Schools Pushing for Eco-Friendly Cafeterias

Compostable trays and pesticide-free produce are just a few of the items that large school districts across the nation are hoping to offer within their school meal programs.

According to The New York Times, the Miami-Dade County school district is one of the larger districts that have started to use compostable trays, rather than the Styrofoam trays traditionally used for student lunches. Made of sugar cane, the trays will be composted for farms and gardens rather than filling up oversized landfills. With 345,000 students in the Miami-Dade district, that really is a lot of trays. Penny Parham, administrative director of food and nutrition for the district, feels…


Competitive Grants for Career and Technical Education

On Tuesday, November 19th, the Obama administration unveiled details for a plan to host a $100 million grant awarding competition. According to Education Week, the grant money is specifically intended for the preparation of high school students for college and technical careers.

While the grants are similar to past Race to the Top and Investing in Education programs, these new monies will be provided by and managed by the Department of Labor. By collaborating with local universit…


The Most Important Year of School Is…

The answer is freshman year of high school, at least when it comes to predicting who is likely to drop out or not. According to The Atlantic, the periodical Education recently released research findings that prove ninth grade to be a “bottleneck” year with freshman having the highest levels of absenteeism, the lowest GPAs, the most failing classes and the highest level of behavioral referrals when compared to other secondary grades. While the year 1970 found 3 percent fewer students in…


The Benefits of Puzzles in Early Childhood Development

People have long known that puzzles present many benefits for children as they develop. Children usually start out with simple knobbed puzzles that are outlines of simple shapes that fit into corresponding board cutouts. From there they go to more complex silhouettes of real world objects that take more consideration.

The last step that people take with puzzles is usually to jigsaw puzzles of varying complexity. The user is guided by an image they assemble and every time you end up with the same result.

I am here today to write about the benefits of puzzles for your child as they grow, and offer a step beyond jigsaw puzzles that are found at


The Best Educational Toys for Your Child This Holiday Season

The opportunity to learn is around the clock, it doesn’t have to happen at school alone! This coming Holiday season you will no doubt purchase many toys for your child, why not find some that can help your child learn and develop while they play?

We’ll look at 5 different styles of toys, primarily for children over the age of 5. Hopefully one will apply to your specific child in a way that makes them see a toy they want to play with - not an educational toy meant to trick them! Do this by considering your child’s interests and what they enjoy and then look for a toy that will interest them, not the other way around!


The Secret, Part 2 – Permission for an Inner Life

This post was originally published on Wonder of Children, by Lisa Dewey Wells, on October 22, 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 …


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…

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