Monday, May 28, 2012
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Recently, our kindergarten students came out and learned about how insects use their senses to find food, shelter and friends. They discussed what kinds of senses insects have. Are they the same or different from ours? Do they see things the same way? Do they hear things? Can they smell things?
They learned that insects often use their sense of smell to find things. And then we introduced the Smelly Bug game.
Our students magically turned into insects and had to find their partner insect who had the same smell they did. All of this without uttering a single word, since bugs are not nearly as chatty as kindergarteners.
They did a great job finding friendly bugs in their class. And then we turned the tables on the teachers and tested their sense of smell.
Sometimes it took more than one sniff to really figure out if another bug was friend or foe.
Although most of our students were very eager to be a friendly bug to their teacher.
Thanks to all of the teachers and volunteers for their help. And to all of our wonderful student/insects who have wonderful sniffing abilities!
Sunday, May 13, 2012
We have some new friends in the garden this week- swallowtail caterpillars on our bronze fennel. These little guys start out small . Here is one at the First Instar stage of its life.
It will continually shed it’s skin to continue growing and making room for the next stage of growth. Here is another as a full grown caterpillar.
Gorgeous colors and they are just eating machines. We will keep a look out for chrysalis.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
One of the advantages of using the cinder blocks for our raised vegetable garden beds is the extra space it gives us for planting. In the fall when it was new, the faculty came out and planted radish seeds in them and we had a wonderful winter and spring crop of radishes that were fun to watch and even more fun to eat.
Now that the radishes are gone, we decided to turn the mini garden plots over to the students for planting. Each student chose their own mini-garden hole and softened up the dirt.
Then we passed out tiny marigold seeds and helped the students plant them in each of their areas. We taught about seed depth and how important it is whenever you are planting. It makes the difference between a sprout and an empty plot!
Marigolds are great companion plants for vegetable gardens because they have natural insecticidal properties which discourage some (not all!) insects from coming to the area. We will be watching in these last few weeks of school to see our sprouts emerging and hope to see some blooms this summer.