell over!), wonderful classes at Carnegie Museum, eating astronaut ice cream while at the museum.  I remember making imaginary islands (learning about biomes, coastlines, island formation, naming our islands and making a world map with all of them).  I remember listening to Mary read to us in the afternoon.

As an adult, I have enjoyed talking to upper elementary about my PhD research and seeing they excitement and curiosity.  The first day I sent my eldest son, Ethan, to primary was very nostalgic. Throughout my life, I have told many friends how great my elementary school was and how many great memories I have from going there.

 

annual-appeal-emily-beal-3What makes MMS special to you?

My primary teachers Nancy (Johnston) and Joe (Rice) and my elementary school teacher Mary (McKown) are all very special to me.  You are taught to respect your classmates and your teachers at MMS, and your teachers respect you.  It is very special that young kids can have such a wonderful relationship with their teachers.  I have told Mary many times she taught me all I needed to know.  MMS gives one a wonderful education, but allows one to keep being an individual.  Kids are not supposed to fit into a mold with one way of learning at MMS.  You can explore things in your own way and are not told that you are wrong.

Why did you choose MMS for your own child?

MMS gave me a wonderful foundation for my education and a love of learning.   Throughout my life, I have talked to people from many states and countries and different backgrounds, and I cannot name one person who had a better elementary school based both on happy memories and good education.

 

Professional/Personal Achievements

Exchange student to Austria my junior year in high school

B.S. astronomy, University of Illinois;  Minor in international studies

Dual degree PhD in geoscience (focus in geomicrobiology) and astrobiology, the Pennsylvania State University

Mother of two boys – ages 1 and 4

Read more MMS stories here.

Make an online In Living Color contribution to keep the future bright at MMS

 

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Education in Living Color: Samantha Van Den Berghe-Lynch

Follow the child

Tysean Lynch, Samantha Van Den Berge-Lynch, primary guide, and Xavi, second year student

Tysean Lynch, Samantha Van Den Berge-Lynch, primary guide, and Xavi, second year student

What is the Montessori difference? How has it impacted your students and your son?

The Montessori difference is that the education the child receives is for the whole child and that it is such a personal path. I think that one of my favorite components of the Montessori approach is the concept of “following the child.” I think it’s such a beautiful opportunity for children to take the lead and show the guide what resonates most with them. As I think of my son growing up, I hope most that he will always be engaged in the direction his life path goes that is what he has learned and continues to learn at Mountaineer Montessori.

How is MMS special to you?

Mountaineer Montessori is special to me because each year, each new class, is an opportunity to continue to grow and learn, not just for the children, but for me as well. I cannot articulate how much I have learned from the children. I have never felt a feeling of stagnation, there is always something shifting and evolving. Each group of children has a different energy, they inspire me to try something new and different whether it’s developing games to help internalize more complex concepts or using recycled materials to build and create. I am so grateful to be able to adapt the way I do things based on what the children show me is most exciting and enticing to them.

samantha-cTell us about your training:

My training was a two year program at Virginia Center for Montessori studies in Richmond, Virginia. The first summer consisted of eight weeks on site, subsequent to that, I commuted to Richmond once a month for seminar weekends. My training include internal and external observations, written and oral exams, practice hours with all of the materials, and field consultant visits to observe my classroom. In addition, I prepared curriculum albums for each curriculum area.

Favorite Montessori quote:

“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.”

 

 

 

Read more MMS stories here.

Make an online donation to the In Living Color campaign to keep the future bright at MMS!

 

 

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Education in Living Color: Ukiah Cordell

 Be myself

ukiah-cordell

“I have been in MMS since I was five years old, and I have learned so much and made so many amazing friends. It is the kind of place in which everyone knows everyone. The teachers are all kind, and have their hearts set on making the MMS experience just like it is supposed to be. Everyone can go at their own pace, and that in itself makes MMS special. I have been able to understand things because of the time they put into their lessons, and if I don’t understand something, they take the time to help me. MMS has helped me become excited by learning. My favorite part of MMS, however, is the people. There are so many amazing people from so many different places. I have made so many lasting friends who have stuck with me since the beginning. MMS is a place that I can be myself without worrying about judgment.” Ukiah Cordell, seventh year student

Read more MMS stories here.

Make an online donation to the In Living Color campaign to keep the future bright at MMS!

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