Dig Deeper: Learning More About Montessori

The Prepared Environment: Teacher's Desk

Montessori education has been around for more than 100 years. In this post, we’ve gathered some links to books and other resources. We welcome additional suggestions in the “Comments” area, below. 

Montessori organizations: The two primary Montessori organizations in the United States are the Association Montessori International (USA) and the American Montessori Society. Both sites have a ton of information, as well as links to their Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also visit The Montessori Foundation, where you can browse its online bookstore and subscribe to Tomorrow’s Child magazine (print or ebook). Since UMCS is a public school, you may find the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector of interest.

Books: Your local library is a great place to do some Montessori research, or you can buy books from a local bookstore or online. The snippets below are from Amazon.com; if you buy via the links below, a percentage of your purchase will be donated to UMCS. A good starting point is looking over the many books published by Maria Montessori herself. To read about her life, visit her page on Biography.com or this page on the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association.

Some additional suggested reading includes:

Montessori materials: The prepared environment is a big part of Montessori. To learn more about the materials used in Montessori classrooms, visits sites including Montessori Services and Living Montessori Now.

Finally, a parent favorite is Montessori Madmen: “We're an impatient, ragtag group of dads and advocates from around the world, united by a common zeal to bring the Montessori method to millions more. Our mission is simple: to advocate for Montessori education so that one day it's not called Montessori school; it's just called school.”


La Educación Montessori ha existido por más de 100 años. En este escrito, hemos reunido algunos enlaces a libros y otros recursos para su información. Le damos la bienvenida si tiene sugerencias adicionales, los puede incluir en el área de "Comentarios", al final.

Organizaciones Montessori: Las dos organizaciones primarias Montessori en los Estados Unidos son la Asociación Montessori Internacional (EE.UU.) y la Sociedad Americana Montessori. Ambos sitios tienen mucha información, así como enlaces a sus páginas de Facebook y Twitter. También puede visitar La Fundación Montessori, donde puede navegar su librería en línea y suscribirse a la revista Tomorrow’s Child (impreso o ebook). Ya que UMCS es una escuela pública, usted puede encontrar el Centro Nacional de Montessori en el Sector Público de interés.

Libros: La biblioteca local es un gran lugar para investigar sobre Montessori, o usted puede comprar libros en una librería local o en línea. Los fragmentos a continuación son de Amazon.com; si usted compra a través de los enlaces en esta página, un porcentaje de su compra serán donados a UMCS. Un buen punto de partida es revisar los muchos libros publicados por la misma Maria Montessori. Para leer acerca de su vida, visite su página en Biography.com o esta página en la Asociación Americana de Profesores Montessori del Norte.

Algunas lecturas recomendadas incluyen:

• La Controversia Montessori, John Chattin-McNichols (1991): "En este texto informativo se proporciona la filosofía y prácticas de enseñanza Montessori y materiales curriculares. También se revisa la investigación reciente sobre los efectos de la experiencia de la escuela Montessori.”

• Montessori: La ciencia detrás del Genio, Angeline Lillard Stoll (2008): "Lillard presenta la investigación que fundamenta ocho puntos de vista que son la base de la educación Montessori, y describe cómo cada uno de estos puntos de vista se aplica en el aula Montessori."

• Montessori Hoy: Un enfoque integral de la educación desde el nacimiento hasta la edad adulta, Paula Polk Lillard (1996): "Paula Lillard, directora de una escuela Montessori de edades comprendidas entre 18 meses y quince años ofrece una introducción clara y convincente para el programa Montessori para los años de primaria y posteriores." 

• “Cómo criar a un niño increíble de la Forma Montessori,” Tim Seldin (2006): "Adaptado para facilitar su uso con los niños en el hogar y sobre la base de las ideas clave que crean, los niños seguros e independientes en las escuelas Montessori, este libro inspirador muestra a los padres cómo lidiar con el crecimiento físico e intelectual de los niños desde el nacimiento hasta los seis años."

Materiales Montessori: El ambiente preparado es una gran parte de Montessori. Para obtener más información sobre los materiales utilizados en las aulas Montessori, favor visitar los siguientes sitios incluyendo Servicios Montessori  y Living Montessori Now.

