Using out extra tutorial period provided by the unusual schedule this week, students volunteered to help clear the trails as a first step in weeding the garden. This is in preparation for the Monarch migration south.
Our combined 6th and 7th Grade Sustainability tutorial classes came together again to complete the second step in the propagation of six types of milkweed seeds for the Monarch Heroes Garden. This step involves straining each seed out of the distilled water that it has been soaking in and placing it and two types of medium into bags, labeling the type and adding water to each. In all the team created 83 individual bags and returned them to the cold storage in the refrigerator.
Following guidance from the National Wildlife Federation, a joint 6th and 7th Grade Sustainability tutorial class began by moving six types of milkweed seed into sterile jars to soak in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Our first combined enrichment meeting. None of the students assigned to us had been involved in the program before. We decided to restart the program. and build IB Negotiated Agreements. Future meetings will involve development of negotiated agreements and research/task assignments. We discussed earning the green flag, from Eco-Schools and what that will require.
Students were able to catch and properly tag Monarchs to support scientists studying the species during the migration. After being trained indoors we went out to look for our "volunteers".
We split the enrichment classes to allow smaller groupings and flipped in the middle. Mrs. McDonald taught about the biology of the Monarch and Mr. Henington trained and certified water keepers outside. Water keepers refill the shallow puddles in the garden space year round. Students demonstrated mastery by filling the puddles from the rain cistern. Students choose to do this on their own. They might be late to class and were given a Water Keeper pass. 100% of the students in our citizen science training became certified.
Mrs. McDonald and I traded enrichment classes to allow my students to be exposed to the Eco-Schools USA "Pathways" this week while I took her enrichment out to work in the garden. Most of the students were not in our program last year so we are training students to work in the myriad tasks to maintain the Monarch Hero Garden as well as expand the biodiversity on campus.
Outside, we gathered wood to create natural shelters for the for the garden. Students learned how to be "Water Keepers" to refill the two puddles in the garden with rainwater from the school cistern. Another team of students volunteered to clear an old vegetable garden beds to make way for more monarch habitat.