Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Tagging Monarchs

This year, for the first time, monarchs reared by fifth graders were tagged.  We are hoping that many of them will be found in Mexico.

Too delicate for kids to do, adults spent lunch tagging and inventorying gender.

Tagged and released monarchs took their first sip of nectar from milkweed and butterfly bush flowers  in our pollinator garden.

Fifth graders watched and cheered:  "Go to Mexico."

Lots of excitement when an adult emerged from a chrysalis...leading to an impromptu version of Happy Birthday.

Kids chanted:  Are you one?  And giggled when they stopped at that age.

Hold still...can you spot the butterfly who mistook a shirt for a flower?

Gowanus Canal: 4th Graders Compare Then and Now

Armed with maps showing present day Brooklyn overlaid with a map of Brooklyn from the 18th century, 4th graders walked from our school over to the Gowanus Canal, stopping along the way to note the changes that have taken place over 300 years. Did you know that our neighborhood used to be a small peninsula with the Gowanus River as its eastern border? Wetlands and coastal forest gave way to brownstones, shops, and warehouse buildings. The river was shaped into a canal and the water became badly polluted. 

At each of our stops, the students wrote messages to passersby in chalk. Some were informative...

"Do what's right and don't break history!"

...and some were cautionary.

At the canal, we saw a strange structure floating in the water. What could it be for? Who made it? Why is it here?

We made sketches along with a list of our questions...

To be continued...

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

2nd Grade Explores Wilderness of Staten Island!

The second graders began their Island Study by exploring Latourette Park on Staten Island. Imagining that they are settlers on an uninhabited island, the students go looking for things that could help them survive in their new home. 

Could there be plants to eat? Perhaps small animals to catch?


Would these plants make a good salad? Or maybe a soft bed?

There are lots of tall straight trees for building things! But how do we cut them for lumber?

How could we use all these stones and rocks?

At first there seemed to be no water in sight...

...then, a beautiful pond! But is it safe to drink?

Back at school the search for answers to some of these questions continues...

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pre-K Begins Exploring Nature in Our Neighborhood

Children in Pre-K went on their first neighborhood nature walk to collect "Tree Treasures." The classrooms now have quite a collection for children to explore and wonder over!

A beautiful collection of treasures from right beneath our feet!

1st Graders Explore What's Inside Fruits and Seed Pods!

After harvesting in the BNS farm, the first graders discussed what they might find inside some of the fruits, gourds, and seed pods they had collected. They then had a chance to observe and draw what they found. Here are some of the results...

 The curiosity continues!

Neither Rain Nor Sleet ... Okay Just Rain...

Can keep BNS farmers from working.   Here they are taking care of the compost keeping as  dry as possible in the EcoCasita.

Plumb Beach Clean Up Preparation

Third Graders use dichotomous sorting to sort through things found at a beach in preparation for next week's trip.  After playing guess my rule with a partner; they were asked to sort by this rule:  Found in Nature.  They were told to put all of the Nature materials away. Then they were asked to sort the not found in nature by this rule:  Is it recyclable?

Found in nature?  Yes/No

Can you guess this rule?