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Getting Ready For Back To School With New Resources!

You know when you are almost ready to head back to school, as I know some of my teacher friends are already there, you start planning what your bulletin boards will look like... you start buying supplies to fill all your needs, and you start thinking about curriculum...at least that is what this week entailed.

I met with my lovely friend, both of us lost sections of science, so both of us are in the same bind...we need to create a program that will be data driven, teach science or STEM, engaging, hit second through fifth grade and is completed in 40 minutes. That is a lot to muster, but I was up for the challenge.

Then, I started thinking isn't that a problem that we all face? Lessons that need to be:
1. Fun
2. Data driven
3. Hit standards
4. short enough to fit in to a 40-60 minute block
5. And seeing that I need to do four classes, one of each 2-5...differentiated. (otherwise I am prepping for 10 lessons each week, no thank you)

Goal 1: Digital Assessment for my FOSS units

Time to get crackin'. My first thing I had to think about was that I need to create some digital science activities because my first graders and second graders need more assessments that are easy to grade and have them be part of their learning! The thing that drove me was our FOSS kits. First grade themes I worked on were: DAY and NIGHT, SOUND and LIGHT, INSECT and SPIDER, and VERTEBRATE. Second grade focuses on: PLANTS, HABITATS, WEATHER, and MATTER!

                       Find them for first grade {HERE} and for second grade {HERE}.

Goal 2: Grade 2-5th Grade resource for my Science/STEM enrichment classes

Now, I have to create four packs for my third through fifth graders. Using our iPads is one of our key goals for use in assessment this next year. I am also on Evaluation so I set this as a goal of mine. I am hoping this can help you, too!

My second goal was to find a way to not have to prep for 10 science lessons a week...yes a week. I needed to find a way to differentiate a pack that includes science and STEM as well as ways to gather data, focus on NGSS, and be engaging. Yikes. That is a handful!

I focused on NGSS themes that were cross cutting! I created STEM Quick Picks because I needed to use them quickly within the 40 minute time period that I work with them each week...above and beyond the hour they get with their own class.

How I will use the pack: first week...introduction of the NGSS concept, then reading connection, followed by small science activity. Second week, review of concept, interactive notebook and vocabulary review...followed by STEM lesson and then task card review.

Friends...I have 10 weeks to do so that means I have three more to make! I am on it though...they take a long time, but they will be worth it! Find the STEM Quick Picks {HERE}.

Goal 3: STEM Connections for After School Classes, Extensions, and our new STEM Lab in our Library

Each fall, when our after school program starts, our students love STEM stations...but that is not the only reason I worked hard to create new STEM activities...

This year, we are creating a STEM lab in our library! We were able to get some funding for some great resources, but that is never enough. I was able to utilize the Makerspace packs that I made last summer by printing them off and putting them on ring clips ready to go this year. I also created Seasonal School Box STEM packs so that our Library/Tech teacher can have interchangeable activities that can be featured each season! Find Seasonal School Box STEM Packs {HERE}

I might have another few packs up my sleeve this next week before I have to go back to school! I will post about them next week along with a new freebie! But for now...here is a free Seasonal School Box STEM bonus for stopping by and getting to the end! {HERE} 

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Great Sites For Science

Getting ready for back to school or already there? I have compiled Great Science Sites that can help you add science to your school day with ease! These sites are my go to's for what they have to offer as well as their ability to add to the structure of my lessons, as well as enhance what I am teaching.

For informative  videos for 2-5th grade I love Crash Course Kids found on Youtube. There is such a great variety of science topics from space to food chains, animals and matter just to name a few that I have used. They are extremely short in time (2-4 minutes), while others like gravity is over 20 minutes in length. Here is an introduction...
Another go to for great science themed videos is SciShow Kids found on YouTube. This site has such a different variety of science topics, and can be shown to younger learners, too. There is a great eclipse video that really explains it well! Check out their intro below!

