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Showing posts with label farm to school. Show all posts
Showing posts with label farm to school. Show all posts

Apple Time in Science Class!

Our school is getting bigger next year. We are adding sections of Pre-K and 4 other classrooms onto our existing school building. We also purchases some land that will be used for a road for a new pick up system. The good thing is...we have five apple trees to use that is on the newly purchased land! The sad news...the trees will be cut down this year to make room for the road.

I am all for opportunities! I asked if I could take as many kids as I could over to the next lot to use the apple trees as a learning tool! My principal said yes! All Kindergartners and first graders have been able to learn about apples this week. I started off with some great freebies from TPT, but I needed to make it my own.

 I have one hour to teach a ton! I want every moment to count. My kinders are learning about the five senses....so I needed to get them to write or draw very simply!

 I want them all to do a taste test. I want them to all find treasures for our "treasure tray!"  This was a great idea to have the little put the fun things they found on the ground in one place and then share it all together inside!

Here are the sheets that I redid to work for my kiddos! Here is are the apple freebies for you!

I hope these ideas are "apple"ing to you! I also hope it helps you see how science can be simple! Grab a bag of apples...print a sheet...read a great book like Apples by Gail Gibbons...and you are all set to go! Make moments any time you can! ( I even snuck some new vocabulary in the mix...tart is a fun word to comprehend...just give them a Granny Smith...!)

Here is the whole Apple FREEBIE pack ready for you to download with even more activities!


Digging For Gold In Science

Funny thing is...I was a social studies minor. I never really had a great science teacher to get me excited about science. So...when I can take a social studies topic and combine it with a science I am golden! Here is an idea for your school garden...

Last year, my second graders planted potatoes. Little did they know they would be digging for gold...Yukon Gold to be exact. This little lesson is a great way to teach the gold rush, measurement,  and Earth Materials. Here is the Freebie Link For You!!

First...I had the kiddos come in and get them excited about digging for gold. I put the book Gold Rush on Epic books up on the Smartboard. I shared the book and compared what they would be doing outside. When the story was done I had each student pick a card: either I will get to California by boat or I will get to California by boat. They found a partner with the same card. (Just a fun way to find a new partner....) The boaters got to pick a tool at the mercantile...then they were off to stake their claim (using spoons with their names on them as their stakes.) Each spot was in a grid pattern.
Marking a grid in the potato patch...staking a claim...and digging for gold!
The students had a set time to dig for gold. The boaters got three extra minutes in the garden...finally the covered wagon crew. When they found gold...it was magic!
Look at that gold! This is a great way to start our FOSS Earth Materials unit! Digging in the Earth to find rocks and minerals!
Next, we needed to see who had the "mother lode"! We spend two weeks learning how to use a scale and measure in grams. Once again using a garden helps tie in social studies, science, and math!
Using a scale to measure how much each prospector was able to find was a great connection to math! 
Next, it is time to record our weights on our graph. Keeping record allows us to see which group out of 4 classes doing this activity actually hauls in the "mother lode". You can see some kiddos in the background even weighing their potatoes again!

How exciting for the kids to reap the benefits of what they planted in second grade in a great lesson about history!

Prep: gridding a potato patch, getting spoons ready with markers, setting out a mercantile with tools, printing sheets and cards up, letting them dig, having them measure, then reflecting on learning. A highly productive lesson to teach science...social studies...and math! I love that we could use our school garden in such a successful way. These potatoes will be our September Harvest of The Month!

Scavenger Hunt Freebie

Always looking for ways to make your job simpler! Here is another fun way to get kiddos outside and working on science and math! Scavenger hunts are great ways to get our students actively engaged...working with partners...being outside...following and carrying out a plan! Whether in a school garden or in a school yard get the kiddos growing!

Here is a quick freebie to create a fun back to school "field trip"! Take your pick...School Garden or School Yard...


Scavenger Hunts...Fun Outdoor Field Trips

Always trying to find fun ways to get the kiddos outside! Here are two different scavenger hunt freebies that you can use with your students in the garden or in the school yard! Think of it as your own little Science School Yard!

I love finding ways to get them using math, too!  Here is a great book link as well that I use before we head outside...
Seriously a great book for having kids look closely at nature. This book allows them to practice what they will do outside as they take a closer look around them. With this book...you can also draw a picture after they come in and have them hide different things among their drawings and write just like the author. It is like a Where's Waldo...but all about the great outdoors!

Just click on the link for your scavenger hunt freebies! Scavenger Hunt Freebies...in and out of the garden! Thanks for joining me in my science school yard! Stop back regularly to find more simple science ideas, book links, and freebies!


Simple Science: Dadelions

This is the first in many posts that I will be sharing this year as we all find our niche. Several emails that I received or even blog comments have been about how to add science into the school day. Science is like that dandelion...you can see it as a weed, or a flower. Here, at the Science School Yard I will focus on how to help you make science simple.

Maybe it's just a science trade book and worksheet...maybe it's a book and an easy STEM idea with simple household items...maybe it's an NGSS science concept using the scientific method in an easy, set for you plan.

I know that your scheduled are packed with reading, writing, and math and sometimes science is hard to "fit" in, but if I can help you make it simple...that is what I am here for...

It is the end of the summer school cycle, our garden is in...and now it is time to learn about weeds. During the last week of summer school, my littles (K-1) will be learning about the dandelion.  My students love time lapse...here is a quick one to show the life cycle of the dandelion!

