Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Dairy Workshop: Day 3

Today was jam packed!  I didn’t think we were going to get everything in, but we did.  The class has been learning about dairy goats and dairy cows… but just like life on the farm is unpredictable, this class can be as well!  I always begin the class with Farm News.  This is a time for me to share all of the crazy things that happen each week, in between our class times.  Today’s Farm News included stories of us unloading our new steer, a talk about how I plan to feed him out for processing in January, our livestock guardian dog’s leg injury, and a very dramatic tale of the new steer knocking the gate off of the hinges and letting everyone run free!  There really is never a dull moment!

Last year, one of my students suggested that we have a Farm News recap on the last day of each workshop.  I loved the idea, and I am combining this concept with our last writing assignment.  For next week, the students will be the “news anchor”.  They will rewrite a Farm News story from the workshop, and read it as if they were on television.  I have a feeling this is going to be seriously FUN!  So, for next week, the kids should pretend they are a news anchor and each work on writing ONE of the news stories from this workshop (or tell about one of the lessons/activities that we did here in class).  If your child would like to actually record their news broadcast next week, wear your Farm Fusion tee-shirt!  (This is a no-stress allowed project!  If they would like to write it, but not read it out loud, that is fine!)

Those in the older class can work as a group if they would like.  If they choose to work with others, they will need to make sure not to tell the same story as their fellow anchor!

Our lesson today was on dairy cattle and goats.  They learned the different terms cow, bull, steer, heifer, buck, doe, and more.  We talked about the differences between store bought milk (which is pasteurized and homogenized) and “raw milk” that is straight from the cow.  They learned why you do not see goat butter in the stores…. goat’s milk is naturally (partially) homogenized, so the cream does not separate as easily as cow’s milk does.  After our lesson, both classes were able to spend time outside with the animals.  They ate an outdoor snack, and listened to our version of the Three Billy Goat’s Gruff, using names of our small, medium, and large goats.  Then, each student read his or her story that they worked on at home.  Again, I absolutely love the creativity that they have!  I am a big fan of farm-based stories, and I get to hear so many unique tales… sometimes about my very own animals.  It’s the best!
Ms. Gina brought technology to the classroom today!  I usually have a coloring sheet for the kids to work on before class begins.  It relates to the lesson, and gives them something to focus on while we wait for everyone to arrive.  Today, their coloring sheet was a dairy cow that can come alive with the Quiver App.  Ms. Gina brought Ipads so the tables would take turns making their cow and little bird come alive in 3D! 

The classes learned the proper technique for hand-milking.  They then used a glove to practice this technique.  It works really well, and it doesn’t require a very patient goat!  Next week, we will take our skills straight to the goat and milk our Saanen doe, Vanna White!  The students will learn the importance of proper hygiene, teat washing, filtering, and other important safety measures. 

In art, Ms. Gina taught the class about marionettes.  The students cut paper towel rolls to become the body and head of their animal marionette.  They have been studying cows and goats, but they can make any animal they’d like for this project.  Today, they worked on painting these pieces.  Next week, we will add the legs, neck, and the strings that will hold it up!

It’s hard to believe that next week is the last day of this workshop. We will have one week off and be back on October 11th for our next unit!

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