Meet Jenna Thielen

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We couldn't be more pleased to announce that Jenna Thielen will be joining Baan Dek in the Fall of 2013. A native of Sioux Falls, Jenna completed her AMI Elementary Training from the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee.

She has been working in Milwaukee as a public Montessori Elementary teacher for the past year and will be joining us, to start, as a Toddler assistant. She'll also be around to answer any questions about the Elementary program, which she will pioneer in the Fall of 2014, depending on interest.

Needless to say, we are so excited! Jenna holds a BA and an MA from the University of South Dakota. She also holds an AMI Advanced Diploma from the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee. Her hobbies include, film, cooking, music and...awesome hats! Those are our words, not hers.

Toddler at Baan Dek

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We have some very special and exciting news to share with you. We're going to open a Toddler program in the Fall of 2013. It'll be the first of its kind in the state of South Dakota. If you would like to reserve a spot in the Toddler program, which will accommodate students between 18-36 months, please send us a note.

Mrs. Bauer will be the lead teacher in the Toddler classroom, and she will be joined by Jenna Thielen. Mrs. Bauer will embark upon her Association Montessori International Toddler training in Denver, Colorado this Summer and we couldn't be more excited! Jenna Thielen, a certified Montessori elementary teacher, with experience as a Toddler assistant, will work with Jamie for one year, before pioneering the Elementary program in the Fall of 2014.

Not Cot

Letter Work and Number Work were recently featured by NOTCOT. Apart from being totally flattered and humbled by this nice write-up, it's also pretty awesome to share with you that Jean and Justine, the founders, "both grew up Montessori kids".

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As they explain on their site, "Well one of our sources of inspiration - or what molded us at an early age, was Montessori schooling ~ especially the really fun woody “educational” toys we grew up with… from the sandpaper letters to learn to write, those heinous beads i loved/hated to learn about decimals, the multiplication board had those great little red beads, the satisfaction from tasks like pouring sand and pellets from one container to the other, the trinomial cube, the blue geometric solids (perspective drawing 101?), and that infamous pink tower… [to kris of BLTD - our tiniest pink cube was the most coveted too! we should make necklaces with that for other Montessori kids who grew up!] So now you know - we were Montessori kids, and i think the impact of Maria Montessori’s genius helped make us the obsessive design lovers we are today."

By the way, you should totally read the comments on the review. So many people were inspired by Montessori. If you have a story, we would love to hear it. Send us a note!

Back to School

We've teamed up with great folks at Abrams Appleseed to offer "Montessori Monday's"! This is a first in a series.

You should follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

As families prepare to head "back to school", we thought we would take this opportunity to offer a few tips to help ensure a smooth transition. After a long, hot and fun Summer, it can be challenging to get back into the swing of things, but hopefully these suggestions will help provide some direction.

1. Talk positive about school. “You get to go to school tomorrow!”

2. Relate your childhood experiences to your children. “I loved school. I was always so excited to go to school and meet new friends and learn new things.”

3. While it can be difficult for parents, we recommend a quick drop-off and pick-up.

4. When entering the school, walk in with your child, instead of carrying them.

5. Try to ensure a good night sleep.

6. Create a routine. Consistency is vital to early childhood development.

While these are just a few tips, we would be more than happy to elaborate on any of the above points. We are sure you have others. We would love to hear them.