Posts by Lindsay De May

Why Are Seeds Dry

This week students at Kingsley learned about seed germination. It was a rainy day, which played perfectly into understanding why water is important to germinate seeds. Seeds are the only part of the plant that does not have water, though they’re not dry until they have been out of fruit for some time.  Dry seeds…

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Garden Jeopardy

This week was my final week at Roosevelt and we wrapped up the semester with a game of garden Jeopardy. I was blown away with how much the students enjoyed the game how quickly they answered my difficult questions. Jeopardy was broken down into Plant and Seed Anatomy, Compost/Food Waste, Food Access/ School Food, Nutrition…

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Water in the Garden at Kingsley

Why is water important for the garden? Where does it come from? Where does it go? These are some of the questions raised this week with the 3rd grade gardeners at Kingsley.  We began with talking about why plants need water. It is one of the 3 essential components to allow plants to keep growing.…

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Ice Cream Party at Roosevelt

The second to last day of the year, was a pre-game to our end-of-the-year competition next week. Students completed an assessment, similar to one that was presented at the beginning of the semester. Many questions were given on both tests, which looked to measure the amount of students that learned various topics throughout the semester. Also,…

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LA Water and Food’s Water Footprint at Roosevelt

Water is one of the essential factors to grow anything in a garden. This week, students at Roosevelt learned about water in LA. We began with discussing the 3 main sources of water for the area. First being Mono Lake and Owen’s River, which feed into the Los Angeles Aqueduct. The second is imported water…

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Planting Summer Flowers at Kingsley

It’s time to get ready for summer at Kingsley, as there are only 3 more garden classes left after this week. Students were really helpful and got their hands dirty today by helping me compost bananas from the cafeteria, pull some older winter crops, harvest corn and tomatoes, and transplant flowers. In between helping out…

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How Easy is it To Eat Healthy? at Roosevelt

The highlight of today’s lesson was peaches from Roosevelt’s peach trees. We the kids were munching, we discussed our favorite foods are and why. This led into a discussion where students reviewed many factors that contribute to food preference including biological factors, economic, cultural or physical access. Then we dove into the biological aspect a…

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Where Can We Cultivate? at Kingsley

This week I used the apples thrown out by the cafeteria to demonstrate how much of the world we can cultivate food on. I start by explaining that the apple represents the whole world. I cut the apple in 4 quarters and took away three pieces, which represent the ocean. Then I cut the quarter in half…

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Garden Signage at Roosevelt

This week there was so much growing in the garden that we couldn’t NOT cook with it. Each class went down to the garden and documented different plants that were growing. We brought up beets, swiss chard and green onions to be sauteed together. About 10 students helped with cutting, preparing, spicing, and stirring, while…

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What’s on the Label? at Dominguez

For my last week at Dominguez, we explored what to find on a food label. A food label is any information found on the back of food packages. This includes the name of the product, it’s net weight, the manufacturers address, a nutrition label and a list of ingredients. I had 20 different products with…

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Bees and the Trees at Kingsley

This week Kingsley got some exciting new additions to their garden, a peach tree and an apple tree! It was a new cycle of classes today and we introduced the garden space and got familiar with some plants. As always, students got to try some things growing in the garden such as mint, kale and…

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Bags of Bananas

At the beginning of every day, I go to the cafeteria to collect food that had to be thrown out. This week I picked up 2 large bags of bananas and one smaller bag of apples and oranges. Some bananas had a slash in them, and a few others had brown spots. About 75% of the…

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From Farm to Landfill

We all know food starts at a farm, but do we know where it ends up? 40% of the food made in the US is thrown out in landfills, whereas only 60% is actually being eaten. How could this be? At Dominguez, we discussed many reasons why food gets wasted. Many students shared that they…

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Burning Calories – A Calorimeter Experiment

Following our discussion on diets and calories, this week we did a calorimeter experiment in class, which determined the amount of calories within a food. We set up an apparatus with water in a can over a holder for a nut. We took the temperature of the water before, then set an almond on fire…

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Understanding Diets at Roosevelt

What is a diet? Does that mean you are trying to lose weight? Not necessarily. Students at Roosevelt discussed different kinds of diets and what determines a diet. A diet is eating something with intention or to serve a purpose. Diets can be influenced by region, culture, religion, medical/health, economic, or personal tastes. We discussed…

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Life is SPRINGing Up at Kingsley

