Don’t Bug Me! 2nd – 5th Grade Science Lesson

Over the past few days science teacher, Ms. Emily, has worked with second through fifth grades on a science lesson titled, “Don’t Bug Me!”  Remember hearing about the new Common Core Standards being fully implemented at The Learning Center at the summer parent meetings?  The “Don’t Bug Me!” lesson is an excellent example of that in action.

Students observed organisms in their environment, compared characteristics of animals, summarized the needs of animals for both energy and growth, learned about the life cycle of animals, understood the effects of environmental change, adaptations and behaviors, understood the interdependence of plants and animals with their ecosystem, and understood how organisms interact and respond the biotic and abiotic components in their environment.

The students loved being outside catching bugs!

The the fact that they got to bring bugs inside to further their studies was icing on the cake!


Gardening at TLC and Why

Students at TLC aren’t strangers to getting their hands dirty.  Why?  Because gardening engages students by providing a living environment to observe, discover, experiment, nurture, and learn.

Gardens are living laboratories where our students learn everything from team work to food production and lessons can be taught across the curriculum.

Gardening encourages students to become active participants in the learning process.

The beautification of our campus is a happy result of hands on learning!

New Kinetic Art in TOLC

Be sure to take a stroll through The Outdoor Learning Center (TOLC) to see the newly installed kinetic art pieces made by students in the 5th-8th grade elective courses.  The one above is installed on the new arbor which was built by 4th graders and visiting artist, Jo Killmer, during this years Academics & the Arts Week.   Both are found near the fire pit.  Great job students!


Getting Their Hands Dirty in Math

[Recently Ms. Jamie took her math students outside to get their hands dirty.  Math in the garden?  All part of TLC’s garden based learning approach.  Here is what Ms. Jamie had to say.]

We’ve been working on statistics in math and reviewed the following definitions: mean, median, mode, and range.  I decided to take this project to the garden and use plant growth to apply statistics to the real world.  We used the mimio board to create a chart for each student where they will keep information about their plant growth.  After that, we discussed which steps we need to take to grow a plant.

Once we got outside we had to clear out a little plot.  Many of them were hesitant at first but student participation slowly increased.  Then after we put down some mulch each of the students planted their own seeds to (hopefully) grow Zinnias.

Once these plants start to pop up from the ground, we are going to chart out the plant growth and eventually use the data to create a  graph of the growth along with the mean, median, mode, and range of the data set.  If all goes well we will be able to talk about what variables play a part in the plant growth.

Science is everywhere on campus!

Science is everywhere on The Learning Center! campus.  Just ask these fifth graders. . .


Watering the newly planted fall crop in the greenhouse
These greenhouse beds include spinach, lettuce and edible flowers.
Having fun touching the full seedpods of the jewelweed plant. Science teacher, Ms. Emily, took her students around campus to identify wild medicinal plants and learn their latin names. Jewelweed is known for it ability to relieve itching due to bug bites and poison ivy. Another name for jewelweed is touch me not.


A Green & Clean Campus

Students at TLC! are no strangers to playing in the dirt.  Not by a long shot. 

Rather, kids at our school participate in teacher-lead classes that promote gardening across the curriculum as well as offering hands-on gardening experience. 

Growing food, keeping the campus green and clean, fresh air and exercise . . . there is much to be learned in the garden!

River Walk Beautification Project

Students from The Learning Center got down and dirty on April 27th in an effort to beautify our community. Students worked with staff and volunteers from Hanging Dog Nursery to plant native shrubs and perennials along the newest portion of the River Walk. Staff from the nursery taught the students about the importance of native plants and how these plantings would not only make the new bridge area more attractive, they would stop erosion and provide habitat for wildlife. Twenty-two students worked for about an hour to place over two dozen plants.