Take it outside!

“Taking learning outside”—a phrase I’ve heard from those in the environmental education/school garden world.  The idea is this: if you can teach it in the classroom, you can teach it outside.  (Agree? Disagree? Discuss.)

Here are some ways non-garden activities have moved into the garden in the last year:

On Science Day, students met in the garden with the amazing naturalist/teacher Kat to pound and braid yucca fibers into rope:

Girl Scouts held their “bridging ceremony” during which they pass to the next level of scouting:

An Easter Egg hunt last April:

Yoga class:

A kindergarten teacher uses the garden with a yearly unit on the gingerbread man!

And finally, “reading buddies” (third graders paired with first graders) and SSR (“silent sustained reading”). Do they still use that term?  I remember reading at my desk, but I would have loved to have read in a silent, sustained way in a gazebo!

Who’s got a new owl box? We do, that’s hoooo….

Couldn’t resist.  🙂

Sara Itogawa, a local girl scout, decided to do her Silver Award on a natural rodent control project by researching, funding and managing the installation of an owl box on our school campus.  The Garden Club partnered with her by helping to upgrade the box to a model with an installed camera, so the school can get live video feed when a owl takes up residence and lays eggs.  Sara wants to educate other kids about the dangers of poisoning pests such as rats and gophers.  One serious problem is that when pests consume toxic bait, the animals are sometimes then eaten by owls, and the poision moves up the food chain, ultimately killing birds.  Creating habitat for natural predators is one alternative to traditional poisons.

The box went in this week!

Tom Stephens from Air Superiority in Ramona below, scoping out the best place for the box.  This spot was chosen because it’s north-facing, overlooks a flat “hunting” area (the junior high fields), and is protected on the backside by a stand of trees.  This is the slope that edges the garden (you can see the pergola in the background.)

The camera is mounted inside. The box is erected on a 16 ft. pole.

Sara, me and Mr. Duffy, who along with Mr. Pierce, was a great help in helping Sara figure out logistics for running the electric/video wiring.

We’re proud of you Sara.  Can’t wait for owls!