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The area in front of our Media Center contains 3 stable, heavy, and durable picnic benches that are not easily accessible, and therefore, not often used. The goal of this project is to create a space, including pathways, that will make this area more desirable and accessible for students and teachers to use as an outdoor classroom space... A space that will provide 'A Breath of Fresh Air'. Knowing that this space is now available, teachers will be able to 'do the science' that is not possible within the classroom. The space will also serve as a 'nice change of pace' for lessons in other subjects as well.

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A Breath of Fresh Air

grant photo
School:
McInnis Elementary School 
Subject:
Science 
Teacher:
Sonia Larrabee 
Students Impacted:
425 
Grade:
Pre K - 5 
Date:
September 3, 2019

85% Funded

 

 

Only $150.00 Needed

 

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Goal

The area in front of our Media Center contains 3 stable, heavy, and durable picnic benches that are not easily accessible, and therefore, not often used. The goal of this project is to create a space, including pathways, that will make this area more desirable and accessible for students and teachers to use as an outdoor classroom space... A space that will provide 'A Breath of Fresh Air'. Knowing that this space is now available, teachers will be able to 'do the science' that is not possible within the classroom. The space will also serve as a 'nice change of pace' for lessons in other subjects as well. 

 

What will be done with my students

Over the past several years, we have secured funding through Futures grants to provide gardening beds and gardening opportunities for our students. As a result of taking this initiative, other organizations and businesses such as Stetson University's Bonner and Sustainable Foods programs and Select Growers Nursery have invested in our gardening efforts. There is one more area on campus that I believe needs our attention and that is the area in front of the Media Center. And in anticipation for this project, we have saved some of our butterfly plants we received from the Pollinator grant for this project. With the help of a local nursery, interested students, parents, and community members will come together on several Early Release Wednesdays and a designated Saturday Work Day to renovate the outside landscape in front of the Media Center into an outdoor classroom site. Access to each of the three picnic tables will be the starting and focal point of the project. Pathways from the sidewalk to each of the tables will be made, placing down liner on each path, and then laying mulch on top. Each pathway will be outlined with granite rocks.

Science Standards alignment will be the motivation for meeting the project goal. The following Standards form the foundation for the goal of the project.

SC.5.L.17.1 Compare and contrast adaptations displayed by animals and plants that enable them to survive in different environments
such as life cycles variations, animal behaviors and physical characteristics.
SC.5.L.15.1 Describe how, when the environment changes,
differences between individuals allow some plants and animals to
survive and reproduce while others die or move to new locations.
SC.4.L.16.4 Compare and contrast the major stages in the life cycles of Florida plants and animals, such as those that undergo incomplete and complete metamorphosis, and flowering and
nonflowering seed-bearing plants.
SC.4.L.17.1 Compare the seasonal changes in Florida plants and animals to those in other regions of the country.
SC.4.L.17.4 Recognize ways plants and animals, including humans, can impact the environment.

I am going to promote that classrooms use this space for these and other related Standards K-5. Students will now have the space (and time given by their teacher) to make environmental observations as they use the picnic tables. My special project will be to provide teachers an opportunity to interact with the Standards by using the environment. There will be an option for students to bring specific Habitat Journals to use when using this site. I plan to place a closed-lid hose box containing hand lenses, Micro-viewers, and laminated activity cards for each grade level. The activities will align to each grade level's Big Ideas 14-17. Students may come to the Outdoor Classroom site, A Breath of Fresh Air, to work in their Habitat Journals. For example, an activity card for Grade 2 will include the Standard SC.2.L.17.2 (Recognize and explain that
living things are found all over
Earth, but each is only able to
live in habitats that meet its
basic needs.) and the aligned activity:
1. Choose to make observations for plants or animals.
2. Make a list of all the animals or plants in your journal living this habitat. You may choose to draw or write each name of the animal or plant.
3. Observe each organism. Describe its behavior in words or with a picture.
4. Share observations with a partner. Is there an organism that wasn't on your list that your partner shared? Make your own observations.
5. Continue to visit this habitat and make observations in your Habitat Journal for these animals or plants.

I have learned that every outdoor space needs a maintenance and upkeep plan. The Stetson Bonners and students from the Sustainable Foods Department will continue to support our teachers and students this school year through their volunteerism and funding. I will serve as the contact for McInnis and coordinate the volunteer program.
 

 

Benefits to my students

Our students cannot possibly learn and experience all they need within the four walls of the classroom. So many of our Science Standards, especially in the Life domain, require 'doing science', and the most logical place is in the natural environment where the 'life' is living. I want to provide a more convenient space to do so. Children are naturally curious. The out-of-doors will encourage our students to stay curious and want to be outside.

The renovation of the landscape in front of the Media Center will provide an outdoor classroom site that will be a long term investment for many years of enjoyment. This site will complete the project we began several years ago:
- A 8" x 4" garden bed per classroom
- Partnerships with Stetson University and other community partners
- Securing funding sources for upkeep and maintenance
- The Butterfly Project providing butterfly habitats for each classroom
- A Butterfly Garden in front of the Art Room
And now...
- The Outdoor Classroom Site for 'A Breath of Fresh Air' in front of the Media Center

At a time when our students are so plugged into their video games, they need for us to provide them the experiences and learning for a complete life.
 

 

Budget Narrative

The granite rock will serve as the border for the paths from the sidewalk to each of the picnic tables - three paths in all. The paths will be 'dug out', liner placed down, and mulch placed on top.
The closed-lid hose box will contain the hand lenses, activity cards, and other supplies needed for the activities such as string, spoons, and seeds.
Butterfly plants will be planted throughout the habitat.
The Habitat Journals will have card stock covers with xerox paper for pages. 

 

Items

# Item Cost
1 Granite Landscaping Rocks $500.00
2 Weed Liner $40.00
3 Hose Box $50.00
4 Activity Cards $5.00
5 Habitat Journals $20.00
6 Mulch $200.00
7 Butterfly Plants such as Verbena, Butterfly Flower, Aster, Mint Family plants, and Phlox $155.00
8 Activity Card Supplies $30.00
  Total: $1,000.00

85% Funded

 

 

Only $150.00 Needed

 

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Special Thanks to Our Presenting Partners

Amscot

FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

William & Linda Cuthbert

Heart of Volusia, Inc.

Duke-Energy

Florida Health Care Plans & Florida Blue

Florida Power & Light Company

Noopur Ranganathan

SunTrust Foundation

Rue & Ziffra

Launch Federal Credit Union

Addition Financial

New Smyrna Beach Board of Realtors

Mader Southeast

Cobb Cole