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Are You Ready For The Start of School?!

When I think of getting ready for the upcoming school year, memories of being a kid come flooding back. I remember back-to-school shopping for school supplies and picking out the one clothing item we were given a choice on: shoes (I went to a Catholic school). Interestingly, although it was the only variety I could add to my wardrobe, I chose the same brown suede buck shoes for 5 years in a row. I also had the same bowl cut for about the same length of time, by choice (sad but true). I think most kids get excited to pick out their new clothes, backpack, and supplies! There’s also the less exciting task of making sure all of the

August 25th, 2021|Learning, Reading, School|

Student Writing: Behind The Scenes of Zoos

Behind The Scenes of Zoos By Veronica Zoos are a place where adults and children can interact with animals and scientists can learn about different species of animals. They keep several species in captivity and sometimes breed those animals. Zoos are also places where animals are taken from their families and homes to be displayed. Some people think that zoos are a great place to explore different kinds of animals, but they might not think about what happens to the animals. Other people think about how the animals are harmed, and choose not to support zoos. They do not want to support the abuse and tight confinement of wild animals. I think zoos should shut down because they are

June 7th, 2021|Student Writing|

Student Writing: Understanding Elephants

Understanding Elephants By Veronica Elephants have been endangered and abused for more than 4,000 years. Elephants are an extremely important part of the ecosystem. They may not be a part of your life, but they are a huge part of the environment and other animals. There may be people who help elephants and try to make a difference, but there are also a lot of people who put elephants in bad captivity. Elephants are amazing and elegant creatures that we need to save. Humans need to help elephants and stop putting them in captivity, abusing them, and destroying their habitat.  We need elephants on the earth, they too contribute to our ecosystem. For example, they are the world's largest

May 19th, 2021|Student Writing|

Student Writing: Hip Hop In The Classroom

Many people believe hip hop does not have a place in the classroom or in education. Some people claim it promotes violence and mistreatment of women. Other people claim that hip hop can help some students learn, who would otherwise be disinterested. I believe that hip hop should be included in classroom education because it’s more relatable to students, it reflects real life while classroom culture is out of touch, and it’s fun and exciting. Hip hop being the most popular genre of music touches a younger audience and is more relatable to students. According to the Nielsen’s Annual music report, hip hop is the most popular genre in America since 2018. If teachers added rap music to the

January 15th, 2021|Student Writing|

Outdoor Adventures

Growing up just outside of Boston, I had never spent much time in the woods. My siblings and I weren’t completely deprived of nature, though. We spent blissful summers swimming and sailing on Cape Cod and almost never spent a day indoors, June through August. It wasn’t until I moved to Western Mass to attend college that I experienced the woods. And even then, I didn’t go on my first hike until my junior year. But once I had a taste of being in nature in that way, I wanted more. Over the years, I’ve come to love the escape. Hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, snowshoeing, running, and fishing have now become a regular part of my life. Being outdoors

December 1st, 2020|Homeschool, Learning, Parenting|

The Choice To Homeschool

Homeschooling your child is a difficult choice. The opportunity to bond with your child, give your child choice in their learning, and watch them grow may not be enough to quell your anxieties. But hopefully these three tips will open up a new perspective.  You will not be good at everything One of the big concerns I hear parents express when they are considering homeschooling is that they will not be good enough or will not know how to teach something. One thing I want you to take away from reading this post is...that’s ok! You have a lot to offer your child in terms of learning. You may not even realize your own strengths and talents. However, it’s

August 6th, 2020|Homeschool, Parenting|

Learning Outside

Now is the perfect time to get outside and leave the stresses and confines of quarantine at home. While we may still feel the pressure to socially distance and be mindful of our health, especially at this time, enjoying all that nature has to offer is a great way to calm the mind and ease the spirit. Learning is happening all the time, but it is important to draw your child’s attention to the world around them in unique ways. This doesn’t have to be explicit, formal instruction (although there’s undoubtedly value in teaching skills like planting a flower or drying herbs), but a way to open the door to further inquiry and discovery. Here are some ways you

Summer Learning

As schools have made the transition to virtual schooling, many parents have told me how overwhelmed they’ve felt. You may be feeling the same way. Whereas your child had previously been responsible for following directions and bringing homework home to complete, they are now responsible for maintaining a schedule, checking for their assignments, completing the work (often on their own), submitting assignments, participating in online classes, and troubleshooting tech issues. At school, children are told when to sit, stand, do work, play, talk to each other, etc. Everything is dictated for them. No wonder families are feeling stressed! I do believe that students would have adjusted better to this new level of independence had it been given in smaller

Teaching Subtraction

Teaching subtraction to young learners can be difficult. Unlike addition, where items/time accumulates, subtraction can represent taking something away, as well as the difference between two numbers. This can conceptually be difficult for young children to understand. Then, when you get into subtraction problems with borrowing, such as 45 - 27, you have to borrow a ten to do subtraction in the ones column, and children can be equally confused! Most parents of public school students have felt the frustration of trying to help a child with homework when the teacher insists they use "new math" or Common Core Math. But with quarantine, now parents across the country are feeling the pressure of picking up where school left off!

April 18th, 2020|Homeschool, Math, Parenting|

Teaching At Home

As an educator, I subscribe to a lot of teacher sites and blogs. Over the past week, my inbox has steadily been filling up with email after email directed at parents who are now staying home. These emails are typically offering to instruct parents how to teach. While that is helpful for some, that content may not be realistic for all parents, and may even be overwhelming. A lot of parents are working from home, dealing with the transition to their new setup, and do not have time to learn how to become teachers. But here’s where parents have a leg up: every parent is their child’s first teacher. Any parent can do the basics, and going back to

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