Happy February, Garden Club families!
The past few weeks, gardeners have been creating crafts, drinking teas, and sowing seeds.
Plants are starting to leaf out and show their colors, and we are excited to be spending more time outdoors and in the garden space. Over the next few weeks, we'll do some more focused garden projects, more crafting and games, and start more seeds!
This week in Garden Club, we're making "Love Bird" masks, planting seeds, and painting Valentines.
Stay tuned in on our blogs and check out bi-weekly photo updates on our Instagram @gardenofwonders
As always, please reach out to myself or Maura (email@example.com) with any questions, concerns, or registration issues.
Hello Garden Club Family and Friends!
We welcomed students back to ECO Garden Club in full winter mode. With dark days and lots of rain, we have been sticking to our winter schedule:
Snack and Nature Story
Indoor Garden Activities, Games, and Crafting
The first week back was ALL ABOUT COMMUNITY! We built community agreements together, for the garden and the classroom. Our classroom agreement includes "Listening to each other" and "being kind" and is hanging on the bulletin board in the classroom for all to see. Our garden contract is a huge painted mural we completed on recycled scrap wood. We'll hang it on the garden shed together this spring!
Last week, we focused on animal homes and hibernation. Some of our activities we included in this unit were watching Charlotte's Web, building our own bear den, playing a Habitat Matching Game, and re-exploring a bit in our garden habitat when weather allowed.
Soon we'll be spending more time in the garden and out and about, but till then, we'll keep crafting and doing community work together indoors as needed.
Please feel free to continue to reach out to myself (Chelsea) and Maura as needed this term, as we are the After School Garden Club point people for ECO.
The past couple of weeks have been full of play, nature crafts, and learning about animal adaptations with the "nature museum."
We created bake-able ornaments with dough this week. Be sure to bake them at 200 degrees for 1 hour so they harden! Kids were loving molding and forming the dough into small figures. Such a fun tactile sensory activity.
We spent a few days this week and last week looking at my collection of animal and plant artifacts. I showed the students this "nature museum" and we explored objects like animal pelts, skulls, feet, plant materials, rocks, and shells. We asked lots of questions and practiced being scientists to solve "nature mysteries" about where and who these objects came from and why they look the way they do.
We also made holiday wreaths last week using fir boughs donated to Garden Club.
We have been coming inside around 4pm to focus on indoor nature crafts and games and nature museum inquiry. We will continue this schedule until we have more daylight mid-January or so.
We will be in touch via email later this month with Winter Term updates. We hope you and your families have a wonderful and restful holiday season and we'll see you again in the new year on the first day of school!
tHappy December, Abernethy!
In late fall, ECO Garden Club continues to be an adventure in community building, crafting, sowing seeds, and building.
THANK YOU AGAIN TO ALL THOSE WHO JOINED NOVEMBER'S WORK PARTY!
Since our last update, we've crafted a gratitude poster, filled with things we are thankful for. If you haven't already, check it out on the Garden Club classroom bulletin board next time you stop by!
Shelters and dens have continued to be a theme for students this fall. We've come up with some "structured" activities and group challenges around this for the kids. These challenges are centered around making homes in which they think a particular animal might like to live, as well as working in big groups to inspire new friendships.
As we've been coming inside earlier and earlier, there have been opportunities to make forts inside with blankets, as well.
Crafts we've created together the past couple of weeks have included sun catchers and weaving boards, which we will continue to offer indoors this week.
We've had the opportunity to learn bugs and plants through games while sipping cider in the classroom.
Kids have planted some fennel and basil seeds for us all to take care of in the classroom this winter and we look forward to seeing how they do!
We are working to help kids follow Abernethy School rules even more closely while in after school programming. We will continue to be in touch with families and guardians with positive feedback and any concerns we might have. Thank you so much for helping us to enforce these rules with your little ones!
Since our last update, we have done a lot of playing, celebrating, garden shop-making, and garden chores.
For Halloween, students enjoyed making and eating pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and making nature-themed masks.
Some of our favorite student-led games have been "Owl vs Weasel" and "Fox Tail," both of which playfully focus on team building and compromise.
During garden time, many students are still choosing to build and run "shops" in corners of the garden; trading and tasting garden-grown treats with one another.
We are at the end of our second week of hosting some PSU students in Garden Club! These folks have come in a few days a week, each time bringing a new activity or game to offer the kids during garden time. One of these activities was a resource trading game, intended to set the kids up further for success in running their garden "shops," and to learn a bit about resource sustainability. Other games they have offered include Pollinator Matching and an Animal Habitat game.
This week, as almost all of the leaves have fallen and the rain is beginning to set in, the kids' shops are turning into shelters and we have started putting the garden beds to sleep. Kids spent yesterday using last year's sunflower stalks as building tools and clipping comfrey and raking leaves to sprinkle on the garden beds.
With the time change and winter darkness, we come back into the classroom as the sun goes down to play games (Wildcraft, Cauldron Quest, and Bug BINGO are some favorites) and craft and wind down for the day.
