The Maryland Green School Application College Gardens Elementary School 1700 Yale Place Rockville, MD 20850
Brief Summary: CGES Green Culture • College Gardens is a unique, passionate school that encourages students, staff, and parents to make the world a better, cleaner place. Students inquire into humans’ responsibilities to conserve natural resources, care for the environment, and take action towards making Earth a healthy place to live.
Top 5 Proudest Accomplishments • To share the importance of protecting the environment, in both 2011, 2012, and 2013, the fifth grade has completed a unit focused on sharing our planet. Each group completes a final product that is shared with the community. • Each year, students in 5th grade volunteer to collect recyclable materials from classrooms twice a week. • The 4th grade team, with the help of the ESOL teacher and supporting staff, organized and implemented the Chesapeake Bay field trip for all 4th graders, teaching students about the importance of taking care of our natural resources. • The 2nd grade created and performed their own version of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. All grade levels had the opportunity to see the performance. • Students, staff, and parents participated in CGES Beautification Day, cleaning up the College Gardens campus and showing support for environmental awareness.
KindergartenRules, Roles, and Responsibilities Students inquire into recycling as an individual, a school, and a community to see that recycling is a rule, role and a responsibility for all citizens.
Kindergarten“Our Changing World” Kindergarten students learned about taking care of the environment as it changes throughout the seasons and the years. Students participated in an environmental walk outside on school grounds to observe the land, trees, plants, and seasons. Students also walked to the pond to monitor the changing levels of water and predict the causes.
Kindergarten: “What's On Your Plate” Students inquired into the connection between agriculture within the community and the environment.
Kindergarten: “Survival of the Fittest” Students inquire into how habitats around the world are affected by pollution and trash. After their inquiry, kindergarten students take action by exploring ways to prevent pollution in different habitats.
Kindergarten: “To Market to Market” During this unit of inquiry, kindergarten students inquire into natural resources from the local community and how those resources help the environment and economy.
First Grade: Trash Walk After inquiring about pollution and the environment, students took a walk around the school to find trash that was outside of the school. Students then came up with ways that they could help take care of the environments, and promote at school.
How Can we Help? • Students went around the school to look for classrooms with lights on when no one was in the room, recycled materials in the trash cans, and computers and Promethean Boards left on. Students then created posters to give to teachers and spoke to classes about the importance of saving energy and recycling.
First Grade: Murals Students created murals after inquiring into the effect pollution has on the environment. Their murals showed the environment in the past, the present, and future, if people don’t take care of the environment.
Helping the Earth Posters The students made posters for other grade-level classrooms. The posters helped teach other children about taking action to help the environment.
First Grade: Croydon Creek • The field trip was about weather (forecaster soup), and what makes different kind of weather. Students also took a nature walk and made observation about living and non-living things found in the nature; how the dead plants and organism help the nature. They observed the plants and animals (smaller ones) found in our surroundings. They also discussed how could we tell if the wind is blowing and what instruments can be used to measure temperature and rainfall, and also how we can tell what directions the wind is coming from.
City of Rockville Sapling Presentation • Each year, the City of Rockville presents saplings to first graders in honor or Arbor Day. Students are encouraged to take the saplings home and plant them somewhere.
Second Grade: Natural Resources Walk Second graders learned about different properties of natural resources (like rocks and soil). Students took a walk around the school to locate different types of rocks. They used these rocks in class to discuss their observable properties.
Second Grade: “The Lorax” The second graders performed the play, The Lorax for the whole school. They acted and sang about saving the environment. Adapted from the Dr. Seuss book.
Second Grade: Brookside Butterfly Gardens Students visited a live butterfly exhibit and learned about the characteristics of butterflies.
Second Grade: Planet Patrol During a unit of inquiry under the theme Sharing the Planet, students inquired into the reasons to protect the environment and global problems that impact the earth and people. Some students made posters to inform others about reasons for protecting the environment.
Second Grade: Global Problems Research and Presentations As part of “Planet Patrol,” students researched about the effects of global problems and made a presentation to share with others.
Second Grade: “The Environmental Show” The second grade class performed a musical about a rock band that learns to recycle.
Second Grade: Butterfly Basics In conjunction with their study of The Cycle of Life, second grade students learned about butterfly behavior and habitat needs and created a butterfly habitat. The students researched how all living organisms change and adapt to their environment. They also examined seeds under microscopes and compared the basic needs of five different organisms. Please see the Habitat Restoration section for information about the school’s butterfly garden.
