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Worms worms worms!

December 8, 2020 | Sam Martino

Worms have arrived in the third grade.


Students observed worms on trays.

Earlier this week each class was given a a dozen worms to keep in the classroom. Students were exciting to get an up close look at them.

Using a magnifying glass enabled observers to see the body segments.

Before they arrived, the worm habitat needed to be prepared. Each class filled 1 quart tubes with alternating layers of soil and sand. Students remarked how the soil used was a “loam” soil. Loam soil has the best mixture of pebbles, sand, clay, silt, and most importantly organic matter.

This student is putting on a gloves before grabbing a worm.

The worms arrived in a large tub filled with leaves.

Students have been learning how earthworms eat up a little bit of soil at a time and make castings. These casting help loosen up soil as well as distribute valuable nutrients for plants. Students also learned that worms create tunnels as they burrow that make pathways for plant roots.

This student is looking for the front and end segments.

On the first day students got to get up close with the worms. Students were giving the option to grab their own worm or to have a teacher pick one out for them (some teachers used tongs). When observing worms, students looked for a front end, a back end, and the worm’s many body segments.

After a short time observing worms on trays, it was time to put the worms in their habit. Each tube is home to three worms. Over the coming days we will observe the tubes to see what the worms do and what happens to the soil. Already classes have noticed that the worms are creating tunnels and mixing up the soil and sand.

Worm tunnels are clearly visible in this container.

Sam Martino

Teacher, Grade 8

Sam Martino is the 8th Grade homeroom teacher and Middle School Social Studies teacher. He graduated from Fordham University in 2014 with a bachelor of arts in history. Before joining the staff in 2015, Mr. Martino worked as a substitute teacher at Mustard Seed School. During his time as a substitute, he was able to work with every elementary and middle school class. Mr. Martino’s connection to Mustard Seed School goes back much further, however. He first connected with Mustard Seed in 1999 when he enrolled as a second-grade student. In 2006, Mr. Martino graduated from Mustard Seed School. His mother served as a member of the Board of Trustees, and Mr. Martino’s two brothers also graduated from Mustard Seed. A lifelong Hoboken resident, Mr. Martino is excited to continue working with students in a unique urban community. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, music, and movies. He can often be seen lugging instruments around town as he travels to and from practices and shows.

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