Blog

On behalf of the Montessori Compass team, we want to thank all the dedicated Montessorians whom we had the pleasure of meeting last weekend at the AMS 2016 Annual Conference in Chicago! We love putting faces to the names and voices we encounter through our support team, and it was great to meet so many new people! One of our favorite things is hearing our current customers share their own experiences using MC with others. The spirit of collaboration is always inspiring.

Once again, we are so grateful for the experience of participating in the AMS 2016 Annual Conference. We look forward to seeing you in San Diego next year!

 

A picture’s worth a thousand words…but a thousand pictures? That can be overwhelming.

Have you accumulated too many photo albums in your MC profile? Now you can archive photo albums, retaining access to your cherished older photos while decluttering your list of current albums.

To archive an album, simply open the album and click on the “Archive this album” link found below the cover photo. The album will be removed from active status, but can be restored at any time. Archived albums still maintain full functionality, meaning you may still view and upload new photos to these albums. Anyone else with whom the album is shared will be able to view any new photos you upload as well. For example, if a teacher uploads a new photo to an album that a parent has previously archived, the photo album will be automatically unarchived on the parent’s profile and display on the active photo albums page. Individual users have the option to re-archive an album once they have viewed the new photo, ensuring new photos are never missed. Users may also click the “Restore this album” link to return the album to active status.

If you have archived any albums, you will find a “View Archived Photo Albums” link in the upper right corner of the Photo Albums page. You may use this link to toggle between the active and archived albums. Please note: The archive feature is merely an organizational tool for you. It will not impact the display of this album for any other user. However, deleting the album will permanently delete it school-wide.

 

Montessori Compass is very excited to be exhibiting at the American Montessori Society 2016 Annual Conference in Chicago, IL from March 10-13! The theme this year is “Montessori Principles, Values, & Perspectives.”

We are looking forward to meeting some enthusiastic Montessorians from all over the world! Stop by booth #715 for a demo, ask questions, or just say hello! See you soon!

We are excited to release the new Display Options” feature on the Progress Report creation/edit page. This feature provides enhanced flexibility, putting you in complete control over what information is shared with parents on both the Web & PDF view of the progress reports.

When creating a new progress report (or editing an existing one), you will find checkboxes for each section of the report. This enables you to customize whether you wish to display/not display an entire section of the report or even individual components within a section. For example, you can choose to omit the entire “Summary Tab” or only the specific “Attendance” component on the Summary Tab. Simply edit the checkboxes next to each item to determine which items you wish to display. Changes are reflected on the report in real-time, so if you change your mind, you can always make an adjustment even after the report has been generated.

We’ve also made some updates to the formatting of the PDF version of the progress report, in an effort to improve the reading experience for parents. One of the key areas of focus was the “Skills Report”. This feature enables schools to build a series of customized templates to help share insights with parents regarding areas of development that may fall outside of the Academic Report. The update will provide improved clarity for parents as they review this highly personalized section of the progress report. 

Sunday’s Key Note presentation by Jack Andraka was thoroughly engaging and inspiring.  Jack Andraka is a teen inventor who developed a method for detecting pancreatic cancer in it’s earliest stages. This young man’s journey demonstrates a remarkably high degree of intrinsic motivation, creativity and tenacity.  When asked to reflect on the experiences that impacted his determination and his clear love of science, he responded that the freedom to explore and make his own discoveries with hands-on materials really set the foundation for his love of learning.

Jack’s parents supplemented his public school education (which he referred to as “stifling”) with a prepared environment at home where he had both the freedom to pursue his interests and access to supportive learning materials.  Sound familiar?  Jack credits the Montessori-like educational opportunities provided by his parents for cultivating his approach to learning.  Indeed, his personal story is full of aspects that mirror the key tenets of Montessori: the opportunity to pursue one’s own interests, access to supportive materials/equipment, opportunity to concentrate for uninterrupted periods of time on work that interested him, a strong sense of his own potential for meaningful contribution, regardless of his youth.

I felt fortunate to take my oldest two children, aged 9 and 7, to see Jack’s talk and meet him afterwards.  They were excited, impressed, and inspired to meet Jack and hear his personal story. They were thrilled to buy a copy of his book “BreakThrough” and were able to get it signed!  The book contains 10 STEM-related experiments that can be completed with minimal materials and are designed to inspire young scientists.  

