Teacher Tips 11

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With the end of the year almost here teachers will begin to focus on reviewing their Trees for Survival teaching plans and taking the opportunity in the upcoming break to modify their existing approach, or even introduce some new material or ideas to their programme. Dianne Patterson, TfS Field Officer Auckland South shares a few tips to consider.

  • At Dilworth School David Blaker and Cathy Wagener have found a sustainable solution to the problem of wet muddy ground around the Plant Growing Unit, due to irrigation run-off. They have laid down pallets between the unit to form a raised floor; and their potting on table.
  • Some school staff think that the top of the Plant Growing Unit is a good place to store extra-long poles and planks … it’s not. In fact, they will damage the screen material or, worse still, the weight of articles on top (including accumulated debris from nearby trees) causes the growing unit frame to buckle thereby interfering with the spray from the irrigation nozzles.

    Pallets make a safe and dry surface which avoids churning up the surrounds of the plant growing unit

    Even a single plank like that shown will damage the plant growing unit if stored in this way.
  • Satya Narayan of Mt Richmond School knows how to make a session with TfS look inviting!In lieu of a potting shed there is a roofed area where students can work even in rainy weather. The area has a simple, solidly constructed potting table and an adjacent area where equipment is kept dry and neatly stacked, yet easily accessible. Tools, fertiliser and other items are kept in a locked shed.

    A potting table under shelter allows for work to be done at any time

    In the corner of the shelter there is a space for storage of crates and potting mix
  • PromotingTfS activities within your school provides encouragement for the students involved, as well as keeping parents and sponsors aware of the good work they do and the learning achieved.
    Art work promoting the ecological benefits of planting trees posted on school notice boards stimulates interest amongst the students. Students can search Why plant trees? for ideas for their posters.

    Student art work is a great way to promote Trees for Survival activities throughout the school

    Trees for survival activities and achievements should be regularly promoted in your school newsletters

    A regularly updated page on the school website keeps parents and sponsors informed about TfS activities. Otahuhu Intermediate School and a number of other TfS schools tell not only what they do and why, but also provide images of their activities.
    Lastly, the school community can be kept informed of your TfSinvolvement by providing regular updates in the school newsletter. As a consequence readers are likely to get a better understanding of local and global environmental issues.

  • Looking for inspiration?
    Check out the online BBC website Bitesize for some inter-active resources or consult the Taranaki Regional Council Trees for the Environment work unit.
    Plant worksheets and games on Softschools.com is another source of material which can be used in the classroom.
    For a broader view of the world of science have a look at the NZ site Science Learning

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