Erskine Colony School
- 6 Challenges Completed
- 11 Challenges not completed
Our class participates in the Tomatosphere program every year. The students look forward to planting the tomato seeds and keeping track of their plant's growth over a period of time. We discussed the life cycle of a tomato plant and reviewed the term photosynthesis. This year the plants were started after spring break so they didn't have a chance to grow too big before the CEDC was over. however, the students will continue to monitor and nurture their plants till May when they are given as Mother's Day gifts. Most of the plants will be transplanted into their gardens and the fruit harvested in the summer. If not eaten fresh, the tomatoes are usually canned or used to make salsa.
Limited Edition: Game Time!
As a class, we read through some of the articles in a magazine I had ordered from AG in the Classroom on Food Loss and Waste. The students learned the difference between food loss and food waste and were shocked by how much food is wasted in Canada and globally. We noticed that one grocery chain advertised that they are fighting the food waste problem by using imperfect fruits and vegetables to make juices. Several stores in town also sell discount produce, meat, dairy and baked goods when nearing their expiry date rather than throwing them out . We discussed strategies to lessen the amount of food we waste at home and then the older students worked in groups to create board games based on the information they learned. The younger students completed the Food Waste worksheets and also created a game together.
One Hour No Power
During the month of April we tried to go without power during our afternoons when we have PE, art, silent reading, social and science. We talked about ways to reduce our power consumption at school and in our homes. Since we do not have smart boards or computers in the classroom, we decided to unplug our electric pencil sharpener and turn off the lights in order to save electricity. I also refrained from using the photocopier or laminator in my office during the afternoon. Our school/classroom has many windows, so it is often unnecessary to have the lights on for most of the day.
After discussing the terms recycle, reuse, and reduce and how we can keep items out of the landfill, each student was sent home with a waste tracking sheet to complete with their family. Once the sheets were returned we looked at the different ways that students were able keep items out of the garbage. The students bring water bottles to school every day and put their snacks in reusable containers. In our school kitchen we have our own dishes and cutlery (not disposable) and now use metal straws to cut down on our waste. We also recycle or reuse our paper, plastic and metal.
What’s For Lunch?
Since my students live on a Hutterite Colony, they are part of a large farming and ranching operation. During the summer and fall Hutterites travel to local farmer's markets where they sell their fresh produce as well as eggs, chickens and baking. We did talk about where other foods come from and how they are shipped to Canada and then Alberta. The students took home recipe cards and together with their moms looked for some recipes used by the colony cooks that included locally produced food.
What’s Old is New Again
All year long we save up toilet paper rolls, yogurt containers, cereal boxes and various other containers and used items to repurpose. For social studies, the older students used pieces of fabric leftover from old cloth shopping bags to make teepees. For St. Patrick's Day, they used a variety of materials to create their Leprechaun traps. The students enjoy planning and building items for Genius Hour. Some students used scrap lumber from the wood shop to make bird houses and a "Washers" game. Other students made birdhouses using old popsicle sticks. One student sewed some "Magic Bags" using scrap material from her mom's sewing room.