Por último, uno de los favoritos de las families es Montessori Madmen: "Somos un grupo de papás impacientes y defensores de todo el mundo, unidos por un afán común de llevar el método Montessori a millones más. Nuestra misión es simple: abogar por la educación Montessori para que un día no se llama la escuela Montessori; simplemente llama la escuela.”

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Mindful Impact Partnership Brings Mindfulness Training to Urban Montessori Charter School

Mindful Impact, an Oakland-based organization that offers mindfulness training to predominantly underserved communities in an effort to promote social justice and educational equity, is coming to Urban Montessori Charter School.

Funded by an anonymous grant, the Mindful Impact program will provide mindfulness training to UMCS' faculty, staff and 230 students, beginning on February 18, 2014. Parents will have an opportunity to be exposed to the curriculum at our Spring Parent Night on February 26, 2014.

There is a sizeable body of research that shows that teaching children self-regulation skills improves academic outcomes. This partnership will enable us to equip children with a greater range of self-regulation skills. The Mindful Impact lessons will be a welcome addition to our social-emotional curriculum.

Montessori schools teach basic sitting and walking meditation lessons called "The Silence Game" and "Walking the Line." The opportunity to provide students with more mindfulness habits, skills and practices through working with Mindful Impact is a logical partnership.

Photos of UMCS kindergarten students practicing one of Maria Montessori's "Silence" lessons, in October 2013:



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"Living Montessori: The Parent Perspective" ~ American Montessori Society (Video)

In this video, parents describe why they love Montessori education.

Thank you to the American Montessori Society for compiling and sharing this material!

Living Montessori: The Parent Perspective from American Montessori Society on Vimeo.

Classroom footage captured at Princeton Montessori School in Princeton, NJ. Thank you to Princeton Montessori School as well as to these schools, whose current parents are represented: Brooklyn Heights Montessori School, The Caedmon School, Christopher Academy, Metropolitan Montessori School, Twin Parks Montessori Schools.

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Building Equity at Urban Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori, the creator of Montessori education, was dedicated to helping all children achieve their highest potential.

She developed her teaching method from working with young people with special needs in a mental institution, and with those living in low-income communities, in Lorenzo, Italy. Over the years, Dr. Montessori had the opportunity to teach — and to train teachers — in Asia, Europe and the United States. She saw those educators achieve great results applying her methods with many different types of students in many different countries.

Here at Urban, we strive to implement the Montessori method with a much more diverse group of students in a single school setting than Dr. Montessori ever saw in her day.

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School Songs

Every morning at Urban Montessori, at the start of our school day, we gather in a circle.

Our morning circle is an opportunity for our students to settle in to the rhythm of the day, as well as a time for Ms. Jill to address the whole student body, noting what we've accomplished as a community and what we might need to work on, as well as a time for teachers and parents to make announcements of upcoming events.

And every morning, we sing.


Here are the lyrics to our songs:


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Montessori Apps for Kids?

Montessori is necessarily a hands-on, physical manipulatives, real-life-experience-based educational practice.

The thought of "an app for that" does seem contradictory.

However, if adults and kids want an opportunity to explore Montessori principals on a touch screen, these links are a good starting point for activities that would support the learning that takes place at school.

While some may have better physical interaction and responsiveness than others, there are many high-quality learning apps for all devices that encourage multi-sensory experiences, and self-directed and independent play. 

The majority of these apps complement what happens in the classroom — except for the My Playhome series. My Playhome encourages fantasy play which is not usually incorporated into a Montessori elementary curriculum. That said, the series is great for encouraging co-play and narrative skills for kindergarteners and parents together. 

The Reading Rainbow subscription, also linked below, is a great way to supplement instruction for struggling and emerging readers. Kids LOVE this app. Invest in the subscription: it's cheaper than buying three books at the store and you receive books all-year-round.

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Great Gifts for Montessori Kids

What games, toys and books do Montessori kids like?

A few ideas are listed here, recommended by some of our current K-through-3rd grade students and their families. Please add your favorites in the comments field below. 

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UMCS 2013-2014 State of the School Address Slide Show

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Montessori, Design Thinking and Arts Integration Charter School in Oakland, California