Virtual Classroom for Young Children?

  My hair stood on end. That’s the best way I can describe my reaction to the article in the Washington Post reporting that Virginia public schools were paying for some young children to learn “virtually.”   When I think of virtual education, my mind goes immediately to the online course I teach for Northern Virginia […]

Integral Education

“The role of the teacher is to put the child upon the right road to his own perfection and encourage him to follow it, watching, suggesting, helping, but not imposing or interfering.” Kireet Joshi   The trend to consider the “whole” child when teaching has been at the forefront of early childhood education for years […]

Early Learning Programs Win Federal Innovation Grants

Five of the 23 winners of the latest round of the Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition included early learning as a focus. This means about $26 million from i3 will likely go to support early learning projects, focusing on children from birth through third grade. The winners will become official i3 grantees […]

Proposal to Change Federal Program For Disadvantaged Students

Last month, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released a proposal for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) formerly known as No Child Left Behind. Yesterday, Harkin and his counterpart on the Senate’s education panel, Mike Enzi (R-WY), released a revised version of the proposal, reportedly to include more of what Senate Republicans want. Much […]

Senate Bill Proposes Changes to ESEA, With a Few for Early Ed

Earlier this fall, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee, released a draft of a comprehensive bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind.   While the bill does not include a new Title within ESEA that focuses directly on early […]

Create Your Own Outdoor Magic: DIY Natural Playspace Coaching– a new approach

We know, and an extensive body of rigorous scientific research confirms that children who have access to green and natural play and learning spaces are healthier and less stressed, concentrate and learn better, and get along better with peers. Connecting children to nature and creating beautiful outdoor spaces is my passion, and as a landscape […]


OSMOSIS: TEACHER AND CLASS Spend enough time in a classroom and you can eventually lose yourself in the turf wars between you and your kids, because you become overwhelmed, at times, with strong emotions and conflicting thoughts.  But you can’t help it, you are part of your environment, and like a sponge, your mind, imagination, […]

Higher Standards, Lower Stakes

Release of New York City “Progress Reports” and a plethora of other news from around the country reveal the tough truth that high-stakes accountability fails to raise academic achievement.  Indeed, it leads to watering down the very standards its advocates espouse, merely producing talking points that politicians and administrators use to claim success in reaching […]

OMG! Parent-Teacher Conferences: Why They Fail, Making Them Work

Parent-teacher conferences are notorious for being dreaded, poorly attended and adversarial when they do occur.  Our guests unpack the dynamics behind parent-teacher conferences and share tips on how to make them positive, effective, collaborative opportunities that help students.     For more information, here are some great tip sheets on parent-teacher conferences: from the Harvard […]

Building Stuff Outside with Kids: Learning Happens Naturally

The sun was shining. The kids– lots of kids– were outside. It was simple and inexpensive and fun. Bamboo (harvested in advance from a grateful neighbor’s yard) Kudzu (pulled by kids from the edges of the schoolyard) A ball of string A bale of straw Two ladders, some pruners and 5 volunteer moms. We can […]