Thursday, October 29, 2020

5th Grade Gardeners

I spent the first part of the morning with a big smile on my face - Mrs. E's 5th graders had planted their calendula seeds and were eager to share their progress.  

We admired the growth that some had seen and commiserated with those who were still waiting for something to sprout.  The seed packet gives a range of 5 to 15 days for seedlings to emerge; there is still a big window of opportunity.

Calendula seeds look like tiny horseshoes; they're about 1/16th of an inch.  The scholars took them out of the box with a pair of tweezers.  The seeds were supposed to stay under the soil and sprout individually.  

One of the scholars had a seed with a different point of view.  Why is my seed on the outside of this plant? he wondered.

Upon closer examination, Zoom style, it was obvious that this was not a pellet of water retention material nor timed release fertilizer, both of which were in the fancy potting soil I provided.  Nope, this was a seed that had gotten caught up in the accelerated growth of its cousin and had become a part of the unfolding seedling.

Thinking about the sprout catching the other seed on its way to the surface made us smile. Maybe, the scholar surmised, because his plant is on the second floor of his house and therefore closer to the sun, it bloomed more quickly than others' had.  The scholars were pretty close on how many million miles away the sun is, and we spent a moment considering the difference between 93 million miles and one flight of stairs.  It's possible, but only in a very small way was our conclusion.

There are so many science experiments going on. Their new greenhouse was put to use when they planted the left over marigold seeds outside and settled the greenhouse on top.  Will the seeds grown outside in the planting bed differ from those raised inside a bedroom, or on a windowsill, on a coffee table, in the classroom, or in cups set out in the sun in Grandma's Garden?  There are so many data points, so many compare and contrast situations, so much to think about and learn and discover.

It was 50 minutes of intensity, broken up by Emily Dickinson reflecting on grass.  

It was 50 minutes of love, going both ways, with smiles and waves to boot.  It's Virtual Garden Club, and we're making it work.


  1. So much fun! It's good that your students can be back in class, just hope that can be maintained. Our district is waiting for the numbers to go down so that we can be in the orange tier. A nearby mountain community has already gone into the safest of all tiers, yellow, and returned to school. Private schools here have returned to the classroom. Though, like your district, guests will not be allowed on campus for awhile. I'm now reading to four classes, and channeling Mr. Rodgers when I do so. This virtual thing isn't too bad.

    1. As always, when there's a will there's a way!
      I know you miss the personal, the touching, the closeness, as much as I do. But connection is connection.... even from afar.


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