Parents Montessori Mini-Conference
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Saturdays are for soccer, baseball, gardening—and learning! This special line-up of events, led by distinguished educators and child development experts, will help parents understand the Montessori Method and learn how its key concepts can help children of all ages reach their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive potential.
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Welcome
Join us at the Registration Desk to pick up your conference badge (necessary for entry to all of the day’s events) or to register if you haven’t yet done so. Julie Bragdon, family representative to the AMS Board of Directors, will be on hand to meet you, along with several other volunteers who will direct you to your first event of the day. Tea and coffee are on us!
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: “Explore & Discover Montessori Math”
Presenters: Barbara Gordon, Betsy Coe
This workshop will provide you with a hands-on opportunity to explore specially designed Montessori math materials and lessons just as a child does in a Montessori classroom. You will discover the strong foundation the child builds by working first on a concrete level, and then moving gracefully into abstract thinking. Arithmetic, geometry, and algebra for the youngest child through high school students will all be part of the exciting journey. Special thanks to our friends at Nienhuis Montessori/USA and the Houston Montessori Center for providing the Montessori environment for you to explore.
12:00 – 12:30 PM: Morning Break
For your convenience, a concession stand where you can purchase lunch-to-go will be located near the next event.
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM: Brown-Bag Lunch & Discussion
Hosts: Barbara Gordon, Betsy Coe, Amy Henderson
What were your reactions to the Montessori Math workshop? Were you left wondering about anything? Bring your thoughts, questions, and ideas—along with your lunch—to this informal conversation and social event, which will be facilitated by the workshop presenters along with another Montessori notable, Amy Henderson. This is an ideal time to ask questions about all aspects of Montessori education.
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Keynote Address “Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, & the Search for Identity”
Andrew Solomon—author, lecturer, and parent—will share the fruits of his research for his award-winning book, Far From the Tree, for which he interviewed over 300 families of children with extreme challenges: deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, or who are transgender. He will explain how he learned from parents of exceptional children that generosity, acceptance, and tolerance can prevail, that love can transcend every prejudice, and that by embracing the differences between us, we expand our definition of what it is to be human.
3:30 PM– 4:00 PM Afternoon Break
Some say that our jam-packed Exhibit Hall is like a mini-museum of Montessori materials! Use this time to browse the booths; feel welcome to ask questions of the salespersons, to find out what their products are about. If you’d like to pick up souvenirs for the folks back home, there’ll be plenty of those too—including books, toys, t-shirts, and more. Alternatively, you can use this time to grab a snack at the hotel’s Counter or Gossip Bar, or take in the exquisite collection of Asian art displayed throughout the hotel—it’s one of the largest in the world.
4:00 PM – 5:30: Choice of Workshop
The Mini-Conference is part of a larger Montessori conference for educators and friends worldwide. We specifically chose the workshops for this time slot with both them and you in mind. Attend the one you like best—and enjoy the presentation. Given the range of topics and expertise of presenters, this might be a difficult choice! You may also opt to re-visit the Montessori math materials from this morning’s exploration.
See the list of workshops to choose from!
5:45 PM – 6:00 PM: Farewell—But Not Goodbye!
Hosts: Amy Henderson, Julie Bragdon
Join us for a short session to ask any questions and thoughts that you have about Montessori education. And, we would like to use this time to give you our contact information—we hope you’ll stay in touch!
Julie Bragdon, MEd, is assistant head of school at the Montessori School of Denver in Denver, CO, and sits on the Executive Committee of the AMS Board of Directors; she is also Family Representative to the Board. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood).
Betsy Coe, PhD, a past AMS Board president and the AMS 2008 Living Legacy, is principal for middle school and high school at School of the Woods in Houston, TX; executive director of the Houston Montessori Center; and a co-chair of the AMS 2014 Annual Conference. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Elementary I-II, Secondary I-II, Administrator).
Barbara Gordon is founder and retired head of the Barbara Gordon Montessori School in Colleyville, TX, and originator of the interactive Montessori learning experience “The Silent Journey & Discovery”; she is also executive director of the Association Montessori International Teachers of Texas and a member of the board of the Montessori Institute of North Texas.
Amy Henderson, MEd, is head of school at Montessori Children's House in Fort Worth, TX, a former president of the AMS Board of Directors, and co-chair of the AMS 2014 Annual Conference. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I-II, Administrator).
Register online or use this downloadable form for mail or fax.
Individual Price: $45/person
Group Discounts: Join us as a group, and save!
10% off each registration for a group of 6 – 10
15% off each registration for a group of 11 or more.
The Mini-Conference registration rate is discounted from the regular 1-day rate for the AMS Annual Conference. If you will be attending any conference events in addition to Mini-Conference events, regular conference rates apply.