Monday, September 8, 2014

Slices of Learning Take Time

            Time for the Tuesday Slice of Life Sharing at the Two Writing Teachers blog. Thanks to a wonderful group of bloggers who host us, many share what's going on in their own personal or professional lives.
           I took pictures of our school garden last week,  to share them with you, and to share the learning that happens for those students who choose to take the gardening class. Last spring, they planted and nurtured. This fall they will continue to care for, then harvest.  Within this one project lives a wealth of learning.  
          We have the pleasure of two wonderful parent volunteers who teach this class, and spend hours of their time working in the garden. The amazing thing, too, is that their children have long continued from our school, and yet, they stay, to add their own special way of teaching new students how to grow numerous kinds of things in the garden, how to care for, then harvest, preserve and/or cook the crops.
           It didn't happen easily, but a large part of any project begins with planning, and first, a group of students years ago planned the layout in a space given to them. Yes, they had help building and bringing in the soil, but as in all projects, much learning took place. I don't want this post to be too long, so thought I'd brainstorm just the actions that happen during the gardening learning. It's like any project where an end is sought, and includes PATIENCE AND TIME.



             RESEARCH (PRINT, INTERNET, TRIPS TO GARDENS, EXPERTS), PLAN, CHOOSE, COLLABORATE AND COMPROMISE, REVISE, LIST, PURCHASE, MEASURE, DIG, PLANT, WATER,  LABEL, HOW-TOS: WEED, TRIM, HARVEST, PRESERVE, COOK, SHARE.
             Additional benefits: Other students can study what they wish, can come to sit and write or draw or paint, can photograph, can sit and read, or just think and be quiet. Knowing that students' work bring joy to all who visit is special, too. The garden is at the front of the school. You can see a some of the school in the final photos. Sorry the one is in shadow, but it was early morning and I forgot to re-take it.


ENJOY!
















30 comments:

  1. Wow what a gorgeous space you have for planting. Great learning in so many ways. The garden is so full it must be tended well over the summer!

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    1. Yes, different ones come in over the summer to keep it up, Julieanne. Our school is open in the summer too-has sessions of summer camp.

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  2. This is one really inviting garden. In the past in Estonia many country schools used to have a school garden where the students worked over the summer. Now very few have gardens left. I don't know of any city schools with a garden. I like that your school garden is not only for work but also for inspiration and rest.

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    1. Sorry to hear that your gardens have disappeared too. When my son was in elementary, they had one too (late seventies), but too much has changed & few are doing it any more. We think it's very valuable. Thanks Terje!

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  3. Wow! The garden is absolutely beautiful. I can't help but want to be friends with you, Linda. You seem like one of the warmest, kindest people I know. :)

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    1. Thanks Ricki, happy you like the garden, & thank you for the compliment!

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  4. What a great learning experience for the students. I've not seen anything like this in any schools around here.

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    1. It does have a lot of learning, growing for the plants & the students!

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  5. What an awesome class! The pictures of the crops and flowers are beautiful. These students have done a great job and have learned so much more than how to plant and care for the plants. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Those kids who are in the class love every bit. They have done well, & now for the result-harvest time!

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  6. Love the produce that can be harvested! So much learning can happen with such a small space. Reminds me of the outdoor classroom we created at my last school.

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    1. We have several spaces, but no one has embraced a continued use, Elsie. One year I had each student track a tree, journal, measure, etc. There is so much that can happen out side!

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  7. That is a beautiful garden - love the mix of blossoms and vegetables, such sun drenched and brilliant colors, too. A garden can add so much to a school community - what a joy to have one to cultivate and share with students, Linda. As usual, I feel that yours is a special school.

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    1. Thanks Tara. It took a while to begin, & as I said, we are grateful for the adults who keep going with the students to do it. Our grounds and building mgr. also loves flowers & veggies so helps out when he can.

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  8. What an inviting spot! How fun for the students and how blessed you are with those parent volunteers. I'm having a serious case of tomato envy! I've been walking by someone's front yard tomatoes that have just been dropping to the ground. I may knock on the door soon and ask if I can help myself if they don't plan to harvest them. I loved seeing the gorgeous flowers too. There's so much to be gained by spending time outside.

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    1. Yes, it's time to pick some of those tomatoes! I can't believe you're seeing some dropping too! Some of the flowers are to deter insects from eating the plants; others are just for beauty.

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  9. Beautiful photos, Linda! I love that the parents have stayed on, although the children have graduated…speaks to the community your school provides. What a place of reflection, this garden. I hope we are able to create such a beautiful presence at our new school.

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    1. Now that you're in your new, wonderful space, Maureen, good things can happen! I hope it's a great year for you and everyone.

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  10. The garden sounds so, so, wonderful. I'll bet some of your students have started a lifelong gardening habit. I wish we could find some parents to teach this at our school!

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    1. If the school can help with materials, there may be some parents who can do this, Carol. I hope you can find someone to start at least one bed!

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  11. You're always nurturing growth--what an awesome space!

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    1. Thanks, Maya. It's a good thing to do with a garden among many other things too!

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  12. I'm so happy to see more and more schools are giving their students the experience of watching food grow! This is such a positive step towards a more sustainable future :-) Gorgeous pictures, by the way!

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    1. Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it. There used to be more that did this, during the bigger progressive school era, but more and more, these kinds of things disappeared.

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    2. Kudos to the parent volunteers who sound like dedicated teachers to me. They are serving the school/community and not just their own self interests--that is always wonderful to witness. I bet the garden is beautiful.

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    3. Yes, we are very grateful to them for their work, with the students and in the garden!

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  13. The garden is beautiful! What a wonderful place for learning, dreaming, planting, meditating, gleaning, harvesting, reaping, etc. Such a metaphor for writing! My brother-in-law is an avid gardener, and he hosts a garden-to-table dinner every year in October. I admire gardeners!

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    1. Thanks, Holly. That's so neat that your brother-in-law does that. I see pictures of people doing it, & always want to be there.

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  14. A beautiful, inspiring project, Linda! What a great experience for the kids. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous garden!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Catherine. It is a good project for so many students.

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