All Five Acre students got to spend time with Humpback Whale Researcher Dr. Fred Sharpe on Tuesday. They learned about whale conservation and biology and even saw footage taken from a crittercam, a camera temporarily attached to a whales back!
This week we have been preparing for Storybook Character Day by reading a lot of books with some of our favorite characters in them. Students also got a chance to make designs using our Matrix boards in class.
We wrapped up April with another busy week in the Discovery Classroom. Teacher Jane has a new grand-baby boy, Harrison, she has spent the week welcoming the new little one into her family.
On Tuesday of this week students worked on their “Not a Box” project inspired by a book by Antionette Portis. They turned their boxes into a “Not a Box” fantasy creation by building, drawing, writing, and then presenting their projects to the class.
We had more time to spend in the garden this week. Students spent time measuring and recording the growth of their sunflowers.
On Thursday morning Teacher Bob did a hands on lesson about trees by sharing his vast collection of seeds and cones with us. We planted 2 Gary Oak seedlings (that our class started last year) in the new school garden that the Middle School students have worked hard to create.
This week Explorer students have been working on finalizing the BINGO sheets for Screen Free Week! There has been a lot of discussion of alternate activities to do, why we participate in Screen Free Week, and what “screen free” means to each of us.
Watering the Garden
For the Middle School our morning garden time is increasingly productive. Part of the productivity grows from the ability to literally see the fruits of our labor. The list of work we have done to get to this point includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Testing soil nutrients and recording soil temperature
- Weeding, weeding, weeding
- Digging drainage
- Sifting compost
- Building a fence
- Spreading manure and straw
- Augmenting the soil
- Planting starts
- Direct planting
Now we actually have plants growing in our garden. Peas, lettuce, spinach, wheat, carrots and bok choy are pushing up through the soil and sprouting into the warming days of spring. But nothing will grow without water.
We have been experimenting with our water system. As with much of what we have done, we have built our system out of left over hose, connections, soaker hose and a timer. Our goal is to figure out how to make the system work, with little maintenance, that will use the water efficiently. Water is an important issue, even here in the Pacific Northwest, and especially after a winter of low snow. When we are watering for 30 minutes every morning the students and I get a greater appreciation for how much water it takes to grow food.
Seed Bombs (spreading love and native wildflowers) were created with Rosie by Discovery, Explorer and Middle School classes on Naturalist day last week. They were sent home this week to be tossed into empty lots, or flower pots and garden beds that need some new life.