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Bess began working with Microsoft SharePoint in 2003 and has worked with every version since, including 2016 and Office 365.  She enjoys leveraging her business analyst skills to assist organizations in getting the most out of their Microsoft investment.

During her Information Technology journey, Bess discovered the joys of improvisation.  She has traveled the country to study improv, including the top three schools in Chicago – The Second City, iO, and The Annoyance.  She performs locally with Dinner Detective and is the director of Indy Improv Collaborative, an improv troupe nominated for Nuvo’s Best of Indy in 2017.

Bess combines her improv skills with her 20 years of corporate experience in Information Technology, allowing her to specialize in collaborative solutions.  She is the owner of Collaborative Ventures, LLC.

Bess lives in Indianapolis, IN where she is raising her three children.

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New Montessori Materials

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As I mentioned recently, Elora has had a major jump in her math skills.  Despite my planning, I quickly realized that I couldn't wait until the first of the year to order more materials.  After a week or two of thinking and planning, I finally placed my order with Alisons late on a Thursday night.  The next thing I know, a large box of goodies was dropped on my porch the following Tuesday.  I wish I could say I was elated but honestly, it was a bit overwhelming.

What goodies await me?

Yes, they use packing peanuts.  WARNING - Do not let your children dive into the box unless you want to vacuum peanuts for weeks!

Each item is in a separate box like a delightful present.

I finally have the complete bead material!  This includes the squares, cubes and both long/short chains.  Alison's has the cheapest set by far at $153.  Generally these are more in the $300 range.

The bead decanomial box.  I changed my mind at the last minute and purchased the large set that has 55 of each.

The entire box of goodies.


So what did I get?
  • The Complete Bead Materials (squaring and cubing material)
  • The Sandpaper Globe (for helping the boys with land/water confusioin)
  • The Decanomial Bead Box
  • The Subtraction Strip Board
  • The Multiplication Board
  • The Teen Bead Hanger (to help with the difficult concept of teens)
  • 50 Wooden Thousand Cubes (for the 45 layout)
  • 50 Wooden Hundred Squares (for the 45 layout)
  • TAG Toys Tumble Down Counting Pegs (hiding in the box - Birthday present for Lockelan)
At this point, it has been stashed away in the school room.  This purchase has certainly amplified the space difficulties in my math area.  I think I'm going to give in and purchase new, taller shelves.

I'm trying not to be intimidated by the new work.  I really enjoy Montessori math.  In fact, it was one of the most influential aspects in my decision to delve deeper into the method.  At the same time, it's intense, especially at the pace we are moving now.

Have you made any recent purchases?  If so, what did you get?
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