Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday giving from our Wichita Montessori Families this 2013 season!

A full bin of donations for Operation Holiday from Wichita Montessori
All of the wonderful donations given by our WMS families for those who need them this Holiday Season. Thank you to Naomi Shapiro for organizing these efforts this year. 
PJ drive at Wichita Montessori
This year the Primary joined with Scholastic gather donations of warm pajamas. As you can see we have a great turn in for a first time effort by our families. We are so proud of how often and willing our families are to join our school to make these efforts such a success.  

Friday, September 27, 2013

Meet the Teacher and Ice Cream Social

Ice cream social 

Thanks everyone: We came, we saw, we ate ice cream (with sprinkles and whipped cream) - and most importantly the parents got to meet the Teachers and see their children's classrooms and projects.  And we were lucky with the weather.

Meeting the Teachers

School has been 'in' for about a month now, so the children at Wichita Montessori have started to settle into a routine.

Parents got to see where children sit and work and to admire some of the lovely art projects that they have created, from teepees (made from crinkled up Dillon's paper bags) in 4th grade, to All About Me posters in 1st grade.  We'll publish another blog post on some of the art projects very soon.

Painless Fundraising - and it is painless - really!

Thanks also to everyone who purchased Dillon's gift cards - they are part of the Parents Group's  painless fundraising efforts.  So far this semester we have received about $277 in painless fundraising from Dillon's cards by parents  who shop for groceries and gas.

You can buy cards from the Parents Group for $5.  The card comes  already charged with the $5 purchase price. You can then add your own amount to the card before shopping (either in the check-out line, or at Customer Service).  To purchase a card, please contact our President, Julie Severs.

Remember to use your card - and the rest is painless!

Wichita Montessori School t-shirts

We were also sizing everyone up for Wichita Montessori school t-shirts.  Going for something different this year, our new shirts will be printed on a fabulous kiwi green color.

The Homecoming parade with The Independent School is on Oct 11th 2013 - so the shirts will be ready to wear then and we know the children are going to look great!  We also hope that students will wear their WMS t-shirt on Fridays, to add a bit of spirit!  Parent's Group is helping out with the cost of the t-shirts.

Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who helped set up for ice-cream night, and for Mrs. Saunders and
Mrs. Amos for being trusty servers and scoopers.

All the children seemed to enjoy it - not just the ice-cream but the chance to show their parents how proud they are of their achievements in Wichita Montessori School so far.

More next week.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Why I decided on Montessori School for my kids (and why you might want to think about it too)

How do we learn?

As a child I really didn't know much about how we learn - I simply discovered, as many of us do, that some things I could remember well and easily - and others I just couldn't!

(In my case math - or 'maths' as we say in the UK).


Eureka!  There are 8 Intelligences?  I thought I only had one...

In my adult years I was fortunate enough to discover more about how we learn and apply it to help others learn easily and quickly in the business environment.

I became familiar with a major learning principle that is also part of the Montessori learning environment - Howard Gardner's Theory of multiple intelligences.

The 8 intelligences are (ref

  1. Linguistic Intelligence - use of language
  2. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence - analyze, investigate, logical math operation
  3. Musical Intelligence - skill in the performance, interpretation and appreciation of musical patterns
  4. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence - using the whole of one's body or part of one's body to problem solve
  5. Spatial Intelligence -  recognizing and using the patterns of wide space and confined areas
  6. Interpersonal Intelligence - the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of others
  7. Intrapersonal Intelligence - to know oneself, feelings, fears and motivations
  8. Naturalistic Intelligence - awareness of, and connection with, nature and its patterns and rhythms.

So what is the connection between Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences and Montessori Schools?

When teachers are Montessori trained, some study of Howard Gardner's Theory of multiple intelligences is included in their course work.

Honestly though in my humble opinion, Maria Montessori, (the Montessori Method's originator and founder) knew instinctively what many educational theorists have since proven in practice.

Whole body learning is definitely the way to accelerate learning and also create a very enjoyable learning experience at the same time.  (The educational equivalent of having your cake and eating it).

As an example, simply compare a memory of a dry subject from school (I'm going to pick history, because that was dry for me).  There were lists and lists of dates to memorize by rote, and many of the stories and experiences didn't seem real to me.  I found it boring, quite frankly.

Compare that with creating a play or story around a famous historic event and actually playing the characters.  (Take your pick - I'm going to be Amelia Earhart because I'm writing this in Wichita, KS).

If I was a child who had played the role, experienced some of the ideas of the time, drew pictures about it and spoke to others about how 'I/Amelia' lived and died - the body and the mind remember more than just hearing the teacher speak and taking notes.


Why is this useful to us when we are learning how to learn?

