Saturday, November 3, 2018

8:00am - 3:30pm

On the Barrie Campus
13500 Layhill Road
Silver Spring, MD 20906

Get Directions

Online registration is now closed. Please email Hilary Green for more information.


8:00-8:45am: Registration

8:45-10:00am: Welcome and Keynote

10:15-11:45am: Session One

12:00pm-1:00pm: Lunch and Networking

1:00-1:45pm: Session Two

2:00-3:30pm: Session Three

Keynote Address

The Gift of Failure: Fostering Intrinsic Motivation and Resilience in Kids

Veteran teacher, author, and education journalist Jessica Lahey breaks down the research on motivation, resilience and learning, and explains how autonomy-supportive parenting and teaching not only boosts kids' motivation, but improves educational outcomes. Using personal narrative and humor, Lahey explores the research on extrinsic and intrinsic motivators, praise, and learned helplessness, while offering instruction and assessment methods that promote deep, durable learning and engagement.

Jessica writes about education, parenting, and child welfare for The Atlantic, Vermont Public Radio, The Washington Post and the New York Times. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. Jessica teaches high school English and writing in a drug rehab for adolescents in Vermont, and her next book, The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence, will be released in 2020.


Session #1 Session #2 Session #3
Multicultural Montessori Montessori Makerspace Teaching Reading in the Upper Elementary Classroom
The Parent Puzzle Helping Your Students Improve their Executive
Functioning Skills
Meeting the Developmental Needs of Parents
Gender as a Spectrum Unlock the Potential of Montessori to Help Students Understand How Fractions are Connected to the Universe If You Can Name It, You Can Tame It: Social Emotional Learning in Early Childhood
The Greatest Montessori Lesson is You Children of Resistance: Navigating the Journeys of
Identity, Equity, and Justice in the Classroom and Beyond.
A Systematic Study for Educators and Activists.
Am I Black Enough? An Inclusive Conversation: Finding the Universal in the Personal
Universal Design for Learning: Principles to Practice Public and Charter Montessori Teachers: Networking Pedagogical Explorations of Waseca Biome Materials in the Children's House
    Science for the Seriously Curious


Session Descriptions

Session One

Multicultural Montessori

Applicable to: Infant/Toddler; Early Childhood

Summary: Multicultural Montessori is designed to offer educators of young children the opportunity to increase an appreciation for diversity in learning differences, communication, cultural norms and language. This course is designed to assist educators by offering students the chance for self-identification and also providing access to the cultural familiarity of classroom materials. This session will offer diverse conversations, scenarios, learning materials, books and teaching aides to communicate the importance of inclusion and the appreciation for a multi-cultural approach to Montessori education.

Presented by: Sherita Sargusingh

Biography: Sherita Sargusingh has been actively caring for young students for over 15 years. Sherita received her B.S in Studio Arts from Lincoln University, PA. Sherita has been an art educator for
young children since 2003 and she has also been a certified Infant Toddler
Montessori teacher for 6 years. Sherita attended the Institute for Advanced Montessori studies and thoroughly enjoys working with young learners. Sherita joined the Barrie faculty in 2015 and has continued to be a consultant and instructor for the Barrie Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies.

The Parent Puzzle

Applicable to: All Levels and Administrators

Summary: Parent/Teacher relationships are important for the success of the child, the well-being of the teacher and the happiness of the administration! There are many different types of parents and many ways to develop the parent's trust, support and even admiration. We will discuss the usual as well as the unusual parent, parent education and events, building a bond with the parents and other tips for fostering a positive, healthy relationship with your children's parents. Bring your love stories and/or your horror stories to share!

Presented by: Debbie Kukielka and Denise Murtha

Biography: Debbie is an AMS Early Childhood credentialed teacher who has over 20 years of teaching experience.  She is currently working as an Early Childhood teacher in a Montessori school.  She also has her Associate Credential in Infant/Toddler. In addition, Debbie has worked at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies as an Instructor and Summer Coordinator since 1999.

Denise is an AMS Infant and Toddler credentialed teacher who has over 20 years of teaching experience.  She has also acquired certification in Resources for Infant Educators (RIE). She is currently working as a toddler teacher at the Barrie School.  In addition, Denise is an Instructor for the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies.

Gender as a Spectrum

Applicable to: All Levels and Administrators

Summary: Typically, we think of gender as an either/or rather than a fluid spectrum. Exploring one's gender identity typically begins in pre-school. Having schools and teachers have a consistent understanding about gender and how to manage the school community around a gender non-conforming child is an important diversity competency.

