Roots, Trunk, Branches, Leaves!

This winter and spring, kindergarteners learned all about trees. They began with a song to learn the basic tree parts:

Tree Parts Song

(sing to the tune of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”)

Roots, trunk, branches, leaves (branches, leaves!)

Roots, trunk, branches, leaves (branches, leaves!)

Roots and trunks and branches and leaves

These are the parts of a tree!

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We compared these tree parts on our apple and oak trees.  Then students made tree nature art to take home!

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Next, students took a closer look at leaves.  They did a leaf rubbing with crayons, then hunted for different leaf shapes in the garden.

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The following week, the students took a closer look at tree trunks, counting tree rings to determine the age of the trees when they were cut down.

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Earlier in the school year, student observed our apple tree.  We revisited the tree to see how it had changed since the fall.  (Everyone was a little disappointed at the lack of apples, but we’re looking forward to tasting them again next fall!)

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Finally, we discussed some of the things that trees give us. We read the wonderful book, “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.

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Then everyone painted wood signs for our garden!

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Finally, we tasted (and smelled!) different foods that come from trees.  We tasted walnuts, bananas and oranges…

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Smelled cinnamon…

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And finally, tried chocolate chips!  (The favorite, of course!)

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The most exciting part of this lesson was that we got to sit at our brand new seating circle made from tree stumps!  Big thank you to Theo Carroll for helping with the installation!

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Farmers Market

Thank you to everyone who supported Green Club’s farmers market! What a success!

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Want more produce?  Students and families are always welcome to harvest before or after school!  Contact Ms. Owyang to make arrangements: kowyang@educationoutside.org

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“It’s an acro-snail!”

1st graders have been learning all about the things that animals need to make homes in different habitats.

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They loved learning about worms earlier in the year, and were excited to search for other animals that make homes in our garden habitat!

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(Thank you to Ad Walker, fellow Corps Member at Peabody Elementary for the wonderful worksheet!)

Next, they got up close and personal with our beloved garden snails.  We read a great book, “Are You a Snail?” by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries…

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 And then built a special habitat suited to meet all of a snail’s survival needs.

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Some of the ever-curious students wanted to know if the snails could balance on sticks, so they put on their scientist caps to find out.  They were very excited to discover the answer and exclaimed, “they’re acro-snails!”

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Next, we learned about birds. The students put on their imaginary bird wings and made a shelter for baby bird (Ms. Owyang!) They also gathered food for baby bird and brought it back to the nest!

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After playing our game with imaginary birds we made binoculars…

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and observed real birds in our garden!

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Even though our binoculars did not have any magnifying lenses, they helped the students spot many birds in the trees!

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Finally, we made bird feeders!

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They coated their toilet paper rolls in Crisco…

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Then covered them in bird seed…

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And reached high to hang them in our trees!

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(For detailed instructions on how to make these bird feeders see our original post here.)

To conclude our animal habitats unit we read, “What’s Your Favorite Animal?” by Eric Carle and Friends.

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We all loved the animals in the book, and were inspired by the make-believe animal on the cover to create our own nature art animals (along with the food and shelter they needed to survive!)

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It was a fun unit for everyone!

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Farmers Market…Coming Soon!

Welcome back from spring break!  We left school for one week and returned to a garden full of produce that is ready to be harvested!  Green Club will host a farmers market after school next Wednesday, April 15.  Here is a preview of some of the produce you can expect to see! IMG_2007

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While most of us rested during spring break, a group of Stanford students spent their break volunteering.  We were fortunate to have their help spreading 25 yards of mulch!  They worked tirelessly from 9:30-5:00, and our garden looks (and smells) so much better due to their help!

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Thank you Stanford for your generosity and support!

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Happy Spring Equinox!

Flowers are blooming, seeds are sprouting and birds are singing…  Spring is here!

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To celebrate the spring equinox last week, first graders made radish salsa!

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All were excited to harvest their very own radish.

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They carefully cut the radishes into small pieces…

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…and added them to the diced cucumber, apples, celery, onion and cilantro.

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They also illustrated their own recipes to take home!  Special thanks to Taryn Colonnese at Spring Valley Science School for providing the wonderful worksheet!

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As usual, the most exciting part of the day was the tasting.

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The students declared, 好食 (delicious!), and  多謝花园 (thank you garden!)

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We can’t wait to see what else spring has to offer!

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The Golden Sneaker

Last Wednesday 107 students participated in our second Walk to School Day!

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Several students joined our walking school bus and walked to school together.  Special thanks to Severa Keith and Michael Logue for leading the way!

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As usual, we celebrated with breakfast and prizes in the garden

20150311_090636IMG_1708 IMG_1714 IMG_1717 IMG_1719Room 305 had the most students participate, and earned the GOLDEN SNEAKER award!  Congratulations!  What class will win the sneaker at our next Walk to School Day?

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Special thanks to Arizmendi Bakery for their generous donation of breakfast pastries!

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Goodbye Pond!

Thank you to everyone who made our Saturday work day a success!

Our parent and student volunteers constructed and painted signs…

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Turned and sifted compost…

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Did a TON of weeding…

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And deconstructed our garden pond!

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We are all sad to see the pond go, but excited to develop this beautiful space under our oak tree into an outdoor classroom seating circle.  If you are interested in helping design or build this seating circle, please contact Ms. Owyang (kowyang@educationoutside.org)!

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Thank you to Arizmendi Bakery for generously donating a box of bread and pastries!  They kept everyone happily satiated and ready to work!

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