Let's take a look at non-fiction books. As a science teacher, it is imperative that I use interactive read-alouds to teach a science concept. Remembering that what I am reading is not necessary at their reading level. Whether you paraphrase or read a quick non-fiction book that helps you teach a science concept my three go-to's are perfect for projecting the books on my smartboard!

The first one is free to educators! It is Epic Books! It has an amazing selection of non-fiction science books for all ages! I use them with all of my K-5 classes! As for the other two that I go to for non-fiction resources are Myon which our district has purchased a subscription to. It provides other options that Epic Books doesn't have. My third go to is Science A-Z. It is also a paid subscription, but gives me the ability to print books for my kids so they can take them home. They also are project-able and can be used on their iPads.

Looking for a free year of science lessons? Go to Mystery Science. After that you pay for it, but it is filled with lessons, videos, and experiments as well as ideas!

For Science review...check out Study Jams! Video Review, picture review, and even assessments for Science and now Math! Here is an example of one that I use...

Onto NGSS resources...I love looking for great resources on NGSS Hub. Now, I can't say I use everything that I see or that it fits just right into my roadmap that I need to follow, but sometimes you just need a little more...

Here are great simulations for science found at PhET Interactive Simulations! Love PhEt for balance and motion, concentration in our Mixtures and Solutions unit, and Static Electricity to name a few that I have used!

Finally, if you want to learn a little bit more about STEM and how to implement it into your classroom, there are some great professional development videos and guidance from STEM Teaching Tools.

The recipe for a great science lesson doesn't have to be so difficult. Use the framework you have in place...mine is FOSS...add a non-fiction book to start your lesson off...(there are also great picture books that connect perfectly, too!)

Followed by an engaging activity or experiment...even a STEM lesson...followed by a video to help you with the facts and you are on your way to making science child's play! And even more fun for you!

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Back To School STEM Starters

For many teachers it is time for back to school. A time when you prepare your classroom for a new group of learners. You start planning your lessons and creating new ways to inspire your class!

We each come back to school with new passion for our positions, new goals set, and along with that you want to find ways to get to really know your students right away.

I love starting the year off with STEM challenges! Not only do they allow me to see how my students work in groups or teams, I can see their personalities shine through when given a challenge!

When starting the year, we often search for great ice breakers that can also allow us to see if our students have the growth mindset that will allow them to persevere and problem solve when faced with challenges.

A STEM challenge can do all of that in a very short period of time. Although going through procedures and expectations are a must, an engaging STEM challenge can be the perfect insight into getting to know your new kiddos!

Here are a few tips to get your STEM Stations ready for back to school!

Tip 1: Supplies

Get organized by finding bins or buckets that can store your supplies. I was able to get plastic tubs donated from a local hospital to keep many of my STEM and science supplies in. Shoe boxes or even pencil cases make great STEM storage supplies more organized.

Tip 2: Designate a Spot

I like to designate a spot in my room for STEM and science supplies. When it is time for your students to get materials, they always know where to go. I call it the STEM store. I assign numbers each time they come in the room. When it is time to get supplies, they know where to go to get them, and then when it is time for clean up a student's number is called to return any supplies that can be reused. It cuts down on waste, time wasted, and it help you stay organized especially if you have back to back classes like I do!

Tip 3: Ice Breakers

Starting off your year with a team builder is always a great way to kids actively engaged! I love this free pack from Smart Chick. Can You Save Fred?

 I love creating my own activities, but this activity was one I used when I started six years ago so I guess it is my go to for getting my students working together, however as we progress into our back to school challenges, I love my differentiated back to school  lessons for my K-5th graders!
For kindergartners and first graders and first graders I use Jenga or the blocks from the FOSS Tree unit. Perfect for little hands! As the students get a bit older I add other supplies for them to create with!

Tip 4: Free Supplies

Often, I get asked how you can find cheap or free supplies for your STEM stations. I first create a box for outside my door that says donations. We are an 82% poverty school so those supplies might be egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, empty boxes, or even newspaper. I have a list for you to hang up for your donation box!
Free Donation Sign
Tip 5: Activities For September

I like to have all of my activities for my STEM lab set to go before I get back. I love that we can readily find apples and I can usually find apple donations for our STEM labs. I created some fun free apple activities to help my K-2nd grade teacher friends found {HERE}.

If you are looking for more STEM-tastic ideas...Check these Apple-ing theme packs {HERE}

Whether you have been in school...already back...or preparing to go back...the Science School Yard can help you make Science and STEM child's play!
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Garden Weeds Otherwise Known As Problems In Your Garden

Planting a garden hasn't been all rainbows and unicorns! There are a lot of problems that can come up when you plant a school garden with kids. Today, I can't wait to share with you some common problems we faced in our school garden and some solutions to get you on the right track!

Problem 1: Take for example when seeds do not germinate! That is the worst thing when kids are waiting for their little seeds to have a little sprout growing from it and it never happens...you have to figure out what to do and my suggestion is to teach a lesson in germination. You can also create an anchor chart prior to planting that helps them understand what seeds need to grow. 

Quick Tip: If you plant seeds without a name on the container or baggie, then the kiddos own all of the seeds that grow or don't grow. We then go to the garden with partners to plant what grew as a group. It seems to eliminate any issues when seeds don't grow (especially their's!)

Another thing you can do then is to discuss why a seed did not germinate. I do that before we even grow a plant as a type of check off list we can refer back to which helps us go back to that anchor chart to predict and make judgments. It really helps your learners understand what might have occurred. 

Problem 2: Another problem that can exist is planting in the garden and then having it die on you. That is an awful feeling when an entire crop isn't productive or the sun was too hot and burned your plants, or even over the weekend they weren't wet enough and dried up...I have to say that all of the above has happened to me at one time or another over the last five years. I can also add a hungry squirrel who ate all of our squash...pumpkins...sunflowers... I can also add to that by saying one year the only flowers we had on our pumpkins were males....I had to teach a bit about the birds and the bees...

Quick Tip: Once again take the opportunity to have a teachable moment such as teaching the life cycle or what plants need to survive. Head back to an anchor chart that you create with your students! It really is a great way to reference!

Here are some other fine examples of why our plants died...I have been know to  put them underneath a grow light and you leave them for over a weekend and you  forget to water them....

or you  forget to turn off the lights because when you come back...you have fried your plants...

Problem 3: Shall we talk about weeds!

Weeds....weeds...and more weeds!!!! There are always weeds to contend with! 

Who is going to pick them? When are you going to pick them?  Who is going to be out in that garden with the kids talking about how weeds are not going to do well for your garden plants because they eat up all of the nutrients in the soil? What are you going to do with the weeds once you pick them? Compost? Leave them lay? Put them in bins for someone to haul away? All things to think about...

Quick Tips: There are great lesson, but when kids pick the plants instead of the weeds there is another problem within a problem. Pick the weed you want them to get for you. I then have them focus on just that weed. You can give each group a different weed to pull, but remember to help them by teaching them leaf structure. You will always have someone pick the wrong thing, but that is a lesson in itself!

Problem 4: All your plants are growing who is going to watch them who is going to pick the vegetables?

Without a team trying to figure out how to harvest those vegetables and maintain watering them and all of the other things that come along with growing a school garden can get overwhelming!

Quick Tips:  Establish your team that will help you water, weed, and harvest. Here are some great options that we have tried:

1. Remind 101 is set up for parents that sign up before school is done to come in and weed, water, and pick. The reward is to take vegetables home. I remind them what to take home and what to let grow.

2. Teach a summer garden class. Each Monday, six weeks out of the summer I teach a garden class. I teach STEM and science lessons and then we weed, plant, and harvest. This helps teach students what the process of growing a garden is all about from start to finish. 

