I have received many responses from teachers to my invitation to make use of, as in, visit and share the wonder of, the Gardens. Often teachers venture out on their own, with their class, to get some air, to decompress, or cool off, without a plan in mind. For me, I have a hard time keeping the attention and focus of 30 kids, so, I always try to gather up some extra help from our volunteer community. This allows me to divide the class into smaller group and activity stations. So, if you see a class on my schedule bound for the garden (ecology activities are all posted on the school calendar), and if you have the desire and time, please join us. Every teacher appreciates an extra set of eyes and hands. And, it is a way for parents to experience the methods and philosophy that we cherish at the school: hands on, real life experiences for learning and doing.
Here's the schedule so far:
Monday, Sept. 9, after drop off from 8:30 until 9:30, parents, especially parents of 3rd graders who will beginning the Mighty Acorns experience, are invited to a workshop in the Conference room (ecology office) to learn about their important role as "guides" and co-explorers on these trips into the wild. I will make coffee and tea available to all. I think it is a good story, and an important one. Tho' it focuses on parents of 3rd graders, all are welcome.
At 9:30 (until 10:30)all three kindergardens will get training in how to sort their lunch waste. The Kinder teachers are deciding the order. I appreciate the chance to take special time to introduce these sweet small humans into the culture of waste reduction. Any and all are welcome to witness and help. We will be in the sorting section of the lunchroom.
At 1:15 all newly appointed Recycling Captains, from 1st to 4th grade, will attend a workshop explain their role and responsibilities.
After that, at ~ 1:45, I will scoot out to the garden, to meet Ms. Nunez-Johnson's 1st Grade class, to tell the story of our grandmother/father oak trees, a quick history of this land and our garden. Ms. Collins and Ms. Hooper invited me to talk to their summer school arts / ecology class on this subject. They had asked if I regularly share this story with our students, and I realized that I did not. So this is a beginning to fix that omission. It is a beautiful, heart breaking and warming story of the land.
After the storytelling, the students will take time to render, in their own way, an image of one of our oaks. It will be part of their final product : A Field Guide to the Trees of Waters School. Obviously, help and supervision will enhance this activity.
At 2:15, I will do the Recycling Captain training for grades 5 thru 8.
One Tuesday, Sept 10, the three 6th grades will visit the garden to work and learn, from 1:15 until 3:00. We will be pulling weeds, raking and sweeping, picking seeds, and hauling wood chips, with possibly a time for read aloud and a garden treat of tomatoes and cukes. Help appreciated.
On Wednesday we will repeat the 6th grade visits.Same times. The students are MAPP testing in the morning, and the garden visit are a stress antidote.
Wednesday Night from 5 until dark, is Garden Night, full of work, fun, learning, friends, fire and food.
Other classes and grades will be visiting but have not yet scheduled. So, look for updates.