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Monthly Archives: July 2015

It’s Creativity, Mom

July 30, 2015

  By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or the middle of February, at some point a parent stands before her child’s messy room and has to make a decision. And 9 times out of 10, the solution is simple: close the door. From the hall, the mess is gone. To clean or not to clean, is not really the question. The question is how the child finds a matching pair of socks, her homework, and earbuds beneath the upper layer of clothes, books, and unidentified objects. I do have one confession, however. My own desk is a mess. My office? Pretty clean, in the sense that a small toddler could be let loose on the… Read More

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Let the Make Cake: and other PBLs

July 17, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff It’s summer, and the kids are restless, so how about adding a little PBL to your PB&J? Forgive me; educators love to toss abbreviations and acronyms into conversation. In this case, we all know what PB&J is so I’m here to explain your new BFF, Project-Based Learning (PBL). Project-based learning is a rather fancy term for describing a type of learning that parallels the tasks of real life. Edutopia cites experts, who say it involves: students learning knowledge to tackle realistic problems as they would be solved in the real world increased student control over his or her learning teachers serving as coaches and facilitators of inquiry and reflection students (usually, but not always) working in pairs or groups It makes sense,… Read More

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Jury Duty

July 2, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff I began my summer by reporting to jury duty. I’d been summoned twice before, and both calls fell shortly after the birth of one of my girls. I got excused for medical reasons; I was more than my babies’ mom, I was their milk machine, and only source of food considering they wouldn’t take a bottle. Now that the kids were older, I had no medical excuse. But the responsibilities of motherhood don’t lessen just because the kids can tie their own shoes. So, with a husband whose work schedule was inflexible, and my regular baby sitters out of town, I waged a desperate search. I finally found two sitters who between them could watch… Read More

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