Posts by Ryley Schlachter

Color in Nature

At Mount Washington the 1st grade class learned about color in nature, and how it holds more meaning than just being pleasing to the eye. Colors signify specific nutrients in the plants, also the shade of green of leaves tells us how much chlorophyll the leaves hold, also certain color flowers attract specific pollinators to…

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Eating the Rainbow!

At Eagle Rock Elementary the Kindergarten class really focused not their eating habits. We first talked about Red, Yellow, and Green light foods – and played the Red Light/Green Light game to as a fun activity to remember which foods to eat a lot of, and which foods to eat only a little. We then…

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Mulch on Mulch on Mulch!

Dig, Wheel barrow, dump, repeat. Today we talked about mulch. What it is made out of (in our case broken down pine trees) and why we need it (to protect our garden from weeds and keep our soil protected and moist) We put our knowledge to action and transferred the pile of mulch outside of…

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Beautiful Colors of Nature

At Eagle Rock Elementary the 2nd grade class learned about color in nature, and how it holds more meaning than just being pleasing to the eye. Colors signify specific nutrients in the plants, also the shade of green of leaves tells us how much chlorophyll the leaves hold, also certain color flowers attract specific pollinators to…

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Hard Working Farmers at Eagle Rock Elementary

Today we felt how much work it is to be a real farmer. For the class we used a wheelbarrow and a couple shovels to transfer the HUGE pile of mulch outside the garden into the garden. This took about 30 trips. Then we had to spread it all evenly to make the garden look…

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Leaf Printing Cards at Mt Washington

In celebration of Valentines Day we each wrote our own love letters to nature. Each of the students designed a card made by leaf printing different found objects in the garden and wrote a beautiful note to their most beloved part about nature. There were a range of subjects. Some children wrote to the Earth,…

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Dear Nature, Thank you. | Eagle Rock

Today, we expressed our love to our Mother Earth. When is the last time you did this? There were so many great love letters to nature this class, but one of my favorites was this one written by one of my 3rd grade boys: “Dear Earth, Thank you for giving me a home to live,…

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Smell Test with Herbs and Spices at Mt Washington

An herb and a spice, whats the difference? Our lesson was all about herbs and spices, where do they come from and how different cultures utilize different herbs and spices to create their unique cuisine. Herbs are the leaves of a plant, whether dried or fresh, and a spice is the seeds or roots, ground…

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Spice up your life! | Eagle Rock

For our herbs and spices lesson we did a smell test. There were all different kinds of herbs and spices out on the table, and the students went around to each station, smelling, looking, and feeling. They wrote down what the herbs smelled like, what they have smelled it in before, and what they think…

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Herbs vs. Spices | Eagle Rock

An herb and a spice, whats the difference? Our lesson was all about herbs and spices, where do they come from and how different cultures utilize different herbs and spices to create their unique cuisine. Herbs are the leaves of a plant, whether dried or fresh, and a spice is the seeds or roots, ground…

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Sand, Clay, or Loam? | Eagle Rock

The kids learned how to test the moisture level of the soil, and whether soil has more sand or more clay. We all practiced by putting different types of soil in our hands getting them wet and closing our hand into a ball. Did our soil stay together or fall apart? Stayed together. Did it…

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The Diversity of Soil

Today we got very dirty at Mount Washington Elementary. We dug our hands in all different types of soil. Sand, Clay, Loam, and Compost – and by the end of the class the students could tell me exactly which kind of soil was the best for plants to grow in, and what good soil consists…

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Spirals on Spirals on Spirals!

At Mount Washington we learned how art, science, and nature are all connected through Fibonacci’s sequence and finding spirals in nature. First we learned the sequence of numbers, and drew out the pattern on graph paper as we discovered it formed a spiral. We spent the rest of the class in the garden searching for…

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Nature Mandalas

To compliment our lesson on Fibonacci’s sequence, and spirals in nature, we created mandalas based on a our favorite spiral we found in the garden. Each of the students got a circular drawing board and went on a search for the fractal patterns throughout the garden. We had a wide range of mandalas based on…

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Nature, Will you Be my Valentine?

