Thursday, November 28, 2013

Encourage Discovery!





Encourage students to discover!  The joy of discovery motivates students to learn. Remember your first successful attempt at riding a bicycle and the excitement you experienced? It is not that you were the first person in the world to ride a bicycle, but what mattered was that you discovered that you could do it. It is this process of discovery that we need to recreate for learning in classrooms. People learn through a discovery process. 

Here are some wonderful discoveries about plants in our classroom - 

look, see and discover!
Planting lima beans in a plastic baggie.  Will they really sprout in a bag?  Next, plant sprouts into seedling pots.  Discover the changes and make notes about your observations.  Do all of your seedlings grow?  Which grew best?   Wonder if there will be a  harvest of real lima beans?   Discovery and conversation happen every morning around this 'wonderful windowful'. 




starting out in plastic bag

transplant in cup
watching and observing growth and change
amazing plants






And another discovery…you can grow plants in a CD case!
the children love this!

 We are also growing paperwhite (narcissus) bulbs.  Students had a choice to plant them in water, rocks or soil.  Each student has 2 bulbs.  They are observing, taking notes and keeping a plant journal about their plants.  We are hoping to have flowers by Christmas and take these home as a family gift.  

forcing paperwhite bulbs
bulbs with shoots


buds appearing
and flowers!


2 easy experiments to do in your classroom:  
How will the celery change?  Why did it do that?
What is happening with this plant?

Children are keeping a plant journal of all the wonderful plant activity they discover.  They are making observations, jotting down notes, talking with each other and comparing the different plants and their growth or lack of it.  We are discovering and graphing paperwhite activity by placing a circle dot next to roots, shoots, buds and flowers.  Each student places a colored circle when each is observed.  Our 'wonderful windowful discoveries' provides us with many language opportunities for  reading, writing, speaking and listening, as well as math and science! Be sure to check back -  plant journals will be posted soon for you to download and use in your classroom.

Make newspaper seedling pots.  


Very inexpensive and easy ….find the link HERE for directions.
 What will you discover today?