Friday, September 30, 2011

Cool Sounding Book : The Third Teacher: 79 Ways You Can use Design to Transform Teaching and Learning

Taken from the Klingenstein Briefs

Spatial Intelligence
The Third Teacher: 79 Ways You Can use Design to Transform Teaching and Learning, by OWP/P Inc., VS Furniture, and Bruce Mau Design

Since the ‘40s when Malaguzzi named the environment as the Third teacher, third to adults and peers, there have been debates about which spaces, tools and furniture are most conducive to learning. Over decades, minimalists, OCD therapists, religious educators and luminaries such as Howard Gardner have had their say. In this visually vibrant volume, the educators and those who collaborated to assemble it display actual examples of their efforts and speak to their experiences with real children and real places. Color, sound, terrain, textures, external spaces and building interiors are considered as part of the learning team. From Sir Ken Robinson to Chef Ann Cooper, from Canada to Germany, from the Caymans to South Africa, eight chapters illustrate the concerns and actions of people dedicated to the examining the role of environment in the education of all children. This book is unorthodox in appearance, never dull, and full of creative and exciting ideas.

Margaret Bleyberg, Hillel Academy, Kingston, Jamaica

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Friends School Community Forums

By now you have heard of the FSP Community Forum, but do you know what it is? The Friends School Community Forum is a monthly meeting, primarily of parents, whose purpose is to proactively inform the development of the school community. Through these unstructured conversations, we hope to gain an understanding of the array of views held by the membership on pervasive issues that affect our children within the academic and social environment of the school.

Because there is an urgent issue for which the board wishes parent input, we have decided to use the first Community Forum to facilitate their access to our opinions. The first Parent Forum, an opportunity to discuss as a community the future location of the Friends School, will be held Tuesday, October 4 at 6:30 p.m. For more information on the issue at stake, please refer to James’ letter of September 26.

Please note that childcare will not be offered for the October 4th Forum. The parent steering committee is in the process of organizing childcare opportunities for future evening events at the school. (For those who cannot attend the evening meeting, Rob Levin and James will be available on Wednesday, October 5 for a meeting at 8:30 a.m. and another meeting at 2:00 p.m. We hope this schedule serves the needs of all parents who wish to participate in the discussion.)

The Friends School Community Forum will meet the first Tuesday of each month during the school year. Fall topics will be:

November 1 - The role and desirability of performing and visual arts in the curriculum

December 6 - Technology and social media in the school environment

Winter and spring topics will be decided later this fall based on input from parents, teachers, and the school administration. A couple of ideas floating around are to bring in a specialist on sociocognitive thinking to talk with us about the importance of fostering executive and social skills development at school and at home; and talking to kids about sex and healthy choices: what is appropriate at what developmental stage, how to talk about it, and everything else you ever wanted to know.

We welcome your ideas. We want to talk about the things that are important to our families!

Hope to see you Tuesday evening!

Maya & Aja

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Teenage Brain

This summer I read the book "The Secret Life of the Grown Up Brain" which actually made me feel a bit better about this whole aging process (see this bit about menopause in the Atlantic for feeling even better still) ... I took the authors' book about teens out of the library but have not made it past the part where she describes the age-appropriateness of taking crazy risks and explains that parents jobs are to be their childrens' pre-frontal cortex.  Oh my.

At the same time, Leisa sent me the link to a podacast about teen brains -
It's an age-old question: why do teenagers behave as they do? Why 
the angst, anger and risk-taking? Some researchers say science and 
evolution provide some answers. And in some cases, the very 
behaviors that drive parents crazy may be the traits that prove the 
keys to success as an adult. - More at
she highly recommends it, even for those of us with younger kids and then today a National Geographic showed up with "The Teenage Brain" on the cover.

I'm both suspicious and fascinated by brain science - others?  Would this be a good future P4P topic or community forum?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Andy Goldsworthy

Celeste is introducing the middle school to the work of Andy Goldsworthy which prompted me to learn more about him.   His work is gorgeous, but from the teeny-bit I understand, it is really his process which is important to pay attention to.  Or perhaps it is all blended - I have a ton to learn.

Perhaps we could watch the full video, Rivers and Tides, together sometime (read a review @ Literary Mama or NYT

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Workers & Online Shopping

My mom owned an independent shop when I was a teenager, and big box stores definitely hurt her business.  This was before online shopping really took off - I doubt she'd even have opened it in this marketplace.  But the store was more than a place to buy stuff - as proprietor of an educational toy store and teacher supply company in Auburn ME, she helped open our community up to thinking and talking about education and children's rights and needs in new ways.  So, I'm a supporter of BUY LOCAL and will get my new Shel Silverstein book at Longfellow as soon as they replenish their supply.  Nevertheless, I confess to using Amazon for deals, for more peripheral titles and sometimes just for convenience.