In celebration of valentines day we each wrote our own love letters to nature. Each of the students designed a card made by leaf printing different found objects in the garden and wrote a beautiful note to their most beloved part about nature. There were a range of subjects. Some children wrote to the Earth,…

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The Interconnectedness of Art, Science, and Nature

At Eagle Rock Elementary we learned how art, science, and nature are all connected through Fibonacci’s sequence and finding spirals in nature. First we learned the sequence of numbers, and drew out the pattern on graph paper as we discovered it formed a spiral. We spent the rest of the class in the garden searching…

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Time for a Bug Hunt!

The 3rd grade students went on a bug hunt in the garden to learn about friends and foes. Where they live, what they eat, and if they help our garden flourish or if they cause more harm than good. The kids were most interested in getting their hands dirty and digging their hands in the…

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Rain Rain Don’t Go Away

Another rainy day at Mt. Washington Elementary. And what better way to enjoy the much needed precipitation than to learn about the water cycle! Precipitation, Flow, Evaporation, Condensation. We even made some awesome dance moves to go along with each part of the cycle.

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The Importance of Friends and Foes!

We spent time learning about Friends and Foes at Eagle Rock Elementary. The kids got to learn about many different species that are in the garden, and which ones benefit our plants and which ones harm our plants. Even though we may not like the foes as much, we also recognize that we need them…

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How Much Water Can a Cloud Hold Before it Starts Raining?

At Eagle Rock Elementary today we learned about the water cycle. How condensation forms clouds in the sky, and when there becomes too much water for the clouds to hold that is when precipitation occurs. But we were left wondering, how much water can a cloud really hold? We did an experiment to try to figure…

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Spice Up Your Life at Eagle Rock Elementary

At Eagle Rock Elementary we put our noses to the test and learned all about spices! What are spices exactly, where do they come from, and what do they do?? Spices come from plants! They are mostly the seeds of the plant, and most often we see them in the powdery form after they have…

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Precipitation, Flow, Evaporation, Condensation!

As we were stuck inside today due to the rainy weather, we decided to celebrate our rainy winter season by learning about the water cycle! We learned that the earth is 70% water, and that water never disappears it just cycles through its three different forms: liquid, gas, and ice. We first went over the different…

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Harvesting Worm Compost at Mt Washington

The favorite activity for the kids to do is harvest from our worm bins. We spent our garden club time sorting through big bins of compost and separating all the worms so that we could put them back to work in their homes. We had about 15 helpers and probably harvested about at least 200…

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Plant Part Salad at Eagle Rock Elementary

At Eagle Rock Elementary we had a super fun cooking class where we learned about what parts of the plant we eat. We learned that we do in fact eat roots, stems, leaves, flowers and seeds! We gathered our ingredients and labled which part of the plant each of them was. Kale from the garden…

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Eating Every Part of the Plant at Eagle Rock Elementary

Do we really eat every part of plants? To the first graders surprised, they learned that yes they do. We learned that carrots, beets, and radishes are actually the ROOTS of the plant A broccoli head are FLOWERS that have not gone into bloom quite yet. Asparagus is actually the STEM of the plant! Though we eat…

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Ladybugs Mating and Eagle Rock Elementary

During our bug safari and Eagle Rock Elementary we found the breeding ground for ladybugs! And they were right where all the aphids were! We spotted almost 20 lady bugs and even more pupas! We even found 2 ladybugs mating. We were estatic! Bugs are SO COOL.

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Bug Safari at Eagle Rock Elementary

The 1st and 2nd graders at Eagle Rock Elementary learned about the friends and foes of the garden! We learned about aphids, roly polys, butterflies, bees, caterpillars, praying mantis and more! Then we went around the garden to look for bugs with our magnifying glasses, Drawing them in the context that we found them in…

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Spiral by Spiral at Eagle Rock Elementary

This class we focused on patterns. More specifically spirals. We talked about life cycles and read a book that helped us see similar spirals in all types of life. After reading the book Spiral by Spiral, and learning how to draw our own spirals with rotational symmetry the students explored the garden finding many spirals in all…

