Posts by Hope Cox

Do you know the parts of the plant? At Sullivan.

What a gorgeous day! With the sun shining, the breeze gently blowing and the air cool, we really enjoyed sitting in the garden today. I pulled a baby plant out of the ground — one of the fava beans that we planted from seed a few weeks ago — and show the kiddos the different…

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Worms love our leftovers at Cabrillo

What a fun day! We talked about composting and how it’s the way that earth recycles plants. The old plants and our food leftovers like apple cores and banana peels can be put into the compost bin and the bugs inside will eat it up and decompose it into lovely soil to feed the plants.…

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Cute Colorful Caterpillars @ Sullivan

I’m so proud of my little preschoolers at Sullivan! They are getting so good at being gentle with the plants and bugs in the garden. Week to week we practice slow walking feet, one finger touch and calm bodies. So when it came to sharing one of my favorite garden friends with them today, it…

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Finally Some Rain! at Foster

Rain!! Finally, finally, Los Angeles has entered, even if briefly, the rainy season. What a relief! With just a little bit of precipitation, the landscape changes quickly from brown to saturated greens. The flowers on the sides of the road begin to bloom. And the air is so fresh! Water really gives life to our…

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Monarch Cycle at Foster

For the last few weeks, my students have been learning about different examples of cycles — the water cycle, the lifecycle of a plant and composting. To continue this pattern, we talked today about the lifecycle of a metamorphic creature: the monarch butterfly. This butterfly has been visiting Los Angeles since the end of October,…

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Happy helpers at Sullivan

My students at Sullivan love to water the plants. Seriously, they prefer this to any other lesson (okay, except maybe the earthworm one 😂). Since the last few weeks have been so hot, we’ve been watering every week. The kids partner up to practice sharing a watering can and watering at the roots (not the…

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Soil Samples at Ramona

Okay, let’s talk soil. Did you know the Earth is the only known planet that has soil on it? As we know from living on this rotating, orbiting sphere, soil is important for life. With soil, vegetation can grow. Without plants, the air would not be clean, the topsoil would wash away and, of course,…

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Butterfly happenings at Foster

It’s that time of year. The monarchs are, by far, my favorite part of the garden right now. They have been so kind to allow us to observe their lifecycle. From a speck of an egg to a little hungry caterpillar to an emerald chrysalis to a soaring butterfly, the monarchs visiting these last couple…

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Tickly Worms at Cabrillo

My special day Cabrillo classes really enjoy spending time with our worm bin which is always crawling with red wigglers due to the cafeteria apples. The kids squeal with delight as they watch the worms dance in the sunlight; and gaze with curiosity as the worms crawl back under a pile of dirt to stay…

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Seed Station at Sullivan

The neighborhood chickens have been sneakily invading the garden and kicking out our new seedlings in the beds; so today we made a seed station for our new starts. The kiddos helped me to plant onions and sunflower seeds during our class. I taught them that when onions are planted they have to stick out…

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Good Bugs, Bad Bugs, Balance at Foster

Hanging out with the bugs always gets my student excited. Before I could even announce that today’s lesson was all about Creepy Critters, I could see the students wriggling with joy! We began with a discussion about two categories of creatures we would find in the garden. For the sake of simplicity, we titled them…

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5 Senses in the Garden at Foster

Last week, I taught my students at Foster about using descriptive words. We played a game where we had to describe the appearance, taste and texture of a fruit or a vegetable to a classmate without saying its name. To continue this lesson today, I led the students on a self-guided tour of their garden,…

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Sunflowers and Seeds at Sullivan

This endless summer has really helped us out with starting seeds at Sullivan’s garden. Unfortunately, the neighborhood chickens have been flying into the garden and eating our seedlings — or at least ruffling up the roots with their feathers — but we are determined to keep planting, hoping that the chickens will soon be too…

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Tasting New Things | Juan Cabrillo

My students at Cabrillo are eager tasters when it comes to introducing them to plants in their garden. I usually don’t have to twist their arm — metaphorically speaking, of course — to taste something new. The kids regularly eat chocolate mint, lettuce, kale (of different varieties), cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower and nasturtium. More recently, they…

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Why in Pollination Important? at Foster

Today we talked about word that isn’t used on a daily basis: POLLINATION. This word is so important to know because without this process happening there would be no food in the world. I explained the process of pollination; how pollen is transferred from the stamen of the flower to the anther of the flower. Bees,…

