Aug 23

(No title)

Jul 25

Community Base Project – Community Activities Promote Healthy Lifestyles


Project Title & Idea:
Community Activities Promote Healthy Lifestyles

Driving Question:
Students evaluate the relationship between land use, community needs, resources, and a healthy lifestyle.

ELA, Math, Geography, History, PE, Science

Driving Question:
What individual and/or collective choices and habits will promote a sustained healthy lifestyle?

Entry Event:
Video clip or skit related to a community event that highlights a healthy lifestyle

Product: Map, Advertisement, Log/Evaluation Graph

Presentation to Audience in Convention Setting with Focus Group



“I like….”:

“I wonder….”


“I have…”

Jul 24

Daniel Pink – What Motivates People to Perform?

Jun 26

10 Degrees of Learnization by Sophie Clark

Jun 01

What’s Wrong With Our Food System: Birke Baehr at TEDxNextGenerationAsheville

Jan 18


Sep 18

Key Ideas that Foster Parent Engagement with Families



Key ideas that foster parent engagement with families

Posted on 

Key ideas that connect with families

Respect – Build Relationships  | Respeto – Creando Relaciones

Listening – Active ear  | Escuchar – Teniendo una oreja activa

Engage Parents by treating them to have a voice in education and training | Enseñe a los padres a tener una voz en la educacion y entrenamiento

Empowering parents to be facilitators using talents and expertise | Autorizar a los padres a ser facilitadores usando sus talentos y experiencia

Presentations same for all stakeholders only differentiated | Las presentaciones son iguales para todos los grupos representados en la escula solo que diferenciado

Creating trust through following through on what adults say they will do | Creado confianza por medio de cumplimientos de lo que adultos dicen que ellos van ha hacer

Make them part of the solution | Hacerlos parte de la solución 

Develop transparency | Desarrollar transparencia

Validating their experiences | Lavidando sus eperiencias

Active Involvement | Participación activa

Acknowledge / Sensitive to parents | Reconocer /Ser sensitivos con los padres

Parent mentoring – i.e. teach parent workshops for parents before parent night, prepping them to ask questions during the teacher/parent meeting.

Tutoría para los padres – por ejemplo – enseñar talleres para padres antes de la Noche de Padres, preparandolos a formular preguntas durante la conferencia de padres y maetro(a).

Feb 19

CST Grade Four Response to Literature Writing Task

X Marks the Spot

by Julian Fleisher

Chapter 1: A Drive to the Mountains

The road twisted and turned, getting higher and higher. Jamal stared straight ahead, frowning. His mom was driving the car and was humming happily to herself.

Are we there yet?” Jamal asked, crossing his arms across his chest.

Almost, honey,” his mom replied. “Look out the window. Isn’t it beautiful?”

Jamal didn’t answer, but he did look. Out his mom’s window, all he could see was a rising, rocky cliff. Out his own window, the cliff dropped down. Jamal could see the road winding below them. Below that were green fields. A few houses and farms were scattered about. The city was a long way away. It felt like they had been driving forever.

They were driving up into the mountains to spend a week at a ranch. His mom had lived at this ranch when she was a little girl. “Some vacation,” Jamal thought to himself.

All of Jamal’s friends were doing cool things this summer. Joey was going to an amusement park. Ernesto was spending a whole month with his family at the beach. Vickie had just gotten five new computer games. She was going to spend the entire summer racking up high scores. Jamal and his mother were going to spend a crummy week in the crummy mountains.

Isn’t this exciting?” Jamal’s mom asked. “I love the mountains.”

What’s so exciting about a bunch of old rocks?” Jamal said.

Oh, don’t worry,” his mom said, patting his arm. “There’ll be lots of things to do.”

Name one,” said Jamal.

You’ll see,” his mom replied. “It’s very different from the city. Where we live is cluttered with all those buildings. There are cars and trucks and people wherever you look. It’s not like that here in the mountains where you can breathe and think and just relax.”

Jamal didn’t want to relax. He just wanted to sit on the stoop with his friends. In fact, he wished he were sitting anywhere except a car on the way to the boring mountains.