Presented by:  Julie Bindeman, PsyD

Biography: Dr. Bindeman is a clinical psychologist in Rockville, Maryland. She works with issues that impact the LGBTQ2 communities. Dr. Bindeman has provided consultation for several local Montessori schools and has all three of her children in Montessori classrooms.

The Greatest Montessori Lesson is You

Applicable to: Teachers, All Levels and Administrators

Summary: Maria Montessori advises that the best preparation for teaching is a study of one's self. What profound advice we have received from a woman we admire with so much regard. But how many of us have seriously undertaken this directive? How do we do it? How do we study our own strengths and weaknesses, so we can fulfill our mission as educators? Each participant will receive an e-book that will help them begin their own personal study.

Presented by: Lourdes Billingsley

Biography: Lourdes Billingsley has a M.A. in Psychology, and ELI certification. Her work in Montessori schools as a teacher, administrator, and mentor has been her passion for 15 years. Her mission is to keep the spirit of Montessori education alive by supporting Montessorians stay connected to the spiritual (not religious) aspect of our pedagogy. Her 20 years of experience as a mentor, teacher, and leader in building communities are reflective of the core of the Montessori philosophy. 

Universal Design for Learning: Principles to Practice

Applicable to: All Levels and Administrators

Summary: Investigate Universal Design for Learning Principles to create inclusive, barrier-free instructional practices for use across all grade levels and subject matter.

Presented by: Helen Mahoney

Biography: Helen Mahoney, M.A., Director of Prep Learning Supports
It wasn’t until she was blessed with a child with special education needs that Helen realized her true “calling” was to be a special education teacher! Helen earned a master’s degree in special education from The George Washington University, a literacy coach certificate from the University of Maryland, and she holds a State of Maryland Advanced Professional Certificate and is certified in three teaching content areas. During her teaching career, Helen had several opportunities to explore different aspects of education. As a special educator, she co-authored professional development and technology measures for the Maryland State Department of Education for students, teachers and school administrators (TL8) and co-authored Universal Design for Learning (UDL) standards for the Maryland Student Technology Literacy Consortium. At Barrie, Helen creates Accommodation and Support Plans, facilitates appropriate student supports, communicates with parents and outside service providers, provides resources to teachers, students, and families, coordinates Disability Support Services for college assessments, CWRA and ERB assessments.

Session Two

Montessori Makerspace

Applicable to: Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary and Administrators

Summary: Please join us for a workshop in our new Barrie Montessori Makerspace. You will get the chance to participate in a design hunt to explore our space up close and personal.  We’ll share the process we went through to get the space and program going. Finally, we will dip our toes into the different types of making and dream up what that could look like in your own classrooms.

Presented by: Erin Springfield and Anouk van Aanholt

Erin Springfield is Barrie’s Director of Technology and Innovation.  She teaches several classes across the Montessori and Prep divisions, including coding, filmmaking, and Web Design.  She was implemental in all areas of the development of the Montessori Makerspace.  Erin has 20 years of experience in the Educational Technology field, and has provided professional development and support for incorporating project-based, interdisciplinary lessons into the curriculum. 

Anouk van Aanholt is Barrie’s STEAM Makerspace Director and Teacher K-5. She has worked at Washington International School for 15 years, where she served as a homeroom teacher in the Dutch dual-language program, and more recently as the Primary School Learning and Technology Coordinator. In this role she immersed herself and the school community in the world of design thinking, leading the Design Studio and collaborating with faculty to bring maker-centered learning into classrooms.  

Helping Your Students Improve their Executive Functioning Skills

Applicable to: Educators, Administrators, teacher trainers, learning specialists and counselors of children ages 3-18

Summary: Judith M. Stern will discuss ways that teachers can help their students become more organized and develop better study skills. This presentation will take a look at the variety of skills that are involved in good executive functioning, and how they can be taught and reinforced in the Montessori classroom. Ideas will also be shared for use with children who have organizational difficulties that impact their work and learning. A question and answer session will be included.

Presented by: Judith Stern

Biography: Judith Stern, M.A. is an experienced classroom teacher and Learning Specialist at Barrie School in Silver Spring, Maryland.  She is a Maryland State Certified Special Education teacher and Reading Specialist.  Ms. Stern is the co-author of four children's books on Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorder.  She is also the co-author of The Dyslexia Checklist: A Practical Reference for Parents and Teachers

Unlock the Potential of Montessori to Help Students Understand How Fractions are Connected to the Universe

Applicable to: Elementary

Summary:  Montessori educators have different ways to guide and to motivate children through their own self-discovery in a prepared environment. In this session, participants will better understand how fractions are integrated and connected with geometry, decimals, angles, art, music, language, history and science. Participants will understand why Dr. Montessori referred to educators as Renaissance Teachers. 

