Growing Together: Open Forum

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  • 1.  Garden "Bell" to Tell Students it's Time to Return to Class?

    Posted 14 days ago
    Hi, All! 

    We've started something new at our TK-8 school called Open Garden Wednesdays. Parent volunteers are invited to work in the garden after drop off, and the garden is open for student visits during morning and lunch recesses. (We've been averaging about 90 visits per day!)

    One problem is that students are returning to class late because they're lingering in the garden. I'm thinking of buying something -- hand bell? gong? loud bird whistle? -- to let kids know it's time to leave the garden and return to class.  Suggestions? Direct links to products appreciated!  

    Thanks in advance!

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    [Amy] [Cody]
    [Parent Volunteer / Coordinator]
    [Latimer Garden & Outdoor Classroom]
    [San Jose] [CA]
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  • 2.  RE: Garden "Bell" to Tell Students it's Time to Return to Class?

    Posted 13 days ago
    HI Amy!  What a wonderful idea to have an open garden day!  I think a bell would work as long as it's big enough to be heard.  I'm sure your students would love to "practice" being loud to see if they can hear it.

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    JACQUELINE LACEY
    Kimbark Elementary School
    San Bernardino CA
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  • 3.  RE: Garden "Bell" to Tell Students it's Time to Return to Class?

    Posted 13 days ago
    I love that idea.  I also have had a hard time getting help in the garden.  I am taking your suggestion.  We have Coffee with the principal, I will suggest that after the meeting to add this to his agenda...  Thank you for this brilliant idea!!

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    Norma Rich
    Joseph Zito Elementary
    Phoenix AZ
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  • 4.  RE: Garden "Bell" to Tell Students it's Time to Return to Class?

    Posted 11 days ago
    I found a neglected cowbell in a storage room. I tap it with a stick to let everyone know when to come back from their garden time. 
    The way youve been able to get volunteers at the beginning of the day sounds like a great way to build community.

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    Elizabeth Fravel
    School of Arts and Sciences Thomasville Rd
    Tallahassee FL
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  • 5.  RE: Garden "Bell" to Tell Students it's Time to Return to Class?

    Posted 11 days ago
    Elizabeth, 

    I was thinking that using a cowbell somehow would be fun. Wasn't sure how to ring it. Stick makes sense. 

    The other way we involve volunteers/build community is that we're building a Green Team email list of parent and student volunteers, and we invite them to Green Team volunteer work sessions on weekends. (We meet 1-2 times per month -- depending on what needs to get done -- and have been alternating between Saturday and Sunday from 9-11 a.m. We get work done, but also try to keep it fun and educational.) The email list is getting pretty big, but most families can't come every time; we take whoever can make it. I also copy school administrators and staff on the Green Team notices so that they know we'll be out there; sometimes, a teacher or two will join us.

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    Amy Cody
    Parent Volunteer / Coordinator
    Latimer Garden & Outdoor Classroom
    San Jose CA
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  • 6.  RE: Garden "Bell" to Tell Students it's Time to Return to Class?

    Posted 11 days ago
    Green Team has such a constructive ring to it. I might try something like that. Our campus really needs some TLC after being closed off to visitors during covid. I really want to jump start some community involvement initiative. Our school needs some positivity after the social distance and closed campus we've experienced during the pandemic.

    Meeting twice a month is an awesome undertaking. Good for you Amy!! I need to try something like this. Its time!

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    Elizabeth Fravel
    School of Arts and Sciences Thomasville Rd
    Tallahassee FL
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  • 7.  RE: Garden "Bell" to Tell Students it's Time to Return to Class?

    Posted 11 days ago
    I love Time Timers. For many kids (and adults like me!), being able to see time goes a long way toward helping them manage it, and eases transitions for kids who have a difficult time with sudden disruptions.  They're battery operated and can be carried and set up easily. The 12" or 17" ones are easy for the kiddos to see in outdoor spaces. They have alarms that ring at the end of the set time, but I also have an old cowbell or a string of sleigh bells to use as an extra prompt.

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    Tracy Calla
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  • 8.  RE: Garden "Bell" to Tell Students it's Time to Return to Class?

    NEW MEMBER!
    Posted 6 days ago
    Hi Amy, 
    A great DIY bell option is a used bucket turned upside down with a hole drilled in the top to hang it. You can use a stick or a piece of upcycled PVC pipe as the middle section of the bell. The kids can paint the outside of the bucket so it is bright and fun. 

    Buckets have a deep, full, reverberating sound which is sure to draw the attention of a concentrating gardener. I hope this helps. 

    Stephanie


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    Stephanie Montalvo
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  • 9.  RE: Garden "Bell" to Tell Students it's Time to Return to Class?

    Posted 6 hours ago
    We had a former Food Corps educator who taught the students to howl like wolves when an activity was over. All it took was a few to start the cry and then the rest of the class would automatically join in from around the garden. It was a great way to transition. Unfortunately, I did a quick search for a description of this technique and couldn't find anything. Maybe someone else can chime in.
     


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    Christina Abuelo
    Garden Coordinator
    Barrio Botany
    San Diego, CA

    m: 858-210-2628
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