In the Classroom: The Leapfrogs

Leapfrogs grow seeds in class

Gardening in the Classroom

With spring in full bloom, the Leapfrogs observations and curiosity of the changes in the natural environment around them have led into a new study on nature and plants. To learn more about plants and nature, we started with gardening in the classroom to provide hands-on experiences with how plants grow and thrive and what they need in order to do so.
The Leapfrogs began the gardening process by planting and tending to their green bean seeds. They watered them each day and checked for signs of growth. They documented the process of growing their plant to show its progression from a seed to a green bean in their science journals. They also drew the different stages of their plant’s growth and documented their observations about the stages next to their illustrations.
After just two weeks, the Leapfrogs were very excited to see how their plants grew. They helped water them upon their arrival and by the time we checked back after lunch, many plants had sprouted upwards out of the dirt or had grown in size. During our observations, the Leapfrogs pointed out how their plant changed in size, describing them as “tall”. We pulled out the rulers for them to measure the height of their plant to determine exactly how tall it was.
The Leapfrogs were able to determine their plant growth throughout the week by comparing their documented height measurements. One of the Leapfrogs pointed out that their plant grew an entire inch in less than one day! Our classroom planting and gardening ignited many inquisitive conversations with the Leapfrogs and also offered opportunities to explore additional aspects of learning. 
As teachers, we were excited to see the positive impact that gardening has on children play out in our classroom. The article, Gardening with Kids: How It Affects Your Child's Brain, Body and Soul further discusses many of benefits we noticed, such as instilling responsibility, promoting healthy eating, and cultivating relationships. 
The Leapfrogs have also made many connections between our plant study and their home and school experiences. They have displayed their understanding and learning through the connections they have made such as discussing gardening they have been doing at home, noticing seeds in the fruit they are eating, as well as discovering seeds and plant growth out on the playground.