Friday, March 25, 2011


What is Normalization?  It's a term we use in Montessori to describe a child or children that display the following characteristics while engaged in the classroom.

  • profound concentration
  • love of order
  • love of work
  • spontaneous self-discipline
  • attachment to reality
  • independence & initiative
  • love of silence and being alone
  • obedience
  • pure joy (joyfulness)

It was fun to discover that Humphrey is Normalized in her classroom...when did that happen?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tonging...the beginning stages

Magoo turned 22 months yesterday...not that I am keeping track, but yesterday was March 19 and that's an easy date to remember--can't get much closer to the exact 22 month mark unless I had written this yesterday.

While Humphrey was still napping today, I had the chance to observe Magoo with a beginning tonging work.

Materials Needed:

6 pom poms
a second bowl or a tray with indentations (6) is what is show in the video and pictures.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

AMS Conference

Next week Wednesday I am heading to Chicago for the AMS Annual Conference. I have two days with meetings prior to the meeting/conference proper begins. Last year, about this time, I submitted a proposal to present...and it got accepted. So, the long and short of it is that I am trying to finish up my powerpoint for my presentation. While the thought of talking for 90 minutes scares me to death, I know it will go quickly and this challenge is good for me.

My session is titled: Practical Life: Beyond Scooping, Spooning, and Pouring

Friday, March 25 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Presenter: Julie Gabrielse

Interest Group: Early Childhood

Looking for advanced Practical Life materials to reignite your older students’ interest? This workshop will begin with a refresher on the essential elements of quality Practical Life experiences and the characteristics—concentration, coordination, confidence, independence, and order—that they inspire. Then you’ll explore fresh ideas, including food preparation, tool bench, sewing, and environmental care activities, that will reinvigorate your approach to compelling Practical Life.

If you happen to have any great ideas that I can add last minute, I welcome the ideas.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Yesterday I was able to stop by the Observation Window outside of Humphrey's class and I caught her totally immersed in work. She was at a table working in the Hanging Bead Stair.

I saw her pick up a bead bar, she would touch each bead and count aloud. It was great to see her--one, two, three, four, five... Once she would count the correct number, she hung the bead bar on the appropriate hook. Following through and completing her work.

She is into "Challenging" work these days, but usually saves them to do in my office before or after school. Today while Magoo was napping, Humphrey decided to work on the 100 Board. This material falls under linear counting in the Montessori math curriculum. Putting tiles of numerals 1-100 in order on a grid board.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Montessori Reading List

The following books are on my Must Read list for learning about Montessori.

The Absorbent Mind, Maria Montessori (Philosophy)

Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, Angeline Stoll Lillard (Philosophy) *statistics--need I say more?

A Bag of Tricks, Greg Nelsen (Classroom Leadership) *Very valuable to the novice teacher

The Secret of Childhood, Maria Montessori (Philosophy)

Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work, E.M. Standing

Discovery of the Child, Maria Montessori

The Montessori Method, Maria Montessori

Spontaneous Activity in Education, Maria Montessori

Montessori: A Modern Approach, Paula Polk Lillard

The Montessori Way, Tim Seldin & Paul Epstein *Great photos & information!

Essential Montessori, Elizabeth G. Hainstock *Quick read to loan to friends that want to learn about Montessori in a nutshell.

Nurturing the Spirit in Non-Sectarian Classrooms, Aline Wolf

The Hidden Hinge, Rosa Covington Packard *Out of Print, I finally found a copy through Better World Books (hooray for me!)

The Tao of Montessori, Catherine McTamaney *Great book for the experienced teacher & very inspiring!

Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook, Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori – A Biography, Rita Kramer

Think of Something Quiet, Clare Cherry *Out of Print, but available on Amazon, I use this as a required text for Montessori Early Childhood Classroom Leadership.

Who is Montessori for?

Some recognizable people, who were Montessori educated:

* Peter Drucker, Management Guru
* Larry Page, Co-Founder of Google
* Sergey Brin, Co-Founder of Google
* Dan Vanderkam, Software Engineer at Google
* Jeffrey Bezos, Founder of
* Katharine Graham, Owner/Editor of the Washington Post
* Julia Child, Chef, Star of many TV Cooking Shows,
and Author
* Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, Editor, Former First Lady
* Sean 'P.Diddy' (formerly known as Puffy) Combs, RAP mega-star
* Anne Frank, Author of The Diary of Anne Frank
* Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Prize winner for Literature
* Prince William and Prince Harry, English royal family

The following recognizable individuals chose Montessori schools for their own children:

* Stephen J. Cannell, TV Writer-Producer-Director
* Yo Yo Ma, Cellist
* Patty Duke Austin, Actress
* John Bradshaw, Psychologist and Author
* Yul Brynner, Actor
* Marcy Carcy, TV producer
* Cher Bono, Singer and Actress
* Bill and Hillary Clinton, Former President and New York Senator
* Michael Douglas, Actor
* Jennifer Granholm & Daniel Mulhern, Governor of Michigan

Recognizable individuals connected to Montessori include:

* Alexander Graham Bell (inventor) and his wife Mabel founded the Montessori
Education Association in 1913. They also provided financial support directly
to Dr. Maria Montessori and helped establish the first Montessori class in
Canada and one of the first in the United States.

* Mister Rogers, children's TV personality, was a strong supporter of
Montessori education.

* Thomas Edison, scientist and inventor, helped found a Montessori school.

* President Wilson's daughter trained as a Montessori teacher. There was a
Montessori classroom in the basement of the White House during Wilson's

* Sister Anthonita Porta, Montessori Educator.

* Alice Waters, restaurateur and writer, is a former Montessori teacher.

* Bruno Bettelheim, noted psychologist/author, was married to a Montessori

* Erik Erikson, noted anthropologist/author, had a Montessori teaching

* Jean Piaget, noted Swiss psychologist, made his first observations of
children in a Montessori school. He was also head of the Swiss Montessori
Society for many years.

THANK YOU to the many web sites that assisted me in compiling this information!