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Aim for meaningful Montessori resources for your entire school community!

A 4-day Virtual Event for Montessori Teachers & Administrators

January 29 - February 1, 2024

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Day One

January 29, 2024

Day Two
 Early Childhood

January 30, 2024

Day Three
 Elementary & Adolescent

January 31, 2024

Day Four

February 1, 2024

Planing, organizing and orchestrating school-wide professional development is no small task...

You're getting a lot of things right:

  • You're hiring amazing teachers...
  • You're providing opportunities for growth when and where you find them...

But... let's be honest, the struggle is real!   

Maybe right now...

You are too busy managing the intricacies of your school community to create and implement your own programming

The courses and workshops you find are limited in scope and don't meet the needs of your entire team

School-wide attendance at national Montessori conferences is beyond the means of your budget

There has got to be a better way.

Your dream of finding a way to provide affordable and authentic Montessori professional development to your entire team is possible with the
AIM School-Wide Montessori Summit






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Day one

Infant Toddler

Key Note Speaker

Nancy McNabb

Normalization, and the Development of the Personality in the First Three Years

In her masterpiece The Absorbent Mind, Dr. Montessori taught that “…when the attractions of the new environment exert their spell, offering motives for constructive activity, a unique type of child appears, a ‘new child;’ but really it is the child’s true ‘personality’ allowed to construct itself normally.” 

As we observe and support children in our Montessori Infant and Toddler environments, we are privileged to observe this essential process unfold right before our eyes. As we meet the child’s basic needs in the prepared environment, we help them develop the trust which leads them to exploration, the development of the personality and eventually to independence. This session will explore what we can do to support normalization in our homes and Montessori classrooms.

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Is there a difference between guidance and teaching, and how might you know?
Presented by Pamela Green

We will enter an exploration of this question by looking at the origins of what may be held within each quality of the ways we are with children. By considering our intentions, motivations, and where our focus resides. Is it more externally focused or moving from within? And what impact can this have on the experience of who we are with?

We will move through a process of discernment, which is unique to each one of us, offering clues to where guidance and teaching. As a map or pathway towards collaboration and learning in new ways. How might this matter in the classroom?

Come join me to discover more.

Symphonic Inspirations: the Art of Musical Education
Presented by Norman Huynh with Mary Ellen Maunz

Hear from Norman Huynh, one of classical music's most adventurous ambassadors, about his transformative journey, spanning from the enchantment of his childhood to the attainment of a music education degree and ultimately, his esteemed role as the Director of the Bozeman Symphony.

 Learn how to inspire children with music from the earliest ages.  Gain insights into seamlessly integrating music into your Montessori environment, unlocking the potential for a profound and immersive musical experience. Embark on a journey of inspiration as Mary Ellen and Norman showcase examples of how to harness the power of music as a transformative vehicle across all realms of education. Prepare to be motivated and enlightened by their stories and expertise!

Observation: Encouraging you to Just Do It!
Presented by Leslie Kennedy

Embark on an exploration of the pivotal role observation plays in the dynamic environment of infant and toddler classrooms. Join me as I unravel the significance of honing your observation skills and discover practical tools designed to streamline and enhance your observational process.

In the realm of Montessori education, observation is not just a passive activity—it's a skill to be actively cultivated. Through this presentation, I will guide you in refining this skill, emphasizing its transformative power to elevate your efficacy in a Montessori classroom. Be prepared to immerse yourself in a journey that not only highlights the art of observation but also empowers you with actionable strategies for continued growth and impact in your educational practice.

Classroom Management: The Environment, Children, and Adults
Presented by Courtney Reed

This presentation delves into the core principles of Montessori education, focusing on the dynamic interplay of the Montessori Triad – the child, the teacher, and a well-prepared environment. Courtney explores the philosophy of "Following the Child," emphasizing Dr. Montessori's perspective on the teacher's success being measured by the children working as if the teacher does not exist. Strategies for guiding children away from disruptive behavior are discussed, with a keen focus on the 4 Ds: dangerous, destructive, disruptive, and disrespectful.

The presentation also introduces the concept of the "3 Types of Children" – Workers, Watchers, and Wanderers – and emphasizes the importance of creating a structured classroom environment that fosters independence. Classroom management is explored as the process of establishing consistent rules and boundaries that are respected by all, providing children with a sense of security and confidence.
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Early Childhood

Key Note Speaker

Mary Ellen Maunz

Montessori Alignment with The Science of Reading

Join us for an insightful presentation that bridges the timeless wisdom of Montessori education with the contemporary insights of the Science of Reading. Explore how Montessori principles align with the science-backed strategies for literacy development. Discover the harmonious integration of phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension within the Montessori framework. Gain practical tools and innovative approaches to nurture early reading skills while preserving the holistic Montessori learning experience.

