It seemed to begin last Friday, a metaphorical "warming up" of the natural community at DGS. Your children were the first to notice the chipmunk busytown that appeared all around the grounds and the marked increase in birdsong. The heralded return of Jack, the street chicken, served as our groundhog (as realized by Ms. Maya). Even if the winds turn cold again, we can FEEL the shift towards spring.
Weather is one thing, but climate is another. Middle Schoolers and Upper El began a unit on climate change this week (ironically delayed by a couple weeks of icy weather!) We began by sharing what we already know about this topic - posting up sticky notes and organizing under categories like definitions, causes, effects, etc… (spoiler: everyone knows about the role of cow-generated methane 🐄)
We reviewed what the greenhouse effect is and how it works to make our planet suitable for life, but also how it is shifting at an unprecedented rate into too much of a good thing. We purposefully did not linger here, asking next, what we wonder/what we want to know about this big (and sometimes overwhelming) topic? We also got a glimpse of where we are going with this unit (beyond exploring our questions), which is focusing on actions, contributing towards solutions, and using our own voices to communicate those with others.
Lower Elementary has been learning about the signs of seasonal change in plants, looking for buds, noticing the condition of leaves (or the lack of them), and doing macro/micro sketching. Almost every week, we also have some farm work. This week was transplanting and taking herb cuttings. We also learned that, unfortunately, chipmunks like to eat seedlings. But these connections and unexpected interactions are so valuable to observe and to problem-solve around.
Kindergarteners did the heavy-lifting last week, gathering just the right size and sturdiness of sticks to begin building a low wattle fence around our small polllinator garden near the ramp. We talked about how part of sustainability is taking good care of our surroundings and belongings and this group is empowered to protect our animals and plants here at DGS. 💪
Everyone got extra goodness this week, as Ms.Kathleen brought her potion wizardry to each class, melting and mixing in small groups to create boo-boo balm, lip balm, and candles for the Farmer's Market. Mark your calendars for April 2nd, May 7th, and June 4th to get the goods and watch your children shine.
Have a warm and wonderful break!