Monday, April 30, 2012

My Traditional Mother's Day Gift

impatiens
First of all, if you are the mom of one of my students, you'll have to click out of this screen.  Sorry, you can't see this until after May 8th!  (Or you'll just have to be really, really good at acting surprised!)
Now that I've made that clear, I can tell you about my traditional Mother's Day gift.  It's something I've been doing every year for at least 15 years.  It's one of those activities that's a win-win-win for everyone involved!  I love it, the kids love it, and the moms love it.  Plus, there's some learning going on!

Every year about this time I go to the gardening store and buy a flat of impatiens.  I usually get a variety of colors, and I make sure I have more than enough.  I brought my flat of little plants to class today just to "wet their whistle".  I think every single kid in the class asked about them.

Later this week, I'll sit with small groups and repot them.  I get right into the soil, asking them to loosen all the soil around the roots before repotting.  There are some great conversations around the table during this process!  It's always interesting to see which kids are afraid to get their hands dirty!  I typically use peat pots (see link/ image to the left) because they can go right into the soil. Paper cups can be used as well, but must be removed before going into the ground.


Once all the plants have been repotted, the kids keep the plants on their desk until it's time to bring them home.  Yep, that's right, the potted plants stay on their desks, beside the flags, beanies, water bottles, and once in a while, some work! 
I love to watch their faces... they come in first thing in the morning, and check the plant right away.  They tend to panic if a leaf has fallen off (They know just how many leaves the plant has!)  After a while, they catch on that leaves falling off is part of the process, and new leaves will appear.
There are always a few minor disasters.  They all know where the dustpan is kept, and they all know how to use it.  Impatiens will endure just about everything the kids can do to a plant, except a broken stem. Then it becomes another learning experience.  I've learned to keep several extras for a couple of reasons:
  1. Those "learning experiences" can be too distressing without a back up plan!
  2. I love growing impatiens in my own garden.  I usually keep the extras in the classroom for most of the year, but I do take them home and put them in my yard... they're great to grow!
I send home this information sheet on impatiens with the children the day the plants go home.


The parents really seem to love the plants, and the kids love preparing them.  It's one of those activities that works so well I keep coming back to it every year, and it's a delight each year.  It's definitely a win-win-win... with some learning on the side!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for linking up and posting about the Linky Party!

    Maria
    Kinder-Craze

    ReplyDelete

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