3. Have Americorp help you or other agencies looking to volunteer and help. They are always looking for volunteer hours and I have had great success with volunteers. Check your local garden clubs, Master Gardeners, and University Agriculture classes, too!

One more quick tip that I always get asked...What do you do with all of the vegetables you harvest?

1. We do ding dong ditch with a special garden note on it so when we go to neighborhood homes they know where the veggies came from.

2. I go to our local food pantry, donate, and then take a picture of them receiving it...we want to teach paying it forward.

3. I know where some of my poorest families live as well as our low income housing apartments and I actually like the ice cream truck open my trunk of my car and give out bags of vegetables! They know my car by now and come running! I had to figure out how to divy out the vegetables because they actually remember from week to week who got the "cabbage" or "zucchini".

4. I harvest and bag and I leave them at the front of the school with a sign, please take one! I also go to our local pool that is right behind the school and find families to give food away to!

5. We also plant a ton of vegetables that will be harvested for our school lunchroom. So whether it is our egg roll garden or our coleslaw garden, the cabbages and carrots will wait until our kids get back. Our popcorn garden and pumpkin patch can wait until fall! We replant our peas and pick our beans all season as well as lettuce and kale! 

Are considering a school garden?  I want you to know that planting a seed does really help kids grow, but you also have to take into consideration all of the other components that make a school garden successful. When you have those all in place before you even start putting a seed in the ground you can find out that a seed is truly magical. 
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Science Picture Books For Back To School

It is so very important to find great picture books to start off your school year, however science is often times put off to the side for lots of different reasons. However, I want to help you find some great picture books-both fiction and non-fiction that can springboard your science lessons!

Grabbing a science themed book that you can also use in your language arts lesson is one of the best ways to tie in the two subjects! The best part of a picture book can teach our students about the world around us as well as introduce a science concept or principle showing that science is all around us.
Use a story to bring a science concept to life or give them the background knowledge they need to make connections!

For a K-2 introduction to what science is all about is, What is Science written by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. This book has great picture clues to show primary students that science from planets to rocks, to hurricanes, to animals...It gives you a way to start science curiosity and the springboard to asking questions about the world around them!

For 3-5 picture book, I love the book The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires. It is about a girl and her dog who want to make the most magnificent thing. Why I love this book it shows her frustration and the fact that she quits because of it. It can give you a great opportunity to teach perseverance,  perspective, and positive growth mindset. As our older students have to work as a team to complete experiments it is important to set the stage for what it might take to succeed!

Not sure about other great picture books to use for your science lessons...here is a great post that shares over 100 perfect picture books for you to think about. Head on over to Geek Wrapped for their list of Science Books for Kids!

I am the facilitator of our school garden. When our kiddos come back to school I love to integrate a picture book when we go out to our garden to see the plant progress. Here are some of my go to garden picture books...

1. How Does Your Garden Grow? by Gerta Muller (perfect for a STEM Mary, Mary Quite Contrary activity!)

2. I love Up In The Garden and Down In The Dirt by Kate Messner. It gives an overall perspective of everything that happens in a garden over the course of a year.

3. I also love getting the littles outside so anytime I can read a story about colors, letters, or even numbers that is a bonus. I love Planting A Rainbow by Lois Ehlert.

I also want to share with you my favorite STEM books that can foster building with K-5th graders. For STEM activities for littles, take any nursery rhyme or fairy tale and tie it to STEM, but for older kids take any of Andrea Beaty books such as Ada Twist Scientist, Rosie Revere, Engineer, or even Iggy Peck, Architect.

Looking for more picture book ideas check out my friend Kim, over at Stress-Free Teaching for some more great back to school picture book ideas!

It is exciting to plan for the new school year. One of my favorite products for the back to school season that helps me tie in a ton of great picture books along with a holiday theme are my STEM seasonal packs!


