An Apple-Packed Day of Learning and Fun

Posted on Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

In New York, fall is a time of pumpkin spice, cooler weather, and apple picking! At Gaynor, the new season is traditionally celebrated by an annual field trip to Demarest Farms.

Due to the current circumstances, a school-wide field trip was not possible this year, but that didn’t stop some students in the Red Cluster from having some apple picking fun.

Students in Head Teacher Joyce Macedo, Co-Teacher Jenine Gaynor, and Reading Specialist Kristi Evans’ class spent the first Friday in October learning and having fun with their friends at the “Red Cluster Orchard.”

“Friday was filled with everything apple related, from learning about Johnny Appleseed in our reading groups, to sorting sentences in the apple orchard during writing, to conducting apple experiments in science,” Ms. Macedo said.

In math, students had to quickly compute problems and then drop apples into the bushel basket based on the final answers.

“To incorporate movement, students were asked to move in ways they would while apple picking to demonstrate their understanding of even and odd,” Ms. Macedo said.

Students then used their abilities to compare numbers to win a game of Connect Four Apples.

For the writing portion of the day, students roamed around the orchard on scooters to find an apple that contained writing with their name in it. Once the apple was located, students had to identify if it was a complete sentence or fragment and why, and then sort the apple into the correct section of the orchard.

Ms. Macedo said, “Even our remote students got in on the fun by getting a personal tour of the orchard from Ms. Evans as they searched for their own apples to sort!”

In art, students expressed their creativity by drawing apples they brought in from home. They learned about specific techniques of adding color to their illustration to give it a life-like effect.

For science, students explored the idea that certain materials, when mixed together, can have interesting reactions. To see this firsthand, students conducted their own experiments using their apples as a base. They added in baking soda, food coloring, and vinegar to see what would happen when these materials mixed together inside of their “apple-canos.”

“Many students predicted an explosion or eruption, just like an actual volcano might,” Ms. Macedo said. “Our scientists were thrilled to see their predictions confirmed as colorful eruptions rose from all of their apples. Our pod had an apple-solute blast together!”