Sunday, July 7, 2013

Have You Ever Heard of a Mangosteen or a Surinam Cherry???

SCROLL DOWN to almost the end of this post to find out more about Mangosteens & Surinam Cherries.
They are NOT new Common Core math manipulatives!  :)

Last spring, my class planted an organic garden.  
I won a grant from the Southern California Kindergarten Conference a few years ago and was able to install 3 raised beds and fill them with a drip irrigation system, organic soil, and organic plants.  I was even able to add the pavers in an AB math pattern around the 3 planters.  I share these raised beds with the other kindergarten classes every year.

If you plan to attend the SCKC this coming year, it will be held on 
Feb 28-March 1 in Pasadena, CA.
You can find more info here.
You can apply for the $1000 teacher grant here.

This October 5, SCKC will be hosting a One Day Fall Conference 
featuring Heidi from Heidi's Songs for the morning session and
Sarah and me for the afternoon session where we will run a 
Common Core Math Workshop where you can actually 
make new math manipulatives & activities for your classroom.
This one day conference will be held in Costa Mesa, California.
Seating is limited, so you'll want to register soon.  You can register here.

Every year, we plant new organic edibles.   We call them Incredible Edibles!  :)

We drew a grid in the dirt and each child got to plant in one square. 

You can see the drip system here.

Planting organic plants.

Here are some photos of this year's crop:

... and growing!

Kids got to take home squash, kale, broccoli, lettuce,
 green onions, tomatoes, green peppers, cilantro, basil, & more!

We also ate some of our harvest. 
We picked and washed different varieties of lettuce and added tomatoes and dressing.


We enjoyed every bite!

In addition, we planted beans in the classroom.
I attended a workshop at last year's SCKC where a scientist explained the importance of keeping the "ever so common beans in a plastic bag" up out of most of the moisture so they don't rot.
This is what it would look like without our cute
 flowerpot template.

The black smear is the smudged out name of the student.
Here are all of the directions and a cute template in which to display your class' beans.

The row of staples is what makes this project a success. 

You can see our beans displayed on the windows where they got lots of light.

Flower pots of beans hanging in the windows.

We also planted radishes in milk cartons and herbs in a flat bed.
The students got to water them each day with a squirt bottle.
Our plant center where students can learn about plants
 and water them with the squirt bottle. 

That's a white lab coat hanging at the right side of this photo.
Kids may wear it while learning about plants. 

Milk cartons wrapped with a farm scene grow more plants.  
So, now I'm chillin' on the island of Kauai and I have been trying some of the local fruit.  Have you ever tried mangosteens?  They are so different and have an amazing flavor.  You can find out more about mangosteens here.
You cut it open and eat only the white parts.

The purple isn't edible, but
some people juice it for the anti-oxidents.
This is a surinam cherry.  Yummy & tart.
You can read more about surinam cherries here.

I hope you all don't mind that I posted about this cute template before.  They are very popular with our followers and I  thought you might like to see them again.  Let me know about your planting experiences with your class.

And always remember to keep the FUN in the FUNdamentals!
Palma :)


  1. WHOA! That was a great project, and lucky you to have gotten that grant! Congratulations, and thanks for the shout out!! I am really looking forward to working with you in October- AND attending your workshop!
    Heidi Butkus

  2. The October One Day Conference is going to rock! I can't wait to attend YOUR workshop! I'm gearing up to teach TK this coming year, but first, I'm "chillaxing" on Kauai. Did you check out that mangosteen? Such a strange fruit! You eat only the white part.
    Palma :)