Archive | March, 2011

First graders use their butterfly sense

21 Mar
If you have been around any first graders lately, then you know the hot news is CATERPILLARS.  The first graders have been raising caterpillars in their classrooms and most have now gone into their chrysalis stage. So when the first grade classes came out to the garden this past week, they had a surprise in store for them.  It was time for THEM to act like butterflies.

Each of the students received a cup that was stapled shut.  Inside each cup was a source of a smell.  And each cup had a partner with the same smell.  The first graders were on a mission to find their partner with the same smell.  But the tricky part was that they had to act like butterflies, using their sense of smell to find the right matching smell WITHOUT TALKING!  Have you ever been around 22 first graders in complete silence?  It’s a little eerie, let me tell you. 

But they did a great job silently walking up to their classmates and sniffing cups to see if they matched.  Some of the smells included popcorn, vinegar, peppermint, vanilla, and lemon.  And after they found their match, we played one more round where we got to see how fast the teachers could find their match.

Here’s hoping we have lots of butterflies waiting for them when the first graders return from spring break.

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Life cycles in the garden

9 Mar

The first graders have been doing a great job of independent observation in the Titan Garden during their weekly visits.  Their first few minutes in the garden are spent noticing things that are new or different and writing them down on their observation sheet to share with the group.  Of course, now is a big time for change in the garden with perennials re-emerging.  Three week ago, most of what they observed was that the plants were dead.  But just three weeks later, many of them comment that the garden “was not all the way dead” and “looks a lot greener”.  And they love seeing all of the daffodil bulbs coming up and putting out beautiful orange, yellow and white flowers.

Last week, we discussed the role that plants play in fairy tales that the classes have been studying, like Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, and the Princess and the Pea.  We observed that you can use the same sequential words (first, next, then, last) that you do in stories to describe life cycles in the garden.  The kids suggested some life cycles that we could describe- trees, plants, insects like caterpillars- and then got to work writing down the sequence of the life cycles.

-First, a butterfly lays an egg.
-Next, the egg hatches to a caterpillar.
-Then, the caterpillar turns into a chrysalis.
-Last, the butterfly emerges.

New color in the Titan Gardens

7 Mar

Notice some colorful new additions to the Titan Garden?  The totem poles lining the car rider pick-up line were made by Mrs. Mahan’s 4th grade students during art class.  The students recently completed a unit on Native Americans in social studies and created these totem poles to express themselves through totem pole art much like the tribes they studied. Each child got a recycled bottle to paint and then many wrote statements or special thoughts on the bottles. Thank you to Ms. Schexnayder, our art teacher, for helping the 4th grade garden buddies accomplish this project!

Enjoy our new garden art.