Saturday, March 2, 2013

Matching, Measuring, Math and Gardening!

Buzzing in the Green Room at PS 221
Matching Measuring, Math and Gardening!
By Anna Ellis

The Green Room has been buzzing with activity this past month, with some of our 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade classes stopping by to learn about plant parts, growing salads from seed, and raising worms in our vermicompost bins. Ms. Sanders and Ms. Williams 3rd grade classes have spent a lot of time planting, measuring, solving hands-on math problems about their crop yields, and caring for their worms. Their classes measured the perimeter of their garden beds, calculated the area they have to plant in, and designed the garden bed's layout. Ms. Sanders' class already has a row of radishes growing, and a few spinach plants that are starting to emerge from the soil! 

The 2nd grade has been learning all about roots after reading "The Carrot Seed" by Ruth Krauss. They planted their own carrot crop. They've also started their own classroom-sized worm bins to compost their lunch scraps, explored the parts of a plant, and Ms. Simpsons class started growing a plant part salad. Last week, Ms. Monroe's class got to harvest and enjoy eating the sunflower sprouts and pea shoots they've been growing in their classroom. They prepared a delicious avocado dip to go with their harvest, and couldn't get enough! Hopefully, we will be featuring this new favorite dip at the Hip2B Healthy Market soon.

Ms. Fearon's 4th grade class planted a salad of lettuce, radishes and peas and some cilantro and basil for pestos. After recording observations of the garden's growth over they next few months they will celebrate their hard work with a tasty and healthy meal. Maybe there will even be some leftovers they can share with their worms! Mr. Pelizzi's class started a worm bin in their classroom, which they are using to study the difference between organic and inorganic mater, what worms do for our garden, and how to provide the worms with a balanced diet. Worm ambassadors from our 4th grade classes will soon be teaching the kindergarten and 1st graders how to raise worms in their own classrooms and help them to start their own bins. 

It has been very exciting to get our garden up and growing and watching our students explore and learn from these valuable resources. As one of our 4th graders said, "Today was the most fun and I can't wait to come back and see what my seeds look like next week!" We can't wait either!

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