Mary F. Shapiro, M.Ed. Reading and Language Arts, is an educator whose 35 year teaching career spans the Boston and Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Unable to find a reading series to introduce her own preschool children to the joy of reading, Mary used her background as an educator and devotee of Marie Montessori to develop a series of books built upon the foundation of the Montessori method: children can guide their own learning and that the key times in a child's life, when learning easily and naturally takes place, should be captured!
The series allows a parent to introduce the written word in a simple, enjoyable, almost self-taughtmanner, with just a few minutes of enjoyable "reading" a day. This provides an enrichment activity for that teachable moment when a child is most ready to learn. A controlled reading vocabulary of key words is paired with photographs and simple illustrations that are then reinforced with new experiences and activities as they unfold over the course of three board books with an activity book that reinforces the words in the boardbooks.
As the books received rave reviews from parents and educators alike, Mary continued to teach and apply her successful educational methods to mathematics. She was instrumental in inplementing a new standards mathematics curriculum nationally that encouraged visualization and self-guided exploration of mathematics by the student. In retirement she consulted for various educational companies to facilitate implementation of this innovative and successful curriculum in schools across the country from economically disadvanted to affluent school districts.
Her own daughters who were the first to learn to read on these books are now both entrepreneurs. Her older daughter is an Ivy League graduate who now runs a successful holistic health coaching business while her younger daughter is an attorney, turned startup founder and CEO, who runs a rapidly growing technology company that works with the largest corporations and law firms in the country and whose investors include the venture fund of Google's Lawyer #2.
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About the Author
Dr. Marie Montessori
"Follow the Child"
The Monetessori method was developed by Dr. Marie Montessori. A medical dcotor, Montessori originally began working with developmentally delayed, mentally challenged, and impoverished children. She received startling results when her teaching methods resulted in these challenged children passing standardized state exams. Her methods soon proved even more effective on average and above average children.
Her research and work uncovered periods of sensitivity, corresponding to certain ages, occur when a child's interest and mental capacity are best suited to acquiring a certain specialized knowledge. Certain simple but educational materials provided a deep interest and attention not previously believed possible. Afterwards, the child was refreshed and tranquilized. Undisciplined children became settled through such spontaneous work. Montessouri observed that reading was easily learned before the age of 6.
Parents today can give their children the advantages of the Montessouri method by presenting their children with engaging materials at crucial teachable moments. Confidence and joy in learning and achievement follow!