Experience & Activities
Alison Blanco, M.S. is an environmental scientist and a science educator. She has an M.S. in Environmental Science from Florida Gulf Coast University and a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Florida. Alison has a passion for all things related to science and nature. She is currently working on a long-term project with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission involving the endangered Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) and fire in Florida.
Alison has taught in various forms for the past 19 years. She began as a public school teacher, and now teaches at homeschool co-ops, where she focuses on hands-on learning, and on online platforms, in which she seeks to engage students through active participation. She also has four children of her own, all of whom are homeschooled.
When not teaching, Alison enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading, camping, and traveling. She lives in Florida with her family of 6 humans, 3 dogs, and 2 cats. She and her family travel in their RV and love to partake in new adventures and learning experiences.
To see some of the many science activities that Alison has done with homeschool students, check out her page: littlepeoplethinkingbig.com
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What Families Are Saying
Alison Blanco is a great teacher who teaches a great course. Big History is a vast subject that covers at a perfect depth the history of the universe and human race, and the highly organized teacher that is Mrs. Blanco is the perfect guide on such a journey.
My daughter has studied science with Alison for over six years and has loved it! Alison is a natural. She takes complex information and breaks it down into understandable and usable chunks. Last year I was so thrilled with the Big History Project curriculum and the way in which Alison taught the class. She made it fun and interesting for the students. Each week she had breakout sessions so the kids could develop their teamwork and cooperation skills while learning Big History in a unique way.
Ms. Alison is a really great teacher and has the ability to teach complex subjects in an easy to understand way, while also making it fun and interesting. Over the year we learned about many different scientists, human evolution, what the world was like thousands of years ago and many more things, all of which Ms. Alison taught in an interactive and entertaining way that made it enjoyable and memorable.
The Big History Project really opened my eyes to a lot of new topics and subjects that I would’ve never known I was so interested in without it! Having Alison as a teacher made me feel comfortable to share my ideas and thoughts, and to be encouraged to learn more even outside of class!
Big History was an amazing class; I learned quite a lot of information and overall the class experience was very enjoyable and fun. I had a great time with the assignments, as they pushed me to do my best as a student and I received vital writing and cooperation skills as the class continued. Overall it was a great class and I would definitely take it (or something similar) again soon.
Online Teaching Policies for Alison Blanco
Students will receive a full refund if they withdraw before the first day of class. Students who withdraw after class begins will receive a prorated refund based on the time remaining in the class.
If a student feels the need to withdraw from class for schedule conflicts, or because they are struggling with class content (too easy or too hard), I am happy to work with students and parents to find solutions.
(NOTE: Refunds made more than 30 days from purchase date will be charged a 10% administrative processing fee.)
Courses may be cancelled if the minimum number of enrollees has not been met. I will do so at least 48 hours before class begins and issue full refunds.
In the event of a teacher emergency that requires me to cancel an individual session, I will work with students to reschedule a session, or send a pre-recorded class video.
In the rare event of an emergency that requires me to cancel a substantial portion of the class, I will either find a substitute or issue prorated refunds for the class. If I must find a substitute, families will have the option to receive a prorated refund instead of continuing the class.
Students have different comfort levels and experiences participating in online class environments. My courses require class participation, which will include class discussion, presentations, and small group work. For that reason, I ask that students keep their cameras on. If a student needs to have privacy, they can turn their cameras off for a short time. This will ensure that students get the most out of the courses.
There will be homework for all courses that is expected to be completed before students come to class. Often, the completion of homework is necessary for the students to complete their in-class assignments.
If a student is having problems finishing homework, either because it is too challenging, or for any other reason, I ask that they reach out to me so that we can work through it together or find an alternate assignment.
If students choose not to do some or all assignments, students may stay in the class. However, I will only issue letter grades and certificates of completion to students who have completed the assignments for that particular class.
Assignments turned in late will be docked one letter grade for each week that the assignment is late, starting the day after the due date. If there is a good reason that a student needs an extension, please reach out to me. Work that is turned in late may be late receiving feedback. I will not accept assignments past two weeks after the last class.
Respect is an important foundational factor in the development and maintenance of a healthy learning environment. It is respect that opens space for the development of trust and learning. As your students’ teacher, I will:
- Call learners by their preferred name and use their preferred pronouns.
- Discuss rules in the beginning of the course and reinforce the rules throughout the course.
- Help make materials and coursework accessible for all students, regardless of differing abilities.
- Encourage discussion outside of class and answer any questions in a timely manner ( within 24 hours).
- Give constructive feedback that respects the efforts learners have made.
It is of utmost importance that all students have a safe and enjoyable classroom experience. All students should be treated with respect by both the instructor and the other students. Bullying, name calling, discrimination, or jokes aimed at other students will not be tolerated. Please contact me immediately if your student is experiencing any of these issues without my knowledge.
Students should be actively engaged in class at all times. A quiet place to take class where there are minimal distractions is important. They should not have other windows open on the computers that will distract them from classroom activities.
- Mute microphones if there is excessive background noise.
- If we are in a large class, we will use the “raise hand” feature before speaking.
- All chats should remain on the course topics and be respectful.
- Students must wear clothing when on camera.
- Only one student per camera.
- No off-topic chatting during class.
- No name calling, bullying, or unwanted private messaging.
- No sharing contact information with other students during class.
- No disruptive behavior that distracts other learners (such as constantly changing background screen, changing screen name to something silly, making faces at the camera, etc.)
I am happy to work with the students and families to mitigate behavior concerns, rather than remove a student from the classroom or limit their participation.
For behavior infractions, the following steps may be taken. The teacher may skip steps if the infraction is more serious.
- Disable particular functions of the online classroom (for example, turn off private chat, manually mute microphones, turn off a video feed).
- Privately reach out to a student to ask them to stop the behavior during class.
- Reach out to students and their parents after class to come up with a solution to a behavioral issue.
- Require a parent/guardian to be present during live sessions in the event of repeat behavioral violations.
- Remove a student from live sessions but allow them to continue in the rest of the course and send recordings.
- Remove a student from the class.
All live sessions will be recorded and stored for 12 months. The recorded sessions publicly or with other learners in the class. (Any make-up sessions will include a video summary without learner participation to protect learner privacy).
If there is a classroom incident, recordings may be shared with individuals (such as parents/guardians of involved participants) involved in the discussion of any classroom incident. Recordings may also be shared with a third-party (such as a charter school), as required by their safety protocols.
Get in touch with Alison Blanco