Posts by Michelle Alger-Mintie

Tea for YOU!

I once again had the pleasure of subbing at Melrose Elementary. Since it was the last week of the session, I wanted to do something special; something the students could make and take home to share with their families. Luckily, the garden at Melrose Elementary is full of 3 different kinds of mint; peppermint, spearmint…

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Containing Multitudes

I once again had the honor of subbing at Melrose Ave Elementary. It was great to see the same faces from a month ago, and many of the students even remembered my name! This week we followed Ranger Flo’s STEM lesson plan. The students had to design and build their very own planting container out…

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What is this Moth? | Melrose Elementary

I had a wonderful time teaching at Melrose Ave Elementary last week. The students learned all about about Friends and Foes — bugs we might see benefiting or hurting the plants at a school garden. We took a moment to explore the space, looking for pill bugs and spiders. In addition, we found a giant…

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Eat the Rainbow! | Eagle Rock

In honor of St Patrick’s Day, I taught the kids about the real “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow i.e.our health! The students learned that each fruit and vegetable has vitamins that help a different part of our bodies. We can figure out which foods help which parts of our bodies by…

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Mini-terrariums!

I had a great time subbing at Gardner Elementary last week. It is a beautiful school with lovely kids and engaged teachers. This week we learned about insects, habitats and what makes something native. After discussing the difference between native bees and honey bees, the students spent a little time reviewing what different insects eat…

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Seeding is Believing

I had a blast subbing at Gardener Street Elementary this past week. We started off our day with a quick mini-lesson about the migration of the Monarch Butterfly. We learned how the butterfly uses its’ different appendages to find food on their long journey across North America. We talked about the importance of the Monarchs’…

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Grape-in’ Around

I have grown and harvested grapes before, but never anything close to this! I could not believe how many grapes were growing at Glassel Park Elementary. I was there a week ago and the change in that short amount of time was immense. The first thing that happened when I entered into the garden is…

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Who Says Summer Is Over?

Delevan Drive Elementary is over following with produce!! The kids were so excited to see me carry a huge tray of veggies through the playground. They couldn’t help but run up and investigate what was in the brown paper bags. They oo-ed and aw-ed asking if all of the vegetables came from their garden. I…

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Weeding Party of 1

I stopped by Delevan Dr Elementary today to do some good old fashioned weeding.   This one giant bed was completely over grown with grasses. Is this a grass farm?! It wasn’t until I got in there that I saw some lovely oregano and other herbs hiding in the weeds. It took me nearly all day, but…

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Ranch Redux

It was hard to say goodbye to Eagle Rock Elementary for the summer, but a quick cooking lesson helped to relieve the sting. To punch up the ranch dressing recipe (see below), the students went around the garden and harvested fresh herbs. Good thing we direct seeded dill and parsley a couple of months ago!…

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Ranch Recipe

As a treat for the last garden class of the year, I taught the students at Dayton Heights Elementary how to make their very own Ranch Dressing. When it can be hard to get kids to get their veggies, a tired and true tip is dip those vegetables in ranch! The children each got their…

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Jamaica Arnold Palmar

For the very last garden class of the year I wanted to do something special for the students of Glassel Park Elementary. I introduced the kids to the giant red hibiscus bush that greets the children as they enter the garden. We talked about how the plants flowers are used in cultures all over the…

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Scavenger Hunt

In honor of bug week at Glassel Park Elementary, I thought I would take you on a quick tour of the all the insects in the garden! The above pictured insect is called a Walking Stick. They are super rare to find in a garden, partially because of their amazing camouflage. I was lucky to…

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Our Very Own Bug Fair!

In case the students of Eagle Rock Elementary missed the Bug Fair at the Natural History Museum, I made sure they got a little taste in garden class. I used a Venn diagram to keep track of all the garden insects the kids knew. The children had to guess whether the critter was friend or…

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Cat’s Out Of The Bag!

