Twin Parks Montessori Schools - Preschool Manhattan, Upper West Side, New York City (NYC)

Kathy’s Insights

Insights on the Montessori method and Early Childhood Education from Dr. Kathy Roemer

Kathy’s Insights

Montessori Teacher Graduates

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I would like to extend my congratulations to the Twin Parks teachers who completed their Montessori teacher education programs and are now American Montessori Society Certified teachers:

From the Center for Montessori Teacher Education Program, New Rochelle, NY:

Elizabeth Bradley, Park West, Infant/Toddler Certification

Genny Gamez, Park West, Infant/Toddler Certification

Ellen Kim, Park West,  Early Childhood Certification

Puja Panchal, Central Park, Infant/Toddler Certification

From West Side Montessori School Teacher Education Program, NYC:

• Jeff Frank, Riverside, Early Childhood Certification

• Hulda Haughton, Park West, Early Childhood Certification

Twin Parks is so proud of all of you, for your passion, dedication and love of your work with young children.  Our world is a better place because of you!

Hulda Haughton admires the celebration cake!

Jeff Frank and wife, Emma, enjoy a graduation dinner!

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How Young Brains Develop

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On April 28, 2011, Dr. Kathy Roemer of Twin Parks Montessori Schools interviewed Dr. JoAnn Deak about Dr. Deak’s new book, “The Fantastic Elastic Brain”.  Watch the video to learn more about how the brain works, how to help develop young children’s brains, Montessori education and more!

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/24129433]

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Sharing time with young children

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On Friday my sister, niece and great niece came to visit from Pennsylvania.  Camryn is 5 years old and very curious about everything she is exposed to.  When tasting new food she asks, “is it a lick taste or a bite taste?”  While visiting the American Museum of Natural History she asked many questions about the butterflies, dinosaurs, and she wanted to touch the stars in the planetarium.  We often forget how the little things mean so much to young children, a special plate for strawberries, reading a story together and taking time to answer all the questions.

I was reminded of the message that Dr. Ned Hallowell outlined in his  five-step plan for promoting successful learning and lifelong joy that teachers, parents and all others who care about children can use to give children the gift of happiness that will last a lifetime: Connect, Play, Practice, Mastery and Recognition. As fundamental as these five concepts are, they hold the key to raising children with healthy self-esteem, moral awareness and spiritual values. Based on current research, as well as his own experiences as a parent, teacher, and child psychiatrist, Dr. Hallowell described how one step leads to the next and how the cycle is self-perpetuated. Dr. Hallowell stressed that these five key qualities can greatly increase a child’s chances of leading a joyful and meaningful life.

What I realized this weekend spent with 3 generations of family, is that I received as much as I was given.  Providing these connections and opportunities for children provides happiness for all.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIPGiYEnh7c&feature=youtube_gdata]

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Dr. Ned Hallowell Speaks at Twin Parks Montessori Schools

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Twin Parks Montessori Schools’ parents, teachers and community members enjoyed a heartfelt talk by Dr. Edward “Ned” Hallowell.  His message was clear – it is not to late to assist in the development of “the childhood roots of adult happiness”.  This is also the title of one of Ned’s 18 books.  In this particular book he reviews the 5 steps to help children create and sustain lifelong joy.

Dr. Kathy Roemer and Dr. Edward "Ned" Hallowell

In a story-telling format and without any technology, Ned held the audience’s attention as he talked about the importance of connections, play, practice, mastery, and recognition.  I especially connected to his definition of play, “any activity in which there is room for spontaneous invention and/or change”.

He also gave the audience many suggestions that we are all able to do and that are basically free – except for time.

In addition, “Play and creativity go hand in had to create a supremely involved state of mind to which you want to return for the rest of your life.  Play is the fundamental key to a life of joy.”  If our children are free to find their passions and get paid to play within the realm of their passions, they will lead a joyful life.

Ned made many references in support of Montessori as an educational program than understands and provides what children need to grow into joyful adults.

Ned connected with the parents at the book signing following his talk.

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It’s Not All About Visuals

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On Thursday, April 28th, Dr. JoAnn Deak spoke to Twin Parks teachers about brains, specifically: the input, processing, and output of information.  We know that all information comes through our senses.  This is one reason why our Montessori sensorial materials are academically age-appropriate for children.

We also talked about the over abundance of visual stimulation young children receive that overshadows the development of two equally important input avenues – auditory and motoric/tactile/kinesthetic.  We can’t blame this lack of equal stimulation on the availability of technology (television, dvd players, cell phones, computers, cameras, etc.) because we often use them to pacify children when we are busy doing other things.

In order to stimulate the auditory input areas of the brain, you can read books without showing the pictures – allow children to create the picture in their minds FIRST and tell you about it.  After all, the illustrations are just the illustrator’s perception of what the story tells. Use books on tape – without the BOOK.  And invite the child to draw a picture about what he/she imagined the characters’s appearance.  You can also sing songs, share rhyming words and poems.

If children are sitting passively watching visual stimulation they are not moving enough to develop cognitive learning associated with gross motor development, nor are they engaged with others.  So, what can we do?  Get outside and play in the park. That’s easy enough for gross motor development and truly if children are running, skipping, hopping, climbing, catching or kicking a ball you have that covered!

Gross motor activities helps the body and the mind grow! If you have other ideas of things you do to develop auditory and motor development, please share!

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