Mrs. Cherveny's kindergarten class, learning about trees

THANKS ARE IN ORDER!  A brave, industrious, and committed group of parents and children donated a chunk of time this past Saturday to clean out Dowling School's plot in the Community Garden west of the school.  They pulled weeds, trimmed raspberries, folded up landscape fabric, removed old tomato plants, and hopefully had fun and stayed warm!  Thank you to the organizer of this awesome work-crew: Catherine McDonnell-Forney and her daughter Madeline (gr. 3).  Dowling School is a better place because of our volunteers ~ We love you!

Dowling Environmental Science

Families ~ Our first quarter has drawn to a close and report cards will soon be sent home with students.  If your child's class was on the quarter one rotation for Environmental Education, look for your child's EE marks in the Science Comments area.  We're still working on making this more formal, so you may see changes on the second quarter report card.  Thank you for your patience!

During the past couple of weeks, here's some of what's been going on:  

Apple Orchard Students continued to harvest apples and move wood in the past couple of weeks.  Many have learned to make apple juice, apple leather, and banana chips.  Something new this week, from overflow peaches out of the cafeteria: peach leather.  Wow, that's delicious!  We are currently exploring our options for planting new fruit trees, including apples, cherries, and possibly plums and/or pears.  Stay tuned for more information.

Classroom and Grade-Level Reports

DCD lower grades took a nature walk along the Winchell Trail for the first time.  Our focus was to experience nature through all our senses, sensory stimulation.  Dried leaves crunch in our hands and smell good.  The bright blue sky looks brilliant with wispy clouds dancing across and the silhouettes of bare branches framing our view.  Students could see the river, now that the foliage has cleared, and were surprised to see the steep embankment of the gorge.  Birds flitted through the underbrush and some end-of-summer insects made themselves known to us.  Walking on the wall requires balance and a stick makes a fun sound as it bangs along the fence rails.  Isn't autumn wonderful?

DCD upper grades took a turn in the apple orchard, moving wood, bringing in apples, composting, and enjoying the edible fruits of their labor.

Students in grade 5 who are on a weekly rotation of E-STEAM options are learning about food waste.  Who knew worldwide about 28% of food goes to waste, while in the US it's estimated to be as high as 40%?!  Students are learning where the waste occurs and some tips for reducing their own and their families' food waste.  Don't be alarmed if your fifth grade student asks to go through the garbage can with a pair of plastic gloves, looking for stil edible foodstuff!  It's all good.

Students in fourth grade completed their Fibonacci Sequence of Numbers in nature unit.  Look in the hallway for the gorgeous garden photo spirals!  Students have completed their brochures which should also be on display in the front hallway.  Next area of focus and study: microworlds.  Bring out the microscopes!

Third grade students have taken their first lesson in using binoculars.  As part of their 'Structures of Life' science unit, third graders will be learning about animal skeletons, particularly birds, and building their knowledge of ornithology during quarter two.  This unit combines academic knowledge with outdoor exploration and birdwatching, data collection and participation in the Citizen Science program eBird, out of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Students in grade 2 have taken their turn in our orchard, and learned to make apple juice, apple chips, and banana chips.  In addition, Miss Ritten's class learned about harvesting dead-heads from what appears to be an unproductive winter garden.  They collected dead-heads, pulled them apart, and sorted seeds.  We now have, ready for next year's planting, marigold seeds, zinnia seeds, sunflower seeds, and milkweed seeds.  

First grade friends will be on the Environmental Education rotation starting Monday, November 6, with Mrs. Gustafson's class.  Organisms, habitats, and being outside is what we look forward to!

In kindergarten, students are learning about the different areas of Dowling grounds and about how we handle ourselves when we're outside for learning.  They too, start their Env. Ed. rotation on Monday.  Looking forward to learning about apples!

Enjoy the pictures in our feed.  Feedback is appreciated.

Once again, here's the schedule by grade-level of time specific to Mrs. Young's Environmental Education class.  Quarter 2 runs November 6 through January 20.

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

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

Second Grade - quarters I and III, Monday through Friday, 9:15-10:15, rotating classrooms by week

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!



Click the new link below to see the November Environmental Education newsletter