It takes a village... Yes, it does take a village to educate a child, and villages all over the country are coming together like never before to fill gaping holes in education budgets and resources. Evergreen Elementary Education Foundation (EEEF) was formed 3 months ago as a non- profit organization to raise $1million by the end of this year to keep the district’s school libraries open, reinstate the GATE program, and rehire teachers and guidance counselors among other things. There are many fundraiser events planned including a bookfair at B&N (Sept. 15-19), and a district-wide soccer tournament at the Sportsplex in November. Please visit to learn more about how you can donate and/or volunteer. The village is strong and growing. Parents here really do care about their children’s education and EEEF is a great example.

Mark your calendars for a fun event at Reid-Hillview Airport on September 25 - Take Flight for Kids. This is an annual event sponsored by 200+ nonprofit groups focused on providing education, counseling and resources to San Jose youth. This is an all-day event and will include pilots demonstrating their aircraft. Admission is FREE! Visit to register for free admission. Come by the Pinecone booth and test your skills for prizes! EEEF will also have a booth there as will about 200 other exhibitors. Rumor has it there may be free food too!

Disadvantages of an Inclusive Classroom

childThough inevitable, an inclusive classroom has serious limitations. Merely presenting students in a general education classroom with grade level textbooks is inadequate and often counter-productive.

To ensure a student is able to learn and assimilate, a teacher needs to provide reasonable and better understandable adaptations. But this is easier said than done. It is too much to expect of a busy teacher to provide adaptations for individual children while yet maintaining equilibrium in a classroom. The answer might revolve on flexibility.

Based on years of research in general education classrooms, outlined below are a few principles in adaptations for an elementary classroom.

Adaptations must be 'doable' if they are to be implemented on an ongoing basis. For instance, rewriting word problems in mathematics with more readable terminology helps students read and understand better, but how feasible it is for a teacher to do this continuously is debatable.
Good adaptations must be formulated with the objective of achieving independence. Ideally adaptations should serve only as a temporary platform to promote student learning. If this is not removed eventually, it does not encourage the student to attain independence.
To be well received and assimilated, adaptations require being lively and engaging. In other words, the adaptation must be fun enough for students to embrace it and be receptive to its sustained use. A common complaint with routine teaching practices is that they are dull and boring and fail to hold the attention of students.
Effective adaptations must be purposeful so that students are aware of how the adaptations will help the student learn and benefit from them. Only then will an adaptation be well received and retained. To achieve this at an elementary classroom level a teacher must create a positive and receptive environment.
Successful adaptations need to be continuously evaluated after implementation. The teacher should self assess whether the adaptation is helping the students in achieving the desired results. If so, the adaptation should be progressively dismantled. Alternatively, if the expected results are not being attained, the adaptations might require modifying or revising.


"Vivian is the director and she is an amazing person who has dedicated herself to helping children achieve their educational goals in reading and math. We initially started with math and the program exceeded our expectations so we signed her up for the reading portion. Gia's confidence is off the charts. She is at the top of her class in math and reading. What use to be a struggle is now a simple task."

- Fernando
Pinecone's Strategy

Pinecone's methodology is to run the two foundation programs of Math and Reading at a pace which allows the child to assimilate the subject matter and apply the new acquired skills to practical problem solving. The coaching is structured so that the child is able to reason for him/herself to achieve the highest level of comprehension. Regular practice and support instills self confidence and stimulates an eagerness to progress to the next level. Each student is groomed to anticipate and surmount hurdles consistent with present day education. The end result is a happy and confident child who is justifiably proud of his or her academic achievements.

For more details of this Bay Area teaching center and its unique, result-oriented teaching methodology please visit its website at Currently it offers some special discounts, details of which can be gotten by calling 408.270.4548.

About Vivian Hobbs

Ms. Hobbs is a qualified educator with an M.S. degree in Industrial Psychology and 30 years of experience in math and research design. Children's education and research into the best learning methods have always been at the forefront of her career.

Where can I learn more?

Pinecone Active Learning is on Facebook and can be followed on Twitter. For further information on enrollment and fee structure, please call 408.270.4548 or visit the center's website at

For more on its unique tutoring methodology, please click on

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    - Natalie Rovero

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