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Ms. Niehus’ Classroom Edit display name

  • East Middle School
  • Sioux City, IA
  • More than half of students from low‑income households

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Last quarter, my students were able to write a persuasive argument on a topic of their choice for something they wanted in the classroom. Several students chose to write about cultivating a classroom garden. The students have researched the benefits that plants have in a classroom, including purifying the air, providing relief from anxiety, and adding a natural and calming aesthetic to the room. My students crave authentic experiences and responsibility, and having a garden in our classroom is a tangible way they can see rewards for their efforts and care for something. Most of them live in apartments and spaces where managing their own outside garden is not a possibility, and most of my students have never cared for their own plant before. I have requested full terracotta pots so that at the end of the year, my students can take their own plant home with them and continue its care. I chose the variety pack of seeds and the sensitive plant seeds so that students have a choice in the plant(s) they choose to care for. Additionally, the flowers and herbs all have aromatic properties, and the sensitive plant has a reaction to touch that I think would be additionally calming for students.

About my class

Last quarter, my students were able to write a persuasive argument on a topic of their choice for something they wanted in the classroom. Several students chose to write about cultivating a classroom garden. The students have researched the benefits that plants have in a classroom, including purifying the air, providing relief from anxiety, and adding a natural and calming aesthetic to the room. My students crave authentic experiences and responsibility, and having a garden in our classroom is a tangible way they can see rewards for their efforts and care for something. Most of them live in apartments and spaces where managing their own outside garden is not a possibility, and most of my students have never cared for their own plant before. I have requested full terracotta pots so that at the end of the year, my students can take their own plant home with them and continue its care. I chose the variety pack of seeds and the sensitive plant seeds so that students have a choice in the plant(s) they choose to care for. Additionally, the flowers and herbs all have aromatic properties, and the sensitive plant has a reaction to touch that I think would be additionally calming for students.

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