Saturday, April 25, 2009

Compost 3-2-1: Summary and Goals

We teachers sometimes use a summarizer technique called a 3-2-1 review. It's like a bulleted list that helps students process what they've learned and show that they've gained from the activity or unit. For example:

While watching the video, fill in the following.

3 things you already knew
2 new facts
1 fact or concept that surprised you

New Year Goals

3 habits I will keep
2 events I'm looking forward to
1 goal or change for the new year

I can use the same 3-2-1 techique to summarize my composting progress.

3 items that decomposed completely: no sign of them at all!

  • coffee filters with coffee grounds
  • banana peels
  • waxed paper
2 items that did not decompose: I should leave these out from now on.
  • Dental floss. Don't laugh; it's waxy, contains food residue, it makes sense that it would decompose! But it didn't.
  • Pine litter from the bunny box. The small dry pieces partially degraded, while the wet one are gone for good. If I left the bin for another year, just to finish decomposing, I think the used litter would completely fade into the soil. Maybe when I get that second compost bin...

1 goal: another item to add to the compost pile, one more thing to keep out of the garbage can and landfill

  • Non-recyclable paper and cardboard. Examples: the cardboard circles from pizzas, food boxes containing crumbs or soiled with food residue, and the like. I've started ripping these into long strips and soaking them (in rain barrel water, of course) before adding the paper to the compost.

There you have it: my 3-2-1 review, a summary of the pile I just spread on the garden soil. The resulting assessment will be a long time coming: to fully evaluate the success of this year's bin, I'll need to wait until next spring, when the latest pile of compost (you guessed it) happens.

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Blogger Earth Muffin said...

Waxed paper...who'd a'thunk it?! I'll have to remember that one. Also, the food containers with food residue is a good idea too. Thanks for the tips!

4/25/2009 7:56 AM  
Blogger Shari said...

We use paper coffee filters just to compost them. It's so great for the compost pile.

4/26/2009 10:02 PM  

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