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Showing posts with label garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garden. Show all posts

Dandy...Lions and Fun in the Sun!

It is hot here in Wisconsin...our students have shut down....what do we do? We find a great way to take them outside and use the environment around them to get them excited to learn! The dandelions are out and the kids are checked out...until we found the dandelions that weren't cut in the field!  Here is a simple science lesson for you...

1. What can dandelions have? What are dandelions? What do dandelions have?
2. I share my dandelion poster showing them along with a picked dandelion (root and all) the stem, root, leaves, bud, flower, clock, and seeds.
3. We then read our dandelion story
Cover art
4. Go outside with your station cards and sheets (found in my Dandelion Stations Pack at TPT)
5. Let them work on the activities...I do Adaptations, How Tall, Can, Have, Are...and Tap Roots.
6. I give them a set time to explore and do one sheet...then we meet up and share.

7. I send them back out with rulers...partners...sheets, clipboard...and a tray for a chair. They come back with the joy of learning! From one seed they grow!

Check out this fun end of the year...summer fun pack!


Let's Get Growing

It's my favorite time of year, planting season. Time to get our kinder-gardeners learning how to plant seeds so that when they are BIG first graders they can see their pumpkin patch. Sometimes it takes a long time to grow BIG.
Starting from seed and watching them grow so that we can replant them in our school garden is very exciting!

Our first graders are able to learn about insects and plant flowers so that the bees come to pollinate the vegetable flowers so that we can eat beans, cucumbers, kale, broccoli, and squash to name a few.

Here is our new improved School Garden! New benches, new  beds, new pumpkin patch!

Indoor planting and observations in our Green House!

2nd graders, with the help of their FOSS kit grow everything from beans to tomatoes, zucchini, and kohlrabi as they learn about what a plant needs, to the parts of the plant. My favorite activities include planting potatoes that they will pick as third graders "gold rush style" as well as the mystery seed for Mother's Day as they wait to see how parents pass on traits to their children...marigolds just blooming look like the adult marigold from the nursery!

3rd graders are learning about sound, but it is equally as important to get them growing, too! Next week, during Earth Week we will be learning about planting container gardens as we focus a week on living sustainably! We will also do a quick lesson on how eating vegetables "sounds" good to me when they plant their cabbage plants that are donated to our school each year. I hate to say that most of them died. They cam this year three weeks early, before spring break, and after it snowed 11 days in a row. Our grow lights didn't do them justice!

4th graders will soon plant the three sisters as they are learning about Wisconsin Native American tribes. Beans, Squash, and corn will be their specialty!
After 3 years of waiting...edible stems! Asparagus!

5th graders will get first hand lessons in World War II as I share my father-in-law's WWII memorabilia and we plant a victory garden of tomatoes, broccoli, and lettuce. We might even throw in some radish and spinach to boot!

This year, we are also lucky enough to get honey sticks for our students so that I can teach a pollination lesson to our kindergarten through fifth grade students. We will focus on pollinators for April's Harvest of the Month!

Here is our garden tip of the week...

As you teach students how to plant seeds, use these six simple words:

1. Scoop...

2. Pat...

3. Poke...

4. Drop
5. Cover....and then Water!

As the students get older I add more and more concepts to those 6 simple steps. K-2 just those words work, however as they get older we focus on how far down the seed should be placed in the soil and learning to read a seed packet!

So there is a run down of our School Garden progress! Whether you are growing in a baggie, or in a milk carton...in a container garden or a large school garden...I will always say that planting a seed is magic! It allows children to see where their food comes from and it allows them to get their hands dirty as they learn!

Here is a FREEBIE to get you growing!


Currently November

I have been very busy in October. We are working hard to add NGSS and STEM into our science lessons....we gutted our school garden and redesigned it to make it more user and mower friendly...harvesting everything we could so that our kiddos could eat it in the lunchroom. Organized the Great Lakes Apple Crunch Day...and finished four products for our STEM classes and our teachers to use for our special PAW celebrations twice a month! They are more seasonal for our kids K-5 to enjoy. I am finishing two more today...my goal was 100 products by November...and I have one more to go. Currently it is NOVEMBER and so I have to make sure it is done today so that I meet my goal. I am connecting with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade to share with you what I am up to!

Listening...We are up north. Setting out corn and apples for the deer...checking the deer cam...and whoa...take a look at what we saw...

So now we are back at the cabin talking fantasy football! I love when he shares what he is up to.

Our district is proud of all of the great things that are happening in our school garden. Our food service administrator is 100% on board to wanting every child in our district being positively affected by our school garden as well. We make videos for schools to share our Wisconsin Wednesday's food that is served in all of our schools...and with that they literally gave me a clean slate. This week, while kids were gone, and teachers had in-service...the district cut all of the sod out of the garden...cut down two trees that were causing safety issues...ground all the stumps down...dug out all of the overgrown flowers to make way for our large scale pumpkin patch...started to build new raised beds...took our 5 benches to redo over the winter...and will be cementing a new area for our picnic tables within the garden! I am sooooo excited for a chance to really make this garden special.
They saved our asparagus...but take a look at my clean slate...The Kindergartners will be so excited about their pumpkin patch next to the school. Blueberry bushes...raspberry patch...three large  raised beds...any suggestions???? 
Thinking...my kids need to get me their lists...I hate waiting until after "black" Friday.

Loving...someone on TPT made a large purchase yesterday. I wish I could thank them! I am so appreciative!

Needing...to finish new STEM stations for our teachers. We just implemented a new PAW award celebration for students making good choices. The teachers are in need of quick and easy...fun...and educational ideas that they don't always get to do. Here is what I made this week for them...
STEM Christmas Stations on TPT

Bird Beak Stations and STEM Connection on TPT

STEM Halloween Stations on TPT
I am finishing STEM Fall Into Thanksgiving Stations and STEM Candy Stations tonight! I will meet my goal if I can finish it today...Thanks for stopping by! I can't wait until I can eat pie...and see all of my kids around my table again! I miss my two college kiddos...it isn't the same without them...

What's Up Doc? Carrots!!!!

Our kindergartners are finishing up their senses activities. Why not use our school garden to teach all five senses! We used our five senses by picking carrots! We looked at the tops...then the bottoms! We felt them before and after we pulled them out of the ground. We smelled the fresh carrots and tried to describe the smell carrots have. They smell "carroty". We crunched them and they tasted sweet and yummy! I love the discoveries that were made!

1. Plant's leaves help us figure out what each plant is!
2. Even when the leaves are the same size, the carrots can be very different sizes.
3. Carrots are a root.
4. We eat the orange part and it grew under the ground.
5. We love pulling carrots out of the ground...it makes us laugh...smile...and squeal!
I love the smiles on their faces when they pull the carrots out of the ground! It's a big one!

And the winner of the biggest carrot of the day goes to these two gardeners!

We taught leaf structure...take a look at those leaves...it is a ground cherry plant. He pulled it out and looked for orange by the roots...weren't there. What a great teachable moment!

We went inside to write down our five senses reflections. How do carrots feel...smell...look...sound...taste?

Here are the carrots that they picked. After each kindergarten class is done...they will be shared in our lunchroom!

Our school garden helps each and every student grow! Here is the sheet we used to reflect on our activity! I thought I would help you plant a seed!

Carrots and Our Five Senses Freebie


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!

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