Posts Categorized: Schools We Want

Teaching the Skills Kids Need – Using PBL*

Eighth grader Maya peered through the window into the chaos that was 6th graders pulling together their Space & Scale Exhibition and shuddered. “I remember doing that when I was a 6th grader and not having a clue about what I was doing.  I wasted so much time looking up information that was irrelevant.  I didn’t… Read more »

School Work That Matters

PBL:  Practice By Living* As part of the class debrief after the end-of-year project, one of my teachers had his students imagine what it will be like when they go to college and are tasked to work with a group of peers some of whom would never have previously done projects.  Our students marveled that… Read more »

Living in Beta: PBL and Technology

Immersed in the talk of technology at this year’s ISTE conference, I have been thinking a lot about the role technology plays in Project Based Learning. Technology is best taught and learned when a project task requires the specific function the technology offers. So, for example, I am motivated to learn the iMovie software when… Read more »

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 »