Get Outta the House!

Taking the Common Core standards outside.

A Writer Talks About Reading

A Writer Talks About Reading

The other day I was looking in my closet for something and came across something else stashed back in there: my notes from a writing conference I attended this past spring. Specifically notes from a talk New York Times best-selling author Tim Myers gave at a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference. He was […]

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Fun Ag Conference for Educators This Weekend

Fun Ag Conference for Educators This Weekend

One of the funnest education conferences ever comes to Sacramento this week. The California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom’s state conference starts Thursday at the Holiday Inn in downtown Sacramento. Sacramento is the home of the Fork to Farm movement, and this conference runs concurrently with the area’s “Farm Tank Summit.” Conference participants will […]

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Free Park Admission for Fourth Graders

Free Park Admission for Fourth Graders

This school year fourth graders can treat their families and friends to a national park visit for free, all year long. Through the federal initiative, Every Kid in a Park, any fourth grader can download a pass, good through Aug. 31, 2017, for free admission to federal lands and waterways. The pass will also allow […]

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PE Appears Back on the Field

PE Appears Back on the Field

Years ago, during an interview for a special education position, I said I thought one of the biggest special education issues of our time was the lack of structured PE time for our students. The trend in elementary schools at that time was to do away with the professional PE teacher who had studied kinesthetics […]

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Donate Your Mini Hotel Products

Donate Your Mini Hotel Products

If you’re anything like me, the end of summer vacation means you have a rather large collection of those little hotel bottles of shampoo and lotions. Instead of throwing them into the bathroom junk drawer to gather dust, or — heaven forbid — throwing them in the trash, gather them up into a large Ziploc […]

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Learning Math in the Real World

Learning Math in the Real World

Several years ago, thinking I might like to start a small business selling original scrapbook paper designs, I attended a workshop put on by the U.S. Small Business Administration. I still remember the speaker telling us we had to be able to perform mental math to succeed in business. Mental math is the ability to […]

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Cooking with Students

Cooking with Students

Years ago, long before the No Child Left Behind Act was even a gleam in a politician’s eye, a fifth-grade teacher told me she reached her summer school students’ hearts through their stomachs. Those were her words, spoken as her 10-year-olds worked together to whip up their concoctions. That teacher eventually retired as an elementary […]

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Year of No

Year of No

Sometime this past winter I started referring to the 2015-16 school year as the Year of No. Nothing went easily. Sure things seemed to fall through without explanation. Support I’d assumed would be there didn’t materialize. Many of my students seemed to struggle more than usual. My after-school program planned to install three academic gardens. […]

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Learning About Agriculture

Learning About Agriculture

A couple years ago, the California Department of Food and Agriculture approached me about filming our Garden Club students in action for a piece the agency was doing on agricultural literacy. They wanted to know how schools were teaching students about agriculture through the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. Check out my students […]

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National Environmental Education Week: April 17-23

National Environmental Education Week: April 17-23

Looking for a reason to celebrate? This week is National Environmental Education Week, a great reason to take the learning outside. To register your organization’s projects and events, go to NEEFusa.org. Registration gets you discounts on online resources and eligibility for grants. The National Environmental Education Foundation, a Washington D.C.-based non-profit organization working with the […]

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