The really interesting thing about the 8 intelligences is that we all have our own natural preferences and lean towards a top 2, perhaps 3 of the preferences listed above.  Which ones do you like best?  We'd love to hear your comments.  My top two are Linguistic and Interpersonal.  Just ask my friends!

Even more interesting to note - if we create and design educational methods that appeal to more of these intelligences than just 2 or 3 while the learning is happening, there is more chance of us learning and remembering what we are learning later and the speed of retained learning increases.

(In my case we applied this method of learning to teaching adults and children how to touch-type in 1 day - and it worked!).

Then I became a mother...and found Montessori - and my kids love Math!

After all my experiences I wanted to ensure that my kids had the best shot at their education and that they would learn in an environment that encouraged success.  I knew what I was looking for but I wasn't sure it was out there.

Enter Montessori!  First of all in Maryland at the Bay Montessori School, then at the Wichita Montessori School - both girls have spent the entirety of their education from Primary (preschool) through to elementary (up to 5th grade) - in classrooms which encourage whole-body learning.

Math (which had been the bane of my life at school) is taught in Montessori using more than just one of the intelligences, using beads and blocks (bodily-kinesthetic, spatial intelligences), group study and study across grades (interpersonal), quiet study (intrapersonal), with spoken exercises (linguistic) and using logical-mathematical analysis and linguistic intelligence also.


Both my girls are doing well in math and, in fact, all other subjects as a result.  The oldest is now a Wichita Montessori School Alumni and this year is in Middle School and thriving.

It was both a thrill and a relief to discover that amongst the many amazing influences Montessori teachers learn from are - Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences.

In the global market we need to learn faster, better and easier - and whole-body learning achieves that

In our fast-paced global society, I am grateful that my children have had so many more chances both to learn and to remember with the Montessori method.  I believe it is one of the best things we can do for our children's education.

Perhaps it'll be one of the best things you do for yours?

Sarah Lawrence Hinson previously co-directed Oddball Training UK, writes her own blog at Mom On A Spiritual Journey and is a proud parent at the Wichita Montessori School.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Blogging about the Wichita Montessori School

It was a time for spreading our wings and seeing 
where this new adventure would take us.

Blogging, how did I get into this online-communication world?
Now I am writing about the Wichita Montessori School, of which I
am a part. This being my first blog ever, my mind is flooded with
topics. Which direction do I go, how long should it be, what are the
most important issues to address? As I evaluate my direction, my
mind wanders to the past months.

Over the summer my husband and I took our first cruise; each day
was filled with memorable opportunities. On the cruise ship we
experienced peacefulness, the communities exhibited grace and
courtesy to others, people handled freedom and responsibilities,
there was excitement, opportunities to explore and learn about new
areas and regions, positive energy, and of course the prepared
environment was beyond description! On an excursion we
snorkeled the Barrier Reef. Even though it was difficult swimming
for an hour, it was well worth the hard work. We pushed ourselves
to a new level, and it was very rewarding.

At another stop we swam with the dolphins, which was a time
where we felt one with nature. We were part of the underwater
world—not more important—but part of the whole. The
opportunities on the cruise were all around, some things we were
expected to do, some were left to our own choosing. It was a time
for spreading our wings and seeing where this new adventure
would take us!

The cruise was a delightful journey, and I couldn’t help but think
that the characteristics I observed parallel with what I encounter at
Wichita Montessori School every day:
  • communities exhibiting grace and courtesy
  • freedom with responsibility
  • opportunities to explore
  • problem solving
  • collaboration
  • learning experientially about new areas, regions, and personal interactions
  • prepared environment
  • respect for one another

No, we don’t go snorkeling, swim with dolphins, and are not
located on an extravagant ship. Nevertheless, each day is unique,
filled with opportunities where we learn and grow together.
Wichita Montessori School is truly a place where learning comes
to life; a place of discovery where children can indulge their need
to explore and learn.

Well, my first blog is completed! Yes, I have left my cruise ship
behind, but continue to love my exciting experiences and journey
at our Wichita Montessori School. Follow our blog and keep up
with our adventures.

Linda J. Amos
Head of School
Wichita Montessori School (WMS)

For over twenty-five years WMS has been a highly respected
school in the Wichita community grounded in the Montessori
philosophy and enhanced by other proven education practices of
the 21st century. As Head of WMS, a private school for preschool
age through 5th grade, I am privileged to be a part of amazing
adventures! We are located in east Wichita on The Independent
School campus. Please visit our website,

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Successful Preschool Transition: Managing Separation Anxiety

Our faculty at Wichita Montessori has supported hundreds of children into the exciting new world of learning. We understand that it is a time of adjustment for both children and their parents. We work with families to ensure that their child is shown the empathy needed during this time. We are happy to share that within a few weeks, most children are running to our doors to begin their school days. We hope you found this video informative and helpful.