The first story Deb would like to share today is entitled, "Oh, Were They Ever Happy!" It makes US so happy to share this book with you.
Wendy would like to read a special story to you - it's called "A Girl and her Gator". Bart, Wendy's sweet dog, makes a special appearance!
A Letter from Science Teacher Wendy:
Now is a great time to start your gardens indoors! Personally, I find a lot of joy in watching things grow. Gardening doesn’t have to be a stressful undertaking. Really, it is just one big science experiment. The main thing you’ll have to do is make sure it gets plenty of water, and cover it if it is outside during a late spring snow storm. Some things will work, and some things won’t. But the process will be fun either way!
Our gardens at Paddington have thrived the past few years. My home garden in Stapleton doesn’t always have as much success, but I have found things that have worked over the years. (More on that later). You don’t need the amount of space we have at school to be successful at growing vegetables. You really just need a sunny window and a pot or two. If you do not have any soil on hand, check with a neighbor. Maybe they can spare a small amount. You can also find some on Amazon if you would rather not go out to the garden center right now.
Right now, I am especially interested in trying to regrow food from existing kitchen scraps. I have had some successes with this and some failures (honestly, I cannot get the whole avocado plant from pit technique to work for me, but hopefully you can!).
If you have a spare sweet potato, cut it in half. Stick three toothpicks in each half about 1/2 inch from the cut side in a triangle position. Place the cut side into a bowl of water. Keep it in contact with the water (so you’ll need to add water every couple of days - and discuss the idea of “evaporation” with your children!).
After a few weeks, it will sprout leaves and roots. Then you can plant the sprouted half in a large pot or a garden bed. Each plant will need about a one foot radius to grow, so don’t place them too closely. The leaves of a sweet potato plant are quite attractive. Apparently they are also edible, though it is not something I typically eat. Plan to harvest in late summer. Since you cannot watch the potatoes grow (i.e. they do grow under the dirt) it is super fun to dig the plant up and dig down to see how many potatoes have grown!!
If you are like me, there are times when you don’t eat the regular potatoes before they start to sprout. Once they sprout, they do start to produce a toxin in the skin that will cause stomach troubles, so you can’t eat them. But don’t throw them out! Place them in a sunny window to allow the sprouts to grow a little more. Then cut the potatoes into large chunks. These chunks can be planted. When planting, form the dirt into a large mound and place the seed potato in the middle about 2-3 inches down. These plants also need about 1 foot radius. In late summer, when the green leaves (not edible, by the way) start to turn brown, then you know the potatoes are ready to harvest. Have your child predict how many potatoes the plant has produced before you dig them up.
Celery: (This is my first time with this one, so fingers are crossed it works!)
Cut a few inches off the bottom of a whole stalk of celery. Rinse, and place upright in a jar or bowl. Fill halfway with warm water and set in a sunny window. Change water every other day, and mist the top of the plan so it stays somewhat damp. After a week or so, plant the base in soil (covered with soil, but leave the new leaves exposed). Keep soil well watered. New leaves and stalks should grow. Harvest when stalks are large (and keep re-planting the base).
There are quite a few other vegetables and fruits that you can re-grow like onions, garlic, herbs, lettuces,etc. Here is a link with more information.
Hope you all have fun trying to grow from kitchen scraps!
Science teacher Wendy
Thanks for reading - we look forward to seeing you soon!
Ms. Deb is here to read you the story, "The Button Box"!
A few of Deb's Favorite Resources:
Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube
Steve Spangler Science Educational Science Activities - www.stevespanglerscience.com
Daily emails filled with activities from Inside The Orchestra/Tiny Tots! Click Here
A way to excercise both mind and body - Enshin Online Karate Classes
More free stories for kids - Audible.com stories
The fun continues with the story "Huff and Puff" read by your favorite Librarian, Kelly! Kelly's adorable sidekick, Pink Pig, also stops by to say hello!
Kelly has provided your family with some fantastic activities you can do at home related to the story "Huff and Puff" by Claudia Rueda - we hope you enjoy!
1. Get the whole family in on acting out the “Three Little Pigs”
* make the houses fort style out of couch cushions and blankets
2. Grab the art supplies and create your own houses with toothpicks, popsicle sticks, scrap paper, junk mail, pom-poms, really anything you have on hand.
* ask your child to describe their house and explain why the big bad wolf may or may not be able to blow it down.
3. Retell the story of the “Three Little Pigs” and ask your child to tell you the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
* Retell favorite folktales like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Little Red Hen, etc.
Deb is here to read you a very special book entitled "Hands" by Lois Ehlert!
Introducing... Science Teacher Wendy!
Wendy begins each weekly lesson with a special song - please enjoy singing along with Ms. Wendy in the video below!
In the video below you will find Wendy reading the book "Imogene's Antlers" by David Small!
A Special Letter from Science Teacher Wendy
One thing I love about science is that it is all around us. There are so many things to discover with little effort on our parts. Sometimes we do need a little inspiration, so here are a few fun ideas/links to interesting things to try while you are home with your kids. I'm trying to only suggest items that won't require any trips to the store or waste any necessary food or consumable materials.
Color Mixing Fun:
This is always a favorite for all ages! Find clear bowls or jars, fill some halfway with water. Add a few drops of food coloring or watercolor paint (FYI food coloring does stain). Kids can use spoons or straws to transfer these colors into clean jars. They can create many new colors from just a few basic colors. Let them mix away!
Sink or Float Fun:
Find 10 items around the house, test if they sink or float.
Static Electricity Fun:
Your children are young scientists every day of their lives! I miss seeing all of their smiling faces.
Be well everyone,
Thank you for reading with us - stay tuned for the next edition of Virtual Story Time with the Paddington Station Staff!
The staff at Paddington would like to share some of the activities and ideas we have gathered from various educators around the county. So many teachers are coming together to share ideas of how families can continue to cultivate learning at home! Here are a few of our favorites (click on the gray title to access the resource link):
Scholastic Learn At Home- website with 20 online books and activities to try at home (User name: Learning20 Password: Clifford)
Mystery Science- a website with short mini-lessons
Brain Pop Jr- a website that has educational videos and content (User name: Padbear Password: Bear1301)
Learn at Home Parent Handout (English and Spanish) by Mrs. Rainbow Bright
Activities to Try at Home by Twinkl
Preschool Simple Activity Ideas by Kelly McFarland
Nature Scavenger Hunt by Trish Sutton
Mega Scavenger Hunt by Kate Fairlie
Nature Journal by Firefly Nature School (if your child is in the pre-writing stage, they can generate the thoughts and ideas and you can write the words for them)
There are so many amazing resources being shared right now!
Additional ideas: TeachersPayTeachers.com (there are lots of freebies), the local library's website, Instagram accounts of educators, Pinterest, ABC Mouse, Facebook groups, child yoga videos, and so many more!
We encourage you in the weeks to come to create a routine and/or schedule for both you and your children. Children thrive on routine—think about incorporating outside time, nature walks, doing something for someone else, quiet times, chore time, art time, and even cooking time.
Please stay tuned for upcoming blog posts featuring videos of the Paddington Staff reading some of their favorite books! Although we will miss the students and families dearly, we look forward to staying connected with each one of you.