Catherine DiBenedetto

Learning by Doing!

Blog Post created by Catherine DiBenedetto on Jan 21, 2011

     Agriscience education plays an important role in helping students succeed in all areas. The month of December was very busy. Now that I think about it... what month as an Ag teacher isn't busy? Anyway... as I mentioned before the production of fresh evergreen wreaths, grave blankets (cemetery mounds), fresh evergreen centerpieces and the production, growth, maintenance and sale of a poinsettia crop can be a very profitable fundraiser. A profitable fundraiser with many  opportunities for learning by doing. After all, profit does not come without a great deal of knowledge, planning, organization and hard work.

     Students gain valuable knowledge, experience and perspective on what it is like to operate a business during a busy holiday season in the floriculture industry. They learn work ethic, teamwork skills, plant identification, marketing skills and the science of greenhouse production, management and maintenance. Students gain knowledge and create ideas that expand areas of their SAE projects. They work hands-on to develop a sense of pride and accomplishment in their work that helps to boost their confidence and build2010-2011 Pics 104.jpg a community of students that are learning by doing and having some fun along the way!

     Yes, it is a great deal of work to grow a saleable poinsettia crop. Yes, evergreen branches produce sap that gets everywhere!  Yes, making fresh evergreen wreaths by hand is much more time consuming and difficult than buying them pre-made. Yes, making over 100 grave blankets in 10 days can become hectic and monotonous. However, when my students enter my classroom with a smile on their face ready to work and prepared to meet the production goals of the day, I know it is all worth every extra hour of planning and organization. When I hear, "Miss D, I love this class, can I stay here next period too?", I know I am providing a safe learning environment where kids enjoy learning!