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Kids Make Salad and Dressing at Cabrillo

Today was salad day!! Though it’s a little chaotic, salad day is my favorite because students have a chance to work together to make and eat a delicious and nutritious snack. Then they can go home with newfound cooking skills to share with their families. First, we split into three groups: chopping group, dressing group…

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Energy Transfer in Nature at Foster

The main question of the day that we examined was: if the sun gives everything energy and without it nothing would live, how in the world do humans get energy from the sun? This evoked a conversation of energy transfer to humans. First, the sun gives energy to plants which then produces food for consumers.…

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Winter Planting at Foster

Foster’s garden is flourishing with life, even with the signs of winter around the corner. The sunflowers are blooming so happily and the kids and I just added the first of winter veggies to the garden — kale, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower! We can’t wait to eat them in a couple months!

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Our Edible Garden at Ramona

Today at Ramona we talked about the nature of an edible garden and how it’s grown to eat food. Then we made a salad together with things from the garden. Fava bean leaves Dino kale Green chard Celery Basil Thyme Sorrel Eggplant Cherry tomatoes The kids worked in groups to chop the ingredients and toss it…

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Kids Make Nature Boards at Ramona

Today, I gave my first graders some freedom to have more exploration time than usual and to dive into creative mode. As the students took a seat, I explained that they could each go around the garden and pick 5 different (small) things to bring to the table to make into a picture collage. Always…

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Scavenger Hunt! at Sullivan

From feathery fennel, to colorful flowers, to sweet smelling mint to caterpillar-eating milkweed, the garden at Sullivan is flourishing with different kinds of plants and animals. Each week, my students and I observe a couple of specific plants — the seeds, the size, any bugs that live on the plants, etc. But this week we…

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The monarchs are back! at Sullivan

It’s my favorite time of year. Pumpkin spice lattes are on the menu. Leaves are changing (in some areas of LA). The weather is cooling down. And the monarchs are back to spend the winter on the western coast! My preschoolers and I spotted a couple of monarch caterpillars on our milkweed plant last Monday…

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Fascinating Fibonacci at Foster

Dude, who knew math could be so fun? If I had learned about Fibonacci as a kid I might have enjoyed and excelled more in this dreaded subject. Good thing I became a teacher so I can find the fun and bring it to my students! (I make that my aim anyway.) So Fibonacci –…

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Oxidation and Tea at Ramona

Today’s Word of the Day was Oxidation. The simple explanation (for fourth graders) is that sometimes when things are exposed to the oxygen in the air, these things exhibit chemical and physical changes. Some examples are iron rusting when exposed to the oxygen that’s in water, apples browning when the white flesh is exposed to…

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Hard Working Worms at Foster

Worms are busy creatures; they’re constantly working to decompose decaying organic matter. A worm decomposes things by eating it and digesting it into castings (the nerdy term for worm poop) that then incorporates into the soil. The type of decaying matter that worms like the most are soft fruits such as melons, apples, cucumbers and…

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New Shapes at Sullivan

Today my preschoolers at Sullivan learned a familiar, yet new, shape to them; a spiral. This shape is much like a circle in the sense that it’s round; but the curves never touch — they expand and get bigger and bigger forever. I read the kids a book titled Swirl by Swirl that illustrates where…

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Tasty Cantaloupes at Cabrillo

It’s been a joy to teach Ms. H’s Special Day Class students this rotation. Their favorite things to do have been watering the plants with us and exploring the garden for bugs and tasty vegetables. Today’s lesson was about fruits; I brought a cantaloupe to show the students and we cut it open to see…

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What’s Growing On? at Ramona

My students and I have been talking about the climate and growing seasons of Los Angeles. Because Southern California’s weather is fairly temperate, the growing season is longer than most states and for that reason a wider variety of plants can be grown throughout the year. Fruiting plants are grown in the summer (cucumber, tomatoes,…

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We’re Buggy at Foster

At Foster we are learning about what kinds of bugs live in the garden. Last week we looked for good and bad bugs and their relationship with the plants; if they were protecting the plants or harming the plants. The garden was crawling with lots of different critters like ladybugs, spiders, wasps, bees, and we…

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Zebra Seeds at Sullivan

The preschoolers at Sullivan have been asking me for weeks what happened to the really tall sunflower at the entrance of the garden. I explained that the plant was dead and I was waiting until it was all dried up to collect the seeds. Well, today was the day to do so! I chopped down…