New revelations about worker abuse at warehouse facilities - and this follow up specifically about Amazon -  is a reminder that online retail keeps humans invisible from us - we don't see the people behind the scenes and they fall away in our consciousness. The Mother Jones article is disturbing but worth reading - perhaps even sharing with some older kids who might be interested in shopping online themselves.  American Rights At Work has launched an online petition - I suspect there will be interesting reading, activism and coalition work around this issue for a long time to come.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pinwheels for Peace

Celebrate International Day of Peace today -  Learn more about Peace One Day and make a small donation to the organization via the 7th/8th grade collection jar (in lobby); Join with FSP, the Governor Baxter School and the Real School in a celebration of Pinwheels for Peace (or bring pinwheels for peace to your own location); make peace in your community - check out ideas from KindnessGirl (for small daily acts) or join with Peace Action Maine 

There are some great picture books that help children explore peacemaking - check out Jane Addams Book Award winners or Cynthia Leitch Smith's list of "War and Peace in Children's Literature"

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why Books as Bridges?

If you're wondering why FSP might be moved to offer a program such as Books as Bridges : Children's Literature and Anti-Racism Education, check out Anne Sibley O'Brien's blog and her latest thinking about how white children learn their racial identity and how it is connected to racism (unwittingly, perhaps, but at very young ages) and how adults might better intervene in that socialization.

Also - some new social justice & literature resources:

And check the side bar for more!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Volunteers Needed! Sign up on Bulletin Board / @ Parents Night or in Comments!

Parenting for Peace – Books as Bridges : Children’s Books in Anti-Racism Education 10/18

1:30 – 3:00 – Set up book sale
1)     Jeff
2)     _________________________________________
3)     _________________________________________
3:00 – 3:45 :  Registration / Book Sale
1)     Jeff
2)     _________________________________________
3)     _________________________________________
4:00 – Pick Dinner Up From Portland  - Deliver to FSP / Set Up
1)     _________________________________________
2)     _________________________________________
5:30 – 7:00  Book Sale
1)     John Marble
2)     _________________________________________
3)     _________________________________________
6:30 – Dinner Clean Up
1)     _________________________________________
2)     _________________________________________
3)     _________________________________________
8:30  (or after evening program) : Book Sale  / Book Storage / Chairs
1)     John Marble
2)     Margaret
3)     _________________________________________

zest, grit, self-control, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism and curiosity.

Are these the character traits we should be trying to develop in our children? And if so, what experiences do they need?  What is missing from this list that we care about?

This NYT piece "What if the Secret to Success is Failure" is longish but provocative (although in a way that seems somewhat repetitive in our culture - these are clearly questions we're chewing on over time), esp since it provides some research base.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Discount Tickets for Portland Symphony

During the month of September, as sort of a back-to-school offer, families can get a Tuesday Classical or Sunday Classical subscription for just $25 per ticket (plus $5 per-order handling fee), which includes all our regular subscription benefits INCLUDING free ticket exchanges (to classical concerts only). To reinforce the family-friendliness, we’re also offering a free ticket to the Symphony Spooktacular concert on October 30 for every Save Me a Seat package sold.

How does this work? Easy peasy! Just go to, click on Save Me a Seat on the left sidebar, then select the series and whether the seating preference is Ground (orchestra/terrace) or Balcony (Grand Tier not available). More details are here: If anyone has questions just call PortTIX at 842-0800.


Fairy Houses in Portsmouth

20% G.Willikers! COUPON 

World’s largest Fairy Houses event!  Saturday & Sunday September 17 & 18 12 Noon till 4pm

Children (3-12) advance$4  day of tour $5
Adults  advance $10day of tour $15
Seniors (62+) advance $8 day of tour $10
Family  advance $20  day of tour Not Available
more info at

Ticket includes entrance to Strawbery Banke and the Wentworth-Gardner house. See many Fairy Houses inspired by children's literature and other fairy fantasies. Excerpts from Fairy Houses - The Ballet! An original work based on Fairy Flight, a book by Tracy Kane. Adapted and performed by The Southern New Hampshire Youth Ballet.

Meet Tracy Kane, author/illustrator of the multi- award winning Fairy Houses Series® of books and video.

Build your own fairy house on Peirce Island and help create a Fairy Houses Village!
All within walking distance

Enjoy the Amazing Bubble Machine!

FREE Parking available at Peirce Island

More Fall Fun (from JB)

Revel in the fiery colors of autumn on a guided hike, paddle, or ride. Maine Foresters will provide tree ID and foliage exploration talks along the way.

