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Tag / Afterschool

Urban Gardening: Regrowing Lettuce Stumps in Water

I asked my students if they thought it possible to regrow stumps of lettuce that were destined for the trash. The stumps were declared garbage—they wouldn’t be used for juicing, compost, vegetable stamp prints, or anything else. Some students thought there was at least a possibility of some activity and some students simply wanted to see what I had up my sleeve. Having been my students for a while, they knew I didn’t ask a simple question. Continue Reading

Ten juicy tangerines

Snack Time: Ten Tangerines

Snack time in my Afterschool class is always an exciting endeavor. Being health-conscious, it’s my duty to offer wholesome vittles to my students, especially since there’s a dearth of healthy food options available where I teach. Continue Reading

Inner city children at school

Underperforming Inner City Children Need Access

Recently I’ve found that more than discipline, referrals, suspension, and medication, many underperforming inner city children need one simple thing to increase their performance—access. Access to what? Access to anything their better-off (or well-to-do) counterparts have access to. While I’m not a clinician or therapist, my cursory assessments of the children I’ve taught over the years has made it clear that their behavior problems could be reasonably curtailed, over time, when these children simply have access to things. Continue Reading

Using nature in the classroom.

Using Nature in the Classroom

My classroom has practically no natural light, even though I have far more plants than anyone else in my school. The overhead fluorescent lights are horrible so I move my plants to another classroom several times per week to get sunlight (yes, it’s a lot of work). It’s amazing how much the plants perk up with exposure to sunlight, and how great the other classrooms look when my babies come to visit. Continue Reading

Yoga for Inner-City Children

Afterschool Yoga for Inner City Children

My students reside in low-income parts of Brooklyn, NY, where options are limited and exposure to the arts is rudimentary, if it happens at all. The Executive Director of my school insisted that he wanted my students to have what the schools in Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights have in their schools. I have to admit that’s a tall order! We have neither the budget nor the staff, the infrastructure nor the support, so I was tasked with pulling a rabbit out of a hat to fulfill that lofty ideal. Continue Reading