Second Grade: Butterfly Release We raised painted lady butterflies and kept an observation journal of the different stages of their life cycle. We researched how different animal use adaptations to help them survive.
Third Grade: Animal classification Students learned about the different classes of animals and different types of plants. The students participated in a hands on learning experience with reptiles. The students researches an animal class and taught other students about that class through a variety of projects and then took action to help endangered species.
Third Grade: Energy Unit Students learned about energy choices. They compare and contrast energy choices from around the world. They created websites to share their new learnings.
Third Grade: Brookside Gardens Field Trip Students investigated how maple syrup is created. They observe the process of maple sugaring. They learn about the different types of trees that can make maple sugar and how those trees produce sugar.
Fourth Grade: Field Trip to the Chesapeake Bay • As part of the 4th grade unit of inquiry focused on inquiring into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things, the 4th grade took a field trip to the Chesapeake Bay. With the help of parents and CGES staff, the students rotated through 4 stations during the trip, learning about the bay and the impact humans can have, positive and negative, on the bay.
Fourth Grade: Declaration of Interdependence During this unit of inquiry, under the theme Sharing the Planet, students inquired into essentials for survival, the relationships between adaptations and environment, and human actions that impact the environment. The central idea of this unit was for students to gain an understanding that living and non-living things are interdependent within an ecosystem. As a summative project, students created articles explaining the human impact on environments around the world and what humans can do to reduce their negative impact on those environments.
Fourth Grade: Ecosystems • The students researched biomes around the world. They learned about the living and non-living parts of each biome. They identified flora and fauna of their biome and discussed characteristics unique to their biome. They then presented their information to the class. • Each class created 6-7 ecosystems to observe.
5th Grade: Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition In 5th grade, students explore various ways the surface of the Earth can change. Students participate in explorations into weathering, erosion, and deposition and discover the global importance of learning about these topics.
5ht Grade: Renewable Energy Sources – Hydroelectric Power 5th graders inquire into the ways energy can be conserved. Students read and learn about various forms of renewable energy, including hydroelectric power.
Fifth Grade: Exhibition • As a culminating event, 5th graders spend six-weeks researching a topic related to the PYP theme “Sharing the Planet.” At the end of the six-week research period, they present their findings at the community Exhibition, an event attended by school board members, community members, staff, and other students. Direct actions resulting from these efforts include fundraising, collection items, student-generated lessons that were shared with younger gradeslevels, and tips on the announcements.
PTA Wednesday Folders An option was given to all families to receive communication from the PTA in electronic format instead of the usual paper copy. The red indicates families opting to have everything delivered electronically. Green – 465 students (youngest children: receive all papers) Yellow – 107 students (older siblings: only receive specific, grade-level materials) Red – 307 students (Receive everything electronically)
Sinks Automatic shut off on sinks to conserve water usage.
Trash Compactor College Gardens uses a trash compactor for waste management and to minimize volume of trash.
Air Hand Dryers Air Hand Dryers were installed in all the bathrooms to eliminate paper towel usage in student bathrooms.
Recycling Receptacles • Recycling Bins and Trash Cans on the playground, by the front doors of the school, and next to the gymnasium entrance
Solar Panels Solar panels on the school’s roof help the building conserve energy.
Lights The building service team has removed some fluorescent bulbs from lights in the office and hallway to conserve energy. Steps are being taken to continue this process throughout the entire school.
Rocks on Roof Rocks are used on the roof to reflect sunlight and help filter residue like leaves from the rain.
Chesapeake Bay Field Trip Training • Former MCPS employee trains 4th grade team to facilitate Chesapeake Bay field trip
Webinars Hands on Energy Literacy Jennifer Harris Global Changes, Local Impacts: The National Climate Assessment Jennifer Harris
Staff Meetings • Vertical Staff Meeting 4/24 • Staff members collaborated to discuss our school’s environmentally-themed units of inquiry. Discussion involved coverage of multiple environmental topics being addressed in all grade levels through our sharing the planet themed units of inquiry. 17 teachers at CGES were officially trained as a WeatherBug Educator. See sample (right) of the certificates that we all received.
Green School Application update 3/4/13 • Jennifer Harris, Green school committee chair, spoke to staff members about our upcoming green school application and asked for volunteers to help put together documentation from the past year’s school related environmental teaching and learning.
Grade level Staff meeting for green school application update March 6, 2014 • Green School committee reached out to staff to document grade level specific lessons that were taught relating to the environment.