PEI Teaching Resources

Math Performance Tasks Lead to Civic Engagement for
Mattawa Students

In 2022, Ashley Dykes was teaching 4th grade in Mattawa School District, where 98% of her students were from migrant families and 94.1% are low-income. Although its population is small, Mattawa is the third most densely-populated city in Washington State, with families stacked on top of each other amid a sea of orchards and farms. 
That year Dykes took a creative and simple approach to getting her students outdoors by designing a PEI math performance task that required only a walk through the surrounding neighborhood. Performance tasks are mini-research units that align STEM and English Language Arts (ELA) or math with Next Generation Science and Common Core standards. “Our neighborhoods in Mattawa are so unique, but to our students, they’re the norm,” says Dykes. “I wanted to get a sense of how they felt about where they lived.” 

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FieldSTEM in Action

How PEI is Helping Teachers Gear Up for Getting Kids Outdoors

If you listen closely, you can hear it: the hum of hundreds of educators across Washington State getting ready to bring kids outside in the new school year using PEI tools and resources. From ‘sit spots’ for younger students to forest management courses for the upper grades, students will have multiple opportunities to explore and enjoy nature. Here are three examples of how school districts in different regions are gearing up for the 2022-23 school year. 

Cascade School District, Central Washington 
In August, an incredible 116 members of the Cascade School District staff – the most at one time of any school district in Central Washington – engaged in a two-day workshop led by Central Washington FieldSTEM Coordinator Megan Rivard. The team went through a sequence of outdoor activities, including drawing maps of special places from their childhoods, brainstorming how to help students connect to nature and create their own special places and practicing being the owner of 400 acres of hypothetical forest in Project Learning Tree’s ‘If You Were the Boss’ scenario. 

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National Hispanic & LatinX Heritage Month

Tools and Resources

National Hispanic and Latinx Heritage month started on September 15 and runs through October 15. Are you looking for ways to celebrate? PEI staff compiled a list of resources to support their own learning about Hispanic and Latinx cultures. The collection consists of websites, books, and videos to expand general knowledge as well as specific educational tools, including our Spanish translations of ELA Performance Tasks and Schoolyard Investigations. PEI acknowledges that we are not the foremost authority on Hispanic and Latinx cultures. They are offered here as part of a commitment to shared learning. Explore the resources page.

2021/22 Annual Report

In the past year PEI has delivered dozens of workshops, impacted over 1,500 teachers and launched a new program, career-connected learning, for high school students. Learn more about how PEI is supporting environmental literacy statewide in our 2021-22 annual report, with highlights of community partners and teachers plus our 2022 FieldSTEM honorees!

View Annual Report

Welcome New PEI Staff

Rachel Drummond, Program Coordinator

Rachel joined PEI in September of 2022. She is a Seattle native with a love for the PNW and any time spent outdoors regardless of the season. She is confident that real education starts in your backyard/neighborhood through observation, exploration, and play.

Outside of work, Rachel spends time camping, gardening, hiking, trying new foods and doing some sort of home improvement project. She is excited about joining PEI and looks forward to supporting coordinators so that more educators feel empowered to teach outdoors and connect students with their environment. She believes there is a connection that each of us has with the earth and anytime we get to pause and observe it, or even learn/work in it, we should.

Please join us in welcoming Rachel!

Learn more about all our staff here.

Upcoming Events 

Oct 1  SOLS: Fire!   ESD 171 region
Oct 1  SOLS: Wildfire & Forest Management   ESD 113 region
Oct 3  YESS Program 2023 District Interest Session 2   Statewide
Oct 4 & 18  FieldSTEM: High Impact Field Experiences   Statewide
Oct 6  FieldSTEM: Schoolyard Investigations K-1   Statewide
Oct 8  SOLS: Food Waste (Spanish)   ESD 121 region
Oct 8  SOLS: Urban Forestry   ESD 105 region
Oct 13  FieldSTEM: Schoolyard Investigations 2-3   Statewide*
Oct 13  Project WILD: Afterschool Training for Orondo SD   Orondo SD**
Oct 29  FieldSTEM: Math Performance Tasks   Statewide*
*Registration will open at a later date.
**Not open to the public.
Visit our
calendar for more information.

  With Gratitude

Thank you to last month’s donors and funders!

Bill Monahan
John Ison
Rayonier Advanced Material Foundation
Katie Kosanke
Kim Fry
Gareth Waugh
Molly Griffiths
Gail Kramer
SCJ Alliance
Meredith von Trapp
Green Diamond Resource Company
Florence B. Kilworth Foundation
Katie Hatam
Donate to PEI
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