MANZ Conference 2015
Trinity Wharf, Tauranga
April 11-13th, 2015
Saturday 12.30pm to Monday 1pm.

A pathway to creative expression
He ara hei whakaputa i te wairua auaha

Pathways to creative expression in Montessori 3-6 

Polli Soholt is an AMI trainer and has been a Montessori 3-6 teacher for 29 years and owner of San Jose Montessori School in California for 36 years. She has presented at many conferences in the United States and Canada. Polli will be providing a series of workshops for teachers in Montessori 3-6 classes.

Exploration and Skill Development: The Foundation of Creative Expression (Sat 3-4.30pm and 4.45-6.45pm)
This workshop will examine the importance of exploration of the sensorial materials and the role that this plays in the child’s ability to express herself creatively. We will also explore the basic art materials in the Prepared Environment and discuss the role the skills developed with their use plays in the child’s ability to be creative.

Exploration of the Sensorial Extensions and Language Materials Leading to Creative Expression of Interest and Knowledge (Sun 9-10.30am)
This workshop will investigate the ways the children demonstrate their individual interest using the Sensorial extensions and the Language materials. Time will be allowed to examine the ways the children can express themselves using the materials as well as designing projects that reflect their unique interest in the concepts offered.

Mathematical Concepts in the Everyday Life of the Children’s House (Sun 11-12.30pm)
This workshop will focus on the ways that the children use mathematical concepts organically on a daily basis. We will also look at the value of exploration with the materials, and ways to meet their social and academic needs using the materials.

The development and benefits of singing for 3-6 year old children (Sun 1.30-3.30pm)
Children all over the world love to sing. We will examine the developmental benefits of singing as well as ways we can foster exploration for singing children. In addition, we will take the time to learn (or practice) some of the children’s favorite songs.

Montessori Music – a pathway to creative expression

The other stream at the conference will focus on music and is an opportunity for all Montessori teachers to experience the Montessori music curriculum for children from three to twelve years. The workshop leader is Marcia Perez. Marcia is an AMI teacher who has worked with children from three to six for 10 years and  6-12 years olds for the last 30 years. She has presented Montessori music workshops in Sweden, Canada and Indonesia. She is as soloist at St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Washington DC.

 The music workshops run throughout the conference and attendance at the earlier workshops is a prerequisite for the later workshops. Marcia explains ” I have designed the music workshops to have something for each teacher whether 3-6 or 6-12 until the last workshop on tone bars which will be specific to 6-12.  The concepts covered from the first workshop through the entire workshops are critical for both levels however the delivery changes depending on the age of the child.  Many teachers do not have a basic understanding of music and those that do usually are very pleased to see what can be done with the children as they move through the different music concepts.  There will be something for everyone at each level”. 

The course is designed to help every teacher, regardless of musical background, feel confident and secure in teaching all aspects of the Montessori music curriculum. This is a great opportunity to experience the rich music heritage provided by the extensive collaboration of Anna Maria Maccheroni and Dr. Maria Montessori.

The music workshops are all experiential … not only will you be learning, you will be learning through doing. What a Montessori concept !

Beginning the musical journey (Sat 3-4.30pm) 
The first music workshop includes an introduction to Montessori music. You will learn about the enrichment of vocabulary, singing with children and have fun with some early listening games. Marcia will introduce music literature and you will experience science experiments related to music.

Moving with music (Sat 4.45-6.45pm)
The second music workshop will introduce rhythm, rhythm games on the line and movement with music. We will be ‘leaving the building’ to walk on the line … 

Developing your sense of rhythm (Sun 9-10.30am)
In this workshop you will be introduced to the percussion instruments and play rhythm instruments games. Marcia will use clapping charts and white boards to give you sensorial experiences and to introduce musical notation.

Introduction to the Montessori bells (Sun 11-12.30pm)
In this workshop you will be introduced to the Montessori bells and learn how these are used sensorially to give children experiences with the musical scale, matching and grading sounds. You will have lots of opportunities to play the bells and hone your own sensorial music skills.

Montessori bells – what next? (Sun 1.30-3.30pm)
The next step with the bells is putting symbols to the sensorial experience. Just like matching letter symbols to sounds. Marcia will guide you through learning musical notation and the moveable alphabets of music for rhythm and pitch.

Montessori bells – getting even clever with the bells (Mon 8.30-10.30am)
You will be bursting with musical knowledge that will impress even professional musicians after this workshop…Marcia will help you learn how to transpose music on the bells. You will be introduced to the great transposer and learn how to write music.

Having fun with the tone bars (11.12.30pm)
The final music workshop is for teachers in 6-12 classes…but anyone is welcome to attend and learn about the tone bars, how to use the major scale chart and explore major keys in music.

What else ???

Montessori Journey to Excellence
Workshops to share learning from the MJ2Ex pilot programme, the future MJ2Ex implementation model and workshops to build professional capability in using teaching as inquiry as evidence for teacher appraisal, building skills in educative and peer mentoring, and facilitiating groups of professional learners will also be a strand through the conference.

More about the conference
The conference stars midday Saturday and ends midday on Monday.  For teachers in Montessori early childhood centres who have to be back at work on Monday morning the conference is designed so all the workshops for 3-6 are held on Saturday and Sunday.

Montessori Mystery Bus Tour of MANZ member centres and schools
There will be a bus tour of MANZ member centres and schools in Tauranga on Saturday morning … you will register separately for this tour.

Disover Montessori
Discover Montessori workshops for those new to Montessori will run prior to the conference opening. Other workshops including those focusing on the Montessori Journey to Excellence will be held during the workshop and will be outlined in the conference programme that is being finalised in the next few months.