At the end of the session, participants will have access to materials that they can share later in the classroom with their students.

Presented by: Margarita Diaz

Biography: Margarita Diaz, AMS Montessori certified Elementary I and II. Bilingual Montessori teacher at Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School (LAMB-PCS) where she founded the elementary program for ages 6-12.
LAMB-PCS, an immersion program in Spanish and charter school in DC, made her believe and experience that with passion and leadership her students were able to succeed not only academically but also to become real peace ambassadors and citizens of the world.

Children of Resistance: Navigating the Journeys of Identity, Equity, and Justice in the Classroom and Beyond. A Systematic Study for Educators and Activists.

Applicable to: All Levels and Administration

Summary: As we find ourselves in an increasingly diverse world it is imperative that Montessorians develop a critical consciousness for diversity, equity and addressing bias in our classrooms. Creating brave spaces for such dialog requires an intentional reflective practice that is grounded in social justice and Montessori philosophy. No matter the age/grades taught, if you are committed to anti-bias education and inclusion in the classroom and beyond this hands-on session is designed for you.  The work that we engage in will be interactive and is designed to be thought-provoking while providing practical tools that can be implemented with ease. 

Biography: Maati is a culturally responsive Montessori educator and advocate for equity in the classroom.  A social worker by training, she is committed to promoting identity development and social justice education in both public and independent school settings.  Maati is a Lower Elementary teacher and serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Barrie School.  She is interested in researching the impact of cultural responsiveness in the classroom and teacher training programs.   

Maati received a B.A. in Psychology from Fisk University and Masters in Social Work from Howard University.  She earned AMS Montessori credentials (Early Childhood, Lower Elementary, Administration) from the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies.
Dr. Jeff Menzise’s approach to coaching, training, and education is based upon the notion that every human being can further develop their natural gifts and talents beyond the sub-average to average levels at which many tend to function.  Dr. Menzise has facilitated several workshops at local Montessori conferences that integrate and highlight understandings of child psychology and child development in the Montessori classroom. Montessori guides have found his perspective powerful and easy to implement in the Montessori prepared environment.
Jeff Menzise has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and works as a researcher at the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD.

Public and Charter Montessori Teachers: Networking

Applicable to: Teachers and Administrators from Public and Charter Montessori Schools

Summary: Collaboration is essential amongst educators in the Montessori community. It is particularly critical for public Montessori schools to come together, share resources and ideas, and have our voices heard.
Come to this session to begin building communication amongst the Maryland Montessori public schools and support each other in our efforts to provide quality Montessori public education.

Presented by: Katie Mosquera and Marilyn Horan

Biography: Katie Mosquera is the Montessori Teacher Specialist at CCMPCS and a Montessori field consultant. She is an experienced Montessori Elementary teacher, in both public and private setting, and a Montessori teacher trainer.

Marilyn Horan has presented at UMSI state conferences in Indiana and AMS national conferences. She presented to the public Montessori administrators during the 2016-2018 conferences with a goal of this session being an ongoing option.

Session Three

Teaching Reading in the Upper Elementary Classroom

Applicable to: Upper Elementary

Summary: This workshop will offer a variety of ways to implement reading instruction and follow up work in the Upper Elementary classroom.  Topics covered will include: a discussion on small group instruction, meaningful activities/projects based on reading skills, independent work, assessment of reading abilities, and work portfolios.  

Presented by: Shawna Johnson

Biography: Shawna is an Upper Elementary teacher at the Barrie School.  She is a native of Cleveland, OH and moved to the DC area eight years ago with her husband and two children.  She has 20 years of teaching experience in with a focus in Upper Elementary and Middle School Reading/ Language Arts and History. She enjoys researching new and current literacy practices, traveling and spending time with her family. 

Meeting the Developmental Needs of Parents

Applicable to: All Levels and Administrators

Summary: Teachers and administrators often feel at odds with the parents of their students. In this session, you will learn to think like a parent, to reflect on their motivations and concerns, and learn ways to improve your relationships with parents at your school. You will leave with an action plan.

Presented by: Susan Fletcher

Biography: Susan Fletcher fell in love with Montessori philosophy when her children attended Montessori schools. After a 25-year IT career and an MBA, she founded Top Hat Montessori and ran it for six years.

