Celebrating Banned Books

While it is a popular book used as a teaching tool in schools, The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, was one of the most challenged books of 2010 due to being “sexually explicit, unsuited to [a number of] age [groups], and [violent].” It is often surprising when books are banned from schools, so talking to students about book banning can help spark rich classroom discussions and boost critical thinking skills.

History of Book Banning

Books are banned by different organizations for a multitude of reasons. The history of book banning is…


Biology, Ecology & Jabberjays: Teaching Science with Science Fiction

Sci-Fi in Sci-Ed

The literary genre of science fiction offers a “human lens” to complex scientific ideas, providing readers and learners with a more comprehensive and accessible view into topics such as biology, chemistry and physics. Bringing this genre into the classroom offers an interdisciplinary approach to learning, integrating English-Language Arts (ELA) and History into science lessons, which is especially important with the implementation of the Common Core Standards and its focus on ELA skills across all content areas. Education initiatives such as the


The Secret? (We Need Downtime)

This post was originally published on Wonder of Children, by Lisa Dewey Wells, on October 14, 2013.

Lisa Wells has taught for 20 years in independent schools in MA, NY and MD. She currently writes a blog on child development, teaches yoga and tries to spend as much time with her two high schoolers as they will allow. Lisa’s committed to knowing each learner as an individual, creating a classroom community where the social curriculum is interwoven with the academic fabric and sharing her work with yoga and meditation with teachers and students. As a consulting teacher for the Northeast Foundation for Children’s Responsive Classroo…


A Community Effort to Improve Literacy (Peter DeWitt)

"On average, professional parents spoke over 2,000 words per hour to their children, working class parents spoke about 1,300, and welfare mothers spoke about 600. So by age 3, children of professionals had vocabularies that were nearly 50% greater than those of working-class children and twi…

Dallas School District to Provide Free Meals for All Students

With 159,000 students, the Dallas Independent School District has a lot of mouths to feed. According to the Dallas Morning News, the district has participated in the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) free meal program since 1980. Over the last three decades, families have had to apply for free or reduced price breakfast and lunch, because eligibility was determined by income. In Dallas, these applications are now a thing of the past as the USDA now offers a no-cost meal option for all; beginning this year, no families in the district will need to submit applications. Meals are now free…

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