Sunday, October 24, 2010
This week, Alina needed to switch shifts, so I took on her Friday classes. Since last Friday was an inservice day, this was the first time for the kids to come out to the garden. Our first class was a group of second graders. We wanted to give them the opportunity to plant since they didn't get to last week, so we had them plant sunflowers and sweet potatoes. My group specifically planted sunflowers, and I was amazed at how well behaved all of them were. They finished their worksheets at a lightning fast speed and planted their sunflower seeds without delay, fighting, or other distractions. I was amazed at how well behaved they were. Well, little did I know that Katie on the other hand had every single one of the difficult students in the class. The teacher even pulled her aside and told her she had picked out all of the trouble makers. With this, my group was done in about 10 minutes with what should've taken up the entire lesson time. Improvisation time! We toured the garden looking at our new watermelon growing, the aloe, the papaya, and the tomato plants. At the end when Katie's group was done we reconvened and did a rain dance with the kids, and they really enjoyed it.
The second group of kids was a great surprise for me! Most of these first graders had been in Mrs. Baker's Kindergarden class which I taught last year on Thursdays! It's amazing how within the past three months they've all doubled in size! This class finished planting the sweet potatoes, the sunflowers, and we also had them spread some wildflower seeds into the wildflower bed. I think the most important thing I learned from this class is that even though our worksheets are great for the second graders, there is still a large learning gap between second and first graders. I think the curriculum committee will need to revisit our lesson plans and make two different worksheets for the different grades. I feel like I was completely oblivious to this until this week. I want to see what my other gardeners think, but I'm glad I caught this now.
During our hour break, Katie soaked everything, and I staked the papaya plants. They're still looking extremely sad, and I'm worried about transplanting them again right now since they were originally placed in the wrong spot. I also went around and re-staked some of the butterfly bushes that had lost a stake over the course of the summer. Surprisingly I found at least three butterfly bushes that someone had probably given up on and pulled the stakes out of! I was so excited to see how well they're doing! The garden is almost in tiptop shape, and I can't wait to see it when it finally is!