Students Experience Science in Deasy and Gribbin Native Gardens

Students Experience Science in Deasy and Gribbin Native Gardens photo

The two native plant gardens at Deasy and Gribbin were central to the Outdoor Science K-2 curriculum writing that teachers participated in during the summer.

Facilitated by Science Coordinator Alexa Doeschner, teachers focused on creating a curriculum map that centered on nature journaling and was aligned to the cross-cutting concepts in the New York State Science Learning Standards. The cross-cutting concepts that are emphasized within the curriculum are cause and effect, structure and function, stability and change, and patterns. These concepts are central to unifying the science disciplines, and as such must be emphasized during elementary science education.
Principals Melanie Arfman and Francine Santoro have been extremely supportive of this initiative, purchasing magnifying glasses as well as journals for each student in grades K-2. During the past couple of weeks, STREAM (science, technology, research, engineering, arts and mathematics) teacher Jessica McKenna led teachers involved in the curriculum writing in turnkeying the curriculum to their colleagues. Teachers, including STREAM teacher Giselle Taylor, have taken their classes outside to study the interrelationships between living and nonliving things, and to make observations of patterns from nature. These efforts have created tremendous teachable moments for students to experience natural phenomena. These natural phenomena have given students significant experiences from which more authentic writing can begin. Teachers have noticed that students’ writing includes detailed descriptions of their exciting garden observations.