Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Milking Day!

Today was the much anticipated Goat Milking Day!  Before we headed over to see the animals, I took the time to explain about germs.  The class was surprised to learn that even goats, chickens, and turkeys can get sick!  We talked about how germs spread, and what we do to prevent illnesses in our daily lives.  Then, I explained that germs can travel from one farm to another, as well.  Even if someone does not live on a farm, their shoes may have walked through a feed store, or somewhere else where other animal-owners walk.  When you farm, you learn some hard lessons.  Being cautious and utilizing biosecurity measures is something that we definitely learned!  The students either sprayed their shoes with a sanizing spray or borrowed a pair of our boots, and off we went!

Last week, we practiced milking techniques on a glove.  Today, after a demonstration and explanation of the actual process, the kids took turns milking either Greta or June.  They learned that the goats actually LOVE to jump up on the milking stand!  This is the time that each doe is able to pig out on grain, so they fight over the opportunity to be first one up!

After our adventure, the class washed their hands, grabbed a snack, and settled in for a story.  I read "Grumpy Goat" by Brett Helquist.  We discussed times when we have been grumpy, how it affects others, and what we can do to snap out of it!  We also talked about forgiveness, which the farm animals demonstrated toward the Grumpy Goat.  This will be our topic for next week's writing assignment!

Each child came up and shared their previous writing assignments with the class.  Each one is making great progress!  Some of the students wrote about last week's story, while some wrote their own story, narrated by a dairy goat.  Through our stories and writings, the class has learned about characters, the importance of conflicts in writing, the role of a narrator, and more.  Next week, we will finish up our goat workshop with the story, "Beatrice's Goat".

The class finished up their goat sewing project today!  They worked very hard on this, and by the end of the school year, they will be experts!  We will be working on other stuffed animals throughout the year, which correlate with each workshop.  Because the kids spent so long focusing on a structured craft, I wanted to let them create freely and without restraints.  So, they began a collage project!  Each one started out with a sketch or outline of a goat scene.  Then, they were given items such as string, beads, pom-poms, scraps of paper, and anything else I could find!  I wanted to give them an opportunity to have free-form artistic PLAY!  They will finish up these fun projects next week, as we complete our first workshop of the year!

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