Montessori Plus School

Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Stepping Stones: 26 white naugahyde (soft plastic) rectangles, 5” x 6”, with lower case red and blue letters painted on them in exact lettering as the sandpaper letters.

At Circle:

  1. Put out about 6 letters in a row from the center of the “ellipse” to the end of the ellipse, leaving a few inches between each one (for visual clarity).
  2. With 2 feet (slippers OK), jump on one and say the phonetic sound.  Jump to the next one and say the sound, etc.
  3. Let each child have a turn.  Use this as a transition activity.

During work time:

  1. Put the Stepping Stones in a nice basket on the language shelf, in the proper sequence, near the sandpaper letters.
  2. Show the children how to carry them to a rug.  They can get 2 rugs if they like.
  3. They may put out up to 5 letters, laying them horizontally on the length of the rug, or 5 more on the second rug.
  4. Then they may jump and say the sounds.  Two children can work together on this.


Sharlet J. McClurkin:

  • Director of Montessori Plus School and Teacher Preparation of WA for thirty-six years.
  • Former president of the Montessori Institute of America and current MIA Board member;
  • MACTE commissioner for three years.
  • International trainer in China, Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines and Sri Lanka;
  • Current director and trainer for over seventy teachers-in-training in Kent, WA.


Five-hour lecture, with “question and answers”

Sharlet McClurkin will paint a picture of joyful learning and respectful speech in this seminar. She will show in words, songs and actions how to rise above the challenges of the Montessori classroom and keep one’s calm and vision for the children.

The Montessori Language of Respect seminar will show the non-conventional language and methods of the Montessori teacher while working with children in a group activity or in the open classroom.  Mrs. McClurkin will also show adults how to present transition and songs of respect and self-confidence to children.  She will discuss the impact of negative words and phrases, as well as ordering and questioning, in the young child’s life.

The adults will learn how to listen to children with empathy and how to phrase a deep concern or feeling in a positive way.  They will also see special lessons in “grace and courtesy” that encourage an atmosphere of love and respect in the classroom.

Mrs. McClurkin will present problem scenarios, discuss “whose problem it is” and how to respond to the children in an authentic and human, yet respectful manner.

STARS’ hours available upon request.


Upon request.  Suggested timeframe:  9 am to 12 noon; 1-3 pm


Montessori schools, upon request.

Cost:  To Be Arranged

About Alessandro Montessori by Donald McClurkin

I am Alessandro Montessori, the proud father of Maria Montessori. Born in Fararra, Italy in 18323, I lived a reserved, disciplined, patriotic life as an Italian soldier and, later, as an accountant in a salt and tobacco factory in Italy.  I was recognized and decorated with a medal of valor in 1849 for my part in the successful unification of Italy.  I really wanted to be free of the Austrian occupation of Italy, but, on the other hand, I am a bit insecure in handling the resultant freedom with its changes and obligations.

From 1850-1853 I volunteered to helped the Pope put the church’s financial work in order.  I enjoyed this very much.  After that I left to work again in the salt factories in Bologna and Faenza.  In 1859 I was promoted to be the Inspector of Finances and Accountant of all of the salt and tobacco factory finances.

When I met Renilde Stoppani, I was a middle-class farming executive, managing all of the grain, grapes, arts, and leather-making of the area.  She was a beautiful, creative and imaginative young woman and shared every idea I had, and more, about the unification and liberation of Italy.  We were married after twelve months of courtship in Venice.  I later discovered that she welcomed change more and more rapidly than I.  Five years later we had Maria who became the center of our lives.  She was so cute and smart, enough to see our differences and to take advantage of them.  Right away she saw that I was not comfortable with change and her mother was more flexible than I.  Consequently Maria went to her mother for permission for unconventional activities.

Maria was a good student so we decided to move to Rome when she was five to give her every advantage to rise to her full potential.  We had wonderful times as her math skills developed, but when she later wanted to compete with male students and enter a male-dominated profession, I tried to redirect her.  But she was stubborn, just like me, and I relented.  After a few years she then decided to enter medical school.  I flat out said, “NO!”  She went to the Pope, got his approval and went anyway.  I just let her go and didn’t say a word to her for four years!  Would you believe that she topped the class and wrote a brilliant final paper?  I surprised her and went to hear her read the paper. She looked at me, and I smiled at her from the back row! I also went to her commencement service where she received many honors.

