Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation in Reading: Which is the Real Deal?

INTRINSIC vs. EXTRINSIC MOTIVATION IN READING: WHICH IS THE REAL DEAL?   This passage is taken from a published article in the 2013 New Jersey English Journal titled, “The Creative Imagination and Its Impact on 21st Century Literacies”:   “On television I saw a radical new program in education called “Massage Therapy” which is used […]

Teaching Together: Moving from Isolation to Collaboration

The guests on this segment disagree on whether teacher collaboration is new, but they all agree that teacher collaboration is becoming more important, is being done in new ways, and is more important now than ever. On November 16th, Education Week will be running a series of articles on teacher collaboration. Be sure to check […]

3 Great Ways & Reasons to Move Your Class Outdoors

According to our guests, immersing your students in nature offers many benefits to both students and teachers. Find out why you should take your students outside as often as possible. This segment also offers specific outdoor lessons you can use with your class today. To Read:   Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation […]

A Literate African-American Boy: Fact or Fantasy?

If life imitates art, as the aphorism goes, I sure wish the boy drawn in a C.F. Payne illustration would become real like Pinocchio did. The illustration depicts an African-American boy standing on a street corner engrossed in reading a book while a crowd of people behind him is enthralled by the latest technological gadgets […]

Child’s Right to Risk

This post represents a summary of several talks at the recent “International Green Schoolyard Conference”.  Although I agree wholeheartedly with all of the ideas described below, I cannot take credit for many of the thoughts.  Because the speakers’ positions were so powerfully and clearly expressed, I have quoted liberally from my notes, in an effort […]

Patching the Playhouses

Here is the story of a natural building project I love…   If you aren’t familiar with natural building, it is, basically, using natural, non-manufactured materials to create soul-soothing, sculptural structures.  My favorite is earth-building, which uses in various combinations, a mixture of clay, water and sand, along with a fibrous material (grass, straw or […]

Who Plants the Garden? The 2011 DC Schoolyard Garden Tour

From coast to coast, this is school garden tour season!  This week I’m bringing you news of another city where exciting things are happening for kids.  I visited 7 wonderful DC school gardens on a recent rainy Saturday.   The theme of this year’s tour, which capped off a school garden week full of workshops, […]

Nine Nifty Ideas from San Francisco Green Schoolyards

1. Nature inspired poetry displayed on a long clothesline makes a great literary focal point in the garden. 2. At this school, the side of the shed provides wall space for nature facts, schoolyard information and art displays. 3. An outdoor sink with a simple hose hookup and a drain just opening onto the ground […]

The International Green Schoolyard Conference: What do we have NOW? What do we WISH for? What ACTION will get us there?

Let me begin by saying that Engaging Our Grounds: The International Green Schoolyard  Conference was a powerful gathering.  I just counted and I have 64 pages of notes and more than 300 pictures from 2 days of talks and site visits, so clearly this will take more than one post to describe.  There were brilliant […]

Welcome to the very first EarlySpace blogpost!

Children need nature.  Here in the Capitol area we are rediscovering that in a big way.  Natural play and learning are coming to DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia. Teachers are learning about how to teach outdoors and how to support outdoor learning; schools and children’s programs are creating green schoolyards and natural play spaces; and […]