Archive for February, 2012

Orca Garden remembers Henry Doss


The Orca community lost one it’s pillars last week- Playground Supervisor & Orca parent Henry Doss. He passed away suddenly on Friday. Henry had struggled with diabetes for a longtime, but his loss was sudden and painful for all of us here at school. He has two students here at Orca and our thoughts and prayers are with them. We will always remember Henry for his smile and positive spirit around here- he will be missed greatly.

There will be a service here at Orca on Saturday March 3rd at 11am for all of his family, friends, and anybody wanting to pay their respects.

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First tomato seeds planted & PAKORAS!

While we planted our first tomato seeds of the year, we munched my favorite Indian street food- fresh pakoras. What fun to couple planting with some exploratory eating of new foods. I brought the curry back from India and even harvested some broccoli out of the garden. Use this recipe to make them.

These first graders had a blast getting their hands in the soil in our cozy greenhouse (yes we washed our hands before munching pakoras!). Last year we grew over 1200 tomato plants for our plant sale, Orca garden, and plant donations to other schools & non-profit organizations. This year we are growing them bigger, badder, and more delicious!

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Salmon life cycle accordions ?!

life cycle!

You can’t play them but they still look cool! We have been getting our art on this week in the greenhouse with this cool project. It really illustrates the fact that salmon have a life cycle that is similar to humans and just as fascinating. As our salmon change from alevin to fry, we get to see the change first hand (and in our cool accordions).

durp durp durp- looky looky!

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Math, food, & advertising

The final percentages

Your homework this week for 6th grade science… an hour of TV?!?! Yes- and please count the food commercials and what they are for.

Students tallied up these food commercials in an effort to better understand how TV influences our eating habits. Then we came up with percentages for what food commercials were for what kinds of foods.

The average child sees 40,000 commercials a year during 1,460 hours of TV viewing. Studies prove that kids who watch more TV have worse health and lower nutritional knowledge in general. How does this happen? Well, we thought that analyzing what TV commercials are trying to sell us could help us improve our media literacy. Can it improve our health? Maybe. Students had some incredible reflections on the data and they really are looking at food and food advertising with a critical eye. they got to share their finding with the school through their own subversive “advertising” campaign.

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1,000 books donated to our friends in India!

We donated over 1,000 books to RSK School in India. this was the same school that we just helped build gardens at in November 2011. The school is very excited to get these books and they will be having a library for the first time. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this amazing giving project.

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Salmon Update- They’re swimming!

The salmon in their alevin stage are starting to swim around a little bit. They are becoming parr- the next stage in their life cycle development. Kindergarteners have made an incredible poster using their art skills- check it out.

They're growing!

salmon life cycle poster in kindergarten hallway

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Swiss chard sushi !?!?

Not much is growing in the garden, but the swiss chard is growing like crrrrazy. I love greens but I was never really exposed to them as a kid, and this was a great opportunity to do that. Chard sushi! I cooked up a pot of rice, chopped up some carrots and cucumbers, added a little rice vinegar & soy sauce- and Voila! A delicious snack and some pretty fresh exposure to chard. Chard is high in anti-oxidants & vitamins A,K, & C. We plucked them fresh out of the ground and blanched them for 1 minute in boiling water. This loosened them up and made them easy to roll. Most students really enjoyed this snack and it was a lot of fun to be eating garden food again.

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Salmon Migration Obstacle Course

In the middle of this BEAUTIFUL and sunny winter, we took some time to set up a obstacle course that mimicked challenges salmon face in the migration patterns. We had students become both bears and human fishermen on the obstacle course. The slippery salmon had to try and avoid them while “swimming” between logs and over “rocks”. We used common gym equipment to model these obstacles. The students had a lot of fun and they maybe got a better understanding of the challenges our baby salmon will face as they grow up.

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