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 13th! (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.
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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:
- Those "learning experiences" can be too distressing without a back up plan!
- 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.