Posts Categorized: Blogs

Of Angel Island, Donald Trump, PBL and Moms

The week of March 14th was momentous for me – packed with an array of  divergent learning.  At my school, Paulo Freire Freedom School, it was our Intersession Week during which students spend 4 full days doing experiential learning, more often outside the school then in a classroom, on a topic about which they and their teachers are passionate…. Read more »

Magic in Learning

Our Morning Meetings are always informative, sometimes riveting. At least they are in my estimation; I have no hard data to back this up. For some, this may be a problem. Our educational system has become increasingly obsessed with accountability – asking schools for measureable outcomes to justify all time spent. This is a problem. Don’t… Read more »

Taking a Moment For a Little Kindness

A few years ago there was a lot written about the Slow Food Movement. Reacting against the fast food industry and eating on the run, Slow Food proponents urged the need to savor real food – its flavor of course, but also the effort that brought the food to one’s plate. I’m not sure why… Read more »

For The Love of Reading

It should come as no surprise that research tells us in general – the more you read, the better you read. What might be surprising are the statistics of how much reading is, or more accurately, isn’t happening. On their free time (weekends and holidays) teenagers spend only 4.2 minutes reading a day. Only 27%… Read more »

The Kids Are Outdoors! (or they need to be)

In the Spring, there isn’t a more beautiful place to be outdoors than right here in our amazing Sonoran Desert.  Over Rodeo Break the National Park Service (NPS) is offering a 3 day Wilderness Camp at Saguaro National Park to children 10-14 for only $40.00 with scholarships available.  Email Ranger Chip to inquire about registration.  It is part of the NPS… Read more »

Restorative Justice Circles

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”   -Mahatma Gandhi “When will our conscience grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”   -Eleanor Roosevelt For many people, middle school was something they just had to get through. Being bullied was something that, while of… Read more »

Learning About the Threat That is Climate Change

Paris has been in the news and on the mind of the world since the November 13th terrorist attack, but our 6th and 7th grade students have had their eyes set on Paris since they started their most recent interdisciplinary unit on climate change. Next week is COP21, the worldwide conference on climate change, where… Read more »

Passion Projects – Letting Students’ Interests Flourish!

Often our best thinking happens in dialogue and sometimes it’s amplified in stunning outdoor settings. This summer, as I hiked the Cascades sharing successes, challenges, research, ideas and student driven inquiry with a friend, I realized that figuring out how to help students become independent, self directed learners had in fact become my own Passion… Read more »

PBL + STEM = A Winning Combination

Project Based Learning & STEM In a world where there is much debate over how to best package and deliver an educational program that is relevant, engaging, impactful and will set our students up for future success – project based learning (PBL) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) are commonly mentioned.  At PFFS these… Read more »

Empowering Professional Development and Edcamps!

I have been the beneficiary of amazing professional development that has truly shaped who I am as a teacher, as well as, the recipient of the most inane, incipient professional development that has made me want to gouge my eyes out. I know, a bit hyperbolic, but if you are a public school teacher, I’m… Read more »