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Super Salad at Ramona Elementary

At Ramona Elementary this week, my students had a chance to make something delicious. Chopping up blue kale leaves, green onions, tiny red cherry tomatoes, purple basil and tender squashes, the kids worked on their own to make a garden salad. They loved the hands-on responsibility of using kid-safe kitchen tools; and I am convinced…

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Welcome to Cabrillo’s Garden

Though my second graders from last year have moved on to a new school, I am happy to be back at Juan Cabrillo to teach a new group of students. Many faces are actually quite familiar, so introducing myself and Mr. Frank to the kids was more like, “great to see you again!” Even so, we…

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Garden Snacks and Exploring at Foster Elementary!

My students at Foster Elementary love to explore their garden! They can hardly sit still during garden class and burst with excitement when I set them free from their seats! So this week, I started class differently than usual. Instead of having teaching time, I instructed the students to take clipboards, a paper and a…

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Gentle Fingers at Sullivan

My little garden friends at Sullivan Preschool have been practicing walking ever so nicely in their garden. They pretend they are slow snails, taking their time in the pathways to be safe and to look around. I have been so proud of their calm bodies that this week we moved on to using “un dedo”…

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Writing Recipes at Ramona

In preparation of summer time, my students and I made a refreshing drink today. I taught them how to make lemon-mint infused water and how to write the recipe to take home with them. We discussed how this drink doesn’t have any sugar but the natural sugar from the lemon and the refreshing flavor from…

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Bee jobs and honey at Juan Cabrillo

Yummm… there’s nothing like fresh honey! Mrs. S brought her tea-making kit and a jar of genuine honey+honeycomb to class; and together, we taught her TK class about how fresh herbal teal is made, with chamomile, lemon balm and mint. After the kids smelled the aromatic leaves, the adults steeped the herbs in warm water. While…

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Writing recipes at Foster

In preparation of summer time, my students and I made a refreshing drink today. I taught them how to make lemon-mint infused water and how to write the recipe to take home with them. We discussed how this drink doesn’t have any sugar but the natural sugar from the lemon and the refreshing flavor from…

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Open House at Sullivan

To end the year, Sullivan hosted an open house for their parents. I set up a table of garden-themed snacks and garden-grown herb bouquets. I was impressed that the favorite on the table was the lemon-lavender “tea,” an infused water that has no sugar. Once parents starting drinking it, the pile of garden lavender was…

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Pollen, Nasturtiums and Tea at Juan Cabrillo

Today’s class with the transitional-kindergarteners was so much fun. Mrs. S helped me teach her class about bees and their role in the garden. We talked about how bees go to flowers to look for nectar to bring back to the hive to make honey for their families. One bee collects enough nectar to make…

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Open House 2017 at Ramona

What a fun evening! I had the honor of hosting a Garden Party during open house for the second year in a row at Ramona Elementary school. The parents stopped by to see the garden and also to taste some garden snacks. We served garden salad, beet hummus, lemon-mint water, grapes and rosemary olive oil…

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Pink flowers & Garden Tasting at Ramona

Info Circle Nuper turba hunc viseret foret vultus. Conversa turba orbem coeptis fossae liquidas. Innabilis membra est quisque evolvit praebebat vos his adsiduis. Matutinis caelo speciem capacius tempora posset: sic. Instabilis magni alta erat: unus divino obliquis igni turba. Today’s lesson was all about observation. I brought a large collard leaf, a bolted celery stalk,…

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Fibonacci at Foster

Did you know swirls are all around you? Swirls, or spirals, are not just a shape but a pattern. And this pattern can be explained by the Fibonacci sequence, a series of numbers that, when drawn, create a spiral every time. During our class today, I introduced the Kinder through 3rd graders to the SPIRAL. We…

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Water travels in a cycle, yes it does! | Juan Cabrillo

Feb 3, 2017 What a beautiful day, rain pattering peacefully in the garden, nourishing the plants with earth water. With the first graders, we discussed the water cycle and how it is Earth’s way of recycling this precious resource. We sang a song to help remember each step and then filled out a chart to…

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Colors in the Garden at Ramona

Off the bat, one might think that a garden is simply colored green. But if you take a closer look, you’ll notice many more hues. With the kindergartners today, I challenged them to find three different colors in the garden. We found to entire spectrum of the rainbow (borage not pictured)! Then we smelled pineapple…

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