Posts Categorized: Blogs

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 »

To Kill A Mockingbird & Black Lives Matter

My volume of Harper Lee’s first written novel, Go Set a Watchmen, recently arrived. Like so many, I am conflicted about whether or not to read it.  I’ve heard that Atticus Finch is not quite the perfect human being I imagined him.   For me, heroes are few and far between, and I would be very… Read more »

Happiness In Schools!

Happiness in Schools Today, Friday March 20, is ‘International Happiness Day’.  In celebration and solidarity with the event, I would like to advocate for adopting happiness as a legitimate goal in our nation’s public schools.  I know this is a controversial wish. Not so much with parents. What parent doesn’t want their child to be happy?… Read more »

Towards A Discussion of SRI Critical Friendship

On January 14-17, 2015 hundreds of educators descended upon Tucson, AZ to discuss together student and teacher work – publicly and collaboratively – using SRI Critical Friendship protocols and facilitation.  City High School and Paulo Freire Freedom School (University and Downtown) hosted that year’s ‘Winter Meeting’ of the School Reform Initiative (the premier organization promoting SRI Critical… Read more »