Skip to main content
Exploring Education

Exploring Education

By Sara McMaster
Welcome to Exploring Education. Our goal is to provide our community at large with tips, tricks and best practices for education both at school and at home. We focus on what matters most for young learners and share tips, strategies and best practices to inspire our listeners. Subscribe to our podcast to stay up to date with what we are thinking about!
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

Only the Learner Learns.

Exploring Education

Only the Learner Learns.

Exploring Education

Exploring Education Episode 26: Mistakes are Beautiful Opportunities to Learn.
This episode features Miguel Salcedo, Adrienne Soto and Leslie Cook, who are some of our Instructional Lead Teachers at Washington Elementary and within RBUSD.  We discuss the importance of honoring the process of learning and how making mistakes can be beautiful opportunities.
October 16, 2020
Episode 25: Think Global--Act Local: A chat with our Washington Elementary PTA.
This episode features two parents who are committed to our community at Washington Elementary.  Amy Huh and Dan Reed share information about our PTA and their plans for keeping our community connected this school year.
September 24, 2020
Only the Learner Learns.
This episode is intended to give listeners a few tips for starting school during distance learning.  #1: Set them up. #2: Walk away.  As hard as it might be, walk away and let your learner learn. 
September 1, 2020
Washington Reopening Plan 2020
This episode features a talk given by Andrea Bittick, Principal, and Sara McMaster, Assistant Principal at Washington Elementary School in Redondo Beach Unified School District.  The talk highlights details of what parents, students, staff and community members can expect as we prepare to reopen our school in 100% distance learning for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. 
August 17, 2020
Doing some Good: A Chat with South Bay Literacy Council
This episode features a conversation with South Bay Literacy Council.  This all volunteer organization provides free tutoring for adults in our community looking to improve their proficiencies in reading, writing and speaking English.  The mission of SBLC is to change and empower lives through the gift of literacy.  Tune into this episode to hear all about SBLC and what they provide for the South Bay!  Visit their website: to learn more!
August 2, 2020
Standing Up: A Chat with Pop the Bubble
This episode features a chat with the founders of Pop the Bubble.  Pop the Bubble is a community organization within the South Bay focused on empowering children through empathy, education and action.   Find out more by following Pop the Bubble on Instagram, facebook, or by visiting their website. 
July 24, 2020
Parent Perspectives: Opportunities for learning and balance in our homes.
This episode features one of our Washington Elementary parents and staff members, Dee Cresta.  Dee shares her perspectives and reflections on learning at home this past spring and what her family has in store this summer.  She reminds us all to be balanced, maintain a calm environment and let our kids lead the way.   
June 19, 2020
The Book Life: Keeping it Fresh and Fun this Summer!
This episode features our favorite librarian, Christine Campisi, from Washington Elementary School in RBUSD.  Christine highlights free options as well as her review of recommended book subscription boxes for parents to check out.  We also chat a little about summer book clubs and how easy they are to set up and get going.  All it takes is a little initiative!  Listeners can access our blog post that parallels this episode at for resources and links.
June 15, 2020
Leaning in: Change the Narrative
Miguel Salcedo, one of my colleagues at Washington Elementary in RBUSD, shares his perspectives on his journey as a human and educator in analyzing bias and how he translates that to his 4th and 5th grade students.  In this episode, we talk about going into the "Danger Zone," with students to discuss and explore topics that many shy away from as well as why it's critical for educators to engage students in analyzing text and life events from multiple perspectives.
June 12, 2020
When Lightning Strikes
In education, we play on through all sorts of obstacles and "weather." However, when lightning strikes sometimes the game needs to be called.  
June 8, 2020
The Kids will be Alright: A chat with our school leaders.
This episode highlights a conversation with Andrea Bittick and Andrew Estrada, our school leaders at Washington Elementary School in RBUSD.   The chat captures the work that teachers and staff have been doing to create a climate and culture where all students feel safe, supported and  connected.  We also discuss the work ahead of us as educators to ensure that all students thrive academically.    There are many unknowns for the future of education, however one thing  we know for sure is that these school leaders are focused on putting students first. 
June 5, 2020
What's Up at Adams? Essentials for Parents and Students moving onto Middle School
This episode captures a conversation with some key players from Adams Middle School in Redondo Beach.  Our guests, Brianne Nakayama, Amber Beach, Kelly Egan and Andrew Estrada, share their thoughts on what is essential for parents to know, as well as a close look at programs and opportunities that will help support students and allow them to find their niche. 
