Last month Bell School students got to taste local pears as part of the Harvest of Month program. The pears, which were supplied by Brooksby Farm in Peabody, were turned into a tasty pear sauce and the kids certainly seemed to enjoy it! On Wednesday February 14, they will be trying squash as part of the monthly tasting program. We’re always grateful for extra hands to help prepare the tastings and deliver them to the classrooms. Please let Sarah Fox (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you’re able to help. It requires approximately one hour of your time right after drop off on the relevant day.
Bell Organic Garden News
On Wednesday January 17, Bell students will be tasting a past favorite, pear sauce, as part of the Harvest of the Month program. The pears used in the recipe are from our neighbors at Brooksby Farm, Peabody. Did you know? Pears are a great source of vitamin C! Vitamin C helps us fight off germs that can make us sick. Pears are best for you when you eat their peel too.
For lots more information and facts on pears, check out this worksheet.
In the run up to Thanksgiving and as part of their regular mindfulness practice, Ms. Babbitt’s 1st grade class worked with Mrs. Finnegan on a project called “Gratitude Rocks!”
Students brainstormed ideas about being grateful and thankful. They then chose, painted and personalized their own “gratitude” rocks to provide a reminder of what they are grateful for and the positive feelings that they feel. As a follow up to their weekly practice, they drew and wrote about what they were grateful for. The rocks were then spread around the Bell School Organic Garden, with the intention of spreading gratitude, kindness and generosity.
This project was inspired by the teachers’ work with Mindful Schools, the mindfulness training program seven Bell School staff have been working through, thanks to a grant awarded from the Friends of the Marblehead Public Schools in the summer.
Two 3rd grade classes have recently learned about ‘mandalas’ and how they symbolize the ‘circle of life’ in Buddhism and Hinduism as well as how they can be used as a focal point for finding peace and harmony through meditation. Using materials from nature collected by the children outside in the garden, they crafted a design for their personal mandala. The following week, Mrs. Skaane led them in a short meditation practice focusing on their sense of sight and breathing. The kids made wonderful observations about their materials and designs that they hadn’t noticed two weeks prior!
Last week, Miss Babbitt’s first grade class continued their discussions on habitats but more specifically about our native birds. The children created “bird” bird feeders for the birds that spend time in the garden searching for food! These were proudly displayed at Gayle’s retirement celebration event and looked amazing! Pretty and useful.
2nd graders put their worms back into their natural habitat last week, after studying them for the past four weeks. The kids observed their worms before finding a cozy spot between the soil and hay in the garden beds. Some felt that their worm hotel was heavier due to the castings accumulated over 5 weeks, others noticed the “band” which shows the worm has matured and can produce eggs. We did actually see a few eggs too!