We use a great picture book to help make connections on how seeds can travel once we write our ideas down!

Next, we learned about the life cycle through pictures. We followed it up by going outside to find each stage. The kids love being able to go out into the school yard for their "field" trip. I give them the sheets I have been working on in a dandelion pack. Stay tuned...but here is A SNEAK PEEK FREEBIE.

Hope this small taste of science will get you thinking of how simple it may be to add some science to your school day! And for even more Dandelion fun and activities...check out my Dandy Simple Science Stations...A Dandelion Pack on TPT!


Heredity in the Garden!

I have been working on ways to incorporate NGSS science standards in the garden. School gardens are a great way to get students engaged in a whole new way. Whether it is container gardens or a raised bed, you can find great ways to get kids learning FOSS concepts....NGSS standards and more!

Here is what we did this week...we asked the questin "How are young plants and animals like, but not exactly like their parents? I told them to look at a partner as I  turned over cards that read...
1. What is your length of eyelashes? long or short
2. What kind of eyebrows do you have? bushy or thin
3. What are the shape of your lips? large, medium, or thin
4. Are your earlobes attached at the end or does it hang down?
5. Do you have freckles?
6. Do you have dimples?
7. Do you have a widow's peak?
8. What color are your eyes?
9. What color is your hair?
10. When you do I love you in sign language...is your pinkie the same size as your pointer?

They have so much fun sharing. Then, we talk about how you get those traits. That those attributes get passed down to us by our parents and grandparents and beyond? I then show them a picture of my sister and I. We have different dads, but have very similar features. I let them tell me how we are alike... then let them know we have the same mom, but not dad. I also share the following picture to let them figure out how animals are also similar, but not the same. We share our ideas.
 Then...I let them know that we are going to go out in the garden and see how one type of plant is similar to the same seed that was planted. We look at our pea plants...our pumpkin plants...then we look at the zucchini. They look very similar? Why? They are both part of the squash family. They are related. We try to figure out their differences to tell them apart. I love that the kids are figuring out how to look at leaf structures and tell the plants apart!
Our Pumpkin plants...

Our cucumber plants...

The sheet that we did together! They can understand heredity and traits!
Here is the freebie to go along with what we did this week!
Download Heredity Freebie Here


Peas In the Garden and a Freebie

It is pea picking time in the school garden! We first planted our peas the first week of May here in Wisconsin! We love to make our connections in science with reading and social studies! Here at Thomas Jefferson each year, we use the book First Peas to the Table that connects the real life of Thomas Jefferson and his pea competition he had with his neighbors. He usually lost, but what a great way for our kiddos to make connections with history! Although the peas are picked in summer...and our planters don't reap the benefits...our summer learners get to and they are very willing to help honor the winners of our competition!

Here is are the winning classes plants...and a picture of a taste tester! Peas in a garden are just like sugar! Pods and all! I also included the sheet we use to share our observations with the planters of the peas so they have record of our observations! We do a tally of the peas we count before we pick! The winners this year had over 28 peas growing on the plant in one week's time!
28 peas that grew in one week...last week they were babies and flowers!
So what do you think of the peas?  Sugar? Yes...sugar!

First Peas To The Table Freebie!


Sunday Scoop...Microgreens Freebie

As I was sitting here thinking about the Sunday Scoop over at The Teaching Trio....I forgot all about the microgreens growing at school. That I have to check on...coddle...talk to...so that they grow. Never grew them before, but let's just say those little shoots are getting taller and taller and the kids are so excited about growing something in the winter. So...here's the scoop....

I am sitting here over 45 minutes away from my laundry at my daughter's volleyball practice. Just a bit of alone time that I love. The sound of girls shouting "mine" and the bouncing of volleyballs is drowned out by the typing of my keys. Laundry can wait...

Funny thing...though...when you sit you remember all the things you might have to do when you are home. I have added to the things happy to do...help my son finish a large Egyptian project when I get home...then play cards. Homework first.

I will also add...I had to help my oldest daughter edit her paper for college...yes...since they were little...I have edited for spelling, errors, and doubles...and given pointers or two my childrens' papers. I was a pretty good writer and edited hundreds of papers in my day. Closing sentences the toughest. Now, that is done...I am looking to get down to business and figure out my task cards for my 5th graders for review. It goes with my PPG...SLO...all that jazz.

But, first back to microgreens...
Kale...look at those little guys!

Lettuce...check it out!

Taking care of business!
Microgreen Sheets Freebie just for you! I used these sheets with my 4/5 garden club group! A fun...winter activity that we will share in our upcoming harvest of the month.

Do you garden? School or home? Would love to here what you plant and when you start your seeds. Have a great week!

Why Wheat? Harvest of the Month

I know how those kiddos talk...why do we have to eat that yucky wheat bread? Why do we have pizza crust that is wheat instead of white. Yikes. Well, the low down for our kiddos at my school comes in the form of morning message. We create infomercials so that our students can here that nutritional values of what they eat and why it is so important to know what we put in our bodies. In an article by Teen Health, Why is Whole Wheat Grain Bread Healthier I shared with our kiddos the facts in the article.

We even tied in our second grade solids and liquids unit by making butter. We also taught the kiddos the difference between butter and margarine and how easy it is to make butter! What a great connection to healthy lifestyles and healthy eating.

Learning to vote...having a voice...butter vs. margarine....which tastes better?

Setting it up outside of our very busy lunchroom allows us to keep the line moving without stopping our cooks from serving lunch.

Butter wins! 
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