Registration Costs

Registration costs have been held at 2014 rates.

  Full rate

MANZ member centres, schools, student members and member organisations


MANZ individual members
Full conference $820.00 $410.00 $600.00
Weekend $740.00 $330.00 $520.00

Conference registration will open in December 2014.

Conference Accommodation
Make your own accommodation booking in Tauranga

For the conference venue at Trinity Wharf
07 577 8703
Please quote the event name when booking - Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand


2014 MANZ Conference
The Reflective Montessori Practitioner
Te Pouaaki Huritao o Montessori

The conference is over for another year. Thanks to our international speakers Uma Ramani and Jamie Rue, to Nicki Dowling and Karen MacKay from Massey University and to all the New Zealand teachers who presented at the Montessori Journey to Excellence BusStop.

Feedback has been amazing and here are some comments from delegates

Different speakers , different style, yet similar content and strong messages. It felt consistent.Very inspiring keynotes and workshops. It has refreshed my vision for Montessori education once again.

Uma and Jamie were both great choices... so difficult to choose between their workshops though!

When I first saw the programme my reaction was "what no workshop choices" but the conference structure this year really nurtured the process of deepening your exploration as each workshop extended the learning of the previous workshop. Well done!

I really enjoyed the energy and enthusiasm Jamie Rue shared with our group. She had wonderful and practical tips which I feel I can immediately put into practice and I am excited to go back and re-read my albums.

Just awesome. Uma Ramani, particularly for our age group, needs to be physically bottled and sold.

The bus stop was the most insightful, relevant learning I have ever had at a MANZ conference in 14 years. It was definitely worthwhile having MANZ invest in the Montessori Journey to Excellence Pilot. 

Montessori Journey to Excellence is an amazing initiative that is obviously yielding positive results for those schools participating. I think those involved have shown extraordinary commitment to Montessori education by taking this on, on top of their teaching work load, and all of us stand to benefit from their learnings.

LOVED some of the (pilot programme) ideas,identified with the common themes of their processes, eg recognising that staff come from different training programmes, different age/experience bases and how to bring them together before anything else can happen. I feel inspired to follow through with some of their ideas, eg documentation which allows for ease of planning.Lots to think about! 

2013 MANZ Conference
Reflecting on Community Me Whakaaro Hāpori

Rydges Hotel, 75 Featherston Street, Wellington
Saturday April 20, 12.30pm - Monday April 22, 4pm

Our 2013 conference reflected on the importance of community and explored how to nurture a sense of community with children and students of all ages and their families.

Thanks to the 230 delegates from around New Zealand, our four keynote speakers, 14 teachers from New Zealand who lked or shared in workshops for creating a sense of connection and community over the three days in Wellington.

Some of feedback from delegates:

Most valuable – Collecting new ideas to use in the classroom
Most fun – Singing .. meeting and talking to others
Most informative – Having reinforced that ‘community’ is the heart of Montessori
Most valuable – Reconnecting with familiar faces, sharing the daily experiences of the class
Most fun – Connie Black was so engaging and wonderful role model to learn from
Most valuable – Learning more about communities working together and coming together
Most valuable – Recognising what I am doing well as a teacher and what I need to change, learning more about special needs from Wendy Fidler
Most informative – Sessions on observation and Jaime Rue's workshops, practicality of Carol Pott's grace and courtesy workshop
Most informative – I really enjoyed the research presentations – especially Ed Stanford's action research – inspiring about what can be done!

We hope you enjoy viewing some video from the conference.


NICOLA CHISNALL Montessori - an critically engaged pedagogy

 CONNIE BLACK  Sense of community - a hallmark of our approach


JAMIE RUE - Why strong community matters for older children


 WENDY FIDLER - Are there really more children with special needs these days ?






 Many thanks to our generous conference sponsors





























































































MANZ 2014 Conference Handouts

These are handouts provided to MANZ from speakers and faciltiators






Uma Ramani Guide to Reflective Practice -Foundations of Practice.pdf193.82 KB
Uma Ramani Guide to Reflective Practice - Enhancing Practice.pdf156.06 KB
Uma Ramani Guide to Reflective Practice - Expanding Practice.pdf81.48 KB
Jamie Rue Self Evaluation and Reflection.pdf348.44 KB
Jamie Rue Lesson Plan.pdf196.54 KB
Jamie Rue Weekly Lesson Plan.pdf212.23 KB
Jamie Rue Observation in Montessori 6_12.pdf314.92 KB
Jamie Rue Montessori Homework Ideas.pdf311.38 KB
MJ2Ex GROW model.pdf278.81 KB
MJ2Ex Questions and Prompts to support professional conversations.pdf112.64 KB
Teaching as Inquiry -a framework for self review.pdf852.66 KB
Inquiry TAI reflective questions.pdf397.47 KB
Inquiry Blank Teaching as Inquiry Cycle.pdf399.48 KB
Elements of Centre self review table for cutting.pdf182.39 KB
Headings for Self Review.pdf104.71 KB
Inquiry resource A REMINDER.pdf171.97 KB
Self review analysis sheet.pdf298.51 KB
Teaching as Inquiry Gazette article.pdf246.38 KB
Joining the Dots PP Presentation.pdf377.48 KB
Connecting the dots diagram.pdf226.85 KB
Connecting the dots.pdf324.95 KB
Draft MANZ Strategic Aims 2015.pdf193.08 KB
Rogoff Join the Dots.pdf116.86 KB
SCOT DOC.pdf244.95 KB
Change.pdf199.68 KB
Capital Montessori MJ2Ex _ Interest_doc.pdf1.27 MB
Capital Montessori MJ2Ex - Reflect.pdf541.58 KB