Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More Gardening Goodness

Last week I wrote about our plans for a garden. The students wrote a fabulous letter and copied it out four times so that I could take it to different places. I wanted it to be in first grade writing because I figured that would be more powerful. I also printed out a few pictures of the kids measuring the garden plot (and I typed a copy of the letter in case folks had trouble reading it).

Our third stop was a success! A nursery near us donated $60 worth of small, plastic, white fencing. It's just perfect for our needs. Today we wrote a thank you note to the woman at the nursery. The kids wrote it almost completely on their own - composing and actually writing. It says, "Thank you for the free fence. Now none of the kids will walk on our garden. You're super duper nice. We like the fence a lot." Perfect.

Today we went out and spent some time just digging in the dirt. I gave each kid a small spade or cultivator. It was amazing! The kids were fascinated by the roots of the different weeds and grasses. We did study plants not too long ago. One boy kept running over to me with weed after weed saying, "You won't believe it! I found another root!"

We just started studying worms this week (nothing like starting a new science unit in the last week and a half). They found a ton of worms and were noticing the way they moved and their different parts. They also found other sorts of critters in the dirt. They found one I didn't recognize, but it looked sort of worm-like. One student noted that it couldn't be a worm because it had little legs. I couldn't have planned a lesson that would have been this fabulous.

Our principal walked by at one point and proved, yet again, why I love her so. She cheered the students on in their work and when one student ran over with a worm she said, "That's my favorite worm! How did you know?"

We won't get much of a garden planted in the few days that are left, but we'll get it started. I'm quite certain that next year's class (and the years' to come) will have a lot of work, learning, and fun in this small corner of our school.

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