Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bringing Learning to Life

Worm Habitat
Teachers are always searching for great ways to bring learning to life for our students. This week, our class studied the importance of rot in our environment and its role in the circle of life. My teammate and I have used this week to create worm habitats in our classes that students can use to observe worm tunnels and how these tiny decomposers contribute to the environment. The students are fascinated by these tiny creatures. They love getting to touch the worms and place them into their temporary home.

Activities and experiences such as this, as simple as they may be, truly enrich the learning environment for our students. Yet, as teachers, we often fail to embrace these opportunities because we feel beholden to the demands of a rigorous curriculum and our desire to keep pace with the lessons in our text books.

Just this week, I had a class meeting in which we discussed the need to slow down and give our best effort. I explained to my class that we were not running a race in which the winner was the first place finisher. Instead, the winner was the competitor who gave the best effort. Of course,the same lesson is true for me as a teacher. My goal must not be finishing the race the fastest. Instead, I must embrace the opportunities that bring the curriculum alive for my students--even if that means that we slow the pace so we can take advantage of the moments that really matter.

To create a worm habitat, you need..

  • A clear two liter bottle with the top cut off,
  • Potting soil--enough to fill the 2/3 of the bottle,
  • Coffee grinds, shredded newspaper
  • Container of worms (can be found at a bait shop)
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Pantyhose (cut off the leg to cover the top of the bottle)
  • Black construction paper (wrap around the bottle)
To view the tunnels, lift the paper on and off the bottle. Use the water bottle to provide moisture to the soil each day. Be careful not to over water. Return the worms to the earth after 2-3 weeks.