Field reports from

Eagle Rock Elementary

This garden was built in Winter 2015 with the help of Splendid.

Garden fun at Eagle Rock Elementary

By Matt Heidrich / September 18, 2017

Today was a great day in the garden at Eagle Rock elementary. We planted beets, beans, lemon verbena, and purple tree collards. We saw squash sprouting, and saw all sorts of interesting insects! We practiced using the 5 senses and identifying shapes and colors.

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First day of garden class at ERES!

By Matt Heidrich / September 11, 2017

Last week was the first day of garden class at ERES. We learned about seeds and seed saving. We took a smelling tour of the garden. Many beautiful flowers blooming right now!

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Eating the Rainbow!

By Ryley Schlachter / June 9, 2017

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!

By Ryley Schlachter / June 9, 2017

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

By Ryley Schlachter / June 7, 2017

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

By Ryley Schlachter / June 5, 2017

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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Eagle Rock Elementary

By enrichla / June 2, 2017
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Eat the Rainbow! | Eagle Rock

By Michelle Alger-Mintie / April 2, 2017

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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Dear Nature, Thank you. | Eagle Rock

By Ryley Schlachter / March 27, 2017

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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Spice up your life! | Eagle Rock

By Ryley Schlachter / March 26, 2017

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

By Ryley Schlachter / March 25, 2017

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

By Ryley Schlachter / March 24, 2017

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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If Soil is not dirt, than what is it?? | Eagle Rock

By Ryley Schlachter / March 24, 2017

Today we got very dirty at Eagle Rock 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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Nature Mandalas

By Ryley Schlachter / March 23, 2017

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?

By Ryley Schlachter / March 23, 2017

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

By Ryley Schlachter / March 23, 2017

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!

By Ryley Schlachter / March 23, 2017

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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The Importance of Friends and Foes!

By Ryley Schlachter / March 22, 2017

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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Getting Ready for Winter with Spiced Cider at Eagle Rock Elementary

By Ryley Schlachter / January 13, 2017

We learned how to use spices to make fancy drinks and teas at Eagle Rock Elementary and we started with some gold ole Spiced Cider. We focused on the class on mulling spices. The students started the class by going around to each of the spices, drawing, smelling, and writing down what it reminds them…

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

By Ryley Schlachter / January 12, 2017

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

By Ryley Schlachter / January 11, 2017

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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Plant Part Salad at Eagle Rock Elementary

By Ryley Schlachter / January 5, 2017

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

By Ryley Schlachter / January 5, 2017

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

By Ryley Schlachter / December 1, 2016

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

By Ryley Schlachter / December 1, 2016

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

By Ryley Schlachter / December 1, 2016

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

By Ryley Schlachter / December 1, 2016

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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Soil Amendments at Eagle Rock Elementary

By Ryley Schlachter / November 8, 2016

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

By Ryley Schlachter / November 8, 2016

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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Lettuce Tacos and Eagle Rock Elementary

By Ryley Schlachter / October 28, 2016

  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

By Ryley Schlachter / October 27, 2016

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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Fall Planting at Eagle Rock Elementary

By Ryley Schlachter / October 27, 2016

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

By Ryley Schlachter / October 27, 2016

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

By Ryley Schlachter / October 16, 2016

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 Eagle Rock Elementary!

By Ryley Schlachter / October 9, 2016

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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Busy Bees at Eagle Rock Elementary

By Ryley Schlachter / October 9, 2016

  At Eagle Rock we learned about our magical pollinators that make all of our fruits, flowers, and seeds happen! We first learned who they are, and how they pollinate. The kids used paintbrushes to pollinate the flowers themselves, learning where the pollen lives on the flower and where it needs to be delivered. We then…

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Busy Bees at Eagle Rock Elementary

By Ryley Schlachter / September 28, 2016

This week at Eagle Rock Elementary we learned about pollination, which was the first time most students had even heard about the word! We all took part in pollinating flowers with paintbrushes. We also played a game where we collected “nectar” from different cups around the garden with straws as our mouths, and returned it little…

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Plant Collages at Eagle Rock Elementary

By Ryley Schlachter / September 28, 2016

As we learned about the different parts of a flower this week at Eagle Rock, the students were able to show their artistic nature and created their own flower collage using different parts of plants, felt, and a little bit of elmers glue! What talented artists we have here.  

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Soil at Eagle Rock Elementary!

By Ryley Schlachter / September 27, 2016

At Eagle Rock Elementary the kids explored the different types of soil right from their campus, learning about all the incredible things that live inside the thing we call “dirt”. It got a little messy, but everyone had a great time on their soil scavenger hunt and getting their hands a little dirty.

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Eagle Rock Elementary: Exploring our Senses in the Garden

By Ryley Schlachter / September 8, 2016

  This week was the first week of Garden classes Eagle Rock Elementary. K-2 came into the garden, mostly for their first time, and were estatic by all the flourishing fruits and flowers, flying bees and butterflies! They put on their investigator hats and explored the garden using their five senses: Sight, Sound, Smell, Touch, and Taste. Minty…

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A Sunflower Kind of Morning at Eagle Rock Elementary

By team / August 15, 2016

Eagle Rock Elementary was a haven for sunflowers! They were flourishing tremendously, yet they were taking over a bit too much space in the beds. We cleared out some sunflowers that had claimed some beds and left some baby sunflower plants. We made sure to harvest some from the clearing. We weeded out the beds,…

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Bountiful Harvest at Eagle Rock Elementary!

By team / July 21, 2016

We did some maintenance on Thursday at Eagle Rock Elementary and it was looking beautiful! The tomatoes are nearly 1 lb each heirloom tomatoes. Look how many we harvested! The other plant that decided to go bananas are the sunflowers. They provide shade and attract pollinators, so we’ll let them do their thing for now.…

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It was all yellow…

By Alexys Thomas / July 2, 2016

The harvest was bountiful: patty squash, cucumber,many sunflowers, and green beans. The tomatoes continue to ripen and the lemon cucumbers are on their way!

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Ranch Redux

By Michelle Alger-Mintie / June 18, 2016

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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Our Very Own Bug Fair!

By Michelle Alger-Mintie / June 14, 2016

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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