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A True Balancing Act: Technology and the Montessori Classroom

When I think of the presence of technology in a classroom, whether it be a traditional or Montessori classroom, one requirement comes to mind: Meaningful. If you watch carefully how public and private schools now market their schools (yes, they now have to market), you often hear things like “We have 1:1 technology!” or “Every child has a tablet.” When I see these statements, my overall reaction tends to be “So what?” “What do you do with that technology?” ”How is it meaningful?” There are mixed views on the place of technology in a Montessori school. While there are some Montessori schools that have strict regulations, many schools use technology regularly – but only in a purposeful, meaningful way. As a Head of School at a Montessori Academy, our students use technology in the form of practical life. We use it as a supplement to our curriculum and not as a substitute for books and materials. The purpose of Practical Life in a Montessori school is not only to teach concentration, increase small motor skills, expose students to new interests and opportunities, but also to prepare the child for real world experiences. As an educator in the 21st century, I [...]

2017-12-21T14:25:05+00:00September 25th, 2016|School News|0 Comments

Meet Lisa Key, Area Superintendent

Lisa joined the Choice family as an Area Superintendent in 2015 after twelve years of Educational Leadership experience. She previously worked at Lighthouse Academy, Grand Rapids Public Schools, and worked at Pine Rest Christian Services as a social worker. Lisa earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University and her Masters of Social Work & Masters in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University. In the 2014-2015 school year, Lisa was named one of MAPSA’s (Michigan Association of Public School Academies) top five finalists for Administrator of Year. Lisa is passionate about children and their academic and social development. For Lisa, educational leadership is not just a job, it is her life mission to support educators in providing children with optimum educational opportunities. “I am a servant leader who believes that all children have the capacity to grow and learn so that they can become contributing members of society.” In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending time on the beach in California with her son, Jordan, who resides in Los Angeles, her daughter, Jasmine, who is a student at Michigan State University, and her two dogs, Domino and Sammy. Lisa also enjoys horseback riding, gardening, interior design, and cheering on [...]

2017-02-06T10:43:37+00:00August 26th, 2016|School News|0 Comments

The Common Core and Montessori

As the administrator of a public Montessori charter school, I can’t even begin to explain the excitement on a parent’s face when I tell them that at our school their child can receive a Montessori education for free. I explain to them how a charter school receives funding much like any other public school. They shake their head in agreement and then slowly I see a realization come across their face and then they exclaim, “Does that mean you follow the Common Core!?” Over the last few years, there has been much controversy over the Common Core State Standards and standardized tests. Many parents have moved their children to private school in avoidance of these modern-day aspects of today’s education. As a Montessori, many parents think we too are exempt from the Common Core and state tests. With confidence, I can say aloud, “I like the Common Core and honestly, it works well for us”. Why? Montessori education naturally takes learning to a much deeper level than the Common Core does anyway. Montessori done right is already better than the Common Core. Why the Common Core State Standards work in a Montessori School: Rigor: The Common Core goes beyond memorization [...]

2016-10-17T15:59:04+00:00July 25th, 2016|School News|0 Comments

Top 5 Reasons Why Montessori Works

As a Montessori parent and advocate, I can honestly say that I fell in love with Montessori at first sight. Over the years, I’ve watched my son benefit in so many ways because of his educational experiences. His love for learning, academic abilities, compassion and self-motivation are all qualities he’s attained from this superb form of learning. Here are five reasons why I think Montessori sets itself apart from other ways of learning: 1. Montessori is not a trend. So often in education, educators jump from one trend to the next. Districts and schools spend thousands of dollars on a new math or reading program only to find two years later, there’s something better out there. Providing the “right” educational curriculum has become a constant challenge of “keeping up with the Jones’s”. Montessori schools use a philosophy and tools that have been around for over a century. Montessori schools don’t flip-flop between programs because they don’t need to. Montessori education proves to be effective regardless of whether it is in a private or public school, what country it is taught in or the socio economic status of the students. The philosophy that Maria Montessori developed many years ago still works [...]

2016-07-25T13:43:32+00:00July 25th, 2016|School News|0 Comments

Entrepreneurs Start in a Montessori Kindergarten

Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com. Larry Page & Sergey Brin of Google.com.  Julia Child, Cooking Extraordinaire. Anne Frank, Author. Taylor Swift, Pop Singer. All of these people have something in common… a Montessori education that started in Kindergarten. An entrepreneur can be defined as a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money. These successful individuals also exhibit multiple traits that parallel a child who is entering a Montessori Kindergarten. Have you ever stopped and wondered if you, as a parent, are instilling those traits in your children or do you just expect them to gain and understand these characteristics through life experiences as they prepare for college? All parents want their children to be successful but not everyone knows how to help those precious childhood dreams become a reality. In Montessori schools, entrepreneurs start in Kindergarten. It’s true, Kindergarten students learn traits that help them to become prepared and confident adults. You will have a difficult time finding a Montessori teacher who holds on to the belief of waiting until their students are “old enough” to start realizing their dream. Instead, you will notice that the journey to success starts the moment [...]

2016-07-25T13:35:03+00:00July 25th, 2016|School News|0 Comments
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