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Friday, March 15, 2013

13 Planting seeds

I could not sleep after my conversation about science, I couldn’t stop thinking of how children would take the task, what would they think of visiting a garden, what would parents think about this?, what would be the attitude of the Director?, I had been lucky with the night of art but this seemed to be more academic. 

I got up and I wrote a note to the parents asking them that they would let go to children after school on Friday and if some of them could join them, I write down the address, printed the note and I put all the sheets on my backpack. Perhaps that helped me because I slept until the alarm echoed in my ear.

On my way to school, I recognized her house, I was sure I had seen it before, and I had seen this woman walking with two dogs in the morning. One of the dogs walked slowly and the other moved forward strides, so she was in the middle of the two dogs. 

While I was busy with my thoughts, I heard a voice saying: good morning master!, when I went looking I saw Jackie small walking towards me. 

We walk together to school and when I found several known parents so I started to give out the information and asked them to help me to make it public. All were very kind and when they saw the address, children and parents said that they knew the place well. 

It seemed that everything would be easy at this point.

When I was in the classroom, I began to talk to children about my encounter with plants and told them the challenge, the first thing that we were going to do was going to talk to who would support us in the entire process of making plants, then we would do teams and some would plant the seeds and then some would measure the growth and they would make daily, as in a diary while others would take photos, some would do the writings and others would expose the information at the science fair.

I told them that we would be like bees, which each has a specific job to ensure that all should continue upon the face of the Earth. I made drawings on the Blackboard and at one point looked at the faces of the children who were smiling and listening to everything what he said with such care that I think I could listen to the respiration of each.
When I finished I asked them to do questions and if your questions has been rain drops, it would have been able to document a flood: can I plant popcorn?, can I plant tomatoes?, can I water the plants with milk?... my mom says milk makes me grow faster!, Can I take pictures of the seeds when they are in the dirt?, but how will I see them if  they are under the dirt?, Can I... can I... can I...?. In 10 minutes I counted 56 different questions, which was discreetly scoring.

Friday at the end of the break I asked them who can go after school to our special garden and everyone raised their hands. Some said that their mother could not take them, but they had already organized.

When we left the school we went to our appointment, children surrounded one of the plants received a fun and simple explanation about the work of bees and pollination and the role of the butterflies in the growth of plants and learned that there are different types of plants, those funny thing is that they were not classical explanations of books they were answers to the questions of the children that looked like they would never end. Some were about the plants, other about bees and returning to questions about the plants and finally one focused on one of the dogs, which were peculiarly quiet and seemed that they enjoyed the children: why do your dog just has a black ear?, and the answer was: what is your theory?. 

I counted 12 different explanations from: you paint the ear to differentiate it,  or her mom did not reach you paint so that it was completely white,  but one almost  made me cry: because Tisha, who is an african-american girl said: God had taken the dog from her ear  to paint it so  her ear still had traces of God...

When they asked if they could pet that dog, which all the time had been in the arms of our lecturer, she told them that she was blind deaf and that they should be very soft to pet it. How come  didn't I realize that?, I pet  it when I was here, when we were outside she had her harness, it looks so normal… when did I lose my ability to observe?.

At the end, she explained to children that she had found that dried seeds work best, so she gave them seeds from her little bottles and asked to each one to remember that they were. Mothers just observed everything, not asked, but definitely enjoyed all the time of all questions from their children.

When the children left she invited me to her Office and I told her that I felt sorry for her dog, but she told me that Bubu was an intelligent creature and even deaf & blind she adapted it to the environment at the same way as any other dog, there was no reason to pity her.

I started giving my report about the number of children's questions: I counted 56 questions in the classroom and you 72 during her explanation, taking into account that they were made in a period of 70 minutes gives us an average of 1.82 questions per minute and if we divide among 20 children then we have a total of 6.4 questions per child...

-The next step is to analyze the questions and divide into questions that have been able to hear from other talks, which have been developed during the explanations and questions with no sense or just by asking. With it, you'd be making a cognitive research. But don't worry, so you need to record the children to make a further analysis of the sessions.

Really?, do not need a post doctorate to do research?.

  -No, just need a question or need to solve a problem. Simpler than Facebook!.

The weekend I looked for more information and made a plan of action which surprised me because everything was perfectly clear. No more fear!, I gave myself the luxury of jogging in the afternoon, I felt relaxed.

On Monday morning, children told me that they had already sown the seeds that had given them and others said that they would dry more seeds. They decided to work under two environments, some would use dirt and others a cotton with water, they would compare the growth and as the teams were already formed each one perfectly knew his work.

Some told me that they had gone the weekend to the Botanical Garden, and received notes from parents thanking I was doing something for their children. Joseph’s father wrote me a note saying that his son was the grandson of farmers in a little town in Mexico and that this would make them very happy that his son learns the love for the land and plants.

We were reading articles we Googled about plants that complement perfect with their book, and all of them appreciated very much some photos that our guide had given me to expose the issue.

I still had so much to do, but I think that we were on the right track. In addition this would allow us to use the numbers, of course reading and writing and graphic skills of expression. They would develop the capacity of observation, analyzing and solving problems, comparing results, doing research, but above all, the children were in direct contact with the science... and without any pain!. They may learn to love it more than I did when I was student.

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