Posts Categorized: Schools We Want

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 »

Social Justice at Paulo Freire Freedom School

From the outset, both Paulo Freire Freedom Schools have professed a curricular focus on social justice and environmental sustainability.  When asked to elaborate on what that means we explain that it does not mean a separate course of study on either of those topics, but that they are themes of inquiry that are threaded throughout… Read more »

The Teachers Are Watching (or should be)

Wow! Who knew that the answer to the question of what to do with our schools lies with our students’ experience of those schools? Last week Grant Wiggins posted a blog written by an Instructional Coach who followed two students for two days and then wrote about it. Most notably she became aware of how… Read more »

Fall Break – Time For Sleeping and Exercise!

Fall Break is almost here and thank goodness.  Its been over two months since we started school and although it has been a great start, and while we have just completed an inspiring set of Intersessions, I know everyone is beyond ready for a week of rest and relaxation.  My words of wisdom to all… Read more »

PBL To Start A School

One of the questions I get when I help teachers think about how to incorporate project based learning (“PBL”) in their classrooms has to do with how to get started. Unless you are teaching in a school that has made a campus-wide commitment to PBL, it is likely that at the beginning of the year… Read more »