Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Wednesday March 19, 2014
The day was still as beautiful now at Melrose elementary, as when it started when I Sanderlin. For me Melrose posses new challenges for teaching about gardening, because you must change your lesson plan accordingly to adjust to the raised plant beds and smaller space. With the previous two lessons plans for Melrose (seeds and garden observations), the plan still concerned the garden. With this week’s lesson we had to incorporate non-verbal communication into our message. Now its difficulties were what one would imagine, but wrapping my head around teaching communication skills other then gardening lessons was weird. As it would turn out, it was a learning experience for me. I realized today that the garden, of course is the garden; but it is also a true forum for education in all of its facets. Not only can you teach math and science, but one can feature history perhaps of the area or of a specific plant or growing practice. Or in our case today we used a hand-clapping version of hot/cold to work on our non-verbal communication, which in this case strengthens our problem solving skills. Ms. Williams fourth grade class was the only one we were able to do the lesson plan with because the second and third classes came out together (a lot of kids). It would have become a great undertaking to accomplish this activity in such a short period of time. As it turned out, all the classes were all new to the garden. So establishing the rules and getting to know one-another was of more importance.
Matt who works with me every week at Sanderlin and Melrose was with me, and he took one volunteer away from the garden. The rest of us would choose a plant for them to guess. We would find that there were subtle changes that we would have to make for our volunteer to better understand us. These changes were clapping faster when they were closer and slower when they moved away. Also there was the task of staying non-verbal when giving our clues. In the end we found that this could be what it is like when coming across someone who speaks a different language, and sometime we must problem solve to communicate effectively with others. That’s regardless of whatever language is spoken.
Before wrapping up our classes, we talked about making observations whenever we are in the garden, and keeping that in mind when we come back. I know for myself this was a lesson of over-coming obstacles and problem solving. So as always the Peacepatch comes through for me. It has been an aid for teaching and learning sustainably, learning organic gardening, and really learning more about me and my capabilities.
The continuous pursuit of knowledge is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. I am grateful to pass that gift on.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
After all of yesterday's rain, our maintenance in the garden today was easy. Unfortunately, the kids had more standardized testing today, so we didn't have any visitors to the garden, but Hank and I enjoyed spending time reviewing the lessons for today, checking on all the plants, and brainstorming activities for the kids!
Hank tending to the plants
Hank sampling the Swiss Chard
Me investigating the Lettuce
By: Andréa Martin
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Thanks to our wonderful volunteers and students, we've been able to make these gardens into incredible experiences for elementary school children!
The one and only Pab, our garden manager, instructing the kids with the garden
The students getting down and dirty with the the garden's soil
Tarps being laid out for the foundation of the garden boxes at Melrose Elementary
We want to thank our dedicated volunteers for investing their time in the future of our children here in St. Pete!