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Session 1

Thursday, March 22, 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM

Updates for Life Science Albums
Presenter: Priscilla Spears

The science lesson content in our traditional biology albums were based on scientists’ views in the mid-20th century. We changed from a 2-kingdom classification to a 5-kingdom one—but even Five Kingdoms is now obsolete. While making changes to albums is not a simple or easy task, it is an essential one for connecting children to the greater academic world. You will learn about biologists’ current ideas on classification (systematics). We will discuss potential new content for First Knowledge stories, botany impressionistic charts, and lessons to give the overview of the diversity of life.

Priscilla Spears, PhD, is a writer and designer of science education materials for Big Picture Science in Corvallis, OR. Her numerous books for Montessori classrooms include Plant Lessons: Introducing Children to Plant Form and Function and Kingdoms of Life Connected: A Teacher's Guide to the Tree of Life.

The Impact of Bias & Identity Threat in the Montessori Classroom
Presenter: Maati Wafford

This workshop will highlight ways that teachers and teacher training programs can facilitate and honor cultural identity development and facilitate courageous conversations in the thoughtful and inclusive classroom environments they so carefully prepare. A particular focus will be on the importance of recognizing names as affirmations of who we are. Specifically, we will explore privilege and the roots of linguistic bigotry, and the potential impact of mispronouncing a student’s name—something that can happen with anyone, but particularly a possibility when teachers and students come from different cultural backgrounds.

Maati Wafford, MSW, is a Lower Elementary teacher and the coordinator of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs at the Barrie School in Silver Spring, MD. She is a member of the support staff team of the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies, also in Silver Spring. Maati is committed to promoting identity development and social justice education in school settings. For more than a decade, she has created safe, sacred places for children and their families to expand, build, and create. AMS- credentialed (Early Childhood, Elementary I).

Session 2

Thursday, March 22, 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM

Serving Learners with Special Needs in our Teacher Education Programs
Presenter: Kathy Winterman

Preparing our TEPs for adult learners with special needs can challenge the skills of even veteran instructors, particularly given the diversity of challenges the learners may face. How can we be sure we are meeting their needs? What are the federal guidelines that establish the required support for them? Kathy will address the current climate for teacher education and the role programs have in meeting the learning needs of all students—adults as well as children. Ideas for best practices will be offered.

Kathy Winterman, EdD, is special education program director and an associate professor at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. She is co-author of The IEP Checklist: Your Guide to Creating Meaningful and Compliant IEPs and School Law for Public, Private, and Parochial Educators.

What Is Montessori Curriculum?
Presenter: Dot Thompson

In this workshop we will examine what we mean by curriculum and how we describe and delineate the essential content of Montessori education in our schools and teacher education programs. We will revisit key statements in Montessori’s published lectures to consider the implications for contemporary practices, and then meet in small groups to address particular challenges and to share our varied perspectives.

Dot Thompson, MEd, ECE, is chair of the AMS Teacher Education Action Commission (TEAC) and co-chair of the AMS 2018 Local Conference Committee. She is also past director of the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies teacher education program in Boulder, CO. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood).

Session 3

Thursday, March 22, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Breakout Discussions by Level
TEAC members will facilitate breakout discussions by level. Feel welcome to stay with a single breakout or to navigate among several. This is your opportunity to ask questions, get answers, and share reflections, concerns, and ideas with colleagues involved in Montessori areas that overlap with your own.

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