Environmental Education Teacher, Misty, took a group of three-year-olds into the garden to feed snails and slugs to the chickens. She explained how chickens are also fertilizing and tilling the soil when they eat weeds and grubs–a little lesson in interdependence. Then, she sent them off to look for food suitable for chickens.

urbanMamas childcareMisty was examining snails with two students, when she heard a racket and looked up to see Max lifting up the fence up and bringing it back down again and again, which was particularly disturbing to Fluffy, who panicked and escaped from the garden the next time Max lifted the fence high enough. Read More…


When you have run through your usual repertoire, and your relationship is still less than wonderful, don’t react. Act to change the context. It works with 3-month-olds, and it works with adults.



Can conflict be creative? My older brother and I fought a lot. “Fight to the death!” we said. It scared our mother, and scared me, too, I guess.

I remember at age eight fighting in our back yard with Bruce Keller, the son of the police chief who lived on the other side of the stonewall. Of course, manly pride required that I fight it out with him, but deep inside I didn’t want to. Read More…


Play is essential to optimize learning Language, Math, Science, as well as preparing the brain for collaboration, creativity and making valuable contributions to the world. Read More…


If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

–Rudyard Kipling

At lunchtime on the first day of fourth grade my best friend Jimmy stuck a deviled egg in my face and said “Eat it.” Back then, a deviled egg was a foreign substance to me, and I was not feeling adventurous.

“No, thank you,” I said.

“Eat it,” said Jimmy more insistently

“No. I don’t want it.”

“Eat it!!!” Read More…


Excellent short summary of the history of social unrest in America of the last 70 years & the origins of rising rage. Norman Rockwell_ The Problem We All Live With « AbagondOne critical piece is missing from the history and the analysis: a dysfunctional public school system. The American educational system, designed 150 years ago to prepare workers for the industrial age, is still preparing them for the industrial age. Read More…


Some say yes. Some say no. Come on, people. Could we please ask questions that help us get to useful truths about Education Reform. Article in the New York Times June 30, 2016: Read More…


How Will Education Reform?

by Rick on June 27, 2016

I never let my schooling interfere with my education.

—Mark Twain

Education Reform won’t succeed until schools do what computers can’t.

Because Sara was home sick for a week in October of her eighth grade year, her parents bought software so that she could learn algebra at home. When she got back to school she discovered that she was ahead of the class. When she told her parents, they said, “Well, good. That gives you more time to spend on other homework,” which she did, but she didn’t stop taking her online course in algebra. She liked it. Read More…


Alicia, early childhood educator extraordinaire, once told me the following story as we had lunch together in the faculty lounge:

“Yesterday, Helen was in the sandbox scooping sand into a bucket with a cup. I came by and (good constructivist teacher that I am) said, ‘So, Helen, how many cups do you think it will take to fill up your bucket?’ Read More…


The Myth of Self Acceptance

by Rick on May 24, 2016

Collaborate. Create. Contribute, and stop chasing after self acceptance. Read More…