Book ClubThe purpose of any club (rocketry, chess, ecology) is to bring students together to learn about something that matters to them. The Free Union Book Club gives kids the chance to discover what types of books interest them most. Often, children are slow to make reading an integral part of their lives because they simply are not aware of what is available to them. When they discover a genre that excites them, they welcome spending time in those new literary worlds.

Plant SaleA plant sale is a way for students to understand up close the growth cycle of living things and the math behind a business: cost to grow, price to sell, and profit to use responsibly. Students also learn about customer service and begin to understand entrepreneurship.

Publishing with SarahIn order to sharpen their writing skills, fifth graders have been researching and writing a school newspaper. Different from storytelling, news reporting offers essential information at the top, often in the first sentence. This straight-forward approach is called the inverted pyramid model of writing, where instead of ending with a conclusion as in a story, you start with one. See more at our Instagram account or Facebook page.

K LearningsHow does a teacher come to understand the uniqueness of each student? Kindergarten teacher Christine says it takes time. The first step is coming to really know and understand children as individuals. She uses authentic, ongoing assessments to determine where each child is academically and socially so she can meet them where they are and help them stretch to take their next steps. See more at our Instagram account or Facebook page.

Marisa and a student work on an inventionAs important as reading and writing are to kindergartners, so is encouraging them to use their minds to create and perhaps build their own inventions. Marisa prompts kids to solve problems through innovative thinking, whether figuring how to prop open a window, how to stay dry in a rainstorm, or how to build a playhouse from scraps. Creative problem solving, improvisation, flexibility, and tinkering drive the inventive spirit.