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  • Tuesday, September 9, 2014 | Filed under Volunteering , Parent Paricipation , Educators , Community , REAL Teacher Journal , REAL Supporters

    A new school year has started with subtle yet significant changes to the REAL School Garden education program.  New “Evergreen Training” name, but the goal remains the same.  As we prepare for the new garden coordinator meeting, I can’t help to reflect on this sustainability flow I wrote before our May 2014 Garden Coordinator meeting.  Sustainability or maintenance of the teaching garden seems to be a common topic of concern and interest for our outdoor learning leaders.

     As experts in the garden-based education movement, we aspire to work with instructional leaders, teachers, and garden coordinators to:

    • Appreciate gardens as resources ...

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  • Friday, July 11, 2014 | Filed under Volunteering , Language Arts , Educators , Lesson Plans , Science , REAL Teacher Journal , Math

    Friday, June 6th – Lee Elementary Full Day Professional Development



    Helping out with the teacher training was a very unique experience for me.  Having learned quite a bit about REAL School Gardens through my Nature of Giving course at TCU, I was very much looking forward to working here this summer.  From the beginning, I have been very open to helping out wherever needed and learning more about not only a wonderful, innovative organization, but growing in my nonprofit skills.  Getting to see a first teacher training happen was a blessing, and ended up teaching me more than ...

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  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | Filed under Language Arts , Educators , Science , Math

    Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi believed in educating students through head, hand and heart. His pedagogical method was that education should be based on concrete experience as in the use of tactile objects such as plants and other natural specimens in teaching the sciences to students.

    These principles appeared in the introduction to A Manual of Elementary Instruction for the Use of Public and Private Schools and Normal Classes published in 1873. Do these principles still apply today?


    1. Activity is the law of childhood. Accustom the child to do – educate the hand.
    2. Cultivate the faculties in their natural order – ...

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  • Thursday, January 30, 2014 | Filed under Language Arts , Educators , Community , Lesson Plans , REAL Teacher Journal



    I recently read this collection of short stories about how a community garden in Cleveland brought a troubled neighborhood together.  Florence is one of the last short stories in the novel, and she shares the simile, “waiting for the snow to melt was like waiting for a glacier to move.” Mr. V (REAL School Gardens Educator) shared this morning that that this has been one of the coldest winters in a century.  Resources like this novel can help you plan to use the schoolyard once the snow melts.

    This Teacher Study Guide (grades 3 – 6) can be ...

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  • Friday, December 20, 2013 | Filed under Volunteering , Environmental Stewardship , Educators , Community , REAL Teacher Journal , REAL Supporters

    At our most recent Holiday Christmas lunch at a local sweet salad spot,  The REAL School staff gathered around a wooden, from the trees, table each having a box with a word inside.  The task was to open and share what the word meant in your life both in the past and the future. Venezuela - Change - Matt - Gratitude - Ellen - Commitment- Scott - Compassion - Sarah - Health - V - Sacrifice - D.J. Moe - Inspire - Shawn - Courage -  J Cross - Adventure - LeCompost - Happiness  


    The words were randomly ...

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  • Friday, December 13, 2013 | Filed under Health and Nutrition , Educators , Lesson Plans , Science , REAL Teacher Journal

    What did the fig tree teach Ms. Burn’s 2nd grade class at Highland Meadows Elementary?



    Engage- Students independently estimated the number of figs on the tree. 

    Explore - Partners identified a branch and then counted the number of figs on their branch.

    Explain - Teams wrote their numbers down and we added double digit numbers using sidewalk chalk.  Teacher modeled with help from students the addition process.  We concluded that there were around 40 figs on the tree. 

    Elaborate - Students gathered around the tree again, picked a fig from the ground, and identified a leaf that ...

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  • Tuesday, November 26, 2013 | Filed under Sustainability and Funding , Educators , Community

    Growing Opportunities 

                    Take a look at our full list of grants by clicking here!  


    November 30:  Trend Micro Incorporated  

    Trend Micro Incorporated is accepting applications for its Educational Technology Grant program. The grant was created to support the safe and responsible use of technology among students and to help schools prepare students for future educational and career opportunities.  Grants will be given to a total of 12 public schools/districts, and include a monetary contribution (not to exceed $10,000 per district or school) as well as in-kind donations to include software licenses for the ...

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  • Sunday, November 10, 2013 | Filed under Student Behavior , Educators , Instructional Aids , REAL Teacher Journal

    11.10.2013 - Cabell Elementary

    Around two weeks ago I was working with a 5th grade class at Cabell Elementary when lightning threatened and it started to pour down rain.  When we returned inside, a transformative lightning strike came when I realized that I had not taught inside for almost six months. 


    I felt handicapped by the lack of manipulatives and space that the garden provides me as a way of teaching constructively.  At this moment, I realized that this is the way teachers feel when they are asked to teach outside in the garden.  Teachers feel restricted, constrained, and ...

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  • Friday, November 1, 2013 | Filed under Educators , Lesson Plans , Science , REAL Teacher Journal

    10.28.2013 – Dig In at Gooch Elementary

    Pre-K, Kinder, and 1st grade teachers retrieved 6 rocks from the garden.  Then, they named their very favorite rock (Randy), and tried to build a rock tower with Randy at the very bottom or the very top of their tower.  Next, teachers placed their rock friend in a special place in the garden.  When they come to visit the garden, they will check on their friend and see what sorts of changes have occurred.  Imagine if a 1st grader checks up on their rock for 4 years.  By the time they enter ...

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  • Wednesday, October 23, 2013 | Filed under Sustainability and Funding , Educators

    Money does grow on trees!
    For a full list of grants and training opportunities, click here!

    October 31: Build-A-Bear Workshop Accepting Grant Requests for Children's Health, Animals, and Literacy Programs

    Toy retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop provides grants through the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation and the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation to charities in the United States and Canada working to support a range of causes, including children's health and wellness, animals, and literacy and education.

    This year, the Build-A-Bear Workshop foundations will be accepting and reviewing grant applications on a rolling basis until October 31 for the following funding categories:

    Children's Health and Wellness — Grants ...

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