Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wednesday Club - week 3

For week 3 of Wednesday club, I snuck some math in amid the soil and arts-n-crafts.

I started by asking the children to line up by grade, youngest to oldest. Then I paired them up, kindergartners with 6th graders, 1st graders with 5th graders, etc. so that the younger children would have help. Then I gave each child a calendar that I printed off online. (I used this site: http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/) Next, I had them circle our last frost date, May 20th. [now, officially, it's Memorial Day, but in the 8 years I've been gardening seriously here, we haven't had a frost past May 15th] Then I gave each young gardener a seed starting chart (http://www.yougrowgirl.com/grow/seedstart_chart.pdf). Then we chose three crops - cucumber, kale, and peppers, as it turned out, and worked out how to fill in the "indoor start date" and "set out date" blanks. I think they got it. I hope so!

Note: you can download an Excel file that does all the number-crunching for you here:

We watered our seedlings - everything has germinated now! Some of the beans are definitely pole beans - there are vining tendrils waving about happily. Then we looked at the pussy willow cuttings I had brought in for them. You may recall that I brought a bunch in during Week 2, but we didn't get to talk about them. That turned out to be just fine, as they had burst forth with lovely soft catkins all over, while the ones I brought in for Week 3 were still dormant. It was a terrific visual of how forcing works! I let each child take home a branch to enjoy - and some of the teachers got some for their classrooms, too.

Finally, I borrowed an idea from my children's preschool days, and we made daffodils.

I ran out of green construction paper for the background, so I let the children choose yellow or green for the backgrounds. Then they could choose yellow, orange, or pink for the back of the flower. They cut out that part, and glued it to the background. Then they glued paper muffin cups to the flower to be the trumpet of the daffodil. You can't really see it, but the mini-paper has flowers on the outside of it... very pretty. I was sad to realize that I had only white muffin papers in the house - oops! Most of the children drew leaves and stems for their flowers, though the one who gave me this one did not. One of the first graders did an amazing pair of flowers, while one of the sixth graders took the catkins off of her pussy willow and used them to decorate her page. Most of the children enjoyed the craft - and the others I let work extra time on a word search puzzle I'd made for them using this site:

Even the kindergartner was really good at searching for the words! I should have selected "forward words only" though - the backwards words were really tricky.


  1. Everytime I read one of your updates it just makes me smile...I am so very glad that you have done this. Those are some very lucky kids! Kim

  2. This is so neat. I wish someone had shown me how to do this when I was a kid!

  3. Great job! I love that you're interweaving art and math as well.