They will offer several key points of inquiry including:
Is there a fresh way to look at the child, the material, and the adult?
Am I centered on the child or on a series of lessons I must "get to" regardless?
How do I dig into my observation practice to really see what’s before my own eyes and ears when children use the math materials?
How do I build exploration into my presentations? Am I inviting the child to articulate their own observations and their understanding as they grow their mathematical mind?
Session #1 - A New Way to Look at the Child and Materials (February 10, 2024)
Do precision and exploration sound like words that don’t belong in the same sentence? Does this sound like a basic paradoxical situation? In this initial session of our three-part series on Montessori Mathematics, we’ll examine ways that we can be both precise in how we present Montessori Math materials and, at the same time, encourage exploration. Using specific examples from the 1-10 materials, we’ll blend the idea of discovery into the initial presentation and demonstrate an approach that moves the emphasis from the presentation of the material itself to the observation of how the child makes sense of the material and the variety of ways they might approach the task before them.
Session #2 - Discovering and Building Patterns (March 16, 2024)
Using the Bank game as the centerpiece, the second session will explore the patterns in each of the four operations and the ways they are connected to each other. Focusing on discovering and articulating patterns rather than simply manipulating materials, can support a real explosion into mathematical understanding for the late first-plane child. Using real stories as well as shifting into “what if….” scenarios, we’ll talk about ways to stretch the child’s thinking to naturally incorporate knowledge of number patterns and progressions. We’ll build upon this experience to demonstrate ways to support children’s growing ability to talk about what they know in their mind and connect it to what they have done with their hands.
Session #3 - How the Imagination Propels Us Forward (April 27, 2024)
Focusing on everyday problem-solving, we’ll invite Practical Life to join Mathematics in a complimentary duet. In our final session of the series, we'll explore the inquiry - How do we fuel the imagination in Mathematics and not make it pro-forma? Using different kinds of measuring as our foundation, we'll explore myriad examples of “limitless imagination.” If I can measure the classroom with the red rods, how does that relate to measuring my own growth in inches? Can I experience and describe the inverse relationship between measuring in feet vs inches? What else can I measure? If I want to make more muffins, how do I increase the recipe? If one part changes, what happens to the other parts? Why does the glass thousand cube weigh more than the cardboard one? Invite the child's imagination, and the possibilities are endless!
Meet Charles Terranova & Gretchen
Since 1972, Charles Terranova has been active nationally and internationally as a classroom teacher, teacher educator, administrator, and speaker. Charles has worked in both independent and public Montessori schools and has consulted with a number of Boards of Trustees, Heads of Schools and teachers. He presents regularly at local and national Montessori conferences. Charles holds AMI and AMS Early Childhood and AMS Elementary I-II Certification. For the past 25 years, Charles has served as a field consultant, supervising teacher, and course instructor at Seacoast Center Montessori Teacher Education Program and Cambridge Montessori Institute Teacher Education Program. He also serves as consultant for EC at the AMS Instructor Academy.
Gretchen B. Courage holds AMS credentials in Early Childhood and Administration and an MA in Early Childhood Education. In the course of her career spanning more than fifty years, she has served in both public and independent Montessori schools in a variety of roles, including primary Montessori guide, school founder, head of school, director of education, teacher trainer, and school consultant. Gretchen is currently the Montessori coach at Amherst Montessori School and a school consultant. She served as a co-facilitator in the American Montessori Society’s Instructor Academy from 2021-23.
Research on Montessori and Piaget was part of Gretchen’s master’s thesis which she wrote under the guidance of Rosa Packard. This strengthened her fascination with the Montessori Mathematics materials, as did her experience of parenting two Montessori children who love math and clearly absorbed what they learned as young children. After all these years, Gretchen continues to cherish the beauty and clarity of the Montessori Math materials. She is continually revising entries in her Math album based on her observations of how children use the materials in the classroom and what they understand with their minds about what they have done with their hands. As a coach and teacher trainer, Gretchen encourages carefully observing when the child is eager and truly ready, knowing the unique aims of each material, and finding the balance between freedom and structure in their presentations with children.
Since they have known each other for many decades, Gretchen is excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Charles once again as they prepare and present this series of workshops for the Montessori Schools of Massachusetts. Their collaboration always sparks new ideas, and Gretchen and Charles are eager to share them with you as we all look together at the familiar with fresh eyes.