Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Class Notes: Luther Burbank M.S.

A good day. The Special Day Class took a long time to get ready, some students were not cooperating and others were pretty hyperactive. Finally, we discussed different nutrients and the foods they come from. They really engaged, talking about junk food and sugar and how they affect your energy, and make you tired, frustrated and cranky. Then, one student noticed a huge bird in the tree outside the window. It was the hawk from the park, but it was just sitting on a branch, totally still and very camouflaged. I was amazed that he spotted it. Then it took off into the air, was huge and beautiful, and the whole class stood up to watch it.

We went outside to the garden, had a hard time walking in the halls, but the time in the garden was great. The students did an EXCELLENT job weeding—they looked for all the oxalis (“sour grass”) and counted how many plants each one of them pulled. Ms. DeSnoo kept track of how many each person pulled and rewarded them accordingly. One student even noticed that you could count each plant by looking at the root, since each has one taproot, and count how many separate plants he pulled. That was great. They got a lot done!

Later, with Perez’s class, I worked with the easily distractables—my crew from the after school program. They always want to spray each other with the hose and run around, but they’re starting to really know their way around the garden. They play a lot, but they have a relationship to the garden and a familiarity that is really growing. They recognize plants and weeds, and insects, too. Even when watering, they have a care-taking sensibility about it now, I think.