Category Archives: school

How do kids learn best?

A local school district is working through the process of choosing new textbooks, but I’m not convinced they are making a good choice.

Regardless of what text is selected, researchers tell us that kids who have grown up on YouTube appear to learn some subjects more easily from videos and visuals than print-predominant resources.

As an author, I love books. Books are my life. I cherish them, but I think we need to look carefully at what appears to be a shifting preference for receiving information.


Food waste reality

Years ago, schools led the way for kids to grow up with the 3 eco R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle.)

At this point, I don’t see schools taking similar leadership with reducing food waste. After glancing at food left on school cafeteria lunch trays, we have a long way to go before “zero waste” becomes a reality.

Sad sacks be gone!

This is the time of year that kids open sad sacks during lunchtime.  By now, even formerly “exciting” menu items are boring.

Up the lunch game with a foldout placement, colorful cutlery, or foods packed in mini-containers, when being surprised at what you find adds fun and peer interest.

Go back to that list you made last fall, when you vowed to help your child pack lunches with sticks that transform chicken nuggets into pops and spiral veggies that turn root veggies into twists.  Refer to your list of stackable protein to layer on a cracker and colorful dips to brighten even a cold winter day.

Even picky eaters will take a second look (and perhaps another bite.)

Skipping out on gym

I wonder why some people – including parents – are surprised that recent data show that p.e. classes have been linked to discipline problems.

After all, when kids are unsupervised and possibly undressed, that’s prime breeding ground for bullying and out-of-bounds behavior.

Statistics revealed that in Texas, during their short-lived program that required physical activity every day, both truancy and misbehavior increased.  Anyone who has been embarrassed in a school locker room (and who hasn’t been?) can understand the high risk of problems.

Guilt-free sips

Will this generation of students become the first to drink from a bio-degradable straw in their cardboard milk carton at the school cafeteria?

The commitment to eliminate plastic straws has gone beyond paper straws to include edible alternatives. Innovative options for packaging school lunch elements continue to grow.

Has your child’s school been successful in finding eco-solutions?

Zero waste shift?

Although major brands are starting to launch reusable packaging, companies that service school cafeterias have a long way to go.

The zero -waste movement could get a head start by simply starting with something as simple as the apple juice containers served at school breakfasts.  What a difference if the juice was served in reusable, empty containers that would be collected, cleaned and returned !

Deep reading

Are your kids reading more, now that they are digi-kids?

Most kids are reading more words: simply add up the amount of time they spend on non-gaming screens.

However, all the screen time is creating a new challenge just being recognized by educators: screen readers are skimmers. They tend to flip rapidly through a text. To counter-balance this, “deep reading,” or reading for sophisticated understanding of content, is now the focus of classroom reading time.