The news has offered my intervention English classes some high interest writing topics these past few days. On a somber note, we wrote an informational text about Kobe Bryant’s death. Even the most disengaged student came up with details for the background sentences that follow their thesis statements. On the lighter side, we tackled argumentative, analytical paragraphs on the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Bigfoot sighting. And, we argued (in writing, of course) whether the Massachusetts judge was correct in ruling that Aerosmith band members could exclude their drummer from the Grammy performance.
Educational opportunities are out there. One of my favorites is the Sacramento Area Museums’ Free Museum Day, happening Saturday, Feb. 1. More than 25 museums in the Sacramento region will waive their admission prices and many will offer special events. Grab an “I Love Sac Museums” sticker during your visit and get discounts at participating restaurants. Sacramento RT is offering free rides on buses and light rail trains Saturday to people who show a SacRT Museum Day flyer or a screenshot of the flyer on their phones. Amtrak San Joaquin has a discount for riders who want to visit.
Other opportunities to take learning outside the classroom include:
- Introduction to Bufferlands Birds: 9 a.m.-noon, Sunday, Feb. 2, Sacramento Sewer District tour and talk. Call Chris Conard at 916-203-1610 to register.
- Children’s Author and Illustrator Talk: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 8, Gifts from the Heart of Elk Grove, 9685 Elk Grove-Florin Road, Elk Grove. Free craft-making after the talk.
- California Duck Days Festival: Field trips, workshops, exhibits about wildlife and wetlands. Everything from trout fishing in the pond to crafts at this festival. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22.
- The Capay Valley Almond Festival: Hosted by Guinda, Rumsey, Brooks, Capay, Esparto, and Madison, the Almond Festival will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 23, Esparto Community Park, 17001 Yolo Ave. This festival started in 1915. Did you know that California produces about 80 percent of the world’s almonds?
- Green Schools Conference and Expo: March 2-4, Portland, Oregon. Registration is open now.
- Bufferlands Rookery Tour: 9 a.m. to noon, March 14. Sacramento Sewer District takes the public to view a nesting colony of herons, egrets, and double-crested cormorants. Register at least a week in advance. Call Roger Jones at 916-875-9174 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Creek Week Birds and Blooms Tour: 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., April 11. View the Fishhead Lake wetlands, see wildflowers blooming, check out the waterfowl raising their babies, and get a free packet of native flower seeds to take home. Call Roger Jones at 916-875-9174 or e-mail email@example.com at least a week in advance to register.
- Sacramento Zoo: The zoo’s April 19 fundraiser, ZooZoom, is accepting registrations now. Kids’ runs are available, including a category for age 4 and under.
- Yellowstone Park workshops: Yellowstone Forever’s spring and summer field seminars are open for registration. Yellowstone Forever is the non-profit partner of Yellowstone National Park.
- The National Park Foundation has an online tool to help you choose a park for your upcoming vacation.
- Subscribe to Project Learning Tree newsletter: For information on grants, new curriculum recently released, and outdoor education ideas. For subscription information, click here.
For families of children with special needs:
- How to Read My IEP: 1-3 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 6. The State Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy will offer free training in Sacramento on how to read an individualized education plan. To register, e-mail Ravita.Devi@scdd.ca.gov or call 916-263-7930.