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Posts Tagged ‘Bronx’

Are you interested in teaching kids more about food, gardening, and cooking at your school? One option is to become an Edible Schoolyard site. The program, started by Alice Waters, turns open space at schools into gardens, and then teaches the students at the school about growing, cooking, and eating food on site.

What can your students learn by growing and eating fresh food like these tomatoes?

So far, Edible Schoolyard has one location in NYC: PS 216, right here in Brooklyn. But they are looking to expand, and plan to have one school in each borough next school year.

That’s where you come in. If you work at a public school located in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens or Staten Island, you could apply. Your school must serve, at a minimum, kindergarten through fifth grade and be a Title I school. Accepted schools receive tons of help and resources to turn their available space into a teaching garden.

For more information about the program and to apply, go to Edible Schoolyard NYC’s website. Applications are due by February 28, 2012- good luck!

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Are you looking for ways to re-invigorate your teaching? There are lots of great options for professional development this winter! Check out these workshops that will help you add a sustainable focus to your classroom:

Environmental Explorations NYC at Van Cortlandt Park

This program uses hands-on activities to bring NYC’s local outdoor resources and nature into the classroom and enhance classroom learning. Materials covered include Project WILD, Project WET, Project Learning Tree and more, in addition to introducing teachers to local environmental resources. Teachers will be provided with new strategies for introducing environmental topics in connection with math, literacy, and art, fostering student leadership and developing higher order thinking skills.

The program is from February 20 to February 25, 2012. To register, visit the After School Professional Development’s website at http://schools.nyc.gov/Teachers/aspdp and view their spring course catalog. With questions, contact Sara Kempton, Friends of Van Cortlandt Park, 718-601-1553 or sara@vancortlandt.org.

Creative Infusion: The Art of Reuse at Materials for the Arts

Materials for the Arts is an amazing warehouse of art supplies in Queens. This course, which offers P-credits, gives you access to the warehouse and teaches you how to problem solve through reuse and how to create games, books, costumes and sets, puppets, and mosaics. The course incorporates literacy and math into activities. The program takes place over 6 Saturdays. For details and information about registration and fees, check out their website.

Other opportunities:

Do you know of any other great professional development for teachers in New York City?

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If you reuse something you no longer wants, it ceases to be waste! You can reuse by repairing a broken toy, sewing a ripped pair of pants, or turning last year’s calendar into wall art.

Even better, for kids with growing bodies and changing tastes, you can arrange to trade unwanted items with another kid. Swap books you’ve already read and get a brand new reading experience, for free!

In My Green Community, our teacher’s guide, we suggest organizing a toy or book swap in your classroom. Full instructions are in that downloadable guide.

Vieux livres 20050512Another option is to partner with a local organization like GrowNYC to take part in a bigger swap. GrowNYC handles all kinds of sustainability projects, including their frequent Stop ‘N’ Swaps. On periodic weekends throughout the year in all five boroughs, they organize a space where people can show up. You can bring your unwanted items (or not) and take other’s unwanted items, with no restrictions on what or how much you take. Items include clothes, shoes, books, toys, household items, and more. The leftovers at the end of the event get reused or recycled or taken to a swap at a later date.

Last year, three Stop ‘N’Swaps were hosted here at Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and we hope to hold more here in the future!

For more information, check out GrowNYC’s website. There are no remaining swaps in 2011, but look for one near you in 2012.

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So, just how many different species of birds can you find in New York City?

Mallards are a familiar bird here in New York City...

If you want to find out more about what birds tend to be seen in and around New York City, you can check out the New York City Audubon website. In addition to their general information, here are two sections that might be of interest to you as a resource:

First of all, check out the information about birds and their seasons, in a sort of online field guide. There, you can find year-round information about how frequently which birds can be seen, like the Double-crested Cormorant, Snowy Egret, Gadwall, American Coot, Willet, Chimney Swift, Eastern Phoebe, or American Redstart (all of which nest within New York City).

... but have you ever seen a Black-Crowned Night Heron?

Next, if you want to know where to find these birds, the website also features a list of birding locations you might consider for a birding field trip. Locations suggested spread over all five boroughs of New York City, plus a location in Nassau County. You may discover a location or nature center you’ve never heard of before!

The website is not written for kids, but has simple enough text on the seasons and birding location pages for a child to read. The website is also a great resource for you, the educator, to supplement your own content knowledge.

If this inspires you to go out and find some birds, don’t forget to bring a print field guide with you!

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Earlier this week, the New York Botanical Garden offered a workshop introducing educators to the basics of school gardening. If you’re interested in a more in-depth offering, check out their institutes in 2012 (which coincide with public school breaks):

School Gardening 101: Creating a Garden

Dates: February 20–25, 2012 (Monday–Saturday)

Seedlings Program for Teachers of Grades K–2

Dates: July 9–14, 2012 (Monday–Saturday)

School Gardening 201: Curriculum Connections

Dates: July 23–28, 2012 (Monday–Saturday)

For information, registration, fees, details about P-credits, and more, check out the New York Botanical Garden’s brochure on school and teacher programs.

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If you are looking for a great sustainability-focused training on election day, here are two options:

School Gardening Workshop at New York Botanical Garden

8:30 am – noon; Cost: $20

Come learn about the benefits of having a garden on your school site. Join NYBG staff and other gardening organizations to learn about logistics, resources, and curriculum connections for creating, maintaining, and  integrating gardens into your students’ learning. This half-day workshop is the perfect primer for helping you begin planning or even rekindling a garden on your school site.

For more information, contact Judith Hutton, at 718.817.8140 or jhutton@nybg.org. To register, contact Registration at 718.817.8181 or school_programs@nybg.org.

4Es of Energy/Take Action at Home at Brooklyn Children’s Museum

9 am – 4 pm; Cost: free with lunch provided; for teachers of 4th to 8th grade

This interactive workshop promotes an understanding of energy’s relationship
with the environment, our economy, efficiency AND the all important “E” – education. You will use hands-on activities to explore energy forms and  sources, global climate change and actions we can take to address the energy challenges we face. Participants will walk away with both the 4Es of Energy (4th-6th) and the Take Action at Home (4th-6th) curricula.

To register, visit www.getenergysmart.org/EnergyEducation or you can call 1-877-NY-SMART (Option 6).

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum has another energy workshop coming up, this one for teachers of 6th-12th grade. This workshop, Energy and Our Changing Earth, will focus on using data to teach about climate science. Also hosted by NYSERDA, it will be held on Friday, November 11th. Call 1-877-NY-SMART (Option 6) to register.

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Have you been to Wave Hill? This wonderful garden and cultural center in the Bronx overlooks the Hudson River. It’s a great place to take a class; their programs go from grades PK-6 and feature topics such as seeds, birds, and trees.

On top of that, the site offers professional development, many sessions for free. The Outdoor Classroom, for example, trains teachers to incorporate Wave Hill into their curriculum. This session is being offered Tuesday, November 8th from 10am-noon. It will be offered again on April 12, 2012.

For a full list of school programs as well as inexpensive professional development options (some for credit), check out their website. It really is a wonderful site and a great one for young learners!

PS: Don’t forget. We have our own professional development at Brooklyn Children’s Museum next week on green communities!

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