Saturday, November 12, 2016

Ms. Schwartz's 3rd Graders Make Salsa

On November 8, Ms. Schwartz's 3rd graders made salsa with ingredients from Gelson's and the school garden. The chili peppers and onions came from the school garden and the rest of the ingredients were donated.  The children remembered planting most of the ingredients last spring as part of the 2nd grade salsa garden and generated the names of the ingredients.

Since we were using 3 T. of both olive oil and lime juice, we discussed the meaning of 1 T. and 1 t. The children learned that there are 3 teaspoons in 1 tablespoon.

We also discussed that store bought salsa (and other prepared food at the store) has a list of ingredients and not all of them are food. The items are listed by the volume that is contained in the container. In the case of salsa, that's tomatoes.  Our salsa, which is made of fresh ingredients, also has salsa as the main ingredient.  Our salsa is also very colorful due to the differently colored tomatoes, the onions and cilantro.

Thanks to the volunteers who helped: Rayza and Karina from Gelson's, class parents Cynthia Snell, Alexandra Evans and Thomas Cragg, Carolyn Hasselkorn and Laurie Vander Veen. Note that we use reusable utensils in our cooking projects.

The recipe: 8 tomatoes (ideally different colors), 1/2 bunch cilantro, 6 scallions or 1/2 onion, 2 garlic cloves, 3 T. lime juice, 3 T. olive oil, 1/2 jalapeno chili, salt and pepper to taste.  All of the ingredients should be cut into small pieces. Note: we used a small red chili from the school garden. You can also use 1/2 red onion to add more color.

Follow ups to this lesson: write down the ingredients for other items that you make, look at the ingredients in canned food that you eat and note the non food related items for preserving, make another kind of salsa...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Ms. Yoshida's Class Learns about the Ingredients in Compost

On November 7, Ms. Yoshida's 2nd graders learned about some of the ingredients in compost. Each of the two groups made a compost bag. They will observe which of the contents decomposes and will become compost.

We read the book "Compost Stew" as a prelude to the lesson. Then the students chose items to put in their compost bag from a selection of items on a display table. Thanks to Life Lab for the idea for this lesson! The children put cardboard, toilet paper, a screw, fruit, leaves, a small stick, coffee grounds, damp soil, an eggshell, a small piece of bread and some plastic in a quart size Ziplock bag. Before sealing the bag they blew air into it to keep it from smelling bad.

The students will observe the bags at weekly intervals.

After writing about "Our Compost Bag" in their garden journals and having a snack of persimmon, the students planted seeds, watered and shredded newspaper for our worm bin.

Thanks to Ms. Yoshida and Ms. Ashley for helping today!

Ms. Connor's Students Make a Compost Bag

A Compost Bag
Today Ms. Connor's 2nd graders started their study of composting, planted some seeds and sampled a persimmon.  We add compost to our garden beds prior to any planting cycle to enrich the soil.

We read one of two books to start the lesson: Kids Can Compost or Compost Stew. Both discuss the ingredients that go into making compost.

A display table in the teaching area held cardboard, toilet paper, fruit peelings, egg shells, soil, coffee grounds, leaves and small sticks, newspaper, metal screws and pieces of a plastic cup. The students took turns putting the items in a quart sized ziplock bag and added air before we sealed the bag. They will monitor the bag on a weekly basis and see what changes, i.e. what rots, and what doesn't. Some items such as plastic and screws were added to emphasize that these items don't rot or decompose.

After writing in their garden journals, the children planted lettuce and carrot seeds in their bed, watered and sampled slices of persimmon.