Thursday, May 18, 2017

Our Last Day!

Goat Parade!

The piggies enjoyed a shower!

We played a seed guessing game today.  It was harder than the kids thought it would be!

I found Squirrel Tree Frog eggs today!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Gardening & Bunny Workshop: Day 3

Today in art, the class began by finishing up their rabbit "antique" tile project.  Next, Ms. Nancy taught the students about the work of Georgia O'Keeffe.  Sometimes it's difficult for children to create pictures that are from a close perspective.  Ms. Nancy helped them to think "larger than life"!  They worked on flower pictures today, using oil pastels to make them pop!

Our class has been learning about types of plants, parts of plants, and seed development.  Today, they saw the parts of a sprout, as they observed their bean seeds that they planted last week.  They were surprised to see how the seed coat was discarded, how the cotyledon emerged from the soil and was located under the new leaves, and how much growth happened in a single week!  The class observed the root growth, and we talked about the roll that the roots and stem play in moving water through the plant. 

Next, we took a closer look and learned about plant cells.  I explained that in the same way that our body is made up of organs that each perform a different task, cells have organelles that each do a special job for the cell.  As we learned about different organelles, the students added sprinkles, raisins, and candies to their Rice Krispie cytoplasm.  We discussed how chlorophyll converts the sun's energy into food for the plant through photosynthesis.  The younger group even listened to a photosynthesis song!

Of course, we had to have some snuggly animal time today!  Not only did we spend time with Vincent VanGora, the angora rabbit, but we also played with goats and hunted for the momma turkey that is wandering the farm with her 9 tiny poults!  When the morning class entered the animal area, we realized that there was a problem.  The goats were in the lavender orpington chickens' breeding coop, and the lavender orpingtons were wandering in the field!  I removed the pesty goats from the coop, and the class worked as a team to walk the chickens back to their home!

Next week is our last class for the year, which is so hard to believe! 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Gardening & Bunny Workshop: Day 2

Today, the class covered their pressed tile projects.  It was a little tricky,  but they did a great job!

The younger class learned more about the parts of a seed, the different types of plants, and they even learned a new song!  Instead of just talking about the way the embryo emerges from the seed coat, we acted it out with a little "seed yoga"!  They curled up into dormant seeds, and then waited until the weather was warm and moist before slowly sprouting!

We continued our "tops and bottoms" lesson from last week by sorting different vegetables (including ones they weren't as familiar with, such as asparagus, cauliflower, turnip greens, etc) into different groups according to the part of the plant that we eat.  So many of the students were shocked to learn that peanuts are pulled up out of the ground! 

In addition learning about the different edible parts of plants and the parts of a seed, both classes are studying the way that different seeds sprout.  To give them a visual example, the classes planted bush beans today.  They each planted two beans, but did so in a way that allows us to see and monitor their progress.  We talked about evaporation, condensation, and the greenhouse effect, as we covered the tops of their seed cups with Press and Seal wrap.  Next week, we should be able to see some real progress and discuss the parts that emerge!

 Each class continued working on their rabbit design for their pressed tin project.  These will be sent home next week!

 The afternoon class was able to really get some farm work in today!  The mini-pigs keep knocking down the strand of electric fence that was running on the inside of their livestock panels.  The line needed to be completely taken up and run in a different way.  The class took up the line and created an area for the mini-pigs to enjoy some fresh grass!