Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Reading Education Foundation Grant Award

I am excited to share with the Barrows community that we received a generous grant from the Reading Education Foundation to support the development of outside play and learning areas on the Barrows Campus!  This grant will provide us the opportunity to build mobile planting beds to support our 1st grade curriculum of vegetables and plant life cycles.  Additionally, it provides funding for a butterfly garden and Monarch Waystation that will support our 2nd grade science curriculum on metamorphosis while also providing a green space for a threatened species.  Most importantly, it starts the foundation of what I hope is a multi-year effort to expand our learning spaces "outside the classroom walls" while capitalizing on the natural excitement that the outdoors provides for students.  Please view the Prezi here that captures the multi-year goals for which we will be seeking additional grant funding and reaching out to volunteers for help:  https://prezi.com/ompdnsazvmuk/barrows-outdoor-classroom-and-exploration-center/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

The goal of the long-term project: 
To invest time, resources, and energy into creation of an outdoor learning and play space on the Barrows Elementary School campus. The final product is likely 3-4 years away, but will include a outdoor garden beds with curriculum-based themes, "adopt a spot" spaces for classrooms, classroom learning area, a "maker space" that includes resources for creating engineering opportunities, creative play space, visual and performance based art installations, environmental/ecology focused components, and more.

Thank you Reading Education Foundation for providing the first step towards meeting this goal here at Barrows Elementary!

Key curriculum connections include:
  • Life Cycles (plant and animal)
  • Ecosystems (biotic and abiotic features)
  • Seasons and Seasonal Changes
  • Inquiry and engineering design
  • Weather
  • Geology
  • Observation skills (using your senses)
  • Migration
  • Adaptations
  • Water Cycle

Remember, REF is the same organization that funded the Document Cameras last year that are utilized by staff across curriculum and grades!  http://barrowselementary.blogspot.com/2014/07/document-cameras-from-ref.html


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