Field reports from

Aspire Gateway Academy

This garden was built in June 2017!

Humming Bird Visit at Aspire!

  An unfortunate accident for a hummingbird turned into a once in a lifetime event for the Aspire students! I found a hummingbird with an injured wing the evening before and while I was arranging where to take the little guy, I discovered they needed to eat a few times every hour! So, I took…

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Aspire Digs Into the World of the Roly-Poly!

Most kids know a lot about roly-poly’s; they’re cute, they roll up when they get scared and they don’t bite.  I wanted the kids to “dig a little deeper” into the world of a roly-poly, but first I gave the kids a little information about these bugs starting with their true name; pill bugs! So…

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A Snail’s Trails at Aspire

I brought a little bit of the garden into the classroom on this rainy day. Fortunately, the rain and cloudy weather made it easy to find snails and slugs in the garden. In the classroom, I told the kindergarteners  that I brought with me a garden creature for them to observe.  We talked about the…

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The Bee Dance at Aspire

When kids get a little spooked about bees in the garden, I think it’s important to give them some information on what exactly a bee does. I thought for this lesson I would bring in my bee suit (yep… bee suit!) and show the kids how important it is not to run, yell and wave hands…

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Let’s Talk Strawberries at Aspire!

The long awaited strawberry season has arrived, giving Aspire students a sweet experience! We talked about all the prep work that was involved in producing these wonderful garden treats; early planting, removing early flowers to develop the roots and amending the soil. Removing pill bugs and sow bugs from the strawberry garden bed and putting…

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Cooking Up a Storm at Aspire!

We are still harvesting great big beautiful eggplant at the Aspire garden. The students have been so interested to find out what something so lovely could possibly taste like. I explained that eggplant is delicious when roasted and sprinkled with fresh herbs. Luckily, the cafeteria is super close to the garden, and I was able…

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Pesky Little Pill Bugs at Aspire

The Aspire students have been super interested in pill bugs lately.  These little guys are everywhere and in great numbers which can be hard on a garden. Although they eat mostly dead, organic debris, they can also nibble on ripening strawberries and germinating seeds.   We made observations after pulling out a dead plant and…

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Getting to Know a Seed at Aspire

Seeds come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have very similar traits.  Seeds have a way of protecting themselves from bacteria and the elements until the perfect conditions occure to bring them out of dormancy.  Today we learned that for most seeds, contact with water, begins germination. We compared dormant seeds to soaked…

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The Smallest of Creatures ~ Aspire

  During the last few classes, we have been discussing what decomposition is and how the process starts, beginning with the tiniest of tiny organisms… microorganisms! “Smaller than this?!” Yes! So small, we need a microscope to see them! And these tiny creatures are on EVERYTHING! Our hands, eyes, inside our stomach, on our desks,…

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Compost Tuesday at Aspire

The Aspire garden received a donated compost bin and the students have been very interested in learning to make great compost for our garden! Making compost is like following a recipe… kind of like a salad! Step 1: Collect a bucket of  50% Green materials (unedible green leaves, apple cores, scraps of fruit and vegetables,…

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Last of Our Summer Crops at Aspire!

It’s hard to believe the Aspire Garden still has summer tomatoes, squash and eggplant growing!  I explained to the students that these types of fruit producing plants require a lot of energy to produce the fruit they bare AND to help the plant stay healthy and strong.  “Where does the energy come from?”, I asked…”The…

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Snap Peas have Needs Too!

Learning how to start seeds begins with understanding that every living thing on Earth, has different needs to help it grow healthy and strong.  Seeds of various plants have different needs too!  In our lesson, we discussed the differences and similarities of sowing various seeds including a common general rule; “Seeds wait to germinate until…

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Seed Development at Aspire Gateway

The garden at Aspire is bursting with all kinds of examples of seed development. We started off our lesson with a search for different plants producing seeds. We found marigolds in different stages of development. The students found ripening tomato fruits with seeds inside. “Where are the seeds of the lettuce plant Mrs. Alex??”.  …

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Weird Water Science at Aspire!

Teaching on Halloween meant there would be lots of excitement and energy during class, so I decided we would do a fun, very weird, and somewhat FREAKY water pressure experiment!  I explained that our garden is watered by a drip irrigation system that is controlled by a timer. The timer functions based on the amount…

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Aspire Talks About Seeds

Today was the last day of the rotation with 5th grade and since they have been so excited about the developing seedlings they planted a couple of weeks ago, I thought we would explore the topic of seeds more deeply. We looked at various types of seeds and talked about the sometimes extreme measures some…

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All About the Green June Beetle at Aspire Gateway Academy

Green June beetles are still doing flybys throughout the school yard and garden, causing lots of ruckus among the kids and even some teachers! One student asked why there are so many around, which prompted a lesson on the life cycle of the beetle. We searched the garden soil for the larva stage of the…

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Discovering the Garden at Aspire!

A new school garden is always a lovely thing, especially when it is embraced by the community of students, staff and volunteers.  Aspire Gateway Academy has done just that and more!  Teachers, staff members and students are always looking around the garden beds to see what is growing. It’s a pleasure to see their excitement…

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Aspire Gateway Academy

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