Amazon is hosting a Black Friday Sale this Friday, and I didn't want them to be the only ones with great deals...Black Friday Sale On My STEM All Year Pack Here! (For checking out my blog is is up on sale today already!) The lowest price of the year! The price goes up Saturday so get the 32 STEM Activity Pack today! This deal is like getting two packs free! Great with any seasonal picture book! Let the STEM fun begin!
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Digital Adventures and Lessons Learned

I am all about learning new things. Five years ago, I jumped into a new job after 20 years of teaching. Talk about learning curve...but that is what I need to do in order to stay excited and creative!

Last year, our school went 1:1 with iPads and as a science teacher and not a regular ed. classroom teacher I needed to find ways to incorporate digital activities as we embraced this new technology. I have to say, at first it was a bit overwhelming. Many districts, allow their teachers to download free apps or use Google Classroom...our district has a lot of restrictions on us so we had to use the apps that they allowed us to use.

All students were given the app Explain Everything as well as See Saw. Two great apps, however instead of Google Classroom, we were expected (still are) to use something similar, but certainly not the same, called ItsLearning. Because of that, it limited me on what I could make for my students...where I see teachers able use movable parts for activities...I have to use activities that are more locked into place. Using Explain Everything, I can then airdrop the activities that I make so that allows me to easily get a digital worksheet, digital slide activity, or even a quiz or test that can be housed in our ItsLearning site.

What were the biggest struggles?

I work with kindergarten through fifth grade...so I saw it all! Here are some of my top struggles...

1. When I started with the littles (K-2) I had to find age appropriate terms to refer to what they needed to do to get the sheet I needed them to download or get airdropped. I had to go very slowly, talk slowly, and walk around and reteach over and over...but it is worth it now...they will have background knowledge coming into this year. Slow and steady wins the race. I love when kiddos can help each other, they love taking ownership of what they know.

2. I had to teach them to airdrop and sometimes it doesn't always connect or their name doesn't always come up for them to get the drop. So, I taught them how to airdrop to each other. They were always willing to help and show what they know.

To go with that...we do a lot of picture taking. Let them take photo opportunities. It allows for them to have visual clues as to what they learned.

 Let them do an activity or take that picture then let them share what they did by airdropping their sheet to each other, walk and talk, find phony facts...all great ways to share what they did and to be held to accuracy!

3. When we used Explain Everything, I had to teach them how to find their airdrop in camera roll, upload it, resize it, and lock it as a background. So here is what I had to say..."Go to the plus button on the left. Find Existing Image/Video (which is now a red mountain , they fixed that so it is now color coordinated!), find the picture that was airdropped and now resize. Press the blue done button on the top. Now to lock it in so it doesn't move...find the i with dots around it. Press the picture you want to lock, go to the last thing to do, which is set as background. Press that and now you are done!" For those of you that have used Explain Everything...it is different now. The buttons are easier with less steps!

4. Littles don't always remember their email address...the folder they made for Explain Everything...

How do you fix it? You can use labels with typed out email address that I placed on each of their science folders. You can also place them on the back of each iPad. Email addresses can also be put on a ring binder with email address as well as passwords to other apps and sites.

5. Kids can't always remember where they put things. Use icon pictures of apps that can be on magnetic strips on your board, use the icon of the app on a smartboard, or even model it with your own iPad. If you are using Google Slides for example...have the Google Slides picture up on the board...or show them your iPad for help. They new visual clues.

6. As a specialist that has iPads brought to my room from over 22 different classroom settings...Do not tech sabotage your kiddos because it is something new or hard to learn. Find others that can help you learn one thing at a time, ask questions, or have kids help you! I knew exactly what teachers weren't using their iPads because their kiddos were not tech savvy or they could not follow the instructions as well as other classrooms. They spent too much time remembering each week how to use an app.

7. Make sure you have a system for charging your iPads! Often kids from certain rooms came in with their iPads not charged. We want kids to remember, but we have to also check for them, assign a charger coordinator as a class job, and have a system for organizing them. Whether that be in buckets per table group, dish racks, or a special container your district was able to get you...make sure you have an organized system for keeping them charged and ready to go.

