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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Middle Grade Reads to Encourage Observation and Discovery

Exploring the outdoors is not just a summertime activity. Getting outside on an autumn day is a wonderful time to encourage outdoor exploration. These middle grade titles, both fiction and nonfiction, are perfect to jumpstart curiosity!

The True Blue Scouts of Sugarcane Swamp by Kathi Appelt

Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt

Finding Wonders by Jeannine Atkins

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

The Penderwicks : A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall

The Wolf Keepers by Elise Broach

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Beastly Brains: Exploring How Animals Think, Talk, and Feel by Nancy Castaldo

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Saving Wonder by Mary Knight

Pax by Sarah Pennypacker

Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Keeping Green this School Year



There are many things you can do to keep "green" this school year.  I borrowed many of these ideas from NYS Department of Environmental Education. 


School Supply Shopping 

  • Reuse school items left over from last year; backpacks, lunch bags, water bottle, scissors, binders, and any pens and pencils. 
  • Search for products that aren't sold with a lot of packaging, and recycle any packaging materials you can.
  • Buy recycled paper and other items. You might even find a backpack or sneakers made from recycled materials. 
  • Buy non-toxic alternatives - look for non-toxic pens, markers, art supplies and other school supplies.
  • Use rechargeable batteries whenever possible.

School Lunches

  • Think "reusable" when packing lunches - use reusable lunch boxes or canvas bags, sandwich containers and utensils. If not "reusable" think biodegradable. 
  • For water or other drinks, bring a reusable stainless steel bottle or bisphenol A-free (BPA-free) bottle.
  • Pack your own lunch instead of buying foods that involve a lot of packaging. Look for bulk food items instead of those that are packaged as single servings and package them yourself in reusable containers! You'll also save money! 

Greening Your Classroom

  • Encourage your school to institute a good recycling program or expand their existing program. Compost cafeteria waste. 
  • Use both sides of paper when possible.
  • Start a school garden!