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Category: Parent Academic Committee

The Spring Book Fair is Here

The Spring Book Fair is Here

The Spring Book Fair opens on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 and closes on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Following are opening and closing times.

Wednesday – 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM (teacher preview)
Thursday, May 18 – 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Friday, May 19 – 12:00 PM – 7:30 PM (Talent Show & Dance)
Saturday, May 20 – 2:00 PM – 5:30 PM (End of Year Celebration)
Monday, May 22 -10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Tuesday, May 23 – 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Please sign up to volunteer!


Ohio’s State Testing Resources

Ohio’s State Testing Resources

Ohio state testing beings this week. Here are some resources for practicing the skills evaluated by the reading and math tests.

Ohio’s State Tests | Students and Families

Ohio’s State Tests in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies > Sample test items and practice tests

MAP Test Warmup

MAP Math Practice

MAP Reading Practice

NWEA Map Quizlets

Khan Academy MAP Recommended Practice

Leadership Scholars Parent Academy Starts This Week

Leadership Scholars Parent Academy Starts This Week

This eight-week comprehensive program is designed to empower parents, or any significant adult in a child’s life, with proven strategies and tools to support strong academic, social & emotional development of their children. With the ultimate goal of helping their children attend and graduate college, it offers methods to lend support at home, in the classroom, and for parents to better interact with their child’s school.

The program provides pertinent knowledge and information on College Readiness, academic “best practices,” gaining college admission, and navigating financial aid. It also integrates social/emotional skills through neuroscience-based practices and methods designed to improve focus and social intelligence.

If you are a parent and you would like to receive more information about the Leadership Scholars Parent Academy, click the link below and the Leadership Scholars team will contact you with details on the program day, time, etc. for your school.

Read Across America Week

Read Across America Week

Monday – “Sleep Book”

  • Wear appropriate pajamas or comfy clothes. Get ready for a day of READING.

Tuesday – “Green Eggs and Ham”

  • Wear the color GREEN.

Wednesday – “Wacky Wednesday”

  • Lets get silly! Wear your clothes backwards, inside out, or mismatched.

Thursday – “The Cat in the Hat”

  • Wear your favorite hat.

Friday – “Fox in Socks”

  • Wear silly or mismatched socks.
Open Positions!

Open Positions!

Parker Woods Montessori Parents and Families,

The PWM PTO is looking to fill a few key leadership positions. These positions currently have volunteers, but they are looking for backup help or an apprentice to take over for next year. Please read the description and reach out if you feel this is a way you could help improve your child’s educational experience! You can respond to for more information.

TREASURER / ACCOUNTANT: Our Treasurer has been maintaining and cleaning up our records, but due to a tight schedule is not able to be as involved as he was in the past. We are looking for someone with accounting experience who can help organize the records, provide public accountability, breakdown the budget into more specific fundraising goals and maintain the paperwork necessary for our non-profit status. Time commitment: 1-2 monthly hour long meetings, consistent email responses and online presence.

SECRETARY: Our secretary has been wonderful, but she is not always able to attend every meeting. We are looking to support her with an assistant who can alternate note taking and transcribing notes online. Time Commitment: 1-2 monthly meetings, periodic email correspondence.

PRESIDENT/VICE PRESIDENT: Our co-Presidents have been working hard to organize and grow the PTO and are ready to share the experience with new leadership. The individual committees have become more stable, but we continue to search out fresh ideas and approaches on how to grow and maintain our volunteer base. This position does not need to be too time consuming, but requires consistent communication and involvement. Please respond for more details on these positions.

Thank you,

Parker Woods Montessori PTO

The Difference in a Montessori Education

The Difference in a Montessori Education

April 5, 2011, 10:57 AM ET

By Peter Sims

It may seem like a laughable “only in New York” story that Manhattan mother, Nicole Imprescia, is suing her 4-year-old daughter’s untraditional private preschool for failing to prepare her for a private school admissions exam.

But her daughter’s future and ours might be much brighter with a little less conditioning to perform well on tests and more encouragement to discover as they teach in Montessori schools. Ironically, the Montessori educational approach might be the surest route to joining the creative elite, which are so overrepresented by the school’s alumni: Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, videogame pioneer Will Wright, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, not to mention Julia Child and rapper Sean “P.Diddy” Combs.

Is there something going on here?  Is there something about the Montessori approach that nurtures creativity and inventiveness that we can all learn from?

After all, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were famous life-long tinkerers, who discovered new ways of doing things by constantly improvising, experimenting, failing, and retesting.  Above all they were voraciously inquisitive learners.