Hey, look at that,” Jamal’s mom said. She pointed out her window. The cliffs had leveled off. Below them was a green field. A group of horses was in the field. Jamal had never seen horses before. They were amazing. They were powerful and muscular. And they were bigger than he had expected.

That’s one thing we’ll do,” his mom said. “We’ll ride horses this week.”

Jamal didn’t say anything. He didn’t know if he liked the idea of riding a horse. What if he fell off? What if the horse bit him with those big teeth? Or kicked him with its horseshoe? Just what exactly had his mom gotten them into?


Chapter 2: A Map to Surprises

When they finally arrived at the ranch, Jamal’s mom parked the car beside a big wooden building. In front of the building was a yard surrounded by smaller buildings.

That big building is the barn,” his mom said. “We’ll be staying in one of the guest cabins. We’ll have it all to ourselves.”

They got out of the car and crossed the yard. Three men in overalls passed by. They were carrying tools and looked dirty.

Hello, Olivia,” one of the men called out.

Hey, Livy,” said another of the men. “It’s been a long time.”

It sure has,” Olivia called back. “This is my boy, Jamal. We’ll see you all for dinner!”

Sure thing,” the third man said. “Pleased to meet you, son!”

Why did he call you ‘Livy’?” Jamal asked when the men were out of sight.

I knew them when I was a little girl,” Olivia said. “They work on the land. It looks like they’re getting ready to fix the barn. I remember doing it myself when I was a girl.” “You fixed a barn?” Jamal asked. His mouth was wide open.

Oh, sure,” Olivia said, laughing. “I helped to build that barn.”

No way!” said Jamal.

Way,” said his mom, playfully. “I used to help out with all sorts of things.”

Jamal knew that his mom grew up on a ranch. But he couldn’t believe she knew how to build a barn. But then he thought about how strong her hands were.

This is ours,” his mom said as they reached one of the cabins. “And now, I have a surprise for you.”

Olivia handed Jamal a piece of paper. On it were pictures of houses, trees, and water. There were Xs beside some of the pictures, connected by a dotted line.

I drew this from memory,” said Olivia. It’s like a treasure map. If we follow the dotted line, we’ll have a lot of fun. And there’s a surprise at the end.”


Chapter 3: Old Goober

Let’s go!” cried Jamal.

Hold on a second,” his mom said. She began filling Jamal’s backpack with stuff from home. “Why don’t you go put your bathing suit on?”

Jamal raced into the bathroom. He put his bathing suit on under his shorts. When he returned, his mom was ready to go.

Okay,” she said as they walked outside. “Look at the map. Where do we go first?”

Jamal took out the map. At first he didn’t know what to make of it.

I get it,” he said. “We’re at the first X. The dotted line goes between our cabin and the one beside us. Then it goes toward this circle thing.”

Holding the map out in front of him, Jamal began to walk. He imagined the dotted lines on the ground in front of him. Ahead, he could see a round, fenced-in area. Inside the fence were horses.

This looks like the second X,” he said.

That’s right,” his mom replied. She made a clucking noise with her tongue. A brown-and-white horse came trotting over.

This is Old Goober,” Olivia said. She fished a carrot out of the backpack. “He’s going to be your horse for the week. Why don’t you try feeding him?” Jamal took the carrot. His hand was shaking. Old Goober gently took the carrot from Jamal’s hand. His teeth and tongue were huge. “There’s no way I’m riding that horse,” thought Jamal. Old Goober stuck his head through the fence. Jamal felt the horse nuzzle his arm and he jumped back.

His mom laughed. “Come on. Let’s find the next X.”

It looks like the dotted line follows some kind of road,” Jamal said as he pointed to a dirt trail that led away from the horses. “Is it this path?”

Let’s find out,” his mom replied. They started down the path. Ahead of them, Jamal could see a forest. He could see on the map that his mom had drawn a group of trees. The third X was on the other side of the trees.

It’s this way!” Jamal shouted. “Come on!” He ran into the forest.

Olivia walked through the trees. She felt their leaves and needles. “These ones with needles are called evergreens. There are also maple and oak and ash trees. You can tell them apart by looking at their leaves.”

