Resources for a Mindful Classroom

Sara LockieMindfulness & MovementLeave a Comment

Breathing Buddies

We know student stress is on the rise, and we know what to do about it. Research is showing that even a few brief mindful moments a day can help relieve some of the pressure that kids AND ADULTS are feeling. Moving our bodies is also key to sharpening our minds. Check out this video of kids playing Walk! Stop! … Read

Brain Breaks

Sara LockieMindfulness & MovementLeave a Comment

Kids moving

We know movement is good for kids.  We also know kids aren’t moving as much as is recommended – only 21.6% of students meet the daily goal of 60-minutes of moderate to vigorous movement.  Not only is movement good for physical health, but it’s good for mental health as well as focus and executive function.  Brain Breaks – short movement … Read

Women’s Work

Martha McCormickPhilosophy & Musings, Social Justice1 Comment

June Day

It’s complicated. Cook. Wash dishes. Mop the floor. Clean the toilet. Do the laundry. Change diapers. Even though we have careers, paying jobs, and own businesses, much of this work falls on our shoulders. And laps. And keeps us on our toes. In the last year, I fired our cleaning service and started taking care of my granddaughter June one day … Read

Learning in the Garden–Lessons & More

Sara LockieOutdoor EducationLeave a Comment

How often do you think of plants? You might have house plants, maybe a garden. You most certainly eat some plants, if only potatoes! (Chips? Fries anyone?) But maybe a school garden is a new concept for you. Of course, school gardens are beautiful. And kids do love to eat things they’ve grown. But school gardens also provide unique laboratories … Read

Water All Around Us–Lessons & More!

Sara LockieOutdoor EducationLeave a Comment

Kids fishing

Although water is all around us, this vital resource needs protection. Teach your students about water, and how they can help conserve it with the lessons in the Next Step Water Unit. Hands-on learning through ready-to-go activities that are content-rich AND fun! Begin by going on a water scavenger hunt. Play a game to simulate the water cycle. Create an … Read

We Need Pollinators–Lessons & More!

Sara LockieOutdoor EducationLeave a Comment

Butterfly on a flower

The Pollinator Lesson Pack includes six hands-on lessons connected to the Iowa Core for Kindergarten-5th grade. The Next Step Adventure Education Team partnered with Story County Conservation to develop these engaging lessons. Use them to increase your students’ awareness of pollinators. Each lesson is linked with a specific grade level, but the activities can be adapted to all ages, and are … Read

Launching #99Parks!

Sara LockieOutdoor Education1 Comment

Shelly & Sara

What a fun day at Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center for the launch of Travel Iowa’s #99Parks! Shelly Johnson and I had a great time at the event, and even more fun helping to develop the activities, materials and backpacks for the Challenge. The Iowa Department of Tourism is challenging Iowa families to visit one park in each of Iowa’s 99 counties … Read

Chalk Art

Sara LockieArt for Life, Family adventures, Mindfulness & Movement1 Comment

What do the Northern Lights, mountain landscapes, STEM, and chalk art all have in common? They all showed up at our activity at the Walnut Hills STEAM Festival in Waukee last week! Not just Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, but we celebrated Art, too, at this festival. We took over the art room and had full tables of artists of all ages … Read

Bright Spots

Sara LockieMindfulness & MovementLeave a Comment

Confession – I really like to have a plan, and having extra time at the end of a class can send me into a tail spin. But luckily, things work out even when the plan needs some add-ons. I’m volunteering with a group of energetic third and fourth graders, and end up with about 7 minutes extra after we finish … Read

FUN!!! With Kids & Worms

Shelly JohnsonFamily adventures, Outdoor Education, Team BuildingLeave a Comment

Brody Middle School students

How do you get middle school kids to think about garbage and composting? Well, you simply bring some wiggly worms to school. Along with the live ones, it doesn’t hurt to provide some gummy ones as well. Last Wednesday I did just that–I took worms of both types, along with some other stuff to College, Career, and Community (C3) Day at … Read