Montessori for Flint

November 2018 Newsletter

Meet Our Teachers!

We have a stellar team of teachers in Flint's Montessori program, and will be featuring them over the next few months in this newsletter. This month, we have a profile of Mrs. Rinoldo-Hopkins.

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A Profile of Mrs. Rinoldo-Hopkins

Mrs. Rinoldo-Hopkins is the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grade teacher for Flint's Montessori program at DTM. She joined the Montessori program at the end of last school year. She has a passion for teaching and enjoys new programs that aim to meet the needs of the whole child.

Mrs. Rinoldo-Hopkins and has been a teacher since 1987. She previously was a Title I Intervention Teacher at DTM. She serves on the Leadership team at DTM, and serves on several committees that benefit Flint Community School students. She has been married for 27 years and has one daughter who will become a third generation teacher in April. During her free time, she loves to travel!

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Montessori Corner: First Parent Workshop!

Friday, November 2, 25 parents, guardians, grandparents, and caretakers attended the first Montessori for Flint Parent Workshop. The workshop is a response to parent survey data indicating that parents want to know more about Montessori methodology, discipline, and materials.

The workshop, which included dinner generously provided by Montessori for Flint parents, featured Dr. Elizabeth Jordan (no relation to Montessori for Flint Parent Liaison Elizabeth Jordan). Dr. Jordan is the mother of 3 children, all Montessori alumni. She is also a pre- primary certified Montessori teacher who taught preschool and Kindergarten for 5 years a former Principal of a Charter school which featured Montessori GSRP, and added Kindergarten, Ist, 2nd and 3rd grades. Dr. Jordan founded and directed Montessori preschool for the Methodist Church for 5 years and has experience as a parent helper and teacher’s assistant in Montessori programs.

Topics covered at this workshop included an introduction to several Montessori materials and a robust conversation about brain development and how Montessori method intersects with early childhood brain development.

Dr. Jordan reminded parents that one of the best and most important things they can do for their children is to teach independence, and give them opportunities to learn by completing tasks themselves and helping out around the house.

Montessori for Flint hopes to host additional parent workshops after the winter holiday break.

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” ― Maria Montessori

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Montessori Materials - Knobbed Cylinders

One material Dr. Jordan introduced during the November 2 Parent Workshop was knobbed cylinders. A sensorial tool, knobbed cylinders help strengthen children's fine motor skills, especially the pincer grip (used for handwriting). Additionally, the cylinders are a math tool, in that they are base-ten (there are 10 cylinders, varying in size). The primary sensory function for this material is visual, as children learn to differentiate size.

Company Change for Substitute Teachers

Montessori for Flint is still seeking talented, dedicated individuals who are interested in being available as substitute teachers for the Montessori classrooms at DTM in 2018-19. Having at least 90 hours of college credit is a requirement, and knowledge of Montessori philosophy is strongly preferred. To register, contact EduStaff (formerly PESG) at (877) 974-6338 if you or someone you know is potentially interested. Please register as soon as possible. If you could be a good fit for the program but do not yet have Montessori training there are training options available. Contact Elizabeth Jordan at or (810) 610-7209 for more info.
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Contact Guide for Montessori Families

There may be times when parents/families have individual questions/concerns about the program or your child's class and we want to help them understand how to get assistance.

Concerns about specific student situations or classroom questions are best addressed first to teachers and, if not resolved, brought to the DTM Principal.

Teachers are unable to meet with families during arrival/dismissal—please arrange to meet with teachers before or after school.

Montessori for Flint can help families determine the right person to speak with if they are unsure or have questions about Montessori more generally.

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Montessori At Home

From Dr. Jordan:

Your child needs to use their hands to strengthen their muscles for writing. Help them to learn how to dress themselves including how to tie their shoes. Give them small tasks to perform like helping with laundry. They can sort light and dark clothing, or find pairs of socks and roll them and learn to fold towels. This will help your child develop motor skills, and identifying pairs is a helpful math skill.

Another suggested activity for your child is sorting. All spoons, forks etc. You can also get small brooms and teach your child how to sweep. Playdough or real dough is another fun activity. You can buy frozen bread dough and let it thaw and then show your child how to knead it. Next break it into small pieces and make rolls out of long twists of dough. Bake and enjoy the smell of fresh bread – always tasty with butter!

Always supervise your child, do not leave them unattended. All of these activities

help them to develop brain cells and strong hands. Current research agrees with Montessori that use of the hands helps to develop the brain. You will also see a great improvement in your child’s handwriting.

Read to your child every day and then ask them to tell you what they heard. Who and or what was in the story. Ask if they agree with what the characters did or said and how they would have functioned in that situation?

Help your child to manage themself. What should they do when they are upset? Talk with them daily. Montessori Method teaches concepts and once the child understands a concept it gives them a foundation on which to build knowledge.

Parent Involvement & Input

The Flint Montessori program is a partnership between the Flint Community Schools and Montessori for Flint. The monthly advisory meetings are an opportunity for families, the school, and community supporters to come together to guide planning, coordinate logistics, and identify next steps to keep the program and the partnership moving forward. If you are interested in providing your valuable input with this group and are able to commit to at least one year of monthly 1-hour meetings for the purpose of giving input and assisting with decision-making please contact Parent Liaison, Elizabeth Jordan at or call (810) 610-7209.
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About Montessori for Flint

Montessori is a learning method that can be used throughout elementary and secondary school. Families in Flint, Michigan now have a free, public option to access high-quality Montessori education in elementary school.

Montessori for Flint serves as the advisory group to the Flint Community Schools' Montessori program. To be added to the advisory group email list, or to get more information, call (810) 610-7209.