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Field Notes Week 4

mralvarez's picture


For this week, the kindergarten class was on Spring Break. I was instead assigned to work in the garden with another teacher at the school. This was a first for me, which was certainly very exciting. When I showed up to the garden, I was instructed to move compost from a pile to one of the unfinished flower beds while the teacher dug two holes in the ground in front of the garden for a tall wooden sign. After smoothing the compost over, the teacher and I planted rhubarb seeds. I watered that flower bed, and then a few others that were a bit dry. The teacher planted wildflowers in one of the flower beds in the front of the garden so there would be more variety and color. I still had the hose, so I watered that flower bed as well. After this, I tied strings to polls all the way along the flower bed where the kindergartens had planted the tomatoes.  I didn’t tie the strings taut enough the first time, and had to repeat the task with more guidance from the teacher. As a final task, I grabbed a hoe from the shed and broke up some of the bigger clumps of mud from the only unfinished flower bed while the teacher poured compost into it. When we were finished prepping the soil, we planted the parsley seeds that the teacher had brought with her.


So What?

The tasks themselves were highly physical but low-stress. Every once and awhile, the other teacher and I would talk to each other about my classes or about her favorite vegetables to plant. This two-hour activity was very relaxing, but both the teacher and I had experience in gardening before. She would give me a task, and I would complete it and report back to her. I wonder if gardening goes as smoothly with the kindergarten class. I wonder if the students attention must be kept, if they see their time in the garden as more of a job or alternatively a reason to be outside and play.


Now What?

Next week the teacher and I are going to work together on a lesson plan about bees. I’ve been asked to read up on the anatomy of bees, their function in the ecosystem, and any other related information I can find about bees. Together we’re going to paint a “bee box” for the students so that when they return from Spring Break, we can co-instruct a lesson about bees with a visual.