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Finding Mandalas at Eagle Rock Elementary

The 1st and 2nd graders at Eagle Rock Elementary learned about visual and non-visible mandalas in nature through patterns in the leaves and flowers, and the life cycles of plants, animals, and even humans. As we learned about ever expanding pattern of a mandala or spiral we saw that everything starts very small and at the center,…

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Stone Soup at Mt Washington

There was a school wide Stone Soup event at Mt Washington. The 4th graders help decorate for this event, making bouquets, painting the table cloth, making banners, and contributing to the wish chain, where each student writes down a wish for their community and attaches it to all their peers’ wishes so it creates a…

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Harvesting Worms at Mount Washington

This week at Mount Washington we learned about compost! We talked about in Carbons and the Nitrogens, the decomposers,and the even harvested the finished product from the worm bin. We played a very intense relay race, starting our first compost pile at Mount Washington Elementary, and we carefully took out about 200 worms so we…

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Soil Amendments at Eagle Rock Elementary

After our lesson and activity on compost we learned about a great soil amendment, EGGSHELLS! The kids were so excited to hear that the shells of the egg did not have to go to waste, but would actually provide calcium to the soil. They had such a great time breaking the eggshells and dispersing them into…

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Making Compost at Eagle Rock Elementary

At Eagle Rock Elementary this week we learned about compost. What it is, why we need it, and how to make it. We discussed things we found in our own trash at school, and decided what can go into the compost or recycling to create less waste at landfills. In order to keep it super…

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Fall Planning at Mount Washington Elementary!

At Mount Washington this week I welcomed the fourth graders into the garden. We discussed the significance of the garden space and ways in which we can respect it. We then learned about the different growing seasons in California – Warm and Cool. We each got to plan our own fall planting ideas, based on…

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Lettuce Tacos and Eagle Rock Elementary

  For the first day of class for the first and second graders we discussed why the garden space is an important space not only for us but other insects and animals as well. We all explored the garden drawing and writing down all that we saw, heard, smelled, and felt. At the end of the class we…

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So many pollinator sightings at Eagle Rock Elementary

This week at Eagle Rock Elementary we welcomed first and second graders into the garden for the first time this year. We spent some time going over the rules and exploring the space to see what we could find. We identified all the plants that were growing, and we found lots of butterflies, bees, and even…

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Lacto-Fermentation at Mount Washington Elementary

For our last class at Mount Washington Elementary we learned about the art of preserving food with Lacto-Fermantation. We made traditional pickled cucumbers with sea salt, water, dill, and garlic. Each of the students held with chopping, making the brine, and adding the herbs and spices. Then they just had to be patient for one…

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Fall Planting at Eagle Rock Elementary

We learned about the two different growing seasons this week, warm and cool. What crops we are sadly saying goodbye to and what new crops we are excited for to come. Each of the students got to plant their own fall seeds in decomposing newspaper pots! We planted chard, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, and more! Each class…

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Changing Seasons at Eagle Rock Elementary

Now that it is really starting to feel like fall and the leaves are changing colors, the days are cooler, and we are even experiencing some rain, we discussed the difference between the cool and warm growing seasons in California. What is leaving our garden (tomatoes, cucumbers, & peppers, and what we will be expecting…

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Balancing our Plates at Eagle Rock Elementary

At Eagle Rock we learned that just like plants, we as humans have lots of different needs to be healthy and thriving. And one of the most important is how we eat. We learned about the different food groups of grains, proteins, fruits & veggies, and fats and how important it is to have a balanced…

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Seeds at Mount Washington!

This week at Mount Washington we learned about seed dispersal. We studied the different types of seeds there are, what their characteristics are, and how this might show us what its dispersal method is. We even saw a coconut float in water! We then went on a scavenger hunt to find our own seeds. Bringing…

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Seeds at Eagle Rock Elementary!

This week we learned about seeds! We talked about the different ways seeds are dispersed – animals, wind, humans, water, expulsion, and got to study a range of different seeds that I brought in that all are all different shapes, sizes, and textures. Each student got a bag of their own seed mixture and sorted…

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