Habits of Green

Literacy Learning at Lawrence:
Teaching Students to Read and Write (K-8)
PTO Meeting
Tuesday, January 21 – 8:00 am – Library
Guest Speakers: Jill Demsey, Terry Jewell, Dianne Muendel & Pam Tully


(with thanks to Susan Helms Daley from the Lawrence Green Team)

When the Lawrence Green Team asked that I highlight Brookline’s 4th Annual Climate Week (taking place Monday, January 20-Sunday, January 26), how could I resist when they came up with a headline like “Habits of Green?”

One of the sixteen “habits of mind” identified by Costa and Kallick is “Creating, Imagining and Innovating.”  Our Lawrence Green team quietly works to create, imagine and innovate ways to help us change our habits and reduce our environmental footprint.   Here are a few examples:

Personal Habits

Many of the things we can do involve simply shifting our habits, such as:

  • Bringing our own water bottles and shopping bags wherever we go.
  • Remembering to turn off our car engines instead of letting them idle.

The Green Team Is…

  • Participating in the Town of Brookline’s car-free day each October to raise awareness about the impacts of fossil fuel consumption.
  • Promoting a “No Idling” policy for cars outside the school to help minimize CO2 emissions and air pollution.
  • Hosting a Halloween costume swap to reduce, reuse, and recycle costumes.
  • Celebrating Earth Day with an outdoor K-8 Community Meeting and fun and educational activities during recess.
  • Providing resources to parents about how to reduce waste at classroom events and purchase “greener” class gifts.
  • Working with the Lawrence PTO to green PTO events by reducing waste and increasing recycling.  Encouraging the use of reusable water bottles.
  • Educating students about recycling in the cafeteria and waste-free lunch solutions.
  • Improving our recycling signage in the cafeteria.
  • Promoting local, sustainable, food options and awareness through our Lawrence parent group Stone Soup.
  • Having an active Green Team where parents can get involved in these activities and suggest/spearhead new sustainability efforts

In the Classroom

  • The school garden provides an opportunity to learn through gardening. The second grade will be planting a variety of crops this spring in connection with the second grade nutrition unit.  A small butterfly garden is in the works for first grade.
  • Our science curriculum includes a variety of topics related to building environmental awareness:

                        Kindergarten   Outdoor Learning

Grade 1           Importance of insects and pollination

Grade 2           Worm composting and preventing soil erosion

Grade 3           Wildlife habitat protection

Grade 4           Invasive plants; plant habitats, climate change

Grade 5           Bird habitat protection; climate change evidence

Grade 6           Climate change; protecting Earth’s water and our ocean system

Grade 7           Sustainable growing

Grade 8           Wind turbines and energy conservation

What You Can Do

One final habit of mind reference:  we need to work together to help children develop a “sense of wonderment and awe” for the world around us.

Thank you to the Lawrence Green Team for their work and advocacy for environmental issues in the school community!

Rick Rogers

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