The Madera Method Goes Digital / El Método Madera se vuelve digital

The Madera Method website's homepage

More than a teaching tool, a community conversation / Más que una herramienta de enseñanza, tambien es una conversación comunitaria By Frédéric Martin, Editor-in-Chief / Jefe de redacción “We need a new website” Madera Method Founder Bill Coate announced after sharing an old archived 1990s Madera Method site; Bill wanted a new front window to […]


Bill Coate and students in a Madera Method classroom setting

By Bailey Giersch, Communications Technician Madera Unified 8th-graders are correcting history by putting the horrific acts of Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam on trial. The year is 1955. 14-year-old Chicago-born, African American teenager Emmett Till is in Mississippi visiting relatives. When he goes to a convenience store, Till is accused of inappropriately flirting with Carolyn […]

The Madera Method – Interview with Bill Coate

By Frédéric Martin, Editor-in-Chief, We Believe Newspaper Later This year, the Madera Method will be thirty-five years old. History teacher Bill Coate launched the innovative and prolific practice at the onset of the 1984-1985 school year in his 6th-grade class at Howard school. Earlier that year, one of his friends informed Bill of an abandoned […]

Reliving Madera’s past

Original Students of the first Madera Method Project: The Minturn Chronicles

The Minturn Scholars come home Thirty-four years after they made national news and drew a world-renowned author to Madera, Howard School’s Minturn Scholars met again Thursday to celebrate the latest chapter in the story of their uncommon achievement. As honored guests of Madera Unified, School District, they gathered in the library of Madera South High […]

MSHS preparing book on Sunny Nishimoto

Sunny Nishimoto in his army uniform, 1945.

One of Madera’s most respected and compassionate community leaders will soon be the subject of a Madera Method project conducted at Madera South High School. Led by teacher Valerie Shelton, students in the school’s historical literacy class are researching the life of the late Sunny Isao Nishimoto and will publish their findings in a book. […]

Students hunt for soldiers in graveyard

students in the cemetery

Over 100 8th graders are on a mission to tell the story of the War Between the States, but they want to do it through the eyes of some of the soldiers who fought in those battles. That’s why they were in Arbor Vitae Cemetery on August 23. They were visiting the graves of some […]

8th graders digging into sheriffs’ pasts

Madera Unified School district students hold posters of past Madera County Sheriffs during a presentation for “Outlaws and Lawmen: Crimes of the Century and the Madera County Sheriffs who Solved Them.”

New Madera Method project launched More than 150 8th graders joined Sheriff Jay Varney Monday at the grave of Madera County’s first sheriff, William H. Thurman, to take the wraps off a special history project they have been working on. The students and their teachers from Dixieland, Eastin-Arcola, Howard, and La Vina Schools gave the […]

Students find a historic gold mine in Madera

Madera South High graduates and current UC Irvine students Silvia Navarro Hernandez, left, and Jennifer Martinez are doing research for a water story at Madera South High during their spring break.

Two Madera South High School alumna came back home Wednesday to take advantage of some of the resources of the new Madera Method Archive and Special Collections being built by MUSD in the library of their alma mater. Jennifer Martinez and Silvia Navarro Hernandez, who graduated from MSHS in 2015, are now seniors at UC […]

Mike Purl: A man for all seasons

Mike Purl on a Madera Method wagon

I have been thinking about Mike Purl a lot over the past few months. In fact, from the time I first learned about the struggle he was facing, I thought about him almost every day. I don’t remember when I first met him, but I think it was when he joined the Madera Method Wagon […]

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