I have been an educator for 19 years. Currently, I am teaching at a Title 1 school in Frederick, MD. I have taught K and I; this year I start my new role as an EL first grade teacher.
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Tue, Nov 12, 2019 6:24 PM in School Gardens
Last year, our local Farm to School program helped start 2 small garden beds at our school. I am fortunate enough to be part of this project and am enjoying watching my first grade students as they learn about seeds, plant needs and ecoysystems. Has anyone else been part of a school garden? What kinds of experiences can you share?
Thanks in advance!
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Thu, Dec 12, 2019 7:20 AM Creating a School Mini-Garden by Francisca Garcia Ruiz
I work in a Title 1 school and am part of their Farm to School project. As part of our action plan and school grant, we have built 2 garden beds, and one of our first grade classes maintains the garden. At first, I was hesitant to be part of this project; it did seem like a lot of work. However, as we approach our first year anniversary of the project, I am one of the strongest advocates to keep this project alive.
The article describes one teacher's journey as she starts a small germination project and guides her students as they plan and prepare to transplant the plants to a small plot of land on school property. She also details ways to collaborate with other staff members and find funding for the project.
How does it connect to NGSS?
Many people who hesitate to begin this kind of project worry that they don't have time or don't know what kind of garden lessons to teach. Fortunately, a garden project of any size easily matches current curriculum, including NGSS standards. What a fun way to teach life science and standards such as weather/climate and interedependent relationships in ecosystems!
How is inquiry addressed?
Hands-on science is authentic, engaging and provides so many opportunities for learning! This kind of project will change your students' attitude towards science! They will learn the standards by doing them instead of by reading about them. Use a garden to teach instead of teaching about a garden!
A garden project is so rewarding; I encourage all teachers to try even a mini-garden! Best of luck!
Mon, Dec 09, 2019 12:11 PM Gardens for Urban Schools
This is a great article for anyone who wants to start a garden project, or for anyone who needs evidence that this kind of project motivates students to learn more about science.
I am part of a garden project at my Title I school; I have been researching ways to encourage and inspire other teachers and staff to get involved in this project with me. It's encouraging to see that other garden projects yield the same results that I see---students are engaged, asking questions and are proud of their work. They are motivated to read and write if it's about the garden. And though gardens are typically thought of as spring projects, there are many cross curricular connections that can be explored during the colder months. For example, students can use technology to research plant growth and plant needs.
Finally, garden projects increase a student's overall social-emotional well-being. Students are excited and happy about the project and their pride for the school increases.I encourage you to attempt a garden project, no matter how small!
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