Monday, August 5, 2013

The Garden and My Classroom

    My childhood memories are most often of gardens and growing things. From my father's rows of green beans to my grandparents' large farm garden, I spent more time there than anywhere else. The love for those memories led me to keep gardens a close part of my family's life. When I started teaching, that desire carried over to my classroom.
     Big red barns, towering paper sunflowers and plenty of butterflies found there place in the main theme of my classroom. Educational games involved hand drawn apple trees we 'picked' or paper chicks we 'gathered' as lessons were reinforced and introduced. Map skills and season learning came through a game called we called 'Down on Mrs. Scaife's Farm'. Children loved real pictures of our growing things as writing assignments came into the lessons and the connection we found there was priceless.
     I am the teacher who brings captured or dead bugs to class for everyone to study, sketch, research and question. My heart soared as little minds pondered with wonder the details of a butterfly's wings and the sticky toes of a small frog. Blown and dried eggs of every shape and size graced the shelves above my classroom library and a fishbowl sat on the corner of my desk. 
     Life began in a classroom, and in my experience, so does learning. Children seem to have a natural inner curiosity about the glory of growing, living things. The spontaneous miracle of a seed sprouting or the awesome joy of watching a chick break free of his egg spark a child's mind like nothing else. It has been my pleasure and joy to share this passionate marvel with many classrooms of children over the years. As we prepare for the upcoming educational season, let us consider our passions and the hearts of the children who will join us on this journey. How can we share our passion while igniting there's? 

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