Kindergarten rules!

Mrs. Bickley Kindergarten 2013/2014

Mrs. Bickley Kindergarten 2013/2014

What could be more fun that getting out into a woodland garden and getting your hands dirty when you’re in Kindergarten?  Not much!  Last year all of our students had the opportunity to explore the Alberta Rider Memorial Garden.  It was a huge hit with all the students.


What will our students experience this year?  With the outdoor classroom soon to be complete we will have increased opportunities for science, math, and so much more!  It’s a great time to be a learner at Alberta Rider Elementary School!


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Last call for beautiful poinsettias!



Your poinsettia orders are due tomorrow!  Download the ARE Poinsettia Sale flyer 2014 form here and return it to your child’s teacher OR the front office with your check made out to Alberta Rider Elementary (ARE).  6.5″ (pot size) poinsettias are $14.00 and the 8.5″ (pot size) poinsettias are $25.00.  Plants can be picked up at Al’s Garden Center in Sherwood starting November 21st.  All vouchers must be redeemed by December 8th.

Please, pick up a plant-or two!-and help ARE garden grow!!

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Poinsettia orders due November 18


The annual Alberta Rider Memorial Garden poinsettia sale is on!  Download the ARE Poinsettia Sale flyer 2014 order form and return it with your payment, made out to Alberta Rider Elementary (ARE) by November 18, 2014 and you will receive a voucher good for a poinsettia plant from Al’s Garden Center.  You can pick up your poinsettia plant from Al’s Garden Center starting November 21st through December 8th.

Poinsettia plants are available in a 6.5″ pot for $14.00 or 8.5″ pot for $25.00.

All proceeds from the annual poinsettia sale will be invested directly into the completion of our outdoor classroom!  So pick up a voucher, or two, and help ARE students thrive!


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Fingers crossed for a sunny day


20141103_082145 (1)

The holes are dug and we are ready to pour-well we will be as soon as we get a break in the rain!


We are all anxious to see the completion of our outdoor classroom but we must be patient.  Sadly, Mother Nature is not about to take a special request for a nice long string of dry days so we can have the concrete poured.  Still, we are all encouraged to see the progress being made out there and we look forward to the completion and seeing just which class will be the lucky ones to “break in” the new learning space!

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Coming soon!


actual product varies in color


Once again the ARE Memorial Garden will be offering beautiful poinsettia plants from Al’s Garden Center.  The order form will come home soon, and be available for download here.

Your poinsettia voucher will be redeemable at Al’s Garden Center from November 21st through December 8th.

100% of the proceeds will be invested into the Alberta Rider Memorial Garden and Outdoor Classroom.


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A beautiful place to learn

ARE Garden

ARE Garden

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More from the construction front!


ARE garden

ARE garden

Holes are dug-and safely covered from curious eyes-and the build is progressing!

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Outdoor math

 Taking Math Outside

When we think of outdoor education, science is a natural fit.  But what about math?  Can our teachers successfully take math class outside to utilize our garden space?  Absolutely!




Finding, identifying, and evaluating angles is one example of an outdoor math lesson.





Buried treasure unearthed during the garden clean up

ARE garden


Searching for examples of geometric shapes is another perfect woodland garden activity.






And measuring length and width, calculating area, and comparing, contrasting, and observing differences in size all make perfect sense to take outside.





Our woodland garden, and soon to be outdoor classroom, are an amazing asset for the staff and students at Alberta Rider Elementary School.  But even if a school does not have a forest in the front yard the teachers and students can still benefit from taking some of their lessons outside.  If your school doesn’t have a plan in place for nature education schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher or the school administration and see how you can help make it a reality.

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Construction updates

Construction news!

20141007_081316 20141007_081339Last week we were excited to see the first steps taken in the construction of our outdoor classroom.  The stakes were marked and placed to prepare for the foundation!

Check back often for more photo updates!


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What’s next-and how can you help?

Last year was a remarkable year for the Alberta Rider Memorial Garden.  We made a lot of progress as a group, and community, to seeing the dream of our woodland garden and outdoor classroom a reality.  The final big piece of the puzzle, our classroom, will fall into place soon.

So, what’s next?  Additional garden areas will need to be planted and developed, but before we can do that we will need to find a permanent fix to our watering problem.  We were very saddened to learn that our garden was the victim of vandals this past summer.  Someone came into our school’s space in late August and vandalized our sprinklers, removing and damaging the sprinkler heads of our above ground system!  Beyond the financial hardship this creates, after all additional costs means additional fundraising, I think we were dismayed that anyone within our community would attack the school like that.  As parents it has provided an excellent opportunity to talk about expectations of behavior and respect for public property with our children.  None of us would like to believe that our child(ren) would be capable of vandalizing our school, however, plainly someone’s child(ren) did.  The neighborhood school is often the center of a community, it provides ample opportunity for neighbors to come together, to meet, to strengthen community bonds and as an institution it should be respected.  Vandalism on school property is a serious issue, it is not a matter of bored “kids being kids” and should never be tolerated by the community.

While we had hoped to be more in a maintenance mode for fundraising, with our final big ticket item already paid for, we know that with the added expense of the sprinklers we will need to call on our community for support again this year.  How can you help raise funds?

  • Participate in our winter poinsettia sale and enjoy beautiful poinsettia plants from Al’s Garden Center.
  • Join us for our restaurant night fundraisers, dates and locations to be determined!
  • Consider making a tax deductible donation to the garden committee, c/o Alberta Rider Elementary School.

Check back here often for updates on how you can be involved with the next phase of development of the Alberta Rider Memorial Garden!

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