Jamal marveled that his mom knew so many things. Who’d have thought she knew the names of trees?

Jamal and his mom followed the trail out of the forest. They started walking up a steep hill. “It’s hard to breathe up here,” Jamal said. He was panting a little.

That’s the mountain air,” his mom explained. “The higher we go, the thinner the air gets.”

They finally reached a pile of big rocks. Farther below them, at the bottom of a cliff wall, was a river. Jamal looked at the map.

This must be the third X,” he said. “But the next X looks like it’s down where that river is. How do we get to it? It must be about 20 feet down.”

Well, I guess we’ll just have to climb!” Olivia said. Jamal’s mouth dropped open. Then he watched his mom fearlessly start to climb down the cliff wall.


Chapter 4: Supermom

Okay, it’s your turn!” Jamal’s mom called up when she reached the bottom.

I can’t do it!” Jamal called back.

Sure you can,” his mom shouted up to him. “Just lean into the wall. Feel with your feet for rocks to stand on. There are lots of holds for your fingers, too, but you should let your legs do most of the work.”

Jamal followed his mom’s directions. He found that if he leaned forward and moved slowly there was no danger of falling. When he reached the bottom his mom scooped him up into her arms.

That was great!” she exclaimed. “You’re a very good climber.”

Jamal just shrugged, but inside he felt wonderful. “So this river is the next X?”

That’s right,” his mom confirmed.

They checked the map and followed the river downstream. After a while, the river opened up into a small lake. In the middle of the lake was a wooden raft. Jamal looked at the map.

The next X is in the center of the lake,” he said. “Is it that raft?”

It sure is. Race you there and back!” his mom shouted. She and Jamal took off their outer clothes. They rushed into the water wearing their bathing suits.

Olivia swam powerfully out to the raft. Jamal followed. He touched the raft and started back to shore. He was panting for breath when he reached the edge of the lake.

You won,” Jamal said. “You’re a fast swimmer.”

I’m also a lot bigger than you,” his mom said. “But you’ll be beating me soon enough!”

They dried off with towels Olivia had brought in the backpack. Then they looked at the map again.

The final X,” Jamal said. “It looks like it’s back at the barn.”

That’s where we’ll have our surprise,” his mom said. “And we’re just in time! It’s beginning to get dark.”

They hurried along the path marked by the dotted line. When they reached the barn, Jamal peeked inside. The barn was cluttered with bales of hay, tools, two trucks, and a lawn mower. A bunch of wooden planks were piled on top of each other.

What’s the surprise?” Jamal asked.

His mom pulled a little bag of dry dog food out of the backpack. She tossed a handful of nuggets up into the air.

What are you doing?” Jamal asked his mom.

You’ll see,” Olivia said. She threw another handful up toward the sky. Suddenly, something swooped through air.

What was that?” yelped Jamal.

His mother tossed more dog food in the air. More little creatures swooped over their heads. Then again. More food. More swooping! Finally, Jamal could see what the creatures were.

Bats!” Jamal screamed. For a moment, he was disgusted. What if they bit him and sucked his blood? But then he looked at his mom. She was laughing and spinning around as she fed the bats. He knew he had nothing to be afraid of.

This was my favorite thing to do when I was little,” his mom said. “For some reason, they love dog food. They spot it with their sonar and they grab it right out of the air. Here, take some and try.”

For a long while, Jamal and his mom stood in the twilight and fed the bats. Jamal thought that this was just about the most fun he had ever had.

Well, we better get in to dinner and then hit the sack,” Olivia said. “We have a big day of horseback riding tomorrow.”

Will you show me how?” Jamal asked.

Of course,” his mom replied. She put her arm around him.

Mom?” he said, looking into her face. “I think you’re pretty cool. For a mom.”

They headed back arm in arm to their little cabin. Jamal was a little bit tired. But he was not in the least bit bored.



Writing the Essay

What is the lesson the author wants you to learn from this story? Use details from the story to support your answer.
When you write your essay, remember

to show your understanding of the story

to give examples from the story

to use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization