Posts by Elyse Wegner

Friends and Foes

After weeks of testing, the third graders are back in the garden and ready to stretch their legs and their..wings? That’s right! It was time for a epic game of friends and foes! The students learned about the love/hate relationships bugs have with our plants. We also did some serious garden renovation, planting new seeds…

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Seeds, Weeds, Wings and Things

Where do plants come from? Seeds, of course! It is important to take the time to learn and get to know the seeds of our favorite plants and our not so favorite plants. The way we view seeds have changed so much over the years from heirloom to hybrid to creating seed libraries and the…

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Seeds galore!

One seed, two seed, big seed, little seed! Channeling our inner Dr. Seuss, my friends and I at Wilshire Park examined many different seeds and compared them with one another. An avocado seed is almost one hundred times as big as a radish seed and would make a good bowling bowl for a squirrel. Seeds…

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DIY Birdfeeders

What do you get when you try to make bird feeders with ten eager children? A sticky, ooey gooey mess or as the birds would say…breakfast! It helps to have a lot of extra toilet paper rolls laying around your house. I’ve been building my collection all year and it has come in handy more…

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Cycle of Life on a Plate

No matter what age you are, it’s hard not to be fascinated by the amazing process we all know as metamorphosis. There are so many wonderful ways to learn about it, but if you’ve never used noodles, you’re missing out! We’re going to keep an eye on our caterpillars so that in a few weeks,…

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What came first, the butterfly or the egg?

Our after school garden crew just got matching headbands! Check out our informative and colorful caterpillar to butterfly gear!   It helps to have live caterpillars to observe when talking about metamorphosis, so we brought a few in and are excited to watch this miraculous process. How does a hungry hungry caterpillar become a graceful…

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And the Metamorphosis Begins

Egg Caterpillar (Butterfly Larvae) Chrysalis (Pupa) Butterfly! Wilshire Park classes are going to observe the miraculous transformation of five caterpillars over the next few weeks. We prepared the best way we know how…by making wings of our own out of coffee filters, markers, water and clothes pins! Our baby caterpillars made an appearance! We’re soaring!…

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What’s Growing in Our Garden?

Nothing livens up a garden more than plants and a child’s imagination. Last week at Vine Street, the students helped me label all of the garden beds by choosing a plant and creating a colorful sign for it. That way, when we have visitors in the garden, they will be able to walk through and…

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Compost Relay

We’ve sowed seeds, we’ve planted seedlings, we’ve watered the seedlings and weeded the weeds, but what we haven’t done is make our own soil. Last week at Citizens of the World Charter School, our little gardeners learned the ins and outs of composting and how this is an important method of recycling to consider. The…

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The Layers of Loam

Last week at Wilshire Park, the students learned a new vocabulary word! Loam is the scientific fancy word for soil. Clay, sand and silt all play huge parts in this matter and should be evenly distributed for a nice handful of loam. If the plants are suffering, the first thing we should check is the…

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Invertebrates and Insects Galore

“Last week was my first time holding a roly-poly, and this is my first time holding a worm!” There are a lot of exciting new experiences to be had while gardening. Your first time eating kale, your first time identifying plants and your first time holding 500 worms in your hand! ¬†Thanks to Uncle Jim’s…

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Invertebrates are here to stay

Our new and final garden guests of the year were welcomed into the garden at Wilshire Park Elementary-and I don’t just mean the children! We had 500 of our closest worm friends join us and they gave us a closer and hands on look at our curious backbone-less friends. These particular worms were red wigglers,…

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Compost Dos and Don’ts

Seeing as how this year’s theme for Earth day was Food Recovery, it was very fitting that we bring compost into the mix for class on Wednesday! What better way to tie in reduce, reuse and recycle than by making our own soil out of food that would otherwise go to waste! We first talked…

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“Butter-flys and Flour”

After an exciting and intense game of friends and foes, we took back to the garden to discuss the different insects and why they all serve a purpose! One of my students was very proud of himself for drawing a butterfly and some flowers. Take a look! I got to hand it to him, it…

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Friends and Foes

It was time for everyone’s favorite game at Wilshire Park Elementary! A game where everyone gets to play and no one gets out. The kids had a blast running around and getting to know the different insects in our garden. Some are beneficial and some are detrimental to the plants. However, they all serve a…

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Underneath the Mulberry Tree

Eggplant, tomatoes and mulberries? Once the kids found the mulberry tree, it was game over from there! We picked that tree clean of berries and filled our stomachs with sweetness! We harvested the rest of the plants and all went home with our pockets full of veggies! While harvesting, we identified all the different parts…

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Leaves of all Shapes and Sizes at Wilshire Park

At Wilshire Park Elementary last Monday, the kindergarteners and I played a game called “Are you taller than an artichoke leaf?” Each and every one wanted to stand next to the artichoke leaf to be the first one to trump it’s height, but in the end, it was only the teachers who prevailed. We examined…

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Parts of a Plant at Vine

After an exciting day of exploring and planting the week before, it was time for Vine students to learn about parts of a plant! We see plants at all stages in and around our garden from sprout to seedling to mature fruit producing plants. It displays the cycle of life and death as we observe…

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The Parents Visit Vine!

Early Childhood Linkages to Wellness, partners with the First5 LA program, is currently at Vine Street doing a ten week series of classes with a group of parents. Luckily, they meet every Wednesday so I was able to link up with them and coordinate a time for them to visit the garden! Turns out the…

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Bouquets and Rainy Days

After missing two Monday’s due to Spring Break and Cesar Chavez day, the garden was in need of some TLC! Monday’s garden classes didn’t work out because of Junior Achievement Day, but it worked out in our favor because I was able to spend all that time caring for the garden, watering, weeding and pruning…

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Gardening 101!

It is now third trimester at CWC and we have some fresh new faces in garden class! There’s nothing like watering, weeding and planting to introduce you to gardening. The irrigation was temporarily turned off so the beds were a tad dry, but never fear! We have willing workers ready to save the plants! The…

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Germination Process at Vine Street!

Before Spring Break, we made Greenhouses to Go for the kids to take home. Inside those greenhouses were lots and lots of seeds! The seeds are in a moist paper towel to kickstart the germination process. I am happy to report that our greenhouses were a success and we were able to observe the stem…

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Greenhouse to Go!

The season of spring is upon us and the warm weather plants are ready for the sun! In class on Wednesday, we talked about what plants we can expect to see flourishing in the warmer weather conditions versus the plants that prefer a cooler environment. We’ve seen mostly greens and root veggie plants these past…

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Garden Greetings!

Spring has sprung and so have all of our beautiful plants at Wilshire Park Elementary! The garden beds are overflowing and bountiful with artichoke greens, chard, mint, pumpkins, onions, snap peas, lavender and lettuce galore! It was time to go over garden safety with a new crop of students and make introductions. We spent most…

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Garden Work day!

There was a lot of work to be done and a lot of hands to do it at Citizens of the World Charter School last Monday. It was parent conference day, so school let out early and the students were still hanging out on campus. So of course I recruited some of them to come…

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Buzz! Buzz! Here come the bees!

Thanks to all the students hard work, our “hive” was overflowing with honey! The students flew from flower to flower (cups of nectar hidden in the garden) collecting nectar and bringing it back to the hive to become honey. We explained that real nectar is much too small for us to see and is just…

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I want to be a bee when I grow up!

Buzzzzzz! We’ve all heard that sound! This time it wasn’t the bees helping us pollinate the garden, it was the students! They learned all about the main pollinators and focused on our furry insect friend the bee! We have a lot to thank the bees for and have an even greater appreciation for them after…

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Pollination Frenzy at Citizens of the World!

What do bees, bats, hummingbirds and butterflies have in common you ask? Without them, 1/3 of our food wouldn’t exist! We have these pollinators to thank for so many of our beloved fruits, nuts and vegetables. We wanted to really experience what it is like in the life of a bee so we took pollinating…

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Good bugs, bad bugs and butterflies at Vine Street!

Last week at Vine Elementary, the kids learned the ins and outs of deciphering which bugs benefit our garden and which bugs harm our garden. We played a fun game of friends and foes to make it easier for them to remember and have a chance to run around and be silly. One class even…

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Fruit Infused Water for Citizens of the World!

Last Monday, these little citizens of the world learned the importance of drinking water and how to make it taste good! Not only is water refreshing, but it also hydrates our bodies and has zero percent sugar. Many times we drink soda, juice or milk instead of water without realizing how much sugar we are…

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Rethink your Drink at Wilshire Park!

Last Monday at Wilshire Park, we talked about the importance of water. Not only is it essential to the plants survival, but we also can’t forget to hydrate our bodies and refresh our minds with water! Many times we reach for soda, juice or milk when all our bodies really need is water. Not to…

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Garden Introductions at Vine Street!

One of my favorite things of garden rangering is meeting a new group of students eager to be back in the garden. I always ask them if they have ever been to the garden, what they might remember learning from last year and if they have a garden at home. It is always mixed results,…

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Spring planting at Citizens of the World!

Out with the old seasonal plants, in with the new! Since the weather in Los Angeles is warming up and the cool season is coming to an end, it seemed an appropriate time to fill our garden with some new plants. The students each had a chance to choose a seedling and plant their own…

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Compost Relay at Wilshire Park!

It was a very eventful day at Wilshire Park Elementary School! We learned the ins and outs and do and don’ts of composting. The students even made their own compost with twigs, leaves, paper and some pretty stinky rotten food scraps! They squealed with excitement as they bravely reached into the container filled with coffee…

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