If You Can Name It, You Can Tame It: Social Emotional Learning in Early Childhood

Applicable: Toddler, Early Childhood

Summary: Emotional literacy from the earliest ages promotes positive pro-social relationships throughout life. In this workshop, we plan to share developmentally appropriate strategies for teaching toddlers to identify and manage their emotions. We will provide examples of materials and ways to incorporate social emotional learning into your daily classroom routine.

Presenters: Jill Nowacek and Faiza Jackson

Biography: Jill received her degree in Child Development in 2010 from West Virginia University, and has worked at Barrie for five years. Jill has always had a passion for children and has known she wanted to work with children since she was young. Outside of school, Jill loves going on adventures, whether it is traveling the world or going to Disney. Jill loves to scrapbook, take photos, snowboard, workout, run, yoga and just about anything that involves being outside. Jill loves all the season for different reasons, the summer: she loves the beaches, the fall: she loves the colors and taking pictures, the winter: she loves the snow, and the spring when things start to bloom again has such beauty!

Faiza Jackson is a licensed clinical social worker who currently serves as the Student and Family Services Director at the Barrie School. In this role she collaborate with teachers to incorporate social emotional learning into their classrooms and provides direct clinical support to students as needed.

Am I Black Enough? An Inclusive Conversation: Finding the Universal in the Personal

Applicable to: All Levels and Administration

Summary: This is a refreshingly engaging and interactive discussion about race and identity that aims at recognizing, addressing, and dispelling some layers of bias. The connections presented are formulated by revisiting the experiences of a black woman of African descent in present day America. The key component of this conversation is valuing identity. Resolving to inspire and promote a stronger sense of who we are and why we are valuable members of the global community. This presentation is about identifying who were are as individuals and further breaking down barriers to understanding the role identity plays in freeing or restricting us. As Montessorians we know that the principles of Montessori philosophy are essential to understanding ourselves, how we are all connected and contribute to the global community. Therefore, having a conversation that addresses the question Am I black enough?, An inclusive conversation: Finding the Universal in the Personal sits as a centerpiece for reclaiming Montessori for Universal liberation. 

Presenter: Iana Phillips
Biography: An American Montessori Society (AMS) credentialed Elementary I and II teacher of eight years, I have worked in multiple Montessori environments and models; public, private, and public charter. Over the course of my Montessori career I have served students in the classroom and work with future Montessorians, as an instructor at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, MD. I am currently employed at the Latin American Montessori Bilingual (LAMB) Public Charter school in Washington, D.C., as a lower elementary teacher. 

I received a degrees in History from Mary Baldwin College and New Mexico State University. I also hold a Master’s degree in Teaching from Trinity Washington University. I am a humble Montessori parent, supportive consultant, enthusiastic learner, and proud Montessorian of Color.

Pedagogical Explorations of Waseca Biome Materials in the Children's House

Applicable to: Early Childhood

Summary: Ever wonder how successful it would be to use Waseca’s biome materials in the Primary level? Hear how Barrie teachers adapted these materials (animal cards, readers, maps) by adding concrete elements, extensions, and art projects to make biome study around the world accessible to Primary children.
This workshop will demonstrate a sequence in using the materials (biome readers, animal cards, research stamps, biome maps), show examples of actual student work, provide an opportunity to touch the materials, and offer a suggested progression of lessons.

Presenter: Cathy Carpenter, Sarah Hill; joined by Kimberly Sandridge and Nancy Martinez

Biography: Cathy is a Primary teacher at Barrie and instructor for the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. She has presented at conferences and served as a verifier for MACTE and AMS. Cathy is an AMS representative to the MACTE Board

Sarah is the Primary Program Leader and classroom teacher at Barrie. She is an instructor and evaluator for the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. She is also a consultant for students at the Institute.

Science for the Seriously Curious

Applicable to: Early Childhood

Summary: How curious are you about the world of science? Are you as curious as a child? Children are curious by nature and are constantly exploring and making new experiences? During this workshop we will explore several science topics that will spark your curiosity into the world of science.

Water, color, and air will be our main topics. Here is a bonus for you. You will learn how to make and erupt a volcano. Forget the regular baking soda and vinegar. How about a volcanic eruption underwater?!

Presenter: Denis Cerritos

Denis is a Montessori Teacher at Norbeck Montessori where he has been teaching for 23 years. He has a bilingual classroom (Spanish) and is also the science and kindergarten teacher. Denis holds a degree in Psychology and worked several years with children with behavioral and emotional problems at the Episcopal Center for Children in Washington DC. For the past five years he has been working for Montgomery College Workforce Development, teaching a number of science and math workshops. This is Denis’s second year participating at the Greater Washington Montessori Conference. Last year he taught a workshop related to the science of color.