Another unique Excel Grant request received this year was from Delila Leber, a Spanish teacher at Mount View Elementary School. Delia teachers Spanish in their dual language kindergarten program to 50 dual language students every year. The school has an enhanced amount of time for science instruction because it is the primary way in which the English speaking students learn Spanish and they are lucky to be able to use FOSS science kits, including the Trees unit.
As part of that unit, the kit recommends planting a tree with the students so that they are able to learn about what a tree needs to grow. In addition, they will be able to watch their “class tree” change through the seasons and grow year after year while they are in elementary school.
Delila wrote: My kindergarten students were absolutely thrilled to participate in the tree planting this Fall, with the help of one of our grounds maintenance employees. Each student got to play a part, by throwing in dirt or watering the tree once it was planted. They asked important questions, like:
- how tall will it grow?
- how much will it grow each year?
- what color will its leaves be?
- how should we take care of the tree so it grows well?
Without a live tree planting, students may not have been as inquisitive about the lives of trees. Every day, students are picked up near where we planted the tree and they often visit “their” tree to see how it is doing.
They were able to witness how our tree changed with the seasons, and compare it to other nearby trees. They will be able to watch their class’s tree grow during the seven years they are students at our school, and compare its growth to the trees that are planted in coming years.
What a fun and unique way to get kids excited about science and teach them another language at the same time! Thanks Delila for sharing your story with us and esperamos ver el árbol que la clase plantó y como va creciendo.
UPDATE – 2013
Delila’s orginal request was for 3 y ears – “I am requesting the funds to cover one tree per year for the next three years, so that students can continue to learn about this important part of our ecosystem and how to care for them.”
Here is Tree #2