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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sprouting Knowledge

    The garden is looking amazing at Sanderlin. Everything is sprouting up and filling what once was a bunch of empty space with the promise of so much more. The kids and I are getting really excited about pulling carrots, radishes, and beets, and without a doubt the most looked forward to crop is corn. The volunteers and the students have been so dedicated to weeding and mulching this week that the garden is transforming into a thing of beauty!

     After the great response at Lakewood I was looking forward to teaching about decomposers and butterflies! It's so important for the children to understand how our soil is made and the complex systems that are involved in the creation of new plants. By joining the two things they love most (bugs and flowers) this lesson brings a new energy into the garden.

     Analyzing logs is the best way, I find, to talk about decomposition and the insects involved. They love turning over logs to find the little guys.

      As we're still waiting for all the flowers to sprout up in the garden I used a video I took last semester to show a monarch butterfly in the garden at Lakewood Elementary.

     As we toured through the garden we reviewed the past lessons. The students are amazing at building on top of their prior lessons and worked their way to the plant parts easily. The biggest confusion lies in the explanation of pollen versus honey, but a few students were able to describe a pollenator after our lesson and even remember all parts of the butterfly cycle.

    It's great to see the students success and progression alongside the progression of the plants themselves. It sets a certain kind of backdrop in the garden when our students grow beside the plants. They both get bigger and bigger each day and they both feed on the soil and the sun of the outdoors.

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