Gardening|Outdoor Education News
Early Learning Center
Students have planted their playground garden bed with radishes, lettuce and spinach, green AND purple broccoli. They are learning to tend to its needs through watering and fertilizing. At the same time, they are becoming familiar with worms and other soil dwelling insects- this involves a lot of screaming at first! Level 1 students started exploring flowers and plants with fun activities like a color walk around campus. They also began their study of flowers with Asters, which are in bloom now in the L7 patio garden. Level 2 students learned about the different kinds of gardens that are possible, from rooftop gardens to worm farms. They also studied leaf vein patterns with a leaf rubbing activity. In October, we will continue to watch our seedlings grow, enjoy a cool nature hike and enjoy lots of exploration and sensory experiences in the garden.
In September, Level 3 and 4 students were introduced to their herb garden and learned about days of the weeks and months by creating a schedule for the herb garden. We also pruned in the herb garden and explored the smells and textures. Level 3 students planted 3 types of spinach in the main vegetable garden and will be comparing and contrasting their growth this month, as well as their taste. Level 4 students are learning about herbs and looking forward to making and tasting herbal teas next month. We will also create beautiful nature mandalas with found natural objects.
Students have learned proper tool care and handling in the garden, studied the monarch migration and tracked the monarchs weekly through the “Journey North” app on ipads. They have planted peas and carrots in their “Forrest Gump” garden bed. We also honed our map skills when studying the Plant Hardiness Zones for the United States. To kick off their water study unit, we learned about the amazing, disappearing Vernal Ponds. Next month we will do a pond study with the nature center and learn how cities affect the natural flow of water in the water cycle. Students will also continue monitoring and caring for their pea and carrot bed.
Level 6 students started the year with a making tamales, learning about ancient practices of gardening with the moon and learning how to make Tabasco sauce from garden peppers. In October, Level 6 students will test different soils and create a compost tea using worm compost, stockings and a five gallon bucket. They will then apply this “tea” to the garden for a fertilizer boost. Level 7 students have begun an exciting radish project that will last all semester. They have studied radish cultivation and planted their own radish gardens. Next month they will thin their seedlings, fertilize the remaining plants and track their progress. Google Classroom enhances the experience by offering a place to get information, watch videos and collaborate.