Week 6 Beans!

101_5705 Week 6 blogging is a bit late.  Sorry about that, I was a tiny bit busy. 🙂  I really am enjoying the pretty purple flowers on this bean plant!  The bottom leaves are loosing their color too soon in my opinion, so I added some fertilizer.  I realize I have no bees to pollinate, but I’m still hopeful this plant may produce one bean!

101_5703 The vines have really taken off and are almost at the very top of the string I attached.  A nice amount of little purple flowers can be found over most of the plant.  I love this shade of purple, so I’m so happy the flowers are not white, but colored! 🙂

 

You can see here that the vines have been steadily growing.  They just needed a little help when they first started.  I am eager to see how far these little bean plants will grow before saying good night.101_5702

101_5700 If you have ever tried growing beans indoors just for the fun of it let me know how it turned out!  I’m not talking about growing starts for gardens indoors, but just seeing how far your plant flourished inside.  So far my window by my little kitchen area has a lovely window curtain of bean leaves, vines and purple flowers. 🙂

Heidi Scott, BA & MIT

The Marigold School of Early Learning

 

Violets and Irises

More science and observation with flowers!  Violets and Irises are two lovely flowers that grow from two different sources.  One is from a seed and one is from a bulb.  This would be a great discussion to have with young children, because it is too easy for young minds (even older ones) to assume that all plants come from a seed.  Seeds are more commonly discussed and showcased in books and other media, so it is a good idea to show the difference with a variety of colorful and lovely flowers. 🙂

Heidi's School Pics 010  Violets are so pretty this time of year!  They travel all over the yard and right now a good portion of my side yard are filled with them.  The great thing is you can supply young children with good quality magnifying glasses and let them explore up close and personal each bunch they can locate.  The other great thing for me is when they have bloomed out, I just pull them up and because they reseed, new and fresh flowers bloom once more! 🙂

Heidi's School Pics 005  If anyone knows what kind of annual this flower is I would love it if you could enlighten me.  I planted this last year and somehow it wintered over!  I lost the tag, so I just don’t remember what the name is.  Comment on my post if you know. 🙂

Heidi's School Pics 007  The lovely rain has come and is working on keeping the plants well hydrated and green!  This is the iris I mentioned in an earlier post.  And guess what?  I managed to capture a resting bee!  Anyway, this iris is a bit deceiving at first because the buds make it appear to be a lovely deep purple, yet when in full bloom you can see the cream color takes center stage and the deep purple fans out into a lovely warm plum.  Flowers that change in color are also a wonderful discussion topic for young and curious minds. 🙂

Please share your flower experiences and any plant explorations your child or class has been up to this spring.  I would love to read about them too! 🙂

 

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning

Math and Science through Plant Exploration

Math and science are aspects of early childhood education that can be learned through plants.  Columbine and spider wart are two plants that have unique petals and leaves; each plant allows for children to learn about how a plant grows and incorporates numbers and patterns.

                                                                                                  Heidi's School Pics 059

There are a couple of ways I will mention that a provocation for math and science can be set up for children to question, explore and learn from.  First I like to set up a potted plant or fresh cut flowers so that the children can admire the plant and incorporate both art and literacy by drawing a picture of each and writing a story about them based on any inspirational ideas that come forward by admiring the plant or flowers (I act as  their scribe).  Math comes in to play when the children can, in essence, dissect the plant visually and artistically; drawing the leaves, the vanes, and the petals.  As their scribe, I can dialogue with the children and model how to write/draw numbers for each part of the plant they have illustrated.  For science, we can explore the role and purpose of soil, the nutrients it contains, and the rain and sunshine’s impact on the plants.  So as you can see we actually are encompassing not simply math and science, we are including art and literacy; four content areas are being explored and utilized in a natural and holistic way of teaching and learning.   No worksheets or artificial methods are being used to teach something that is freely available in all of nature.

 

Heidi's School Pics 061     California poppy is another commonly grown flower that can easily be used to teach math and science.  I enjoy taking pictures, but I love planting with children and allowing them to be responsible for the care and maintenance of a plant or flower.  As each child watches a seed transform we learn how the sun, rain, and soil cause a seed to grow.  I introduce actual scientific terminology and age-appropriate reading with illustrations to support the children’s learning.  Of course, if we are exploring plants and how they grow it is because the children have shown and communicated a strong interest.  When children have internal interest their attention spans are quite long and a simple question turns into a month or more long project. 🙂  I do not introduce complicated vocabulary for the children to memorize or know off hand, rather I introduce the terms as a way of building a foundation for further information to be added as the child gains his/ her understanding of how plants grow and thrive.

There are many different provocations and projects that can be explored through the use of nature and I enjoy seeing each child come to his/ her own understanding through inquiry, exploration, manipulation, and implementation.  Either individually or as a collaborative effort young minds construct knowledge, and as the Teacher, I am a facilitator and support to their ever constant and changing development of knowledge.

You as Parents or Grandparents are a constant source of knowledge and support for your young child and together we work as a team preparing young minds for their future educational careers. 🙂

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning