Category Archives: common core standards

What does a Garden Teach?

There is a wonderful article in the on-line version only of Educational Leadership magazine by ASCD.  In it the author describes and gives pointers on all the benefits of a garden in education.  She traces back to Dewey and his theories.  (Is anyone able to remember those theories of education?  I certainly still do!)

Gardens can be used for science, math, hands-on experience, and reading and language.  There is this video that demonstrates some language learning in a garden.  Perhaps you have your ideas as well.  Share them here. 

Do you have a garden for your school or class?  Perhaps you can at least develop a word garden to begin.



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Did you ask a question today? Did your Students?

This can the beginning of a science project or a moment of real learning.  Asking questions is how we learn, just listen to a two or three-year old.  Why do we stop?  Or maybe we just stop saying them out loud.

Google is launching the second annual on-line science fair.  A student can submit from any country as long as the student has internet access.  Language is not a barrier.  Projects can be submitted in 80 different languages.  Read about this new concept in science fairs and perhaps you encourage students to participate. 

The key to any science fair is the question asked.  Help your students formulate a clear and BIG question and then determine their route to an answer.  We have budding scientists in our classrooms.  Let’s help them discover their question, their process, and their learning. 

Let us hear from you or your students if you are going to take this challenge!


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What do you know about the Common Core?

As an educator we all try to stay abreast of the newest ideas and “buzz words”.  Right now Common Core Standards is a “buzz word” that you need to place in your vocabulary. 

Many states have signed on to these Common Core Standards that have been developed over the last 2 years or more.   They are the result of a national effort and will be the basis for changes in curriculum, assessment, and textbook development.  If you are familiar with state standards, this will be replacing them in many situations. 

ASCD is one of the Associations that will be working to deliver professional development around them.  Schools and classroom teachers need to take the Common Core Standards and translate them into good instruction.  Look for ideas and opportunities to explore how.  Not all is new, but it is a new national effort!  They may function well in your curriculum as a set of benchmarks.