Breakfast Club Blog

Taming the Beast – Hip Hop in After-School

I love hip hop music. I love love love the songs on the radio. I love probably the worst of the worst. I love even the songs that treat women like sex objects and I’m a feminist through and through. I just love the sounds and the beats, and the spirit hidden under the layer of words that to me feel like a front, an inheritance of our culture and the roles that are being played out of ignorance and habit. But the truth is, even though I love these songs and sing them out loud in my car, I d...Read More

4 Steps to Make Student-Centered Learning Come Alive!

The purpose and potential of Expanded Learning Programs have changed radically in the last 20 years. The process began with the passage of California’s first comprehensive afterschool legislation, which Carla Sanger of LA’s BEST and I initiated in 1997. This paved the way for hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for elementary and middle school programs and resulted in a growing body of knowledge about what it takes to make a real difference in students’ lives. As part of this process, man...Read More

Demystifying the LCAP for Expanded Learning: FUNDING Explanation

The California Department of Education asks school districts to produce Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs) as evidence of appropriately using Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) dollars. Every district must submit this plan in order to spend these dollars. Here’s my question: Is your Expanded Learning program written into your district’s LCAP? I know some of you out there are asking me, “bruh, why should I even care if my program is in this LCAP thing?” Simple. Y...Read More

Moveable Game Jams

This Breakfast Club blog post is a follow-up to Afterschool Game Jams! which I wrote last August 2016. In it, I described what game jams are, including the “Moveable Game Jam” initiative. Much has happened since then, and I am excited to share it all with the BOOST community! What Are Game Jams, Anyway? Game jams typically take place over a weekend, and involve a theme, or specific content area. For example, this spring, NOAA is hosting an Arctic Climate Game Jam, in which participan...Read More

Igniting Students’ Passion to Learn Through National History Day

Due to the nature of my work as a researcher and evaluator, I do not work directly with students. My classroom and out-of-school time visits usually involve me sitting in the back as a non-obtrusive visitor noting the interactions between the teachers and students. Typically, I will note the types of questions students ask and how the teacher responds. At the end of the session, I thank the teacher for letting me observe the classroom, and that usually ends our interaction. That being said, it i...Read More

Design Thinking Develops Global Citizens

How might we encourage our students to become global leaders? How might we create agency, or a mindset of action, in 21st century kids? Our students are passive. They are used to “sitting and getting” information. Even as we talk about preparing students for the 21st century, the pressures of college acceptance and testing make it difficult to change students’ (and parents’) mindsets. How might we create a bias towards action in our students so that they understand their ...Read More

The Challenge of the Selfie and the Great Social Experiment

As I write this blog entry, I am driving back on a large charter bus with 50 high school students, after spending the last 3 days exploring the many adventures that the great city of Chicago has to offer. A high-energy experience filled with museums, college tours, tilting over the John Hancock Observatory, deep dish pizza, and even an evening swim. Throughout the last three days of this fun-filled journey, one of the great “reminders” that was stated every time we stepped off the bu...Read More

BOOST Master Class: Leading for Student Engagement

I will be teaching on Project-Based Learning (PBL) strategies, and more, at a Master Class offered during the upcoming BOOST Conference. I hope you’ll join me on Thursday, April 28, from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m., for an interactive session on “Leading for Student Engagement: How to Plan and Sustain Effective Project-Based Learning Initiatives.” What sorts of projects might students tackle during out-of-school time? I’ve seen students design low-cost prosthetic devices to improve...Read More

Learning With Documentary Films: Strategies to Engage Students

Asia Society and BOOST Collaborative are partnering to create a series of blogs on global learning in out-of-school time. This blog entry was orginally published on EdWeek’s Global Learning Blog. Documentaries and film can bring the world to students in very real ways. Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Education Director for Global Oneness Project, tells us how and shares resources and strategies. Why do we need stories? Stories are universal and create connections across time, place, and cultures. Now ...Read More

Helping Kids Step Into Their Leadership

I run a leadership program at a company aptly called The Leadership Program. My colleagues and I run training and coaching every year for more than 150 people, our team of Leadership Trainers, who go into more than 100 schools every year to work with youth and teachers. We continually proclaim that we are committed to creating experiences that inspire people to step into their leadership and make positive change in their lives and the lives of others. Yet, I am never sure we really do it. We rea...Read More

Teaching Students How to ask Deep, Personal Questions

This blog is an additional follow-up resource from J. Branson Skinner and Liz Ricketts’ blog, Experience Inspires Love, originally posted on the Breakfast Club. This blog is a part of our ongoing partnership with Asia Society. The #Collectofus Global Leaders program, part of The OR Network, connects students in Accra, Ghana; Vaalwater, South Africa; Detroit, Michigan; Brooklyn, New York; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Washington, D.C. They create and exchange scarves and videos and then interact th...Read More

Fun for the Zoo: Engineering Enrichment and Enhancement

Fun for the Zoo: Engineering Enrichment and Enhancement. In our Fun for the Zoo class, student “fungineers” are challenged to invent enrichment items that provide stimulation, challenge, and novelty to enhance the behavioral, physical, social, cognitive, and psychological well being of zoo animals. In the wild, animals must forage or hunt for food, and protect themselves against predators, but in the zoo, most of their needs are provided for by the keepers. So, enrichment must be pro...Read More