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La Jolla, California

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Posted on Nov 11, 2011

Notes from the Field: Gillispie’s Early Elementary Students in Action

November 10,2011

Academically, the Gillispie programs noted below are part of our science and sustainability curriculum. From a child’s point of view, however, it’s about rolling up their sleeves, getting dirty, and having fun.

“The goal of my meetings with Kindergarten and Grade 1 students is to give these young learners a deep, ongoing, and hands-on understanding of the systematic taking-apart and recycling of nutrients in nature and, with our help, in human environments as well. Aside from the regular collection of campus-generated food scraps and our tending to the compost heap and worm bins, activities so far this year include:

harvesting the worm castings from the vermiculture bins (with the help of composting expert, parent Erin M.);
collecting fallen brown leaves around campus to balance the carbon with the nitrogen in compost piles;
learning about coffee grounds, their origins, and their use in composting;
reading stories relating to decomposition;
studying the temperature of an active compost pile; and
looking for and tallying the different ‘composting critters’ living in our composting systems.”
Mr. Edwards
Science Teacher

“During our gardening time, both Kindergarten and Grade 1 have been busy preparing the soil for fall planting. We have added worm castings from the worm bins to enrich the soil. Kindergarteners have worked consistently to weed their plots in order to plant an area by their rooms–so far they have planted bulbs, seeds, and seedlings. The first graders should be picking greens and enjoying salad from their garden soon! We also have bug patrol, which involves hand picking the insects off our plants. Some end up in their rooms for observation in bug ‘homes!’ They are learning that gardening is so much more than planting.”

Mrs. Kerr
Grades K & 1 Gardening Teacher

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