Tuesday, August 19, 2014

It's good to be a seed...at least for a little while!

July 2014-

The summer class started our camp with an exciting new addition to our routine...a schedule of garden-related duties created especially for us by Ms. Donna. The children were very excited about their additional responsibilities to the school community...even collecting the compost buckets from the other classrooms and bringing them to the compost bin outside by the pine trees.

Domain: Cognition and General Knowledge
Sub-domain: Social Studies
Strand: Government
Topic: Civic Participation and Skills
Standard: Understand that everyone has rights and responsibilities within group

We then utilized our bodies to measure the garden (it took approximately sixteen children) and discussed (with the assistance of Ms. Donna and Ms. Penny) the logistics of planting both vegetables and flowers in addition to plotting the position of each chosen seed.

Domain: Cognition and General Knowledge
Sub-domain: Mathematics
Strand: Measurement and Data
Topic: Describe and Compare Measurable Attributes
Standard: Measure length and volume using nonstandard or standard  measurement tools

Inspired by the book Little Apple Goat (written by Caroline Jayne Church) we used our imagination to "spit" and throw wildflower seeds over the hedge and into the grass, on the ground and into holes in the ground. in the process, we discovered that seeds of some flowers and plants are bigger than the others and discussed how long each might take to grow.

Domain: Language and Literacy Development
Strand: Reading
Topic: Reading Comprehension
Standard: Re-tell or Re-enact familiar stories

Domain: Cognition and General Knowledge
Sub-domain: Science
Strand: Science Inquiry and Application
Topic: Inquiry
Standard: Engage in Simple Investigations

After we "harvested" (well, Ms. Sara went to the store), we collaborated to make berry jam as a retirement present for Ms. Luann. In the process, we utilized our investigative skills to observe and report that "the sugar goes away when the berries go into it" and that "you can't see the sugar anymore".

Domain: Social and Emotional Development
Strand: Relationships
Topic: Attachment
Standard: Express affection for familiar adults

Finally, we collaborated on making several  snacks that at first we were not quite sure we would enjoy but upon tasting decided that they "were yummy" and "you should give mommy the recipe."

Domain: Physical Well-being and Motor Development
Strand: Physical Well-being
Topic: Nutrition
Standard: Demonstrate basic understanding that eating a variety of foods helps the body grow and be healthy

Domain: Physical Well-being and Motor Development
Strand: Physical Well-being 
Topic: Nutrition
Standard: Distinguish nutritious from non-nutritious foods

Here are some links to ideas from the Illinois Early Learning Project to support your child's interest in gardening and seeds:

Special note: We already have tomatoes and flowers growing in the infant garden and are looking forward to tasting the vegetables and exploring the flowers in ours!

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