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Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Blustery Day

Brrrrrr pretty much sums today up.

Our first class was moved inside since today's high was 56 degrees. We worked with K-2nd grade EBD students on identifying similarities and differences of different animals. This was actually wonderful since the class is pretty small and we were able to work one on one with the students. I find that EBD students are actually extremely bright, they just have trouble expressing themselves, so one on one is ideal to really get to know them.

For our second class we moved back outside since the science classroom was booked. With our second graders we divided into three groups and created different stations around the garden. One station planted marigolds in the trench along with the sunflowers. The second station was measuring the class's bean plants, recording the growth, and drawing what they saw. Lastly, we had the students pick a couple different plants in the garden, draw what the plant looks like now, and what the student predicts the plant will look like when we're ready to eat it. In my group we put a strong emphasis on labeling the drawings, and including units of measurement. These groups ran incredibly smoothly, and really showed how much of a difference an extra student leader makes in the garden.

With this observation, it's really difficult to ensure success in the garden with only one or two Eckerd students on a shift, or simply put things can get a little hectic without an extra set of eyes. Four is ideal, but even with just three everything runs so much more efficiently, and provides an ideal learning environment for the Lakewood students.

On Thursdays, I've decided to be brave an take on a second shift meaning I work with four classes pretty much one right after another. This experience is truly exhausting. Yet, I want to provide these students with the best learning experience in the garden possible, and when it comes time to leave the garden I leave tired but happy.
Our afternoon classes also planted marigold seeds, helped weed the mulch, and together we read a book called "The Dandelion Seed". Our first graders were extremely excited to read the book, and even helped us read the book!

All of the students really wanted to water today, but with the threat of a possible freeze (or least the temperature dropping into the low 40's) tonight, we had to explain to them that we didn't want the garden to freeze! In order for the students to understand this, we asked questions like: "does a seed/plant like it when it's warm or cold?" "what happens to water when it gets really cold outside?" With these probative questions, the students were able to understand why they didn't get to do their favorite activity.

I guess it's back to wishing for warmer weather, and hoping these cold snaps are finally gone!

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