Friends enjoy a neighborhood tree one last time....

HAPPY EARTH DAY TO THE DOWLING FAMILY COMMUNITY!  Thanks to everyone who's helped make this a great day of learning, stewardship, and fun for our students.

Spring Has Sprung  Getting outdoors this time of year is what we all yearn for.  Bright sunshine, light breezes, and mud.  Students of all ages still need to wear boots to school until our grounds have dried sufficiently for other footwear.  The melting snow also reveals a myriad of litter left by us careless humans over the course of the winter.  Each class will take its turn on a stroll through the neighborhood, picking up litter and other trash we find.  Can you do this around your block too?

POLLUTION PATROL  Grade 4 students continue their learning about pollution this spring. It's not hard to locate sources of air, land, and water pollution in any urban area, but students also learned about noise and light pollution.  After taking walks in the neighborhood and tallying pollution we saw, students discovered much they hadn't noticed before: near constant planes taking off, loud car and truck motors, and children shouting, sand and salt in the street and going down the storm sewer straight to our mighty Mississippi River, paper, plastic, cigarette butts by the dozens, chips of paint and glass, smoke and heat from chimneys and exhaust pipes, pet waste, and more.  Each of us can make decisions to reduce pollution at its source and take steps to clean up pollution where we are able.  Let's help our children learn to make a habit of taking care of our planet!

Weather Watchers 

Third grade students are learning to watch weather, collect data, and record.  Using spring nature journals, the students first record temperatures from eight different thermometers, then find the median and chart it on a bar graph.  They also document cloud type, if any, wind speed - calm light breeze, or windy - and percipitation if any.   This spring they will learn about extreme weather sometimes seen in Minnesota, and how to stay safe.  In addition, students will keep track of a list of natural changes they see and mark down when each first happened.  This is the study of phenology.    As part of this unit, students also learn about "flow" and "store" - i.e. where water is in the water cycle, either moving or flowing, or in storage somewhere.  Interesting stuff, water!

The Greenhouse is Filled with Green!

Dowling is so fortunate to have our own greenhouse.  Every year all students get the opportuity to start plants from seed: a flower and an edible of some sort.  This year we're focusing on native flowers that support a diverse host of invertebrates and allow for energy to move up the food chain in our local ecosystem.  Look for coneflowers, prairie blazing star, milkweed, and more.  Students will also plant some non-native annuals: zinnias for our monarchs, marigolds, and morning glory.  We will also be sending home an assortment of tomato plants, jalapeno pepper plants, and tomatillos.  Salsa, anyone?  :o)

Balance and Motion

Students in grade 2 have been learning about balance and motion in science class and about how birds balance and move throughout their day.  Birds of greater focus: cardinals, woodpeckers, parrots, and our own state bird, the common loon - each with its own make-and-take craft or art project.  Central vocabulary: adaptations, habitat, predator and prey, mating, plumage, migration.  Families can take advantage of our proximity to a major migratory path and do a little birdwatching in the Dowling neighborhood before and after school.  Birds of note that we see often while out and about: bald eagles, hawks, great blue herons, pileated woodpeckers, and our beloved chickadees and crows.

Helping Us Rebuild Our Orchard

The Environmental Education committee of the Dowling Site Council wishes to thank the Dowling community of students, families, and staff for a very successful fundraiser.  Our Adopt-a-Fruit-Tree campaign brought in over $2500 this month.  Thank you very much for your generosity!  Watch for more information on planting - no longer on Earth Day due to persistent cold weather - rescheduled for Global Outdoor Classroom Day, May 17, 2018.

Enjoy the newest pictures in our feed below.  Feedback is appreciated.


Once again here's the schedule by grade-level of time specific to Mrs. Young's Environmental Education class.  

Kindergarten - quarter IV, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 2:15-2:45, rotating classrooms by week

First Grade -  quarter IV, Monday through Friday, 10:15-10:45, rotating classrooms by week

Second Grade - classes with Mrs. Young for projects only

Third Grade - year round as part of the six-day specialist schedule, 10:50-11:45

Fourth Grade - year round as part of the six-day specialist schedule, 10:50-11:45

Fifth Grade - year round, every Friday, 2:00-2:50

DCD primary - year round, every Thursday, 1:15-1:45, with some students mainstreaming with their grade-level classes for environmental education.

DCD intermediate - year round, every Thursday, 2:00-2:45

Other - at other times, classroom teachers may schedule extra time with Mrs. Young to teach, co-teach, do projects, or take walking field trips together.  Watch your child's homeroom newsletter for more information about these activities.  We'd love to have you come along!

Quarter 4 begins after spring break and continues through Friday, June 8.


Click a link below to see the archived Environmental Education newsletters