Symposium on Innovation and Leadership. Fund For Teachers. INNOVATORS value and embrace challenges and change LEADERS act as positive agents to facilitate and support change in a safe, accepting environment. 2010 Fellowship Project.
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Symposium on Innovation and Leadership Fund For Teachers
INNOVATORS value and embrace challenges and changeLEADERS act as positive agents to facilitate and support change in a safe, accepting environment
2010 Fellowship Project • Traveled to Australia to learn about and experience kitchen gardening in elementary schools • Worked with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation • Visited 12 schools in Victoria, 1 school in New South Wales • Learned how to effectively utilize gardening and cooking to address core curriculum and social emotional skills
Impact on Innovation • Renewed personal passion to explore, design and implement a dynamic approach to learning • Challenged to modify and adapt gardening activities and kitchen lessons/recipes for students with severe-profound special needs • Sought and secured grant funding to enhance school garden space with addition of a greenhouse (extend growing season)
Impact on Leadership • Challenged to generate excitement and enthusiasm among colleagues and students for using the school garden • Worked in the garden and kitchen with 2 classrooms on a weekly basis; shared knowledge and skills with cooperating teachers • Designed and presented workshops with school based garden committee • Collaborated with colleague to develop and lead district wide study group to explore social benefits of kitchen gardening
Student Impact Over the course of the year, students demonstrated: • Increased interest and physical engagement • Increase in sustained attention • New skills in the garden and kitchen • Deliberate intent to communicate (request and comment) • Increased ability to follow routine and novel directions • Increased tolerance and willingness for exploring new flavors/textures/foods • Sense of pride and ownership • Increased understanding of responsibility • Increased understanding of delayed gratification
School-wide Impact Over the course of the year, staff demonstrated: • Increased interest in using the garden for lessons • Interest in using fresh produce for cooking activities • Interest in weekly recipes and results • Curiosity about how to make vegetable based recipes “user friendly” for students with eating issues • Interest in planning and planting the garden for the upcoming school year
Garden Lesson: Sensory Exploration and Descriptions Salsa Lesson Plan (Garden)
Kitchen Lesson: Late Summer Salsa Salsa Lesson Plan (Kitchen)
Student Recipes Veggie soup Pumpkin pancakes Green tomato raspberry jam Caprese Basil fettuccini Squash blossom quesadilla
Student Voice and Choice • Students use a variety of means to communicate • Students vote/rate recipes • Students plan upcoming garden plantings
Year End Reflections • After several months of structure and routine, students began to look forward to gardening and cooking sessions • Parents and teachers commented on students’ willingness to try new and healthy foods • Need to more fully develop “off season” gardening activities and more effectively utilize preserved harvest • Setting the challenge level high enough without reaching frustration level elicited and sustained student interest and engagement • Positive attitudes exhibited by staff (support, therapy, teaching) directly affected student attitudes and participation
Upcoming Steps • Incorporate use of greenhouse to extend growing season • Expand the kitchen garden program to two additional classrooms in upcoming year • Present quarterly workshops for parents and caregivers • Create shared database with lessons, activities and recipes