These events provide a great opportunity for students and families to learn together about seasonal changes and life cycles while enjoying exercise within the fresh air and beauty of Maine's Parks and Lands.

Ten Fall Foliage events are being offered during October.

View the complete list - full descriptions and downloadable flyers with photos provided at:

The Fall Foliage events are co-sponsored by the: Androscoggin Land Trust, Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, Sunrise Trail Coalition, Maine Forest Service and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Climate Reality

Not sure how I missed this - today begins a new Al Gore initiative - 24 hours of witnessing about climate change :

Any ideas for how FSP might participate in Moving Planet Day

WHAT:Moving Planet is a worldwide rally to demand solutions to the climate crisis. Come on bike, on skates, on a board, or just on foot.

WHEN:September 24, 2011

Close Buy

I got a peek at the Close Buy catalog -it is gorgeous!

You can download it here and encourage out of town friends and families to peruse and then place an order through you!   Friends School will receive a full 35% of the money and the business is owned by FSP parent Masey Kaplan - a win, win, win for FSP!  Out-of-Towners can also download an order form, but orders must be placed through FSP (checks made out to Friends School of Portland).

Close Buy is also featuring year round gift boxes this year - although the $ back to schools is just 5% it provides an easy gift option that supports Maine, Maine Business and FSP.

Orders are due October 3 ~ Goods will be delivered the first week in December

Monday, September 12, 2011

Peace Walk September 18 2pm


In an effort to support and bring awareness to International Peace Day, Friends School of Portland, a preschool- 8th grade Quaker School, and Clark Insurance are sponsoring “Portland Walks for Peace” around Back Cove in Portland on Sunday, September 18th at 2:00 pm.

Four eighth grade students at Friends School, Madeline Curtis, Tristram Howard, Mel McClure-Chute, and Annie Gott, devised the idea for Portland Walks for Peace.

“When we watched a video on the history of International Peace Day, we realized as a group that nothing to bring the whole community together for this great cause was happening. We wanted to change that,” says Gott.

The students hope to raise money through donations for Peace One Day, an organization that uses Peace Day as a platform to help provide relief to poor and war-torn countries. These places would otherwise be unreachable and dangerous to approach without the cease-fire that controlling rebel groups agree to on that one day.

“There is nowhere else I would rather have this walk. Portland is made up of such a proactive group of caring people that I think will really support our cause. We hope that once people attend our walk they will be inspired to create their own acts of peace on the actual day [the 21st of September],” Gott says.

The walk will begin at the Preble Street parking lot across from Hannaford on Sunday, September 18TH at 2:00 pm. There is no fee to participate, but donations to Peace One Day are welcome.

Friends School of Portland is an independent preschool through 8th grade school that embraces the Quaker belief in the unique worth of each individual. Small, multi-age class structure nurtures inquiry, reflection and action. The school offers place-based curriculum with cooperative, hands-on learning in a close community where simplicity, service, stewardship, and peaceful resolution of conflict are practiced every day.

For more information on Friends School of Portland, please call the school at 781-6321 or visit

The Sonic Memorial Project

There are so many interesting pieces being written to commemorate and enrich our understanding of 9/11/2001.  The New York Times has links for teaching about the events, and Carrie just sent this link to share the Sonic Memorial Project, an NPR led collaborative project to create an archive of sounds and memories - what else are you reading, thinking about, etc? is an open archive and an online audio installation of the history of The World Trade Center. We are continuing to collect stories, ambient sounds, voicemails, and archival recordings to tell the rich history of the twin towers, the neighborhood and the events of 9/11.

Led by NPR's Lost & Found Sound, The Sonic Memorial Project is a cross-media collaboration of more than 50 independent radio and new media producers, artists, historians, and people from around the world who have contributed personal and archival recordings. To date, we have gathered more than 1,000 contributions, many of which have been woven into feature stories by Lost & Found Sound and broadcast on NPR.

Please help us build this historical archive by calling the Sonic Memorial Phone Line (646-926-1357) or by uploading your sounds. will remain open to the public for years to come thanks to the generous support of the September 11 Digital Archive.

The Future of Marriage

The Bangor Theological Seminary Presents: An Evening of Illumination
The Future of Marriage: An Interactive Dialogue

Thursday, October 27, 2011
Hannaford Hall in the Abromson Center of the University of Southern Maine's Portland Campus (88 Bedford Street, Portland)

This event will provide thought provoking presentations and community discussion on the place of marriage in our lives and in our ever-evolving society.  Join us for an intruiguing, timely exploration.

Dessert, informal conversation, and book signings to follow!

