The North Tama first graders have been busy during April and May learning about helping our environment by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Kristin Simon from East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) spent four 40 minutes sessions teaching both classrooms the importance of the 3 R's. She taught the significance of recycling through stories, sorting games, and other lessons. One of our favorite activities was sorting materials on a conveyor belt assembly line similar to a recycling business.
Laurie Schafer, through the Farm Bureau, visited with us about plants, and helped first graders plant marigolds. The students had been studying seeds and parts of plants during part of April.
At the end of April, the first graders made recycle creatures out of materials from home. Many kids used cardboard, newspaper, plastic, cans and pop bottles to make robots, animals, and instruments. To show students that everyone in our community can help the earth by recycling, we dropped cardboard, paper, and plastic off at the recycling dumpsters behind Main Street in Traer.
Josh Casto from Municipal Pipe Tools Co., with a couple co-workers explained how our water travels from our houses and gets cleaned and put back into the environment. They also showed first graders the manhole on the southwest side of the elementary. One man was lowered with a hoist into the hole, and we got to tour the truck and see some of the equipment used to fix pipes. Our favorite part was watching the robot drive around with the lights on.
To wrap up the environment unit, Mrs. Lidgett and Mrs. Watson's classes took a field trip to Otter Creek. We enjoyed seeing mounted animals in the shelter house, and we were led on a nature hike by Bob Etzel, the park ranger. Craig Greiner also visited with the first graders about recycling and safety around garbage trucks that day. We concluded our field trip at the Tama County Sanitary Landfill. We watched a compactor pack down the huge amounts of trash that people are throwing away. After taking the tour of the landfill, the first graders got to be weighed on the giant scales that weigh garbage trucks daily. It was a very educational and fun field trip.