Even though I missed out on a lot because of my stubborn resistance to her ideas, I have the grandest daughter in the world! She knows how to change this world and will leave a legacy for the Montessori name wherever she goes.

The biannual conference, “The Science Behind the Genius,” of the Montessori Institute of America (MIA) was held on April 29-30 at the Bellevue Embassy Suites. More than 150 Montessori teachers, students, and practiioners from Greater Seattle Area, other states of the U.S., and from abroad, attended the Conference.

The purpose of 2011 MIA Conference was to provide research information, support and encouragement for MIA teachers in the US and around the globe. MIA invited Angline Stoll Lillard, PhD., the author of “The Science Behind the Genius,” as the keynote speaker who shared a thorough overview of core Montessori concepts and tied them to interesting statistical researches. She also encouraged teachers to read, consider, and share her research with parents and other interested persons.

Dr. Lillard, the daughter of Paula P. Lillard, started out her presentation, reminiscing her childhood when her mother was writing her book, “Montessori: A Modern Approach,” the book now well-known among Montessori educators, and how her life experience eventually led her to researching and studying Montessori philosophy. As Dr. Lillard herself said, her morning presentation was an overview of her research on basic Montessori tenets as found in her book. The eight main principles discussed were:

1. Movement and learning go together

2. Choice brings positive motivation

3. Child’s interest brings positive motivation

4. Extrinsic rewards have a negative effect on learning

5. Peer learning is positive for learning

6. Learning with meaning brings positive results

7. Meaningful adult support brings positive learning

8. An orderly learning environment supports the child’s orderly mind.

In addition to the keynote speaker’s presentation, other presenters at the Conference were Al Hirsch who shared interesting ideas and examples of musical activities that can be organized during “circle time,” and science educators from Pacific Science Center who engaged the audience with exciting scientific activities. Participants were, indeed, enthused with the presenters’ demonstrations these two-days of the Conference.

Another fun activity on the Conference agenda was the drawing where the lucky winners received the product samples from the vendors at present. Gift cards, customizable picture frames, movable alphabet sets, and children’s books were some of the favorites by the audience.

To end 2011 MIA Conference, the Board summarized the operations for the past year and shared organizational news. Currently, there are more than forty schools in the USA, as well as training centers in Philippines, China, and Korea, aside from its individual members. The  MIA Board thanked everyone – the keynote speaker, presenters, and participants – for attending the 2011 MIA Conference.

To learn more about MIA, please visit Conference pictures are available on Montessori Plus School’s Facebook. Thank you!

What is Montessori Education?

Montessori education is a natural way of learning for young children. Through the five senses, the child in his first six years absorbs his environment like a sponge. He teaches himself his native tongue (and often other languages), forms his basic personality, sets up his emotional framework for the rest of his life, and begins his acquisition of knowledge. The Montessori classroom builds upon his first years at home and provides hundreds of concrete, hands-on materials through which the child may learn, organize, and create his reality.

Who is Montessori?

Dr. Maria Montessori was the first female physician in Italy, having graduated from the University of Rome at the turn of the 20th century. Her pediatric residency was taken in an institution for children who were thought to be “mentally deficient.” As a keen scientific observer, she realized that these children were hungry to learn, if only they could have objects to teach them. She translated the studies conducted by two French doctors, John Itard and Edward Sequin, into Italian and began making the same materials and creating more than they had used in France with atypical children. After several years of using the new materials, more than half of her children passed tests to enter public school, and the world sat up and took notice of this young Italian physician(McClurkin, S. (2003). All I Ever Wanted to Know About Montessori and Didn’t Know Who to Ask).

Thank you for visiting our blog for Montessori Plus School (MPS) and Montessori Teacher Preparation of WA (MTP)!

We would like our blog to be a tool for readers to find interesting children’s anecdotes, quotes, teachers’ successes, articles, and overviews of Montessori and early childhood education today, as I see it. Currently we have over thirty internship schools in Seattle, twenty-four in China, and many others in the US and the Phillipines affiliated with the Montessori Institute of America. I have the privilege of visiting schools all over the world and will share my experience with you.

Please check out our blog at your convenience and pass it on. Thank you for your time. Be sure to visit our website at

Welcome, again!

July 2018
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