The Montessori learning method, founded by Maria Montessori, emphasizes a collaborative environment without grades or tests, multi-aged classrooms, as well as self-directed learning and discovery for long blocks of time, primarily for young children ages 2 1/2 to 7.

Montessori graduates showed up in an extensive, six-year study about the way creative business executives think. Professors Jeffrey Dyer of Brigham Young University and Hal Gregersen of globe-spanning business school INSEAD surveyed over 3,000 executives and interviewed 500 people who had either started innovative companies or invented new products.

“A number of the innovative entrepreneurs also went to Montessori schools, where they learned to follow their curiosity,” Mr. Gregersen said. “To paraphrase the famous Apple ad campaign, innovators not only learned early on to think different, they act different (and even talk different).”

When Barbara Walters, who interviewed Google founders Messrs. Page and Brin in 2004, asked if having parents who were college professors was a major factor behind their success, they instead credited their early Montessori education.  “We both went to Montessori school,” Mr. Page said, “and I think it was part of that training of not following rules and orders, and being self-motivated, questioning what’s going on in the world, doing things a little bit differently.”

Will Wright, inventor of bestselling “The Sims” videogame series, heaps similar praise.  “Montessori taught me the joy of discovery,” Mr. Wright said, “It’s all about learning on your terms, rather than a teacher explaining stuff to you.  SimCity comes right out of Montessori…”

Meanwhile, according to Jeff Bezos’s mother, young Jeff would get so engrossed in his activities as a Montessori preschooler that his teachers would literally have to pick him up out of his chair to go to the next task. “I’ve always felt that there’s a certain kind of important pioneering that goes on from an inventor like Thomas Edison,” Mr. Bezos has said, and that discovery mentality is precisely the environment that Montessori seeks to create.

Neuroscience author Jonah Lehrer cites a 2006 study published in Science that compared the educational achievement performance of low-income Milwaukee children who attended Montessori schools versus children who attended a variety of other preschools, as determined by a lottery.

By the end of kindergarten, among 5-year-olds, “Montessori students proved to be significantly better prepared for elementary school in reading and math skills than the non-Montessori children,” according to the researchers.  “They also tested better on “executive function,” the ability to adapt to changing and more complex problems, an indicator of future school and life success.”

Of course, Montessori methods go against the grain of traditional educational methods.  We are given very little opportunity, for instance, to perform our own, original experiments, and there is also little or no margin for failure or mistakes.  We are judged primarily on getting answers right.  There is much less emphasis on developing our creative thinking abilities, our abilities to let our minds run imaginatively and to discover things on our own.

But most highly creative achievers don’t begin with brilliant ideas, they discover them.

Google, for instance, didn’t begin as a brilliant vision, but as a project to improve library searches, followed by a series of small discoveries that unlocked a revolutionary business model.  Larry Page and Sergei Brin didn’t begin with an ingenious idea.  But they certainly discovered one.

Similarly, Amazon’s culture breathes experimentation and discovery.  Mr. Bezos often compares Amazon’s strategy of developing ideas in new markets to “planting seeds” or “going down blind alleys.”  Amazon’s executives learn and uncover opportunities as they go.  Many efforts turn out to be dead ends, Mr. Bezos has said, “But every once in a while, you go down an alley and it opens up into this huge, broad avenue.”

Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that Montessori alumni lead two of the world’s most innovative companies.  Or perhaps these Montessori graduates of can provide lessons for us all even though it’s too late for most of us to attend Montessori.

We can change the way we’ve been trained to think.  That begins in small, achievable ways, with increased experimentation and inquisitiveness.  Those who work with Mr. Bezos, for example, find his ability to ask “why not?” or “what if?” as much as “why?” to be one of his most advantageous qualities.  Questions are the new answers.

Peter Sims is the author of Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries.

2015-2016 PTO Family Directory

2015-2016 PTO Family Directory

This year, the PTO has been working on a publishing a PTO School Family Directory. After a lot of work transcribing, organizing, and proofreading we are ready to share the first draft copy of the directory.

If you provided your information to be included in the directory, you should have received an email message at the address you provided with a link to the directory.

If you didn’t get the message, or you want to add your information to the directory, please send an email message to: directory @

We will be updating the directory throughout the year and publishing new versions as we get new information.

Printed copies of the directory will be available for everyone who attends the PTO meeting on Wednesday.

Bedtime problems boost kids’ math performance

Bedtime problems boost kids’ math performance


“Mommy? Daddy? Read me a word problem,” is probably not a request that many parents hear. Yet if a school child’s parents replace a bedtime story with a math discussion even one night a week, the child’s math skills may improve markedly compared with peers who listen to nonmathematical stories, a new study shows. The effect is sizable: Over the course of one 9-month school year, students who do bedtime math gain on average the equivalent of a 3-month advantage over their peers, researchers report online today in Science. The approach even works if the parents have math anxiety and generally shy away from discussing math with their children.

