Teacher’s name: Jack Sheridan and Nancy Mullane
Name of school: Otis Elementary
Location of school: East Boston, MA
What grades: 5
Your nature report:: Notes from the Field (Outdoor Classroom)
Date: February 23, 2010, 1:45 PM Weather: 44⁰F, Cloudy, light wind
School: Otis Elementary School Outdoor Classroom Class: Mrs. Mullane 5th Grade Class
Flowers blooming in February!
Mrs. Mullane, 5th grade class were all surprised when we went out to the Otis Outdoor Classroom and group of students observed this flowering bush (picture on the left) including Mrs. Mullane their teacher and I, Jack Sheridan , Boston Schoolyard Initiative.
Before we went out, the class made a list of what they thought they would observe as signs of approaching spring. But no one predicted that flowers would be blooming in February.
The class went out to collect baseline data for a long term study of “The Science of Spring”, which I modified from the free online web program, Journey North. They started by making predictions about what they already knew about the signs of spring and then took their clipboards and notebooks to collect some data in their outdoor classroom and surrounding schoolyard.
Everyone was surprised by the flowers blooming in winter. So I did an internet search about flowers that bloom in winter and was very surprised that there are many flowers that bloom in winter, I just wasn’t aware of them. Neil McCarthy, Boston Schoolyard Horticulturalist, said it’s a Witch-hazel- probably the Arnold Promise Witch-hazel (Hamamelis ‘Arnold Promise’).
Have you found something interesting or surprising in your outdoor classroom/schoolyard? Send me a picture and a description and I will let other schools know about your discovery.