Powerful and practical ways to bring outside learning inside your classroom, featuring resourceds from Facing the Future.
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YES! Education Connection Newsletter YES! Education Connection Newsletter
Building a Just and Sustainable World    November 2009
It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” —J.K. Rowling

a child holds a globe, computer generated image, mapping image from NASA. Photo by noticelj/flickr
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Photo by noticelj/flickr
Dear Educators,

How many times have you heard your students comment, “What does this have to do with anything?” One way to make learning relevant and enjoyable for your students is through service-learning and connecting with community—local and beyond.

In this newsletter, YES! classroom tools, stories, and other resources provide powerful and practical ways to bring outside learning inside your classroom. I am delighted to feature the curriculum of Facing the Future, whose programs and service-learning opportunities prepare students for creating positive, healthy, and sustainable communities.

Lastly I want you to know about two new education outreach programs: the YES! Exemplary Essay Project, and the extension of our free one-year teacher subscription to include school librarians: Sign up today!

Jing Fong, Education Outreach Manager, YES! MagazineHappy Autumn,
Jing's signature
Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine

P.S. Is your free teacher subscription ending? Choose a 3-year renewal, and we'll send you a FREE copy of David Korten's latest book on how together we can achieve a just and sustainable economy.

Your Stories

Gia Rae Winsryg-Ulmer. Photo by Kai Perry, 7 years old
Free to Be Me
At "free schools," kids take ownership over their learning, deciding what they want to learn and when they want to learn it. They move and learn in a way that's natural to them. Gia Rae Winsryg-Ulmer knew she found her place to teach when she walked through the doors of Brooklyn Free School three years ago. See how Gia and BFS honor children's rights to be themselves and become the happy, healthy, and independent thinking people they are meant to be. Read Gia’s story.

MORE OF YOUR STORIES: Starting with Place. Anthropology 101. Hands-on Sustainability. Chicken Soup for the Soul in the Classroom. Discovering the Beauty of Teenagers. Local food in schools.

SEND US your own story to share with our growing network of YES! educators.

YES! Recommends

Facing the Future
Facing the Future believes that in a world where the lives of our neighbors next door are inextricably linked to those of our neighbors abroad, students need to understand the linkages between local and global issues and how they can personally help to build positive local and global communities.

Lesson plans, publications, and service learning projects from Facing the Future are impressive because they promote academic rigor and student engagement in current issues, such as climate change, social justice, and peace. We are pleased to offer some of these outstanding resources: Livin' the Good Life :: Service-Learning Framework :: Climate Change Action Projects

More Facing the Future curriculum and publications are also featured. And, check out professional development opportunities that are online or coming to your area.

YES! Classroom Tools

Melia Dicker
Five Ways to Reschool
28-year-old blogger, Melia Dicker, shares her tools and tips to continue learning beyond the classroom. Learn how to make yogurt, download radio podcasts, or take a free cooking class. Visit Melia’s 5 Ways to Reschool on the Interweb and feel the world at your fingertips.

Discussion Guide icon
What Do Your Students Think About Their Education?
What engages your students? Do grades really measure what they know? Get your students talking about their education with this discussion guide.

Make a flower bomb illustration
Get Out! DIY Learning
Need a break from textbooks, exams, and state-mandated learning objectives? Try these Do-It-Yourself Learning Tools, for fun and creative learning outside the classroom.

Photo by Luigi Masella. Flickr.com/photos/lumase
12 Things You Might Not Have Learned in the Classroom
John Taylor Gatto's 12 qualities of a truly educated person argues that time spent learning in the real world is far more valuable than from a textbook.
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:: GET THE POSTER and share Gatto's bold wisdom with your students and classroom visitors
NEW :: YES! Exemplary Essay Project

Photo by Leah Rimkus
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Photo by Leah Rimkus
We are excited to introduce the YES! Exemplary Essay Project, a project that showcases student voices, stellar writing, and how YES! articles may be used.

Interested in participating? Read the program guide to see if your classroom is a good fit.

I know most students would not admit to "enjoying" writing an essay, but the kids enjoyed this essay project—seriously! They liked the sociological aspect of it, the debates it generated, and especially how it transcended the political labels of "liberal" and "conservative."”
—Julie Ruth, 10th grade language arts teacher, West Valley H.S., Fairbanks, Alaska

Curriculum and Resources
Here are two dynamic organizations that offer your students opportunities to express and act on what they believe.  Encourage your students to take on a service-learning project or submit a personal essay to This I Believe.

logo for This I Believe
This I Believe in the Classroom
The Corporation of Public Broadcasting’s “This I Believe” essay program offers lesson plans to walk your students through the process of writing personal essays. Give your students a voice and help them uncover what they truly believe.

image from NYLC
National Youth Leadership Council
NYLC, a leading organization in the service-learning movement, links youth, educators, and communities to empower young people. Join the movement, get service project ideas, and support your students in bringing change to their local community.
Words that Inspire

Journals in the grass. Photo by Jenna Carver flickr.com/photos/babyowls
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Photo by Jenna Carver/flickr
The Pongo Publishing Teen Writing Project helps youth in detention write about their lives, including often-difficult truths. Using the poetry framework from “ I Wish …” ask your students to dig deep and write about what they truly wish for in their lives.

I Wish Someone Had Told Me
I wish someone had told me that life was like this,
and I thought I was not going to end up in here,
and it happened.

I wish someone had told me that love was like this,
intimate,
and no lying, cheating, stealing, robbing and all that,
because it does not have to be like this.

For the complete poem, click here.

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INDEX: in this issue
How to Get More YES!
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School Library Offer
YES! School Librarian subscription offer
Free 1 Year Subscription to YES!
Thanks to the generosity of YES! donors, we are able to provide middle school, high school, college, and university librarians with a one-year introductory subscription at no cost.

YES! Web Picks
William Kamkwamba Moving Windmills
Be inspired by Malawian teenager William Kamkwamba. After being forced to drop out of school, William teaches himself how to build a windmill to bring power to his village.

Ken RobinsonNurturing Creative Thinkers
In this entertaining TED talk, creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our students. Listen to his ideas on the need for an education system that nurtures, not ignores, those with restless minds and bodies.

YES! Music
For those crisp autumn nights, here is some musical magic, ranging from Americana balladry to Yusaf Islam’s (formerly Cat Stevens) nostalgic lyrics to piano variations based on a Chilean chant.

YES! Music

YES! in Spanish
Visual Learning
Labyrinth Garden, California Pacific Medical Center. Photo by David Razavi Walking Slowly
Use this photo to ask your students what they notice and are wondering. Then share the facts behind the image to connect to greater understanding and discovery.

DOWNLOAD ::
Visual Learning Lesson Plan
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