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Courtyard Capers

  • Posted May 28, 2008 by Mary Viewed 929 times

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At my school, we have a courtyard which has long been neglected and so this past fall, I wrote a grant to “beautify” the space. As the At-Risk Coordinator for my building, I wanted those “risky” kids to participate in an experiential learning opportunity–using Math in “real” life. The boys are 4th and 5th graders who don't necessarily love the core subjects of school, but they are all good kids who will now be “owners” of something very special and active members of our learning community. The plan includes a pond and waterfall (which is installed by THEM next week), a peace pole, benches, a butterfly garden and a space for growing flowers and/or veggies. It will be an on-going project and when they graduate from our school after 8th grade's completion, perhaps we'll have nurtured a landscape architect, a Math teacher, or best of all–happy learners.

This merry band of troubadours is very excited to get working on the space which is about 20 feet by 50 feet.

Researching ponds/waterfalls which they like from sites visited will allow them to better sketch their own design. A final design will be completed/compiled using all their ideas.

My two faithful rock digger-outers.

Nothing can be done without teamwork.

Working hard hauling rocks from the existing beds to a place where they'll be stored for use upon completion.

Two co-workers who are such fun to work with came out to cheer on the guys in their efforts. Carrie is our Literacy Coach/Reading Specialist and Linda teaches Second Grade.

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    There are 9 comments, add yours!

    • # Lexlevans

      oh my kids!! i was going to say 'my how they've grown' - but honesty, the ones i recognize don't look much different - haha. what a great idea and a great project, and having known some of them - i know they will be so proud of themselves :-)

      2008.06.06 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Oldbabe

      I'm glad to see "at risk" kids getting attention. My oldest was one of those with dyslexia. (He's 34 now). The schools had plenty of programs for "gifted" but hardly anything for "at risk". I used to hate the word "gifted"!

      2008.05.30 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Marsha

      You are one of the teacher (educators) all children need. Oh by the way can I hire them?

      Great photos.

      2008.05.30 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Sherij

      Fantastic idea!! Congrats on the Grant!! Can't wait to see the finished new improved courtyard!!

      2008.05.29 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Jacki

      Congratulation on the grant! Looks like a huge success story!

      Your new camera? Great shots!

      2008.05.29 Edited Reply Cancel