"Never let a child risk failure until he has a reasonable chance of success."
     - Maria Montessori

MSM Annual Conference

30 Years of Connecting Montessori Schools

MSM is pleased to be able to offer a high quality conference experience for schools in the Massachusetts area. The most important part of attending the MSM Annual Conference is the valuable information you take home to your community. The ideas and strategies you learn from workshops, roundtables, speakers, and exhibitors can be implemented back home in your own school.

2017 Annual Conference will be January 7, 2017


MSM is pleased to offer a range of workshops both across the developmental planes and for administrators. Click here to read the descriptions for the workshops being offered this year.

Keynote Speaker for 2017, David Sobel

David Sobel is Senior Faculty in the Education Department at Antioch University New England in Keene, NH. He consults and speaks widely on child development and place-based education with schools, environmental organizations and the National Park Service. He has authored eight books and more than 60 articles focused on children and nature for educators, parents, environmentalists and school administrators in the last 30 years.

He has served on the editorial boards of Encounter, Community Works Journal and Orion Afield and writes a regular column for Community Works Journal. His articles and essays have appeared in Orion, Encounter, Sierra, Sanctuary, Wondertime, Green Teacher, Play Rights, Educational Leadership and the Harvard Education Letter. He has written chapters included in Father Nature; Stories from Where We Live-The North Atlantic Coast; Place-based Education in a Global Age; and The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion. His most recent books are Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens published by Redleaf and Wild Play, Parenting Adventures in the Great Outdoors soon to be republished by Green Writers Press.

He was recognized as one of the Daring Dozen educational leaders in the United States in 2007 by Edutopia magazine. He lives in the Monadnock region of southwestern New Hampshire and is committed to cold water swimming, the exploration of landscape nooks and crannies and to joyfully embracing the gift of life on earth.

Keynote Topic, Place Based Education: Connecting Classrooms and Communities Through Outdoor and Environmental Study for All Ages

Place Based education is described an educational approach that draws on local history, culture, economics, environment, and circumstances as a curriculum source, sometimes with the explicit goal of connecting students to their community and thereby promoting citizenship, entrepreneurship, community sustainability, or environmental stewardship

"David strongly believes that we must cultivate the wonder of nature in childhood. William Wadsworth suggested that the natural world is "appareled with celestial light" in childhood. By that he means that nature is perceived differently by children than by adults. Furthermore, I believe that there is a critical period in middle childhood when children are biologically programmed to bond with the natural world. He believes that if this bonding occurs, it sets the individual on a path of environmental values and commitment. Therefore, parents and educators should take advantage of this openness in childhood and provide frequent opportunities for children to adventurously be at-one in nature."

David is familiar with Montessori pedagogy and will provide examples at each age grouping level. His talk will include theory, research, and practical examples & may include several videos of different age groupings working on an environmental project. This topic will resonate with all levels as environmental education is a topic all Montessorians embrace. The talk will integrate a large body of work that David has invested his career in researching, writing, practicing as a parent and teaching to college students and presenting to pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, community educators, parents of pre-school children through high school. David is a provocative and detailed writer; is invested in assuring his audiences that there are many practical ways to achieve the following goals: of connecting children to nature; engaging them in age appropriate constructive activities; and providing the foundations for responsible environmental behavior.


The facilities at Dean College in Franklin, MA, have been so wonderful more than three years that we are returning to Dean College again this year. Centrally located and easily accessible, Dean College's light-filled, modern, well-equipped facilities have helped provide a comfortable and nurturing learning environment for teachers....especially at lunch. The conference will be held in their campus center at 109 West Central Street Franklin, MA 02038 - if you are using a GPS please use this address as it will bring you directly to the conference building. Any other address used will take your elsewhere on campus. Click here for a map of the Dean College campus.


We have streamlined registration for conference attendees even more this year. We launched our new registration system with great success and have made adjustments, based on member feedback, to better serve. Conference attendees can register individually or as a group. We highly encourage schools to register their staff as a group to take advantage of the discounts offered.

We kindly request that you read the registration instructions below closely to be sure you register properly and in the most efficient manner.

Member Schools

Discounted rate for registering online by January 3rd, 2017
MSM Member Schools: $100.00/person - The new system will automatically calculate a 10% discount if five (5) people from an MSM member school are registering.

Registration after January 5th will be available day of the conference ONLY and the rates will be as follows:
MSM Member Schools: $125.00/person | Non Members: $150.00/person

Member schools should register groups via their school's account page. Registering here will give schools a record of registrations and workshops chosen. If you want to print out a list of registrants, select Confirmed Registrants from your menu on the right when you are logged in. Click here to be directed to the member school login area. Registration is now open! When you log into your area you will see Conference Registration on the right.

*** Click here for instructions on how to use the new registration system within your school's account page.*** We suggest you read the instructions on how to register before doing so.
We recommend you print out this page so you can have it available when you do your registrations the first time.

Nonmember Schools & Individuals

Discounted rate for registering online by January 3rd, 2017
MSM Member Schools: $100.00/person | Non Members: $125.00/person

Registration after January 3rd will be available day of the conference ONLY and the rates will be as follows:
MSM Member Schools: $125.00/person | Non Members: $150.00/person

Registering as a nonmember or individual? No problem, we streamlined that process as well! Click here to be brought directly to the registration page.

If your school is a member please do not register via the nonmember site as the correct amount to be paid will not be reflected.

Payment Information

MSM will only be accepting online payments through PayPal. PayPal is trusted by over 148 million users around the world. We hope that this gives conference attendees peace of mind throughout the registration process.

After you register, via the member or nonmember system, you will be directed to PayPal to make your required payment.

MSM understand that this is not always possible for our public school attendees and we will gladly accept checks from these schools. However, these are the only schools eligible for this exemption. Public schools who need this exemption should contact Todd Covert at todd@berkshiremontessori.org for details on this.


The flow of the day, at this time, is as follows:

Registration, 8:30
Raffle, Continental Breakfast and Vendors
Welcome Address, 9:00
Keynote Speaker, 9:15-10:45
Morning Workshops, 11:00-12:15
Lunch, 12:30-1:30
Afternoon Workshops, 1:30-2:45


For attendees that will be coming from a distance, there are three hotels close to Dean College for your to choose from. When you make your reservation, mention that you are attending a conference at Dean College as they run specials at times that will give you a discount on your stay.

Residence Inn Boston Franklin
Address: 4 Forge Pkwy, Franklin, MA 02038
Phone:(508) 541-8188

Hampton Inn Franklin
Address: 735 Union Street, Franklin, MA 02038
Phone:(508) 520-2999

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Franklin
Address: 835 Upper Union St, Franklin, MA 02038
Phone:(508) 553-3500


The Annual MSM Conference provides your company with an outstanding opportunity to display your products and services to the largest gathering of Montessorians in the state. Our over 400 attendees are the leaders and decision makers, as well as users of materials, from schools across New England. They come to network, attend more informative sessions, and would love to learn about how your products or services can be used at their schools. Are you interested in being a vendor? Click here for more details.


In response to member comments after the 2008 Annual Conference we have created this section of the site for Keynote and workshop handouts and PowerPoint presentations. Presenters will be given the option to post their information here either before or after the conference date. All materials are provided in PDF, which can be viewed with Adobe Reader.

If information from a workshop is not listed on this page please contact the presenter directly with questions. MSM does not have copies of presenter materials available.

2016 Presentation Material
Effectively Integrating Reading
Resources for Mindfulness Zentangle
Zentangle Lesson Plan MA grades 3-6
Using Zentangle to Enhance Mindfulness in the Classroom Notes