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Composting in Schools, or not?

Most school districts have adopted recycling programs, and children have been educated on the importance of recyclable items, such as plastics, cans, glass, cardboard, and paper. Student’s participate in collecting, and separating these items with an understanding that they can be reused for manufacturing purposes when turned into the proper…

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Space Pioneer: Celebrating Sally Ride Day

Sally Ride.pngOn May 26th, Sally Ride, the first American woman and youngest person to date to enter space, would have been 66 years old.  In 1983, she boarded the Challenger space shuttle and operated a robotic arm to get a space satellite–another first.  Her life symbolizes courage, endurance, and dedication to achieving what seemed to be the impossible.  She authored several children’s books, created programs to inspire girls to enter STEM-based careers, and taught as a professor, making a significant impact in the lives she touched.  Read on to find out the ways you can honor Sally Ride’s contribution to the advancement of space and women’s history in your classrooms.

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The Importance of Reading To a Child


Did you know that 93% of adults in the United States read at or below the basic level needed to successfully navigate in our society! Yikes! For those of them who have children, they are responsible for their earliest language. Sadly, by the age of 3, a 30 million word gap has already been created. Reading to children, all children, regardless of socioeconomic status, is crucial. Reading aloud stimulates children’s imaginations, it expands their understanding of the world not to mention it develops their language and listening skills.

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Cinco de Mayo: Celebrating Big Universe Style

sombrero-2101560_1920.jpgToday is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday commemorating the Battle of Puebla, which resulted in a victory for the Mexicans fighting against the French on May 5, 1862.  This was a decisive victory for Mexico, and celebrations inclue feasting, games, and parades where some dress in soldier attire appropriate for the period.  This year it’s been 155 years since the battle took place, and it lends itself to be a great opportunity to celebrate Mexican American culture in the your classroom, as Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Mexico and the United States.  Check out our titles and lesson activity ideas below!

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Jazz Appreciation and Music in our Schools

_81202840_classroom.jpgMy children are very musical and I give all the credit to their music teachers.  I tried to learn to play an instrument several times; I even pursued it as an adult.  Yes, I enrolled in a “Community Adult Education” piano course. I thought maybe I needed a different instrument.  Surely, if my own children can learn to play the trumpet, cello, flute, piccolo, and the piano, I certainly would be able as well.  I found a clarinet on ebay and was excited to learn. However, it turned into an expensive duck call! Why couldn’t I learn to play an instrument? I began reflecting on my own music education or better yet, my lack of music education.  I remember learning to play the recorder.  I was actually very good!  Then I moved to another state that lacked funding for music education.  My “music class” was watching a once-a-week production on our closed caption tv.  We sang along with a bouncing ball! I love music, I appreciate music, I just can’t play music.  So why all these music musings?  Simply put, teachers are an integral part in music education! 

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National Poetry Month in the Classroom

We’re in the swing of April, which for 21 years has been known as National Poetry Month. Poets all around the world gather to celebrate the genre, with activities, events, and more. Here at Big Universe, we’ve got you covered, and I want to introduce you to some great ways you could recognize this month using resources we have available.  May this list make your planning easier and lesson more engaging.

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5 Tiny Tweaks to Improve your Literature Circles

confetti_3inRow.jpgHappy Read Across America Day!

Today, many are reading as part of the annual Read Across America. This day celebrates and encourages reading. One way to keep students motivated and excited about reading throughout the year is a through the use of Book Clubs or Literature Circles.This is the first of a four-part series on literature circles for the month of March.

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