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Middle Years

Extracurricular activities forge important school connections

Extracurricular activities forge important school connections

April 7, 2017 | Posted in: Elementary, High School, Middle Years, Uncategorized

My second- and fourth-grade sons are currently participating in an after-school art program at their elementary school. After each class, they share funny anecdotes about something one of the other kids said or did. And each Tuesday, they are excited to go to school because they know they have art after school. This is significant […]

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Eyes wide open: What parents should know about their children and drugs

Eyes wide open: What parents should know about their children and drugs

April 4, 2017 | Posted in: High School, Middle Years

For a parent, there is nothing more devastating than the loss of a child. It’s an ache that never goes away. In 2005, my brother and sister-in-law buried their oldest son, Sean, just before his 20th birthday. My nephew battled drug addiction throughout most of his adolescent years. His parents quietly forged a war against […]

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10 culturally-relevant books to inspire English language learners of all ages

10 culturally-relevant books to inspire English language learners of all ages

March 28, 2017 | Posted in: Elementary, Middle Years

The summer before I entered fourth grade, a new girl moved into my neighborhood, just a few houses down from me. Her name was Tanya and she was from Sri Lanka. She spoke very little English, except for “hi,” “bye,” “yes,” “no,” and “thank you.” There wasn’t much dynamic conversation going on between us that […]

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Helping children get the best from stress

Helping children get the best from stress

March 22, 2017 | Posted in: Elementary, High School, Middle Years

There’s a music video in my head that hasn’t been created yet. The late David Bowie and the legendary, nuanced rock band Queen had an iconic collaborative song with a hyper-thumping bass line later sampled by the infamous Vanilla Ice. You know what song I am talking about. In my video, a camera pans across […]

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Bridging the STEM gender gap

Bridging the STEM gender gap

March 16, 2017 | Posted in: Elementary, High School, Middle Years

Today, although to a lesser degree than in the past, women remain underrepresented in the STEM workforce, with the greatest disparities occurring in engineering, computer science and the physical sciences. According to a 2016 report by the National Science Foundation, female students’ achievement and participation in science and math in grades K-12 was on par […]

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Sports specialization: Is it good for our kids?

Sports specialization: Is it good for our kids?

February 21, 2017 | Posted in: Elementary, High School, Middle Years

It was a pretty big deal. My 8-year-old daughter was dropped off that morning at her very first soccer camp. She’s been playing in a youth recreation league for a few years. It’s the kind of league where the coaches don’t keep score, but where you sometimes hear parents whispering summations to each other on […]

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Be kind, on rewind: Cultivating kindness and acceptance in schools

Be kind, on rewind: Cultivating kindness and acceptance in schools

February 17, 2017 | Posted in: Early Learners, Elementary, High School, Middle Years

Kindness matters. It just does. Many school districts are looking for creative ways of sharing messages of acceptance, respect and kindness with their students and faculty. But as we’ve learned, instilling a culture of kindness in our schools, which then extends to the world beyond, is not something that happens overnight. “Kindness changes the brain […]

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How field trips boost students’ lifelong learning

How field trips boost students’ lifelong learning

February 16, 2017 | Posted in: Elementary, High School, Middle Years

My second-grader recently went on a school field trip to the zoo to learn about bats. His teacher prepped his class leading up to the visit, asking the students to read books and magazine articles about bats. My son peppered me with bat facts. When the day of the field trip arrived, my son was […]

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Reducing family screen time is easier than it seems

Reducing family screen time is easier than it seems

February 10, 2017 | Posted in: Elementary, High School, Middle Years

For Nicole, a mom of two children, ages 4 and 8, the start of 2017 was an opportunity to tackle a growing problem in her house: family screen time. For parents raising children in today’s digital age, it can seem daunting to set limits on screen time and technology. “This year, in order to actually […]

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Schools embrace makerspaces and parents can, too

Schools embrace makerspaces and parents can, too

February 7, 2017 | Posted in: Early Learners, Elementary, High School, Middle Years

My seven-year-old loves tape. I have gotten into the habit of buying a roll, or two (OK, sometimes three), whenever I’m at the store. He has created cars out of wooden blocks, a bridge stretching from the back of a living room chair to a nearby desk and a small cardboard house for his Lego […]

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