Archive | September, 2011

Titan Garden Teacher Newsletter: Week of September 26, 2011

26 Sep

Exciting things are happening in the Titan Gardens.  Look for all the new additions to our outdoor classroom including new supplies for your class use and a new 3′ x 5′ dry erase board at the front of the classroom for you to use while your class it sitting on our stump seats. We will be adding a teacher sign in sheet for you to indicate you’ve visited the garden.  We’d love to know you’re using this new resource.

Our Titan Gardens Community Build Day is scheduled for Saturday October 15th, 9am-3pm.  Thanks to generous grants from companies including Home Depot and Malt O Meal, we have funding to continue our school garden expansion project at River Place Elementary.  We are inviting all members of our school, community, and volunteers from Home Depot to help us build the new sections of our garden:  vegetable gardens, an herb garden, and native and adapted plant garden.  We hope to have many teachers, parents, students and community members join together to get the job done!

Titan Garden Activity Ideas

  •     When younger students are learning about the calendar and seasons, the garden is a great place to talk to them about seasonal weather changes and how living things like plants respond to those changes.
  •      Learning about earth materials- teach your students about soil is built!
  •     Habitats are perfect lessons for the garden- and a great way to teach about how living things depend on each other.
  •     Learning about maps?  Have your students create a map of a section of the garden.

Upcoming Events:

  •     Titan Gardens Community Build Day- families and community welcome – October 15, 9am-3pm
  •     Fall wildflower stomp for all grades- PARENTS WELCOME!-Monday, October 24th
  •     Teacher tour of the garden –October 26th

If you have questions or would like volunteers to help your class learn in the garden, please contact me.


Titan Garden News: September 19, 2011

19 Sep

The grip of hot weather just won’t seem to let go and allow fall to roll in.  Just as we are tired of the heat, so are the plants.  Fall is typically a resurrection time for many of our native plants who might go into a second bloom cycle before winter.  And stress has affected plants from the smallest flower to the tallest tree all around Central Texas.

But this is a time when students can learn a lot about the needs of living things in the garden.  Specifically, plants need light, air, nutrients, water and soil.  How does this compare to what we need to survive?  What happens if plants don’t get one of these things, like lacking water in a drought?

Titan Garden Activity Ideas

  •  Take students out and see if they can observe evidence of plants lacking water.  Is water important to us as well?
  • Take students to the garden and have them observe the trees.  Ask them to notice ways the trees are the same (growing direction, parts, needs) and different (shape of leaves, size of tree)
  •   If you have been discussing good citizenship, let students think of ways we are good citizens in the garden- growing plants for other species to enjoy, increasing out green space, giving a beautiful space for all to enjoy)
  •  Discuss living and nonliving things in the garden and have students find examples of each.  How do we know if something is living?

If you’d like garden volunteers to help teach one of the activities above to your class, contact me at my email.

Upcoming Events:

*      Teacher tour of the garden –Sept 21/Oct 5 (TBD)
*      Great Titan Garden Build workday- families and community welcome – October 15, 22
*      Fall wildflower stomp and student planting days-week of October 24th

19 Sep

Every week, we are sending garden news straight to our River Place Elementary teachers to keep them updated on what is happening in the garden and possibilities for their classes to use the garden as a learning resource in their curriculum.  I’ll be posting these weekly newsletters here on the blog  as well.

Titan Garden News- September 12, 2011

Imagine taking your class out in a beautiful garden to read to them?  How about planning a science experiment or practicing math skills out in the fresh air?  Want your kids to fix a salad from vegetables they have grown?  All of these possibilities are reasons that many have worked hard over the past year to create the expanded Titan Gardens at River Place Elementary.  You might have already seen the new outdoor classroom which is at your disposal- soon you’ll see phase 2 and 3 of the expansion add an herb garden, vegetable gardens and a native plant area.  
I’ll be sending you weekly communication on the garden to let you know what is happening that might be of interest to you and your students, suggest garden activities, and let you know about upcoming events.  We created this garden for our RPE teachers and students, so while garden volunteers will be happy to help with creating or running activities for your classes, please feel free to use the garden anytime.  
Titan Garden Activity Ideas
  • Talk to students about recycling and let them explore the garden for ways items have been recycled for other uses (tree stumps for seating, ground up trees used for mulch covering, food barrels for rainwater harvesting)
  • Ask students to notice ways that the garden and environment have changed over the summer from our weather.  Let them predict how it might change as we get cooler temperatures in the fall.  How does our drought affect plants?
  •  Let students discuss how plants are the same and how they are different.  Think about growth, size, and what they need to live for different plants like trees, flowers and vines.
Upcoming Events:
  • Teacher tour of the garden –early October
  • RPE Garden Installation Saturdays- families and community welcome – October 15, 22
  • Class installation days and Annual Wildflower Stomp: week of October 24

Let knowledge grow in the Titan Garden!