Whether you're a Montessori educator, parent, or literacy enthusiast, this presentation will illuminate the path toward a comprehensive and effective reading journey that honors both Montessori philosophy and the latest advancements in reading science. 

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Key Note Speaker

Mary Ellen Maunz

The Universality of Montessori

Delve into Maria Montessori's diverse array of passions, with a spotlight on her impactful teaching philosophy encapsulated in the poignant assertion: “Man must be educated to realize his greatness and to become worthy of the powers that are his.” Drawing insights from her enlightening 1949 San Remo lectures, we ponder the profound question of whether humanity is as self-centered as commonly perceived, contemplating the significance of cultivating gratitude and humility.

To underscore the global resonance of Montessori's principles, we will visually showcase compelling images depicting diverse environments and children engaged in meaningful activities across Montessori schools worldwide. This visual journey serves to illuminate the universality and timeless relevance of Montessori's educational approach.

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The Gift of the Great Outdoors
Presented by Kara Renick

Explore the profound impact of nature on children's gross motor development and overall well-being. Delve into the concept of "nature deficiency" and uncover the remarkable benefits that nature offers, including heightened curiosity, enhanced observational skills, intrinsic motivation, and an abundance of imagination and adventure. Discover how the lack of outdoor experiences can affect a child's development and learning journey, drawing insights from extensive research. Gain practical strategies for reintroducing nature into children's lives, whether in urban or rural settings, and reignite their innate connection with the natural world.

Montessori Tips and Tricks:  How to Successfully Run a School Year in a Montessori Classroom
Presented by Daniel Ocampo

Embark on a journey to uncover innovative ideas and practical tips designed to transform your classroom environment. Throughout this session, we will delve into strategies that empower educators to effectively navigate and address the unique challenges that children bring to the school year. Our primary focus will be on the pivotal role of the prepared environment in fostering a dynamic and conducive learning space.

Labyrinths to Enrich Learning
Presented by Liz Goodman & Melinda Cropsey

Labyrinths in schools have been shown to: Engage children's natural imagination and creativity; Help children to calm, center and self-soothe; Provide a safe place to share feelings and integrate new concepts; Connect children to nature and one another; and Build community and a sense of interconnectedness. Labyrinths align beautifully with Dr. Montessori's observation that "the child uses his movements to extend his understanding. Movement helps the development of mind..."

After a brief history of labyrinths, participants will learn to introduce Labyrinths to young children; Learn to create both Finger Labyrinths and Outdoor Labyrinths employing a variety of materials and designs; and Incorporate Labyrinths into a Peace Corner with tips to help children enjoy "Time-out for Time-in!"

Literary Launchpad: Using Children's Books to Enhance Lessons
Presented by Heidi Tussing

This presentation delves into the art of using children's books as dynamic springboards for impactful lessons in the Montessori environment. Discover the essential criteria for selecting the right books to support your teaching objectives, and gain insights into how book-based lessons align with language comprehension, a crucial aspect of the science of reading, including the key components of Scarborough's reading rope. Explore a treasure trove of specific lesson ideas inspired by various children's books, unlocking the potential to captivate young minds and foster a deep love for learning.

Montessori Classroom Management: The Foundation of Normalization
Presented by Salli McDonald

This informative presentation explores valuable classroom management strategies, offering insights and practices to enhance your prepared environment. Discover techniques to empower students and promote responsibility. Explore methods for fostering student engagement and language development. Learn how to create a calm and focused classroom atmosphere. Dive into effective ways to encourage student choice and responsibility. Additionally, we'll discuss methods for improving communication with parents and promoting independence in young learners. Join us to uncover the keys to a well-managed Montessori classroom.

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Day Three

Elementary & Adolescent

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Philip Snow Gang

with Tamara Sheesley Balis

The Essence of Montessori

Join Dr. Philip Snow Gang and Tamara Sheesley Balis for a conversation about the essence of Montessori and how Maria Montessori's vision has expanded over time.
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Peace Education in the Elementary Environment
Presented by Suzanne Tipton

This presentation explores the essential components of a harmonious educational environment. Dive into the art of creating a peaceful space that encourages mindfulness and well-being while fostering emotional and physical balance. Discover effective strategies for conflict resolution and mediation, as well as the importance of cultivating strong connections and cooperation within the Montessori prepared environment. You'll find that these principles beautifully complement the ideals of peace and harmony within education, providing a holistic approach to nurturing respectful and empathetic learners.

