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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Sprouting Seeds and Knuckleheads

Last week, we talked about plant parts in science class. This kicked off a little experiment with seeds. We put bean seeds in 3 different locations in the room, and under 3 different conditions. One spot was right by the window. One spot was on the bookshelf across the room from the windows. The last spot was inside my supply closet with the door closed. In each location, we have a couple of seeds in a cup with soil, a couple of seeds in a plastic baggie with a wet paper towel, and a couple of seeds in a baggie with a pool of water.

Before we "planted" any of these seeds, the kids first talked about what conditions they thought the seeds would need to grow, and then they hypothesized which condition and location of our classroom seeds would grow best. Everyone hypothesized that the seeds in the cup by the window would grow best.

So imagine our great surprise yesterday, when we made our first official observations of the seeds, when we discovered that the seeds in the cup in the CLOSET were growing the best! I noticed that the cups on the bookshelf and by the window had tiny little stems starting to grow out of the soil, and that the roots were clearly visible along the inside of the clear plastic cups. But inside the closet, we seem to have Audrey II from The Little Shop of Horrors going wild!

Some of the kids thought that these seedlings, growing inches bigger than the ones that are out of the closet, were dead. Merely because they aren't green, and are in fact whiter than Justin Beiber. Yet they are getting bigger and bigger with each passing day!

The kids have been pretty good about respecting the delicateness of the seeds -- for the most part. I did have one knucklehead today, however, who broke that rule. Towards the end of the observation period, I kept hearing several kids saying, "C squished the frijole!" I immediately started breathing through my mouth, because I thought this might be some new euphemism for passing gas.

But no, C had actually taken one of the plastic baggies between thumb and forefinger and squeezed one of the seeds floating in the pool of water. It was just mush. When I demanded to know why he had done it, he finally said, "I thought it was hard."

I was a bit miffed, and I replied, "Well, I think your head is pretty hard, can I squish IT?"

C has received a restraining order from the seeds and must now remain at least 10 feet away at all times.

I don't need any more dead seeds to go along with my "dead" plants that are growing where the sun don't shine.


Summers School said...

That is completely hilarious. I don't know how many time my kids have touched something because they wanted to see if their hypotheses about how it touched was right, and ended up breaking it instead.

re: Ghost Plants: This is why science is so much fun- nothing ever goes the same.

Jock Mackenzie said...

I love some of your similes! Once, for a variety of sadistic reasons, I taped a sign on a cupboard door that was in plain site of my desk (where I seldom found myself sitting). The sign read: DO NOT OPEN. Watching the kids look at the sign, glance over to see if was watching, wonder if they dared sneak a peek, etc. was kind of fun. It was the door beneath the sink that held nothing special . . . but who knew?

JoAnn said...

that happened to us last year, except our "no light" plant was actually under a tub. Grew like nobody's business and made it quite funny for open house. Oh well.

Hebrew Academy said...

This is an adorable story, thanks for sharing with us! I am looking forward to our K-12 to start up in September to make such memories.

Becky said...

I so enjoy your writing as you speak about children in the same way I tend to do so.
One time I was explaining to a girl, for the fortieth time, why she should not do something and I called her a knucklehead--kind of slipped out. Of course her comeback, "I'm telling my mom you said that".
I never heard from the mom. She probably added it to her list of names she used with her daughter.

Mister Teacher said...

JoAnn, somebody told me that when my kids get to 5th grade, they will probably insist on the science test that plants don't need sunlight to thrive...
And Becky, I will admit, I've never actually called a kid a knucklehead in class. :)

Anonymous said...

That is very interesting about your sprouting seeds growing in the closet better than anywhere else. That defies everything that I have been taught. Although I am sure that there is some type of explanation.