8. Do not use them as punishment. Yes...I said it. Some of our teachers were taking them away if a kid talked, taking them away if they weren't focused, taking them away to teach a lesson about charging them...then we as specialists were punished when they student came in unprepared. If a child uses them inappropriately (bad site, inappropriate pictures...)then have a system in place to take it away unless they are monitored or have a buddy watching that they are on the right site. We now have a guided access app that helps us keep kids on specific sites as we work in class.

9. Find ways for your students to show what they know, share what they learned, or even create projects for class. Kids love to use ChatterKid, Book Creator, Scribble Press, Stop Motion, and Garage Band which are just a few fun apps to consider! I love SeeSaw for parent communication! Kids take pictures, write a caption and share with their families! You will need parent permission to have kids do that though.

10. Last but not least...find great activities and resources that help you continue to use your curriculum, but use digital resources to help be a vehicle for your standards and lessons! Last year, I made over 20 resources to help me in my science classroom! This year, I am focusing on stations, assessments, and activities that can check for understanding on their own after we do a science lesson! I will be making resources for everyone of my classrooms kindergarten through fifth grade so follow me on my TPT store to find out when I post a new Digital Science Resource!

Take a look at the Digital Resources in the Science School Yard {HERE}
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STEM Road Trip Tips!

July is like the Saturday of summer! It is also a time to enjoy a great road trip with your family and friends... but it can also lead to "Are we there yet?" 
There are many ways we try to keep our kids occupied along the way, but you can only play the alphabet so many times.

Here are some engaging ideas that can help you pack for an easy car ride. 

Road Trip Tip 1:

Straws, Masking Tape and Scissors. These items are a great way to contain some fun have them build on the top of the plastic lid and you have an easy display.

Road Trip Tip 2:
Use an Altoid or 10 container to cut and place pipe cleaners inside. You then have a small little compartment for an easy and quick hands on engaging activity. 

Road Trip Tip 3:
Legos are always a fun and a great hands-on way to build something that they see out the window. gain In order to build it you can always use a lid of a box that you can bring along with a baggie of Legos. 

Road Trip Tip 4:
Another great activity to do is to bring along Beanie Babies that  they just had at McDonald's and some cubes. You can build something for those beanie babies inside that lid and then share it with the people sitting in the backseat with you. 

Now for the fire works! The finale...how about some stick pretzels and small marshmallows!!! Not only can you build with them but when you're all done building you can have a yummy snack.

 These are just a few quick and easy STEMtastic ideas for your next road trip! not only can you keep them from saying "hey are we there yet?" but you can also see how exciting it is for their brains to be working, thinking, and engineering along that way. 

Check out my FREE fourth of July Pack for engaging July activities for at home, on vacation, or in the car!
4th Of July Science Fun!

Let's celebrate...this Fourth of July EVERYTHING in my store is 15% off!
Happy 4th of July!
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School Gardens In The Summer: Tips For Maintaining

Our school has had a school garden for fives years! I am the lovely facilitator of that garden...I say that because it is not MY garden...it is the children's' garden! I often get asked how we can maintain a garden and second how it can last that long. Often times, schools want to get on the school garden bandwagon and then after a year find out that it is hard to maintain. If you are remotely interested in starting a garden at your school then here are some quick tips to get you "growing"...

Tip 1:
You NEED to have one person (or more if you are lucky!) that is truly dedicated to maintaining and advocating for your garden. That is me at our school. You then need your administration and your maintenance crew on board as well. Our garden has changed from its original state due to the garden beds being too hard to mow around...the herbs were placed in metal cans which can be unsafe (but we wanted to contain them so that they didn't get out of control...they can do that you know) We as a team, find ways to make sure that our district policies are being followed and yet still hold true to what our vision is.

You need your administration to be on board and part of your team. Whether that is support of your plan, seeing academic benefits, or getting down and dirty along with the kids as they learn how to garden, you truly cannot do it without them on your team!

