Herman's Statewide Goals
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Students will be able to:
- Know the basic vocabulary of biology: biological composition, digestion and reproduction told through a guided study of the worm.
- Gain knowledge of the principles of basic scientific research and application through the creation, observation and maintenance of a worm bin.
- Read critically and analytically by first viewing the biological life of the worm and creating an environment to support life.
- Perform the computations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division by manipulating figures to create a worm bin.
- Make and use measurements, including area and volume, to create an optimal environment to maintain and reproduce worms and create castings.
- Explain the interdependence within a closed system by creating a worm bin and apply that knowledge to human systems.
Herman's Systemwide Objectives
Biological and Physical Sciences
- Classify familiar organisms and describe their life cycles.
- Use observation, classification and measurements to answer questions about soil and the earth.
- Describe artistic expression of self and others through interactive activities in Herman's Fun Place.
- Apply reading strategies to create a worm bin, investigating resources on the web.
- Use technology to communicate by writing stories about Herman the worm.
- Use the appropriate operations to determine the cubic inches and feet needed to create a worm bin to accommodate the worms.
- Understand the properties needed to create a 3-dimensional bin for the worms.
- Identify the historical events that have influenced the development of topsoil in the United States and the population and variety of worms.
- Describe the family genealogy and influences on our lives, by first examining the simple history of the worm and then ourselves as individuals.
What responsibilities will I have as a teacher if I start a worm bin? Who will be responsible?
- Basically the students are to be responsible for the worms, but the teacher is responsible for guiding the learning process.
- The teacher is responsible for ordering the worms, getting all the necessary supplies.
- The teacher needs to demonstrate how to put the worm bin together. It is perfectly fine to let the students help in the process.
- The teacher is responsible for overseeing the project. This teaches responsibility.
How can I make sure the kids are responsible without seeming distrustful?
- The teacher's responsibility is to oversee the progress of the worm bin. Teachers aren't seen as distrustful if there is trust established.
- Assuming responsibility is a gradually learned skill. By guiding the process, first by demonstration, and later through reminders and eventually sporadic monitoring, the students learn to assume responsibility of the worms gradually.
- The students have a lot of responsibility.
- They can actually put the bin together.
- They will make up the bedding.
- They will feed the worms.
- Harvesting the worms will be their responsibility.
- Checking the bin and recording will be the student's work.
What is the time commitment for me? For the students?
- You need to have time for the curriculum. It will take creativity and time to make the worm bin a part of each area of the curriculum
- It will take at least 45 - 50 minutes to start the bin.
How often do we have to work on the worm bin to keep the worms alive?
- Feeding will occur about once a week -- depending on the size of the bin.
- Assign a "feeder"and rotate the students.
- Use the group process -- take out things that aren't good for the worms!
We have only a window counter in the sun for the bin. Will direct sun hurt the worms?
- Yes, sun will hurt the worm. There are other places to put the bin in the room -- under a desk -- inside the closet.
- Make sure the location is in a place where all the students have access and the teacher can supervise.
- If you don't have room for a large worm bin, make it a small one!
What happens if the students put candy (or other things) in the worm bin?
- Take the candy out! There are better nutritious foods for the worm!
How could we stop the composting?
- Divide up the "work"of the worms and distribute it to the students or put the worms and the compost in the school garden.
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What do we do with the worms when we're done?
- The worms can be taken out of the compost and the process can begin again, or you can simply put the entire contents in the garden.
Is there any form of recognition for the student's work?
- Yes. When students have finished learning about worms, you can award them with a Certified Wormologist certificate (Adobe Acrobat required).