Chloe and I have seen such growth in our Garden Club group so far this year and look forward to seeing what each child continues to bring to the group as we move into the winter season.
We are approaching two months of Garden Ecology Club!
Our afternoons this fall have been filled with play, laughter, imagination, and surprises.
Everyday offers us something new to learn from each other and around the schoolyard.
October has helped ground us, find our footing a little more, and support one another in our after school exploration. We have celebrated the warmth with sun tea, leaped about in the falling leaves, and sought shelter from the rain beneath the pear tree. We are watching the fall season change and become more of itself everyday.
I am thankful to be part of this after school experience. Garden Ecology Club, or Garden Club for short, is a space where students are able to express themselves, create their own worlds, be silly, experiment, and make connections outside. I am reminded everyday by the students to remain present, light-hearted, and open to the ever-shifting nature of things.
It is our intention to share more of our time together on this blog as well as the Garden of Wonder's instagram: www.instagram.com/gardenofwonders/.
We have been slow to arrive here and we are thankful for your patience and support.
ECO Educators are excited to be teaching Abernethy's after school Garden Club this year.
So far, kids have been settling into the flow of the afternoon and getting to know each other with nature games, garden tending and harvesting, making tasty treats from the garden, and nature art projects.
Some of our favorite nature games have been "Capture the Squash" and "Fox Tail Tag."
Some favorite garden activities have been baking apples in the solar oven, making "burritos" out of kale, lemon leaf, borage, and nasturtium, and harvesting greens, herbs, and veggies to set up group "salad shops" around the garden.
Last week, students enjoyed making bird feeders to take home and use to observe nearby wildlife. This week, some students chose to make art using colorful fall leaves.
We are looking forward to more fall garden-themed activities and continuing to build our garden community!
For more frequent updates, we post weekly photos on Instagram @gardenofwonders
We are partnering with Ecology Outdoors in the Fall of 2019 to continue our Afterschool Garden Program. Ecology Outdoors runs daytime and afterschool programs in the Portland area and they are known for their creativity and high quality outdoor experiences. Please check their website for more information on registering for the afterschool program.
Hello from the garden teachers!
We have been learning about leaf shapes, and about how soil is made from leaf mulch. Kids did a lot of hands on gardening this past week as we all worked together to move a big pile of beautiful wood chips.
The aromatic coniferous chips made a lovely mulch for our garden paths. We talked about how the core of the wood chip pile was very warm, hot enough even to see steam rising from the center. This is how compost is made, by creating conditions for microbes to begin to break down the organic matter.
These past few weeks we...
-found leaves in various shapes to learn about leaf identification
-spread woodchips in the garden pathways, under the majestic plum tree, and under our little fig trees
-talked about hot compost and how microbes help us break down organic matter
-added more carbon to our compost bins
-designed our dream gardens
-swept up the leaves in the kitchen courtyard garden
-planted mums, pansies, and violas
-weeded and cleaned up daily
-digging in the herb patch
-had scavenger hunts for all the different foods we grow in the garden
-talked about our favorite salads and made salad recipes
-planted a row of sunchokes
-cared for our “tropical” garden in the stairwell of lemongrass, bananas, hibiscus
-cared for our indoor plants by misting their leaves and watering their soil
-transplanted spider plant babies and up-potted our houseplants
-sorted our seeds
-had indoor art time (painting, crafting)
Follow us on Instagram @gardenofwonders to see our daily stories and adventures in the garden.
Mel and Jess
It’s been a few weeks since we’ve written about the magical moments we’ve had in the Garden of Wonders!
Garden kids have been learning about leaves, seeds, soil, and teamwork! We play a lot in the garden and the kids have really taken a liking to “capture the squash,” which we have been playing most often in the native garden.
We have been collecting leaves to press and learning about how beneficial bugs and pollinators take shelter in the fallen leaves to overwinter.
Some kids may have brought home“seed bombs,” which we made together with water soluble clay, dirt, and many seeds! We included red clover, wildflowers and vegetable seeds. Seed bombs are a positive peaceful act of spreading biodiversity and helping kickstart ecological processes of land restoration.
Scroll down to read more about what we did this past week in GAP and follow us on Instagram @gardenofwonders to see our daily stories and adventures in the garden.
The past few weeks we...
-collected leaves in shades of green, yellow, and red to make leaf art inspired by the artist Andy Goldsworthy
-pressed autumn leaves in notebooks
-collected dry leaves for paper making
-made SO many seed bombs
-played SO much capture the squash
-found and released worms into our garden beds
-learned about how touching soil helps us feel happier and how it’s proven by science
-shoveled out and harvested horseradish root and leaves
-swept up the leaves in the kitchen courtyard garden
-made an indoor “tropical” garden in the stairwell of lemongrass, bananas, hibiscus, and others
-took care of our indoor plants by misting their leaves and watering their soil
-learned about how seeds travel
-added carbon to our compost bins
-learned about carbon and nitrogen ratios in making soil in our compost bins
-indoor Art time (painting, crafting)
-walks through the native garden
Mel and Jess