While kitties and soil composition might not seem like a purrfect combination, I am here to tell you they are! Whenever I teach our soil composition lesson, I always make my pie chart in the shape of a cat. Pie charts can look confusing, complicated, and frankly not fun. However, with a little mnemonic device,…

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Worm Poop!

We put the finishing touches on our new flower bed at Glassel Park Elementary last week. We hooked up the irrigation, sowed seeds and most importantly… added fertility to the soil with our very own worm castings! It is a universal truth that all children love worms. My special needs garden club is no different.…

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Processing the Unprocessed

I had such a great time subbing for Ranger Shelby at Clifford St. Elementary last week. The students sure did miss her, but we still got to have some fun. The topic of the day was processed and unprocessed food. With the younger kids, I used a pizza as an example. Pizza is the perfect…

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Weeds (Not the TV Show)

Who ever thought you could motivate a bunch of kids to be excited about weeding? When I was a kid, my mom tried to pay me a penny for every weed I pulled out of the garden. After about an hour, I was on to her scam. That is why I am so pleasantly surprised…

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First Day Critters

Last week at Glassel Park Elementary I had my first session with a whole new Kindergarten class. We always start off our time in the garden by coming up with rules to keep everyone safe and happy. The last thing we need are boo boos and tears! These kids are smart though, and we were…

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Floral Kismet

How fortunate that on the very day Eagle Rock Elementary was learning about all the different parts of  plants, our first glorious sunflower of the season bloomed! First we discussed what the different parts of the plant do. Then we spent some time discussing what parts of the plant the foods we eat are; carrots…

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Spring Cleaning

This week I had extra help from one of the special needs classes on campus. A bunch of plant matter had accumulated in a neglected  section of the garden; which meant it was time for some good old-fashioned spring cleaning! The students assisted me in removing the big branches, raking up the smaller debris, and…

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April Showers Brings May Flowers

You know spring has sprung when the poppies are finally in bloom. These Hungarian Breadseed poopies had been threatening to bloom for a few weeks. What a wonderful surprise to come to school last week and these beauties were finally ready to greet us. The poppy in the top photo is several feet high. A…

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Healthy Food B-I-N-G-O!

This week at Glassel Park Elementary we learned about the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods. Because it was the last class of the session, we had a little fun as well. The students pulled a slip of paper from a hat and I described the healthy food to them. The kids had to guess…

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Kindergarteners Become Authors

The kindergarten class at Glassel Park Elementary have written a book about the garden! It took us two weeks but the final product is as cute as can be. First, the students picked their favorite plant in the garden and did a leaf rubbing. But what is a book without words? So then, the kids…

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Weeds Week

Last week at Eagle rock Elementary, we learned all about weeds! We talked about what conditions are needed to make a weed, why they are bad for the garden and the tools we use to remove them. We also discovered the different types of root structures that common weeds have. We paid special attention to…

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Glassel Park Elementary Plants for the Summer Season

Last week the students of Glassel Park Elementary turned their winter garden into a summer garden through the magic of team work! We started by removing the fava beans that were growing in the beds. The kids had a great time being productively destructive pulling out plants as large as themselves. We then cleared the…

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Beets as Big as Your Head

Something is growing at Eagle Rock Elementary! This week we are harvesting beets as we learn about all the different edible parts of plants. Beets are a perfect vegetable because you can eat not only the root but the stems and leaves, as well! You better be hungry if you want to eat these beets…

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Garden Air Fresheners

Does your car smell stale? Could your sock drawer use a little freshening up? Got a funky scent in your laundry basket? Never fear, the kindergarteners of Glassel Park Elementary are here! This little project took us two weeks to complete, but boy, was it worth it. First, the students picked which “smells” they wanted…

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Compost!

Last week Eagle Rock Elementary learned about compost by making their very own compost buckets out of the plant material we had lying around. Students found out about the two main components of any good compost pile; greens and browns. Students received their own buckets (plant containers left over from seasons past) and layered browns…

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