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Thursday, May 29, 2014

{Sweet Peas} Graduate!

*UPDATE* For the most adorable and gorgeous pictures of graduation please visit our facebook page where we have a whole album of pictures.
Dress Rehearsal


Caps and gowns

Pre-K Sweet Peas Graduation Video
Pre-K Graduation Video Outtakes
Slideshow-Days go by so quickly
Slideshow-A page is turning for everyone
I can't even begin to tell you how you will be missed, peas. We love you and know you will grow up to be learners, movers, thinkers, innovators, leaders, cooperators, and friends. We know you will do great things.

Monday, May 12, 2014

{How Does Your Garden Grow?} Part 2

So last week the rest of the ECDC moved onto learning about fish and oceans and we did some, too. But we asked Ms. Molly if we could also continue our garden study since the peas were showing such a strong interest in it, and she agreed! I knew it was something we had to continue to pursue when I saw signs like this pea drawing pictures of seeds and writing about it on his own during free time. 
I snapped a picture of him working in the morning during free centers and was elated to find him drawing pictures of the things we had been discussing. They are making so many great connections! Not to mention it makes my heart soar when they practice spelling on their own! Their confidence is growing and I love it! Here's what I found when I peeked into his journal:
The peas had been wanting to examine the seeds the week before, so I found this little container and we made it into a seed collection. We put a few seeds from each pack that we had in the container to look at and then we brought some seeds from home to add as well. 
They quickly figured out that the very tiny seeds got lost easily, so they decided to make seed cards for the little seeds. I got out the seed packets so they could look at how to spell the names of the plants, but for some they just sounded them out.

They used sentence strips and glued on the larger seeds and used tape for the very tiny seeds.
We decided to do a little artwork by painting what would become flower petals!
Small paper bowels were the center of the flowers.
They turned out pretty stinkin cute!
We had a morning message asking what kind of flowers they liked best and they drew them and then wrote the name.
I found this cute idea on Pinterest and added it to math for a little sequencing fun. They "planted a pattern!"

I love the uniqueness of the scarecrows!
I also brought something really fascinating to school....worms! The boys were ALL about it!
We learned how important these decomposers are to the soil and how they help keep the soil healthy and help plants grow.
We made our worms a worm farm so that we could watch them dig tunnels in a glass fishbowl.

After dropping them on top they quickly burrowed under the soil.
One pea made them a label so we would know what it was!
Afterwards, we ate some worms, but they were of the gummy variety!
After all our worm work, everyone drew and painted worms. I cut them out and then they added them to a big brown piece of paper. They shared their observations about worms and I typed those up so we could add them, too.
They made some great observations. I loved the drawings. Some worms were very fat and some were very thin.
You can check out our worm observations inside the door of our classroom.
In the middle of the week it rained pretty hard and we had been reading about how rainwater is the best water for plants. Ms. Angela ran outside and caught us some rainwater to save for later!
One of my favorite projects has been our compost bin. The peas love it, too! Both classes have consistently been bringing things to add to the compost and we have been watering it and turning it before we cover it back up. Since ours is relatively small and we've been adding an even amount of green and brown waste (veggie peelings & dead leaves, etc.) our materials are breaking down pretty quickly. You can see below the difference between one week to the next how nice and dark it's getting. You can get good soil anywhere from 4 weeks to a year after you start a pile, it just depends on what you put in it. If you are interested in starting one at home, this site has some good information. Hopefully we will have dark rich soil by the end of school!
 There was also a BIG mystery last week about our garden. Something dug up part of the garden and ate some of our radishes and morning glory seedlings. One morning when I got to school this is what was happening:
These peas took it upon themselves to brainstorm what animal could possibly be getting into our garden! They were each writing a list. Talk about problem solvers! Look at their thinking faces:
Here's just one of the lists below. It says, "skunk, rabbit, armadillo, fox, mole". They were very realistic about what animals could be getting to the garden. One of the peas even came up with some criteria: They have to live in Texas, be able to dig, like to eat plants or bugs and come out at night. 
They got out the ipads and looked up the animals on their lists to see who was the most likely culprit.
I just had to add this picture because she was pretty grossed out by what armadillos look like up close! But armadillos were on her short list of culprits!
Later, we repaired the damage and replanted the seeds that were eaten.

We have quite a few sprouts..our peas, tomatoes, squash and green beans have all sprouted!
The peas are very happy gardeners. I love watching their faces as they rush outside to check the garden everyday. Our garden is growing and so are we!
Have a great week!