Lead with a Story: Igniting Imagination in the Elementary Environment
Presented by Janet Nordemann

Discover how storytelling can spark imagination, create a shared bonding experience, and kindle curiosity in topics that might otherwise seem dry. We'll delve into the qualities that make a storyteller exceptional, emphasizing that anyone can become a skilled storyteller with practice and guidance.This presentation will also provide practical insights on how to seamlessly integrate storytelling into the Montessori classroom, making it a powerful tool for conveying lessons, fostering creativity, and enhancing the learning experience. Whether you're an experienced educator or new to the Montessori approach, this presentation will inspire you to harness the transformative power of storytelling in your teaching journey.

How to Support & Redirect a Resistant, Emotional or Distracted Child 
Presented by Flora McCormick, LCPC

When you finish this session, you will know:  How to best handle a student who seemingly is not 'present/responding/checked out' when a teacher is giving simple directions/re-directions.  How to be more effective in communicating expectations that are not being met:  (ie. calm body, enjoy/listen to stories) vs. rolling around/making extra noises, and touching others.  Effective tools to help a student who's "flipped her lid" and will proceed to cry/scream for 10 + minutes.

Practical Life and Handwork in the Elementary Environment
Presented by Fana Takahashi & Greg Reed

Starting with Maria Montessori's wisdom, "What the hand does, the mind remembers," we'll delve into how these elements enrich the educational journey. In this presentation, we will discuss the importance of practical life and handwork in the Montessori Elementary Classroom. We will delve in-depth into the benefits, correspondence to the elementary sensitive period, and integration into the cosmic curriculum. Additionally, we will provide examples and ideas to incorporate into your elementary classroom. 

Practical Life, Pivoting, and Problem Solving with Adolescents
Presented by Tom Strong

Join Tom for an engaging exploration into the pivotal role of Practical Life in the Montessori middle school setting. Delve into the profound impact that practical life experiences wield in shaping adolescents' sense of purpose and autonomy. This discussion will illuminate the cognitive, emotional, and social developmental benefits that these experiences offer, assisting students in navigating the unique challenges of this transitional period. Gain valuable insights and actionable ideas to enrich your classroom environment with meaningful practical life experiences for your students.

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Day Four


Key Note Speaker

Sheldon Reynolds

How School Leaders Can Use the Essence of Montessori to Reinvision and Reform Education for our Current Context

Sheldon Reynolds has been given the unique opportunity to build Secondary Montessori school programs in the public education setting across two states. School administrators and leaders will explore the essential question of “What is the essence of Montessori education?”  This session culminates with looking at how the answers to that essential question can be coupled with Design Theory and Improvement Science practices to reinvision and reform what Montessori education looks like for your current context.

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Montessori Team Building: Cultivating Effective Collaboration
Presented by Karen Walton

Explore the dynamic roles and responsibilities within Montessori teaching teams, gaining insight into each member's unique contributions and their significance within the broader team context. Discover strategies to foster ongoing self-development and seamless collaboration within your teaching team.

Impactful Marketing for your Montessori School
Presented by Lynn Cherry & Carolyn Sweet

Join us to discover innovative strategies for marketing your Montessori School and building brand awareness from the grassroots up. We will explore four low-cost, practical ideas to implement and make a significant impact on your school's visibility. Learn how to plan both structured and unstructured events to attract potential families to your campus and create a lasting impression.

We'll guide you through the art of crafting compelling micro mission statements, empowering your staff and families to become effective advocates for your school community. You'll also receive invaluable insights on harnessing the potential of organic social media marketing, ensuring your school's story is consistently told in harmony with your mission and vision. Learn how to streamline your efforts, get organized, and make the most of your marketing!

The Joys and Heartbreaks of Starting a School
Presented by Leslie & Graham Kennedy

Hear from Leslie & Graham about their journey establishing and growing Elevate Montessori School in Livingston, Montana.  Gain insight and inspiration from their remarkable achievement of transforming a humble beginning with just 4 students in their home into a thriving educational institution with 67 students spread across two campuses in just three years. This session is perfect for anyone interested in starting a school or already on their journey to grow their Montessori school community.

Nature Based Learning in Montessori Schools
Presented by Clarissa Pollack

Blending direct teachings from Dr Montessori and cutting edge modern child development research, this presentation will highlight practical ways to implement nature based learning into your school or home learning environment. Invite nature into your space and give each child’s Inner Teacher the materials they’ve been waiting for.