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  • Friday, July 11, 2014 | Filed under Volunteering , Language Arts , Educators , Lesson Plans , Science , REAL Teacher Journal , Math

    Friday, June 6th – Lee Elementary Full Day Professional Development



    Helping out with the teacher training was a very unique experience for me.  Having learned quite a bit about REAL School Gardens through my Nature of Giving course at TCU, I was very much looking forward to working here this summer.  From the beginning, I have been very open to helping out wherever needed and learning more about not only a wonderful, innovative organization, but growing in my nonprofit skills.  Getting to see a first teacher training happen was a blessing, and ended up teaching me more than ...

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  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | Filed under Language Arts , Educators , Science , Math

    Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi believed in educating students through head, hand and heart. His pedagogical method was that education should be based on concrete experience as in the use of tactile objects such as plants and other natural specimens in teaching the sciences to students.

    These principles appeared in the introduction to A Manual of Elementary Instruction for the Use of Public and Private Schools and Normal Classes published in 1873. Do these principles still apply today?


    1. Activity is the law of childhood. Accustom the child to do – educate the hand.
    2. Cultivate the faculties in their natural order – ...

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  • Wednesday, July 17, 2013 | Filed under Engineering , Instructional Aids , Science , Math







    Solarization is a simple non-chemical technique, which captures radiant heat energy from the sun.  This energy causes physical, chemical, and biological changes in the soil.  These changes lead to control or suppression of soil borne plant pathogens such as fungi, bacteria, nematodes, and pests along with weed, weed seed and seedlings.



    Helpful Hint: Solarization is most likely to be effective during long days of high temperatures and no wind.  The summer months are the optimum time for solarization.



    How to Solarize?

    Step 1: Spade the soil 2 -3 inches ...

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  • Wednesday, June 26, 2013 | Filed under Engineering , Science , Math


    The Fibonacci numbers sequencing of natural objects and processes are natures’ way of creating pattern and order. For example, this naturally occurring numbering system is a way of growing patterns in plants that allow leaf arrangements to maximize space for each leaf so that the amount of light that falls on the plant is distributed equally; leaves on plants are staggered in a spiral pattern to allow the gathering of light and to prevent the casting of shadows on adjacent leaves. This sequence recurs in other structures found throughout nature in flowers, fruits and seeds. Flowers have petal arrangements ...

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  • Sunday, February 10, 2013 | Filed under Educators , Instructional Aids , Science , Math

    My fourth grade students at Holiday Heights Elementary noticed while measuring circumference  and diameter on our broccoli plants that the plants next door in the third grade bed were much smaller. They measured these too and wrote the results down in their journals. On fourth grade broccoli C=56cm and D=21cm. On the third grade broccoli C=31cm and D=11cm. The students wanted to know why there was nearly double the difference in both measurements.


    We put our heads together back in the classroom to try finding a variable that could account for the difference. After discussion they ruled out sunshine, ...

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  • Friday, July 13, 2012 | Filed under Educators , Science , Math

    It’s not exactly news that students in the United States don’t measure up to students in other countries when it comes to math and science.

    But why is this important? According to a report by the National Governors Association, students who get degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and who get jobs in STEM fields not only get paid significantly more, but also experience lower unemployment rates than workers who enter other fields.

    Something in that NGA report was of particular interest to us. One of the six steps they decided would help accomplish STEM reform was “using informal ...

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  • Thursday, May 31, 2012 | Filed under Environmental Stewardship , Health and Nutrition , Educators , Community , Social Studies , Science , Math , Smart Potatoes

    Kindergarten teacher, Lester Sipma, at George Clarke Elementary (Fort Worth, TX) has participated in the past two years of the Smart Potatoes Program.  He shared his experience this year with us below:    


    Participating in the Smart Potato program has impacted me, my students, our George C. Clarke staff, faculty and families in many ways. Some of the ways in which the program has impacted our campus were expected and others were wonderful surprises.

    I used the Smart Potato project as a platform to teach a variety of science lessons such as plant life cycles, soil types, problems and solutions to gardening, identifying insects, determining ...

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  • Thursday, May 24, 2012 | Filed under Engineering , Community , Science , Math , Smart Potatoes


           Chemical to electrical energy transfer to power a calculator with Solanum tuberosum (Potatoes)

    There are several interesting things happening with potatoes during this potato harvest time in the DFW area. One standout is the “Smart Potatoes” campaign initiated by REAL School Gardens in concert with BRIT (Botanical Research Institute of Texas) whereby 30 elementary schools in 5 school districts are growing, tending and harvesting potatoes to donate to their local food pantries.

    Another potato happening was that on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 -- United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and Texas Instruments in conjunction with REAL School Gardens and ...

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  • Monday, November 28, 2011 | Filed under Educators , Family Activities , REAL Supporters , Math

    Looking for ways to take advantage of the academics of Autumn?  Here are a few ideas:

    Prekindergarten to 1st graders will enjoy sorting through leaves, classifying them by shape, color, or size.


    Young students at Lipscomb Elementary sorting leaves.

    Young learners can practice their basic patterns using the leaves that they collected in their outdoor classroom.

    "Fall Patterns"

    Young students can gather weather data and collect evidence of the season by taping a “specimen” in their science journal.

    "November 16th, windy, cool, cold, cloudy.  In autumn, the leaves fall"

    Students can practice their data collection and graphing skills by collecting leaves and using tally ...

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  • Friday, November 4, 2011 | Filed under Health and Nutrition , Community , Science , REAL Supporters , Math

    Mixed Gourmet Greens at IM Terrell Elementary 

     Leaf lettuce growing at I.M. Terrell Elementary (Fort Worth ISD). (photo credit: Matt Rainwater) 

    “What process will our vegetables go through to get from our garden to being served to patrons?”—a great question asked by one of Meadowbrook Elementary’s 5th graders who—along with his after school Garden Club classmates— has been carefully cultivating beans, turnips, and lettuce to be ultimately harvested and then prepared by an award-winning chef in a popular downtown restaurant known for its classic American fare. 

    On Friday, November 11th, GRACE Restaurant will host the 2nd Annual Schoolyard Harvest Dinner in ...

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