Welcome to Mr. Bentley’s Class and Foulks Ranch Elementary School.

School History 
The Foulks Ranch was a pioneer ranch of the Elk Grove area. Euphemia Foulks was a widow with small children when she journeyed the many miles across the plains to start a new life in California in 1852. The family members spent their first winter living in the covered wagon, and in the spring, they were finally able to build a small house. Thus began the Foulks legacy that would last for more than a hundred years. Members of the Foulks family were prominent in the development of Elk Grove and south Sacramento and still live in the area. Foulks Ranch School was a pioneer in school construction, existing as a portable school, called a “hopscotch school” until the permanent building was built in 1993.

Meet Mr. Bentley 
A native of San Luis Obispo County, I attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Social Science and a concentration in Cross-Cultural Studies, I began teaching science and P.E. in the Fall of 1995 as an 8th grade long-term substitute teacher in the Newcastle School District. From 1996-1998 I taught 7th grade in the Newcastle District before moving to the Dry Creek Unified School District where I taught 6th and 5th grades. In 2001, I moved to the Elk Grove Unified School District where I’ve continued teaching both 5th and 6th grade students at Foulks Ranch Elementary.

I’m passionate about project based learning, geographic thinking, writing, civics, math, and integrating filmmaking throughout the curriculum. In 2011, I was the elementary recipient of the American Civic Education Teacher Award for my work with students using both the “We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution” and the “Project Citizen” curricula created by the Center for Civic Education.

In 2012, I received the Allan Hinderstein Award for my filmmaking work with students.

In 2014 I became a member of the National Faculty for the Buck Institute for Education.

In 2017, I became the first middle school teacher ever to serve as a National Geographic Fellow, working with teachers around the country to promote the implementation of Geo-Inquiry as a tool for instruction. You can view an example of a Geo-Inquiry project my students completed below:

I believe in the power of students to transform their community and the world through project based learning.

Participating in Project Citizen, my students have studied: landscape blight, improper battery disposal, elimination of library technicians, California Assembly Bill 1802 and the creation of running tracks at elementary schools in the E.G.U.S.D., light pollution, the E.G.U.S.D.’s Energy Conservation Guidelines.

The motto in our class is borrowed from my university: “Learn by doing.”

Filmmaking is an excellent way to “do” school rather than just “go” to school. By creating films, students develop critical thinking, research, reading, writing, artistic, storytelling, and technological skills to name a few.

For the past 6 years, we have collaborated with our city’s Integrated Waste Division to produce films related to the disposal and recycling of household hazardous waste, trash, green waste, and recyclables.

Want to get a look at what this looks like? Our class was featured on an episode of KVIE’s “Rob on the Road” in 2013. Check out the clip and see what kind of opportunities your child has in store!

Our class is fast-paced, dynamic, and not the traditional paper and pencil, workbook and worksheet environment. Students work hard, have fun, think deeply, and are coached to become independent learners with an insatiable sense of curiosity coupled with an unwavering work ethic.