RPS 205 student saves pigeons, spreads birding gospel

Jackie Kuroda’s interest in pigeons took off when the birds landed on her outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, eating out of her hand. By then, her family already had rescued Pierre, an injured pigeon from the Chicago suburbs. Pierre promptly joined the Kuroda menagerie: three dogs, a cat, a tortoise and a miniature horse. But birds are Jackie’s first love. The seventh grader at Maria Montessori School is a member of the Illinois Young Birders group.  This summer she addressed a symposium of the birding group in Lake County, attended by 60...

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Montessori in RPS 205: The perfect habitat for young photographer

At 8 years old, Derek Ekstrom is already a gifted photographer, as a Rockford Public Schools Video of the Week shows. His gifts have been supported by the Montessori principle of cosmic education. Derek is a third grader in Damon Wurth’s class at the Maria Montessori School in RPS 205.  Wurth said Derek, like all Montessori students, has been encouraged to find connections and context in all that he learns. Montessori students ask themselves the cosmic question, “What is my place in the world?” Knowing that curiosity in one subject can...

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Montessori students in RPS 205 change the world

My adult son was home for a visit during the holidays and grabbed a T-shirt off the hook near the door.  Only it wasn’t a T-shirt. It was a shopping bag made of recycled T-shirts, and it was made by Montessori students in the Rockford Public Schools. The mistakenly grabbed bag reminded me of what’s so special about the Montessori program: The students develop a strong sense of community, which extends not only to their town but to their world. More than 500 reusable bags were sewed and sold last year by fourth, fifth and sixth graders in...

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Videos show Montessori method in middle school

Maria Montessori’s view on education in the first 12 years of children’s lives is well-known—she believed in self-directed learning, grounded in exploration. But the famous educator also had views on adolescence. She believed it was critical to satisfy teenagers’ need for independence and hunger for inquiry while reinforcing the importance of our connection to one another. Montessori principles are at work every day at the Montessori Middle School at Thurgood Marshall School in the Rockford Public Schools. A video now available on the RPS 205...

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Montessori students transform lives (and T-shirts)

Karen Liddell has a quote from legendary educator Maria Montessori beneath her email signature: “The greatest sign of success for a teacher … is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.'”   And, sure enough, Mrs. Liddell — a Montessori teacher at Thurgood Marshall School – was all but invisible in the purple tent as two of her students sold shopping bags made of recycled T-shirts during the Garden Fair at Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden June 5-7. I wasn’t sure about buying one...

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