This is the time of the year where life in the garden begins to explode. After being gone 2 weeks from Spring Break, there was a lot popping up in the garden. In class we explored some of the different fruits, seeds and flowers popping up. The corn is almost ready to be picked, the…

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Global omelettes at Dominguez

Today was an exciting cooking educational class for everyone at Dominguez. Following off of last week’s lesson about where food comes from, the first two classes made omelettes in the styled after different cultures/ regions. Students made French, Greek, Spanish, Southwest, and Hawaiian style omelettes. Because the room is equipped with stoves and cutlery, students…

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Quesadilla Cook Off at Roosevelt

Today Roosevelt put their cooking skills to the test as we had a quesadilla cook off! Students were broken into 6 groups of about 5 students. The rules were simple, each team had to choose 3 ingredients from the garden and create a name for their quesadilla creation. The class had 20 minutes to cook…

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How far did it travel? at Dominguez

This week was my first week subbing for Yancy at Dominguez and I decided to follow his conversation around food justice. I started the class with introductions and then had all students do a 5 minute meditation. I was blown away by how well the 9th grade biology class did. Right when meditation was over,…

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Racing to Compost at Kingsley

This week we did a compost relay to better understand the relationship between food waste and plant waste in compost. Before the activity, we discussed what compost is as well as what we can and can’t throw into the compost. This led into a brief conversation about different waste bins including regular “trash” and recycling.…

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Work Day, Dirt Day at Roosevelt

Today was a much needed garden work day at Roosevelt, where each class had a different task in helping tend to the garden. 4th period helped bring the compost bin from the orchard to the garden and brought over a bunch of tools and began some weeding. Of course, we had to stop and admire…

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Harvest and Seedlings at Kingsley

Today we discussed essential factors for plants to grow. We compared cilantro, oregano, and sunflower seeds and how even though their sizes vary, they still hold the same information to grow an entire plant. We talked about the importance of water and where the plant absorbs most of it’s needed water- the roots! We also…

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Making Garden Signs

The edible garden at Kingsley has been missing signs to indicate everything that’s growing. This week the 2nd grade classes helped glue and decorate signs out of popsicle sticks. Some signs were decorated with nasturtiums, cilantro, mint, or oregano leaves on the back side and were sealed with a modge podge. The class was spent…

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Rolly pollies and harvests at Kingsley

Today, a new cycle of garden class began at Kingsley with one 3rd grade class and two 2nd grade classes. A lot of familiar faces, as many have wandered into the garden during recess throughout the year. We started our lesson learning the garden rules and talked about what we know about gardening already. Then…

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What Can We Compost? at 6th Ave

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of subbing at 6th Ave Elementary school. It was incredible to hear 1st graders explain seed germination and remembering the cotyledon. We learned about composting and discussed the difference between compost bins, recycling bins, and trash bins. We also talked about many of the different kinds of bugs within compost that…

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Mindfulness in the Garden at Roosevelt

Instead of getting our hands dirty in the garden today, I decided to do something different. As everyone trickled into class, I lead the students to a gazebo by the garden. They took off their backpacks, sat in a circle, and got comfortable. I explained to them that today was going to be a day of practicing…

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Food Chains

What defines a job in the food system? This was the first question to our lesson this week at Roosevelt High. It’s a straightforward question with a straightforward answer. ANY job that plays a role in carrying out a food chain. Ultimately, what does this mean? I brought in a bottle of Ketchup to to…

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Nasturtium Glitter Friends

This week the 5th graders were on a field trip so we had a fun extended Kindergarten crafts class. Students got to pick nasturtium leaves and glued them onto popsicle sticks. The idea was to create nasturtium friends, whereas many got very creative and elaborate with their designs.  It was a relaxing last class and…

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Eating and Growing Sustainably

Sustainability, a big word for 5th graders, was introduced to many this week at Kingsley. We broke the word down and discussed the idea of sustaining resources and preserving for the future. To begin thinking about growing and eating sustainably, students examined the tags on their clothes/ their classmates clothes to figure out where they…

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Food Access and Supplemental Nutrition Programs

Today the students at Roosevelt High learned about food access in the US. We discussed food insecurity and food deserts. One student shared a story about her friend who lives in Oxnard, CA and has to drive 1 hour to get to the nearest grocery story. I introduced Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women…

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What Bugs are in our Garden?

