2005 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award
Ms. Bev Grueber
It is the goal of fourth grade teacher Bev Grueber of North Bend Central Public School that agriculture be one of the main links to technology, health, and economic understanding in her classroom. She brought this together in developing the Salsa Garden. The project has developed into many different curriculum areas, touching numerous state standards in writing, science, social studies, and math. Students first interviewed Senior Citizens about farm life and gardens, preservation methods, and tips for raising plants. They later returned to share a jar of salsa they made. Students were involved in each step from planting, taking care of the garden, harvesting the crops, and ending with canning salsa for Christmas sharing. The project developed stewardship as students took ownership of a garden plot, and gained self worth in their responsibilities of caring for the garden.
Other projects include Trucker Buddy, where a driver sent weekly postcards during his delivery of irrigation pipe. Students learned how irrigation is used in other states, compared seasons, and different crops across the U.S. Virtual tours were taken to farms in other states, and a pen pal program with Colorado was conducted to help compare agriculture jobs and products in different states. Parents' jobs were charted, then each occupation's reliance on the agricultural economy of the sate was traced.
Mrs. Grueber's classroom is an exciting place to be; innovative, hands-on activities in science, math, state studies, and other curriculum areas are always occurring and students reflect an interest in exploring and learning.