June 3, 2020
This episode discusses the power of words, and how the stories we read, write, listen to and speak can help all of us understand the world within us and the world around us.  
June 1, 2020
Caps, Corks and Toilet Paper Rolls...The Magic behind the Makerspace
This episode explores what makes up a Makerspace, the concept of learning through tinkering and problem solving, and how we can set our little engineers up for successful and productive failures. (Oxymoron, right?)  The chat features Jessie Baird and Meleesa Smith, two of our Kindergarten teachers in RBUSD. Within their classroom Makerspace, these educators find the benefits of problem solving, making messes and engaging in productive struggles with their students.  Check out these resources to dig deeper: Books for Young Makers Makerspace at Home
May 28, 2020
10 Tips for managing Stress
In this interview with Paige Mosqueda, one of our elementary school counselors in RBUSD, we discuss something that weighs many of us down--Stress.  Paige shares 10 tips for managing stress in our chat.  Stick around for the end of this episode where Paige will lead listeners through a guided imagery exercise.  10 Tips for Managing Stress 
May 27, 2020
Exploring Essentials: Speech and Language Development
Be a model for your child, practice for just a few minutes a day, and as always--stay patient!  These are some of the essentials for speech and language development listeners will hear about in this chat with Cindy Zink, one of my favorite Speech and Language Pathologists and a famed member of our team at Washington Elementary! 
May 26, 2020
Changing Conversations: Three Questions to consider...
How are you doing? Do you have what you need? What are you thinking about? Listen to this episode if you are curious about why these simple questions might be the best ones to ask.  Read the post here on the Exploring Education blog. 
May 24, 2020
Don't put that picture book down! A close look at reading levels and what appeals to readers of all ages and stages.
Listen to this episode to hear a chat with Christine Campisi, my favorite librarian.  As we chat you will hear about the concept of thinking about your child's journey as a reader,  how to gain the confidence to honor what appeals to them first before what "level," they are, and why we love Epic Books.  We also talk about the reasons why we should never shy away from a picture book at any age! 
May 21, 2020
Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Glass Doors
Help your young reader reflect on their book choices by talking about if the texts they are choosing are mirrors, windows or sliding glass doors. 
May 17, 2020
Move Over Wimpy Kid and Bye-Bye Babysitters--Series Book Suggestions to Check Out!
Educators and parents who are looking for suggestions of series books that appeal to the readers who gravitate toward the same titles time and time again will appreciate this episode where we feature a chat with Christine Campisi, our beloved book loving Librarian.  Christine shares her suggestions for series that will help kids add variety to their reading lives while also sticking within a genre that feels good to them.
May 15, 2020
Perspectives and Permissions: A Chat with Educational Services
This episode features two educators who work in RBUSD educational services, Susan Wildes and Karin Sato.  They share their candid perspectives on distance learning and the life-long skills children have an opportunity to develop right now.  Listeners will also hear suggestions for how families and students can give themselves permission to take a break when needed in order to keep calm and balance in the home.  
May 12, 2020
"I will not cut the waffles."
Let's talk about building independence in our children.  Give them the tools to cut their own waffles! Listen to this episode for prompts to support efficient problem solving as readers and writers! 
May 10, 2020
Engaging Mathematical Thinking
This episode features two amazing educators who will happen to just love Math! Heather Ladd and Agnes Kiazolu join us to share their thoughts about how to engage and inspire our young Mathematicians as well as some concrete examples of the types of conversations parents can have with their children to promote Mathematical thinking.
May 8, 2020
Creating flexible home learning environments
Join us to listen to some great tips and strategies from our guests on this episode, Kerri Pennings and Brenda Restori.  Kerri is one of our Resource Specialists at Washington Elementary and Brenda is a school psychologist in RBUSD.  This episode is focused on things that parents can to do help their child create a plan for the day's learning, and how to chunk assignments to manage a workload and increase time on task. 
May 7, 2020
Sharing Stories
This episode highlights the power and importance of sharing life stories with our young readers and writers. 
May 3, 2020
Exploring Education Trailer
A brief introduction to our podcast!
May 1, 2020
Connecting Reading and Writing: Read like a Writer
Listen for examples of how you can help your child think like a writer, paying attention to the language choices of authors they love.
April 29, 2020
Setting Goals
Let's talk with our kids about the goals that they have for themselves as learners!  This episode focuses on helping your child create and manage relevant goals.  Enjoy!
April 28, 2020