Daisies Wrapping up Community Gardening Day for the school year

By: John Malouf, SCS Garden Project Scout Coordinator

It was a perfect day for spring cleaning as Daisy Troop 62181 arrived at the SCS Garden for the May 4th Garden Volunteer Day – our last Community Gardening Day for this school year!  All hands were pulling weeds, raking leaves, and working hard.  They may be small in size but they are mighty in their effort.  Thank you girls for helping to make the SCS Garden a better place!

A special thanks to the scout leaders Cindy Panza, Maria Prescott and Judy Caples, as well as the middle school students for lending the Garden a hand.




Adopt the Garden, First Grade

By: Marivic Marko, Adopt the Garden Coordinator

First graders had a busy month in the garden!  During the month of April, they worked in the Edible Lab to prepare garden beds for their Peter Rabbit vegetable planting, and they came out once again to plant their seeds.

During their third visit, the students participated in the Adopt the Garden program, and spent time learning to care for the garden. With Spring in full bloom, we first took a good look all around us and got to know the garden better.  We walked through the garden and saw the tree that our school is named after, the Sycamore.  Then, we identified the tree named after our city, the Oak!  Finally, we were lucky to see our state flower blooming in the garden, the California Poppy.

At this point, we were ready to get to work!  Our wonderful parent volunteers explained the garden tasks that needed to be done that day, in addition to demonstrating how to properly use the tools needed for the job.  The students broke into groups, and in no time at all, the garden was looking groomed and tidy.

It was a joy having this young and enthusiastic group of students work in the garden this month!  Each and every one of them contributed their service to the garden, and we are so thankful for their hard work.  Thank you to the wonderful first grade teachers and Parent Volunteers who came out to the garden to help!


Ms. Taj, and Parent Volunteer, Lakshmi Timmaraju
Ms. Kazen and her class, and Parent Volunteer, Lisa Bonoma
Ms. Thomson and her class, and Parent Volunteer, Stacy Gleason
Mrs. Belko and her class
Mrs. Neshek and her class

Additional help from:
Mr. Hoyle and his 5th grade class, and Parent Volunteer, Jamie Voegler


California Citizen-Scientist Bee Monitoring Pocket Guide

Information provided by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

Click here for the pdf version of this pocket guide

Pollinator Plants: California

Information provided by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

Providing wildflower-rich habitat is the most significant action you can take to support pollinators. Adult bees, butterflies, and other pollinators require nectar as their primary food source, and female bees collect pollen as food for their offspring. Native plants, which are adapted to local soils and climates, are usually the best sources of nectar and pollen for native pollinators. Incorporating native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees into any landscape promotes local biological diversity and provides shelter and food for a diversity of wildlife. Most natives require minimal irrigation, flourish without fertilizers, and are unlikely to become weedy.

The fact sheet below features California natives that are highly attractive to pollinators and are well-suited for small-scale plantings in gardens, urban green spaces, and farm field borders, and on business and school campuses.

Click here for the December 2017 pdf version of the fact sheets.

1st Graders Learn about Soil Prepping for Peter Rabbit Vegetable Patch!

By: Jo Louie, Garden Committee Chair

Eager 1st graders hopped into the Edible Lab today to claim their plot and begin their Peter Rabbit Vegetable Gardening journey.  They were informed that the planters are now available for them to use, and each classroom gets an entire planter to themselves.  The planters, however, are not ready for planting.  To get it ready, the kids needed to weed and then till to mix in the organic amendments into the soil to help their “crop” grow.  The kiddos also learn how to safely use a Garden Trowel to help them do the job.

Official seed planting will take place this Friday.  We will be doing the “Square Foot Gardening” method and each classroom chooses their own vegetable to grow.  We can’t wait for that to happen!!

Special thanks to all the parent volunteers for their assistance on today’s task:

  • Mrs. Kazen’s Class: Cindy Panza
  • Mrs. Neshek’s Class: Sherry Rodriguez
  • Ms. Taj’s Class: Mrs. Timmaraju
  • Ms. Thomson’s Class:  Michelle VandeBurgt


PI Day, 2018!

A Pi-tastic Day!      Haven Turner, 4th Grade.  Team: Pizza Parts  Pi Day 2018 (154)

I had so much fun at PI Day and I would love to participate next year as well. I enjoyed asking the questions to the kids and act out the problem with the pizza. I sometimes had to help the kids a little, especially the younger ones. But I wasn’t giving away the answer.  I recommend PI Day to anyone who loves math, and has a big imagination!

Fun at the PI Day Fair!      Alex Arnold, 5th Grade.  Team: Gamble It! Pi Day 2018 (136)

On March 20, 2018, Sycamore Canyon School hosted a fair dedicated to PI Day which celebrated Albert Einstein’s birthday.  The fair consisted of eleven game booths, nine run by 4th and 5th grade students from our school.  Each booth represented a math concept.  For example, the booth that my three friends and I hosted represented the statistics and probability of winning the lottery.

The fair was one of my favorite events at our school this year.  First, I enjoyed joking around with the hundreds of kids coming to our booth.  Also, it was really special to me to skip a whole day of school just to share the festivities with other kids while at the same time practice the mathematical concepts.  Another escapade that I ironically found hilarious involved the girls having the opportunity to dump a pail of water over my head.  You may be wondering why this was entertaining to me; however, I really have no answer, but it definitely was humorous.  Most important to me was the competition between our booth and eight others.  The booth that could capture the highest number of playing tickets would win.  Unfortunately, our booth did not win first place, but it was a blast trying to attract the kids to our booth in order for us to earn their playing tickets.  To sum up, PI Day Fair was an exciting event that I will remember fondly.

We want to command the nine 4th and 5th grade student teams on a job well done!  Each team has accomplished successfully the delivery of a game booth of their own design for the 2nd annual PI Day Garden Math Fair.

  • Dazzling Abacus: Wuyee Ke, Kate McGowan, Sophie Tu
  • Disco Math: Anushka Jayanti, Abbie Pace, Emma Nielsen, Sarah Kavanagh
  • Gamble It: Alex Arnold, Aidan Erickson, Nikhil Satyagal, Jake Liu
  • Math Magic: Mike de Vere, Patrick Feagan, Eric Chow, Sebastian Laubner
  • PI In the Face: Grace Carr, Zoha Konkader, Brynn Ruesga, Mia York
  • Pi-linko: Kimi Basamakov, Ryan Lin, Austin Li, Daniyaal Taqi
  • Pie Toss: Ahana Bhunia, Myra Sengupta, Ashley Strong, Yushan Yan
  • Pizza Parts: Jade Chang, Jane Connell, Kavya Kanugo, Haven Turner
  • Wheel of Jeopardy: Johnny Boone, Dylan Hurvitz, Myles Young, Raza Zaidi

Click here for all of the promo posters designed by each team

And congratulations to team Pi-linko for winning the title of “Students’ Choice – Best Booth” by attracting the highest percentage of the participants to play at their booth (17%)!

Click here for local media coverage of the event.

Special Thanks to our Event Volunteers:

Lunch LabJen Lunney, Darshana Bhamre, Samatha Gummadi, and Marie Turner.

Canvasser Team: Sebastian Sitarz and Winnie Sitarz.

Prize Booth: Agnes Chang, Heidi Nielsen, Brid Harney, Judy Caples, Liz Armstrong


Event Photographed by:  Melissa George