 

 

Greetings! We are excited to announce a new update scheduled for release this week that will help take Montessori Compass into a new “plane of development”. Our team has been working very hard, improving the system based on feedback from Montessori schools around the world. Many updates have been released over the past few months, both big and small. Our latest update focuses squarely on the area of the application that matters most – the Classroom Dashboard.

We’ve listened to your feedback and have made the things you do each day easier than ever. Our goal is to simplify your daily work flow, provide greater flexibility, and minimize the amount of time you spend clicking. While always a work in progress, we hope you enjoy this latest update.


Stay organized with simplified and flexible Lessons tab

  • “Today’s Planned Lessons” and “All Planned Lessons” tabs have merged to provide a simplified lesson planning experience.
  • Adjust the dates or use convenient shortcuts to view/print planned lessons for multiple dates.
  • Follow the child! View all planned lessons (past, present, future) and record when child is ready.
  • Only planned lessons display, as recorded lessons instantly move to Recorded Lessons tab.
  • Plan a Lesson button opens in a new window, so it doesn’t interrupt your work flow. When saved, window closes and you are right back to where you started. A browser refresh may be required to view the new lesson.

*Recorded Lessons tab has the same convenient layout!


Enhanced record keeping tab adapts to your work flow

  • Record Keeping By Curriculum Category has been vastly improved! You can now Plan, Record, edit Lesson Ideas, and view real-time student progress from one convenient display of the Scope & Sequence.
  • Students can be listed by First Name, Last Name, or Age.
  • Student Name tab provides useful overview of planned lessons, recorded lessons, and lesson ideas for every child in your classroom. Links are clickable, directing you to updated list on the Lessons tab.
  • Create custom student groups by utilizing “Record Keeping” tags (located in My Backpack/Tags).
  • Instantly record a group note for each highlighted student.


New Record Keeping by Standard feature and At-A-Glance Report

MC has always made it easy for teachers to stay in a Montessori environment, without the need to think about standards in the classroom. Simply record the Montessori lesson/material and the standard mapping takes place automatically behind the scenes. To provide greater flexibility, we now make it easy to do your record keeping in the reverse direction. You can now choose a standard, view the mapped Elements tagged to the Montessori Lesson/Material – then record the student’s activity. A new Progress-At-A-Glance report has been added to the Academic Insights tab, giving you a birds-eye view on your classroom’s progress with the standards.

 

 

The Montessori Compass team is very excited to exhibit at the American Montessori Society 2015 Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA on March 12-15.  The theme of the conference is “Life. Liberty. Montessori!” 

We look forward to meeting with passionate educators, parents, and exhibitors from the international Montessori community. Come visit us in Philly, at Booth # 106. See you there!

As a teacher in the classroom, the last thing you want to worry about is clunky software taking time away from your students. Our focus with Montessori Compass is to provide flexible tools, that adapt to YOUR work flow – not the other way around. We’ve taken another step towards that goal by making it easier to create custom lessons in real-time and record them instantly. No need to first add them to curriculum. Simply click the “Add Custom Lesson” link on the Record Keeping page, create the lesson, then record just like any other lesson. The lesson is recorded instantly and you are right back to work in your classroom. At a later time, you can relocate the lesson to a new location within your Scope & Sequence.

By popular demand, we are pleased to announce the Student Tag feature just got even better! In addition to utilizing tags to group students together based on custom criteria for administration purposes, you can now create custom student groups for record keeping and lesson planning. When you create the tag, click the check box to designate it as a “record keeping tag”. That’s it! Now your custom student group will be available as a shortcut during both the lesson planning and record keeping work flow.

Ever have one of those “oops” moments when you accidentally send an email, instant message, or text message to the wrong recipient?? This can be particularly problematic when managing all of the different types of messages you need to communicate to members of your school community. With Montessori Compass, messaging is now easier (and safer) than ever. If you send a message to the wrong recipient, simply click the message in your sent box. Then click the “retract” link. The message is permanently removed from the system, as if it never happened! In addition, you can view that status of messages along with a timestamp when it was read.

Activity Reports help answer the age old question for parents… what did my child do at school today! With this lastest update, you can now customize the frequency of the reports by individual classroom. For example: Classroom A can opt for daily activity reports, Classroom B can opt for weekly activity reprots, and Classroom C can opt for no activity reports. We also added the ability to send automatically every 2 weeks and 4 weeks. Parent Communication is now more flexible than ever!