Today was an exciting lesson on bugs in the garden and many creatures came out which significantly enriched our lesson! We discussed good bugs and bad bugs, specifically talking about some of the biggest plant eaters such as aphids and caterpillars as well as beneficial bugs such as spiders, worms and ladybugs. All four bugs…

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Tacos to Introduce the Food System

For the next 6 weeks, Roosevelt High School is going to be learning about the structure, goals, and complexities of our food system. This week was an introduction to begin thinking about why we eat the food that we eat. We discussed access, quality, brand recognition, healthy products, affordability. To further the understanding of access…

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Compost Lesson and Seed Planting

Last week at Kingsley we learned about compost. Specifically, we talked about things we can or cannot throw into the compost and how the compost breaks down with the aid of fungus, bacteria, and insects. After pulling a lot of plants out of the garden the past week and throwing them in the compost, this…

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Planting Seedlings and Composting

This week the students at Roosevelt had gardening on Tuesday and Thursday because I was out of town last week. The whole week was focused on composting. The first day we discussed what composting is and how it differs from soil (which is primarily just dirt, rocks, clay and silt). We talked about the actual…

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Garden TLC at Kingsley

Last week was especially hands on in the garden classroom. All students, a few in particular in the 5th grade classes, got their hands dirty. We harvested cauliflower as well as some kale, mint and beans. We cleaned up a lot of the garden beds, ready to plant new seeds this week! After learning about…

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Biodiversity

We spent this week at Roosevelt in the classroom talking about biodiversity. We discussed three parts that make up biodiversity- genetics, species, and ecosystems and why more bio-diverse systems are more sustainable, more resilient, have higher yields and last longer than less diverse systems. We discussed the two significant forms of agriculture, monocultures and polycultures,…

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New Cycles, Harvests and Garden Exploration

I’m not sure if it was the beautiful weather or the happy plants, but the three classes that started their cycle of garden class today were the most enthusiastic yet this year! For the next 6 weeks will be, Mr. Storhaug and Mr. Galvez’s 5th graders and Mr. Pozuelos’ Kindergartners. As any first class goes,…

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Roosevelt Plants Seeds

Starting the semester off, we talked about different parts of a seed and seed germination. Each student got a peanut and was asked to dissect it to identify the seed coat, the cotyledon and the embryo/germ. We discussed the environment that seeds need to be in to germinate and sprout seeds. Specifically, we talked about…

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Venus Fly Traps and Leaf Trees

This week was the last week of the cycle at Kingsley and each class did something a little different. A few weeks ago the 4/5 class was begging me to bring in a venus fly trap. Though I wasn’t able to bring the actual carnivorous plant to school, we did make our own paper venus…

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New Semester at Roosevelt

A new semester is quickly underway at Roosevelt and it’s period 4,5 and 6th turn to have garden class. Having the same students for 20 weeks allows us to do a lot more. Today was a review day for many, going over some garden fundamentals. We talked about the 6 parts of a plant, the…

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How Seasons Affect our Gardens

This week at Kingsley the students learned about seasons and how different weather affects how plants grow. It’s no surprise that the large amount of rain has made an impact on the garden. Many plants are thriving, while others are dying. Over winter break, we had a very tall (~6 ft) sunflower flower. When we came…

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Tying Balanced Diets into the Garden

Today was my first day back at Kingsley since mid December and the garden is exploding with green! The rain has been amazing for all the seedlings that the students planted before break. Since it was still raining in the morning, the first two classes were held inside where we explored MyPlate and discussed the…

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Final Fall Semester Class

For our last class before Winter break, each grade had a little variety though ultimately all mastered the parts of a plant. Mr. Moore’s 3rd grade class learned that every part of a plant can be edible, depending on the plant. Sometimes, a plant can even have more than one edible part such as pumpkins, where…

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Bad Bug Scavenger Hunts

Last Wednesday, we explored beneficial and harmful bugs for the garden. We discussed some bugs that are hurting our garden such as aphids and caterpillars, which are eating leaves. We also learned about good bugs that protect the garden and manage the bad bugs. Then we went on a scavenger hunt in the garden to…

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Transition Day and Magic Potion Compost

Today the garden at Kingsley was buzzing with overlapping classes from the last cycle and the new cycle. Ms Donnellan’s fourth graders reviewed what we’d learned in the past 5 weeks and shared them in pictures. I was so excited to see that each of the previous lessons were brought up from soil, compost, parts…

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