Reverend Marvin M. Ellison, Ph.D.
The BTS Willard S. Bass Professor of Christian Ethics
Athor of Same Sex Marriage? A Christian Ethical Analysis; and Sexuality and the Sacred: Resources for the Theological Reflection.

Reverend Kate Braestrup
Author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, Here if You Need Me, Marriage and Other Acts of Charity, and Beginner's Grace: Bringing Prayer to Life.

Free Admission
Open to the Public
Parking Available

Friday, September 9, 2011

Book Events on 10/1

There is something for everyone on 10/1 -- As part of Audubon Apple Day Cathryn Falwell is doing a book party around her new book Gobble, Gobble and later that day Sarah Thompson is hosting a party in the East End Cemetery to share her book Mercy : The Last New England Vampire  - -both events are coordinated by Kirsten Cappy / Curious City.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Books as Bridges : Children's Literature and Anti-Racism Education

Save yourself a seat and preregister now - sponsors a teacher or community member to attend the afternoon workshop - introduce a friend or relation to FSP by bringing them to this event!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More for the 7/8 Hermit Island here we come!

I am so jealous that summer doesn't end for the 7/8 (and hopeful that the rain will pass).  I'm wondering if this might be a spot to do some of the organizing Lee emailed parents about - just to minimize lots of "reply-alls"?  People could use the comments to say what they can do (drive Tuesday am, pick-up Wed pm, provide food). 

Hermit Island
5 Ocean Sweep

Especially for the 7/8 Boston Museum of Science & Ancient Greece

The Boston Museum of Science is featuring a special exhibit A Day In Pompeii and an Imax movie too - it runs from Oct 2 until Feb 12 - I'm not sure how long Lee's class is studying Ancient Greece but it could be a cool tie in and excuse to take the train to Boston.

There is also an Ancient Egypt virtual exhibit - maybe I'll get Grace to explore and review

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

You say tomato, I say tomaahto

So, a few of us go to the same CSA and today we received 8 wonderful, gorgeous, and totally overwhelming pounds of tomatoes. Of course it goes with the transition back to school, soccer, work, life-nuttiness and my vision  of domestic life is being sorely tested.

Here are a few ideas I solicited from Jen and Audra - anyone else have favorite uses, especially freezable ones (I'm afraid to can)... think the 1st potluck will be a feast of tomatoes?

What else?

Anyone really good at sauce-making might consider setting aside a bit for the 7-8 Lasagna festival - maybe next year we can pool our tomatoes and get them to make the sauce as a fundraiser!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Children's Lit Party for Marriage Equality

Thursday,September 8 · 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Zero Station
222 Anderson Street
Portland, Maine

Created By

More Info
Author/illustrator Charlotte Agell, Author Maria Testa,
Curious City, and Zero Station invite you to--

Join your fellow children’s book creators, librarians, education advocates, and readers for wine and nibbles and to learn more about the effort to win the freedom to marry for LGBT families in Maine in 2012. Children's book creators will have their latest work on informal display.

Our Children's Lit Party for Marriage Equality is one of more than 15 house parties taking place on September 8th where supporters at homes from all across the state will dial into a special conference call with EqualityMaine Executive Director Betsy Smith and special guest U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree to hear about our community’s plan to win marriage equality for LGBT families in Maine.

WHY CHILDREN'S LIT? Opponents to marriage equality continue to use the picture book KING & KING (a fairy tale about two princes falling in love) as an indication that children are being inappropriately and dangerously educated. Children's books a danger to children? Is there a way we can work together reset that conversation?

AUTHORS /ILLUSTRATORS BRING: A recent book, sketch, illustration, or project to display on the benches or pin to the wall as everyone will want to know what you have been working on. Yes, the evening will be about marriage equality, but also a time to catch-up and share.

Peace Action Maine - Encircle Back Cove w/Light - Sept 11

End The War: Sept. 11, 2011 " IT'S TIME FOR LIGHT" @ Back Cove in Portland--

We have lived ten years
with the dark fear of terror.

Bring yours to Back Cove
September 11, 2011
Sunday from 6 to 8 PM

Peace Action Maine
Calls you to bring those you know

As we hold our lights for
a world of
humanity, justice and peace!

Questions: 774-1995

Friday, September 2, 2011

Library of Congress travelling museum in Portland today & tomorrow

12 - 8 in Monument Square

Party Possibilities if it Rains

Hey 1/2 friends & others -- we are meeting at Winslow Park @ 3pm on Sunday for our back-to-school end-of-summer blast... if we are rained out, any ideas for other spots or activities? It would be sad to miss seeing everyone... Use comments or email Aliscia with ideas.