Our team sat down with Emily, who is the Spanish teacher at Santa Cruz Montessori, to check in and see what she is excited for this year.

What role does Farm Discovery at Live Earth Farm play in the hands-on education of your students? 

  • I think that Farm Discovery influences our entire curriculum and program by teaching students fundamental aspects of learning, being in a community/ group, working through their strengths and challenges, and establishing a sense of place and community awareness among students and Santa Cruz County. The skills learned on the farm are used day-to-day in the classroom. They have a safe space to make mistakes they can learn from and develop problem-solving skills from their hands-on experiences. They also are developing practical experience practicing Spanish with native Spanish speakers. 

What are/were you excited about for the fall semester of Wavecrest Microeconomy?

  • I was excited to make the quince/membrillo with the class, it has been very popular at the school farmstand. It’s fascinating to see the students go through the process of making a product from a fruit that is not well known and marketing it to their clientele. I was also looking forward to developing relationships with the people who work at the lower farm/barn and teaching the students polite greetings in Spanish when meeting new people.

In your opinion, how does the microeconomy cultivate enthusiasm for practical math and farm work for students?

  • They love learning about new products and different crops they have never heard of. They feel a lot of ownership when they are able to calculate how much they earn every week in their farm bags, which in turn goes back into the Health and Wellness program which feeds the school lunch on Thursdays at the farm. The sales math feels tangible and real to them which can increase their confidence in math. They can cross-check their work with each other and problem-solve, knowing that the calculations they do really matter.