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, Features, Mindfulness & Movement2 Comments

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

Last Stop on Market Street

Sara LockieSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

Last Stop on Market Street

Last week when I had a conversations about race with white suburban kids 5 to 10 years old, the response surprised, challenged, and inspired me. The lesson was simple–read and discuss Matt de la Peña’s award winning picture book Last Stop on Market Street. I opened to the first page and asked how the neighborhood in the book looked different from the … Read

Teacher Perspectives|Settle Down

Sara LockieMindfulness & Movement2 Comments

Kids at Recess

Taylor Johnson noticed a challenging time for her fourth grade students was after lunch and recess.  Students were coming in from the playground still in conversations, and she struggled to help them focus on learning again. “Breathing exercises get them back on track,” she says. She decided to try teaching her students controlled breathing techniques and now uses a breathing … Read

Teacher Perspectives|Take a Break

Sara LockieMindfulness & Movement1 Comment

Mychele adores her job and especially the joy on her students’ faces when they learn something new. She is an experienced kindergarten and reading lab teacher. She’s seen it all. And even with years of experience behind her it’s still hard, “I have 25 kiddos. I just feel like, as a teacher, I have to help all of them – … Read

Want Better Discussions? Avoid the Pitfalls and Keep Moving Forward

Jesse WilcoxCoaching for GrowthLeave a Comment

Three earlier posts in this series provided some proactive ways to invigorate your classroom conversations. We addressed questioning techniques, wait time, verbal and non-verbal response and framing the conversation. This post addresses some common pitfalls as well as some ways to move forward with your engaging classroom discussions. We’re all human, and teachers can fall victim to some behaviors that … Read

Summer Days

Sara LockieFamily adventures, Outdoor EducationLeave a Comment

Last spring our mailbox was crammed with glossy brochures filled with summer opportunities. Day camps, overnight camps, weekly classes, weekend trips. They all sounded like fantastic new experiences that our kids would enjoy and remember for a lifetime. “I just want to be at home,” my 10-year-old son glanced at the brochures and said, “But Mom, the schedule is always … Read