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Using Picture Books in Schoolyard Science — San Diego Science Educators Association Conference March 2, 2014

News Flash! SDSEA is a GREAT conference! Don’t miss it next time it rolls around!

A wonderful turnout for my session  on Using Picturebooks to Promote Common Core Writing in Schoolyard Science. The room was packed, and we brought the outside inside on a rainy day. Intrepid teachers tried their hand at using inquiry and hands-on learning to construct an understanding of one of my favorite subjects — worms! — before researching and writing to the informative and narrative text types. We used the  mentor text Diary of a Spider, to create narrative diary entries for our worms.

Every teacher received a curriculum guide for Weeds Find a Way, and three lucky teachers got a free copy of the book! Hopefully what that means is more kids heading out into their schoolyards for inquiry into weeds, worms, and everything else under the sun.

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Happy Birthday Little Book! February 5, 2014

Celebrating Book Launch Day for Weeds Find a Way with this book trailer by Carolyn Fisher. Happy Birthday, Little Book!


Weeds Find A Way 2 January 22, 2014

Filed under: Books,Environmental Education — explorergarden @ 8:08 am

My first picture book Weeds Find A Way will be out on February 4 and on Christmas Eve, as I lay in bed sick with the flu, my husband brought in a package from the doorstep — my book!!  An early copy!e9baba031001fc9fcffb37dabf77f648_twp1

We may not think of weeds this way, but they’re a valuable educational resource — and they’re free! Download  curriculum about weeds — Science, Common Core Writing, Art, and Social-Emotional Development activities — on my website at so you can use weeds as an amazing — and, yes, sometimes annoying — resource.

Here are a few weeds living in my garden this week: purslane, a dandelion relative, grasses, stinging nettle, and cheeseweed.

I am told purslane can help prevent cancer.

I am told purslane can help prevent cancer.

A dandelion relative.

A dandelion relative.

Stinging nettle -- ouch! It has  acid in its tiny hairs!

Stinging nettle — ouch! It has acid in its tiny hairs!

Cheeseweed -- in the mallow family.

Cheeseweed — in the mallow family.

A grass of some sort.

A grass of some sort.

A tiny weed -- I need to learn its name -- growing next to my baby beets.

A tiny weed — I need to learn its name — growing next to my baby chard.


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