We have been so busy preparing and planting the garden and then taking care of what we are growing. It is fantastic to see how productive our patch can be. We started thinking about how we would use what we are growing and plan to feed our community when we celebrate at school.
Thinking about having an Umu or Hangi next year we identified the plants in our garden that would be good for this. We chose kumara, pumpkin, and sweetcorn.
We also wanted to know which plants would be ready for christmas, we thought that our courgette and our cucumber would be ready by then. We also decided to include the sunflowers as they would feed Sunshine and Sparkles.
Our first job was to map the garden which was a great opportunity to apply our skills in describing where things were in relation to others. We also used our science skills, using the leaves to identify each plant and talking about why they were growing together. Did you know that planting sunflowers and cucumbers togethers makes the cucumbers sweeter?
Our courgettes and pumpkin.
Applying Maths to real world contexts give students an opportunity to learn through experience and set a foundation of understand that leads on to more abstract thinking.
The New Zealand Curriculum identifies that "Mathematics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in quantities, space, and time... equip(ping) students with effective means for investigating, interpreting, explaining, and making sense of the world in which they live."
Once we had our data we did a little bit of research and made predictions about how many vegetables each plant would give us to eat. We talked about predictions being a guess but by having this information we would be making an 'educated guess'.
Doing the Maths.
We used our data and came up with a range of strategies to find out how many of each vegetable there was.
Duncan drew pictures of the vegetables and used repeated addition to find out the number of pumpkins and cucumbers that we will harvest.
Asha counted in 10's to find out how many kumara we would get, 120! Wow that would be enough for 3 kumara each if we gave one to every child at school.
She then split some of her larger numbers into groups of 10's and 1's to help her predict how many courgettes we would get.
Asha knows that knowing her times tables helps to make some of her calculations quicker.
Elliott used a combination of strategies to make his predictions. He began by using repeated addition but found it slow so began to use his times tables knowledge.
Making calculations for the corn, 57 plants giving 5 cob each, he split 57 into groups of 10 = 5 and ones = 7.
He knows that 5 x 5 is 25 therefore 5 x 50 = 250.
5 x 7 = 35, then he joins the numbers back together to get his prediction.
250 + 35=285 corn cobs!
Wowee that is a huge amount of corn. We will need a sweetcorn relish recipe we think to be able to use it all.
Part of being an enviroschool is measuring the changes that we are making. We will be doing some work to calculate how many food miles we might save by growing this food here. It'll be fantastic to put on our scientist hats and work out how to maximise production while reducing costs and we look forward to sharing our homegrown kai with you. If you are around during the holidays please come and help us to keep our garden growing and harvest the vegetables as they are ready. We used the first of our courgettes at our green gold celebration barbecue and they were delicious!