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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday March 19, 2014.

It could have been one of the ten best days of the year today.  The morning was perfect when I found Matt and Nikki at Sanderlin.  Today’s assignment was, to discuss the parts of a plant with our fourth graders.  Matt came up with a great idea for the kids, he sent them over to the mulch pile and had them pick saplings that drop from the oak tree overhead.  Then he had them point out the parts of the plants.  Both classes had a perfect score when naming the roots, stem, leaves and flower.  They were able to identify the root having a duel role, as root and flower in this case.  We then dispersed out into the garden, to further identify plants and plant parts.  We have been really trying to impress on the classes the necessity to make daily or weekly observations in the garden, changes, even minor changes in the garden can be really important.  I know for me, changes in the garden are the first things I like for.  And whether the changes are good or discouraging, they are part of our garden.  My group was really excited about the corn, and named its parts even though they realized we still had some time before we would see flowers on it.  When then found some plants such as tomatoes, and eggplant, and discussed the flowers.  We talked about how the flower was the reproductive part of the plant, and that it was necessary to have pollinators in our garden for the fruits to grow.  I was thoroughly impressed to have kids in both classes, Ben in the first, and Toby in the second explain the process of photosynthesis.  How the plants leaves take in energy.  They both almost perfectly detailed the intake of carbon dioxide for food and the release of oxygen as its waste.  I might be embellishing a bit but, they did a great job.  Other children obviously knew the process of photosynthesis as well, and it is truly a credit to their teachers.  Of course we talked about the importance of the roots and the stem, and then it was time to casually lollygag around the garden.  This is fun because this is when a flurry of off topic  questions come out.  These questions today concerned when the pineapples and bananas will be ready, or can we look for bugs?  And of course we eat!  We ate a lot of herbs, green onions, some tomatoes, and kale.  I have never seen such an enthusiasm over kale before, it’s so funny.   

We seem to be making an impression of the children. I do more hand holding now then a few weeks ago.  I think the time in the garden is important to the kids, I know it is for me.  To think that this program, our time in the garden with these kids could help shape their future ideas; To help someone make good decisions concerning their education, or their career, or just choosing to be sustainable when they're older makes me really emotional.  I’m fully in!



Waiting on bananas!

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