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Teacher Training Institute
The Prepared Montessorian Logo
The Prepared Montessorian Logo
Teacher Training Institute






How to tell a child what to do, not what not to do

How to tell a child what to do, not what not to do. Young children are in a sensitive period for language, which means they are keenly aware of not only what we say, but also how we say it. Positive phrasing is the art of brief and true statements that tell a young child what to do, instead of what not to do. In this session, we will focus on key principles for positive phrasing in Montessori communities, and how its role is effective classroom leadership.
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How to tell a child what to do, not what not to do


  • What is Grace and Courtesy and how does it work?
  • Positive Phrasing and Descriptive Praise
  • Positive Phrasing in action – Practical Tips and Best Practices


  • Parents with young children
  • Caregivers (nannies, grandparents, anyone who is taking care of children)
  • Educators who work with young children


  • An introduction to the Grace & Courtesy presentations used in Montessori communities and homes, as well as an understanding of how to adapt a Grace & Courtesy–style presentation for your particular needs
  • A detailed introduction to positive phrasing and descriptive praise and how these techniques can be harnessed to influence behavior
  • Practical advice and best practices to help apply these concepts in real-world situations
This course covers everything I wanted to know. I learnt how to understand my child and use the right words for positive praising and the importance of timing when praising a child.
Participant of Positive Phrasing Workshop in July 2021


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  • What if I miss the live workshop?

    As long as you are registered, you will receive information about how to access a recording of the workshop for unlimited access. Please be sure to check your spam folder as the email will come from Note that we do not process certificates of attendance for watching recordings.

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Meet the Instructors

Laura Kalama
Laura Kalama
Laura is our Nido and Toddler Trainer. Over the past 15 years, Laura has been actively involved in early childhood education. She studied education with an emphasis on music at Bridgewater College, Virginia, then moved to California to work with infant and toddler families. She received her Montessori training from the Prepared Montessorian and served as a Lead Nido Guide before joining our team.
Monique Shen
Monique Shen
Monique Shen is our Nido and Toddler Trainer. After earning her BA in Psychology from Stony Brook University, Monique continued to pursue her interests in developmental psychology and found that her true passion was in early childhood education. She graduated with her AMI Montessori Diploma for the 0 to 3 age group from The Montessori Training Centre of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and is currently pursuing a dual master's in Early Childhood and Special Education. Monique has opened and led toddler communities, and has also worked as part of the training team in international Montessori training courses in Mexico City for Nido and Toddler guides seeking Montessori certification.
Mariana Serralde
Mariana Serralde
Mariana Serralde is our Senior Trainer. Mariana has been a Montessori educator for more than 20 years, working as a Children’s House Guide, Head of School, Montessori Mentor and currently as a Senior Montessori Trainer. She holds an AMI Primary Diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego, a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education with a specialization in Second Language Learning. Her passion for Montessori and diverse experience across the world brings about an empathetic approach to spreading Montessori pedagogy. Mariana has worked and supported several teachers and schools throughout her journey, including bilingual Montessori environments at all levels and collaborating in the development of a dual-language Montessori model for one of the first public dual-language Montessori schools.


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