Educational experts generally applaud the new work, though they note it will take more investigation to understand why the strategy works. “I think it’s a fantastic study,” says James Stigler, an educational psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved in the work. “But it is just the beginning.” Andee Rubin, a mathematician and computer scientist at TERC, a nonprofit educational researcher and development company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, agrees. “I’m interested in teasing it apart and seeing what makes this effective.”

Most parents understand that to help their children develop academically they should read to them, says Sian Beilock, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois and an author of the new study. But parents often assume that the school will take care of math instruction, she notes. “Our hope is that this study helps change the notion that math is the purview of the school and shows that talking about math at home is helpful,” Beilock says.

To evaluate the effects of a little bedtime math, Beilock, psychologist Susan Levine, and colleagues at the University of Chicago recruited 587 first-graders from 22 schools, public and private, richer and poorer, in the Chicago metropolitan area. The parents of each child were given a tablet computer with which to read to the child at bedtime. Four hundred and twenty families were told to use it to work through word problems related to counting, shapes, arithmetic, fractions, and probability using a freely available and independently created app called Bedtime Math. Another 167 families were instructed to use a reading app. With a standardized test, the researchers assessed all the subjects’ mathematics performance at the beginning and end of the school year.

Not surprisingly, use of the reading app made little difference to the children’s math performance. In contrast, doing math at bedtime had a significant effect: Children who used the app two or more times per week outpaced peers whose family rarely used it. “It’s like they’ve had 3 months more of math instruction,” Beilock says. “In the real world that’s a pretty big effect.”

Perhaps most important, use of the app brought students whose parents said they were anxious about math up to par with those whose parents were at ease with the subject. Among children whose family rarely used the math app, those with math-phobic parents made only half as much progress as the children of parents comfortable with math. But doing bedtime math even once a week eliminated the performance gap.

Stigler says the study is particularly impressive for its size and for being done outside a laboratory setting. “You don’t have to guess whether [the technique] will work in everyday life because the study was done in everyday life,” he says.

Why the technique was so effective remains to be determined, Rubin says. “What makes this different from helping your kid with their homework?” she asks. “Is it because it’s on an iPad? Is it because it’s in place of a story? Why did the people who used it use it?”

Beilock says she suspects that the delivery mechanics—computer or paper—don’t matter, but that the key is talking to your child about math. That should become as routine as bedtime reading, she says. Stigler says it’s an attainable goal. “I don’t think you’re going to see a huge cultural shift,” he says. “But a study like this, if it’s well publicized, can make a difference.”

Bowers notes that the study was funded by Overdeck Family Foundation, whose chair, Laura Overdeck, established the nonprofit Bedtime Math foundation, which makes the app. Beilock acknowledges that connection, but adds that the authors have no financial interest in app and the foundation had no control over the data. “It’s all in the paper,” she says, “so people can draw whatever conclusion they want.”

And here’s the app on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Parker Woods Montessori Scholastic Book Fair – Fall 2015 – Urgent Need for Volunteers

Parker Woods Montessori Scholastic Book Fair – Fall 2015 – Urgent Need for Volunteers

The Fall Book Fair is coming to PWM next week and we need lots of volunteers. Erma Shaffer, our Book Fair chairperson, will be unavailable to lead the Book Fair next week due to an ankle injury she experienced this week. We are wishing Erma a speedy recovery, and we will need all the help we can get in her absence!

Please review the available slots on the sign-up list and add your name to slots where you can help. The Book Fair will be held in the PWM Media Center, across from the cafeteria.

The Book Fair is a great way to get books into the hands of kids as well as raise money for the school. Volunteering is also a fun way to meet other parents. As a volunteer, you will have time shop for your own kids, or read a book, in between the busy moments helping students, parents, and grandparents.

Thank you for all your help!

Environmental ALI Green STEM Fair

Environmental ALI Green STEM Fair

Date: October 9th
Time: 9:30 AM – 11:15 AM
Location: Parker Woods Montessori Cafetorium 

Students (4-6 grades) rotate between stations in small groups of 10-15, and are introduced in a hands-on fashion to air quality monitoring, fuel cell cars, solar cars, energy testing equipment, light and heat meters, sustainable gardens and other green technologies. These technologies are introduced and explained to the students by Environmental ALI volunteers who are professionals or entrepreneurs in companies that use the technologies in products and services.