Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Here are a couple of images from our late summer garden at Kingswood.  Garden club students planted beets from seed in the spring.  Delicious.  And speaking of delicious, this swallowtail caterpillar ate every bit of our parsley.  The herb garden still has chives and mint, but the basil, cilantro, and parsley are a thing of the past.  Our thoughts now turn to fall vegetables and cool nights.  But we can't wait to see a fully grown butterfly flutter by.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

September was a month of getting accustomed to new routines and jumping into new curriculum very quickly for fifth grade. In science class, students have witnessed the growth of plants in our aquaponic garden.  The basil is big and healthy.  The lettuce is not as thick but looks quite edible. Students have been learning about writing opinion essays this month and have just completed their first one.  Now they will take on the subject of feeding a world with a growing population and dwindling resources.  Is aquaponics a viable solution?  Students will read about a project in West Virginia that feeds people in poverty with fish and healthy produce grown aquaponically.  They will read about the Netherlands, one of the largest producers of agricultural products in the world with small land resources and a cold climate.  They will consider costs and pros and cons and then write their opinions.  In a world with an exploding population, our young generation needs information to make future choices and direct public policy.  We are happy to be doing this project with our students.

In the outdoor gardens it has been a fun month as well.  Many of our students new to Kingswood were not aware that we have an herb garden.  Imagine when they saw their teacher reach down and stick a leaf in her mouth.  Following was a discussion of the mint, cilantro, parsley, chives, and basil in the garden.  Now, since recess is after  lunch, the students walk by and get an after dinner mint on their way to and from the playground.  We asked students not to pick the peppers since there weren't enough for everyone.  Some who did it anyway gave themselves away when their eyes began to water in math class!! The pepper was a little spicy.  It is fun to see that some of our favorite flavors start in the garden.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Primary classes have enjoyed watching the construction of a new rain garden outside of their classrooms.  It has been exciting to see the diggers and other equipment transform this area of our school.  The students have also spied the new cistern outside of the media center.  The students were able to note the places where construction has taken place on our maps of the school during our map unit. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fourth Grade Goes On a Rock Hunt!

The fourth graders are in the midst of a very exciting Earth Materials Unit. In this unit, students are looking and testing rocks and minerals in order to identify the type of rocks they are observing. Students are also learning different tricks and techniques used in order to classify rocks. 

This week classes went out and looked for rocks in different environments and rocks that have different characteristics. Students found rocks that were made up of different layers and sediments. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Three Sisters are Blooming!

The second graders have been taking care of our three sisters garden and are happy to report that the plants are growing and blooming! We have planted corn, squash, and beans together strategically to help create an optimum growing environment.

Here you can see one of our squashes growing in the garden.

The students finished the year by taking data and tending to our growing garden.

Friday, June 9, 2017

The 2016-17 year is ending and we have been busy in fifth grade enhancing our outdoor learning areas.  Some 5th graders worked with Randy Senzig digging holes and looking at types of dirt as we get ready to have some wetland areas built around the school this summer.  Students looked at rock and soil as they discussed the placement of the wetlands.

Our final STEM project was building a new hexagonal tree bench after EOGs.  Students had learned how to use geometry to build something that made a perfect hexagon.  Each interior angle was 120 degrees because the total degrees in a hexagon is 720 and there are 6 angles.  The problem was how to cut angles in wood to make the space where there was no wood 120 degrees.  It got fairly complicated but our work with the Harpedonaptae of ancient Egypt helped us figure it out.  Ms. Z cut the wood and students assembled it using power drill, hammer, bolts, washers, nuts and a wrench.  Everyone got to participate in the joy of creation  and the beauty of creating something to leave to future classes to enjoy. 

Garden club celebrated on June 2 with a picnic using lettuce and herbs we grew in the garden.  We had parsley spiced potatoes, salsa with black beans, corn, avocado, and onion, a salad with spinach, arugula, green leaf lettuce, and cucumber, and pesto toast with basil we grew from seed.  The garden will come in more this summer and the staff and neighbors will enjoy the bounty.

Have a great summer!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Planning for the Rain Garden!

After much planning, our school will receive a rain garden over the summer! Our 4th graders spent time over the last 2 weeks working with Mr. Randy Senzig, from The Center for Human Earth Restoration. He taught us about the purpose of a rain garden, and how it might help improve our outdoor space. He led us through activities that helped us analyze our campus and determine the best place for a rain garden. We also learned how to use a compass to navigate! We had a great time learning outdoors!