And let's just say when your administration sees it as a benefit they can find ways to fund the project and sustain it for years to come. (I will get to that next)

Tip 2:
You will need to find funding, grants, and donations. Each year, I have been able to find "free" money that helps support our school garden. Whether it be the Anthem Watch Us Sprout Grant which provided us this year with soil, books, hundreds of free seeds to distribute to our families and students, as well as amazing banners that we display in our lunchroom that supports healthy eating habits!

Find a local greenhouse that might be willing to donate. If you have a composting business close by, call them to see if they can give a deal to a local school garden. People LOVE the idea of kids growing and may be excited enough to donate or give a product at a reduced price!

Tip 3:
Find ways to integrate the garden into the curriculum. We have a unique situation at our school...I teach each and every student. That means over 400 students come to me for Science, STEM, Gardening. You name it...I teach it! The beauty of this model is that I then can work with each grade level to take part in gardening. (Watch for this week's series for ideas on how to grow plants with kids!)

Kindergartners plant a kinder"garden" which is pumpkins, zucchini, and gourds.
First Graders plant flowers to learn about insect pollination. Sunflowers are great to grow as well as daffodils.
Second Graders plant potatoes and then gold mine for them in fall to tie in Social Studies and the Westward Movement as well as lettuce, spinach, kale, and peas. We use the FOSS Plant unit to start us off, but then I deviate.
Third Graders plant an egg roll and coleslaw garden. We plant cabbage which is sponsored by Bonnie Plants (free cabbage plants for the annual cabbage contest. Find the Link here: http://bonniecabbageprogram.com/ ) We also plant carrots for our coleslaw and egg rolls!
Fourth Graders plant the Three Sisters Garden which ties in native american history. That includes Beans, squash, and corn.
Fifth Graders plant a victory garden as they learn about WWII. They plant kohlrabi, tomatoes, peppers, and anything else we want to stick in the ground.

I know that this may not be how your school teaches science so here are some ideas....
-each grade level can be assigned special vegetables and an area to plant them in
-someone that is interested can have a container garden that they watch and learn from
-facilitators can teach lessons, plant seeds, start them at school and send them home
-interested teachers can work together to grow a school garden, it can be part of an after school program, or even a summer school class.

Tip 4:
Just do it. I cannot tell you how many people I talk to that want to start a school garden and then just sit and wait for everything to fall in place just perfectly....nothing is ever perfect. We learned from our mistakes, changed them as we went, and continue to learn as we go!

 Your team, whoever it is that is part of your plan, can find an area for your garden, create a design, decide what to plant, figure out who waters, weeds, picks, and shares the harvest.  (In this week's series, I will share with you different ways to use your bounty!)

Tip 5:

How do you keep it growing? Summer weeding, watering, and picking and then what do you do with it? All things to think about. In the past I have tried a lot of different methods. Here are a few ideas for you...
-Americorp volunteers. They always need hours.
-United Way. If they weed and pick ...they can keep some of the harvest.
-Parent and Family volunteers. I used Remind 101 after a digital sign up link went into our school newsletter. It is sometimes hard for them to remember to I send a reminder with this app.
-I use my summer school program to tie gardening into the STEM based curriculum that I developed. We use STEM Little Red Hen to teach teamwork and hard work come first before the reward. We then weed and then eat!
-I have an underground irrigation system that I wrote a grant for...so watering is not an issue for me, however utilize your helpers, custodians, school programs that can help with this chore.

This week, I will be sharing more tips, epic fails you can learn from, as well as celebrations! I will always say...a seed is magic. You just have to get "growing" to find that out!

This pack has been worked on for over three years. I now use this pack for my kindergarten though third graders.

Here is a link to a free portion of this pack...Let's just call it a "FREEBEE"! FREE-BEE For You Found HERE!

Free"bee" Bee Activities and Science Connections
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