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Showing posts with label harvest of the month. Show all posts
Showing posts with label harvest of the month. Show all posts

Milk Makers: Changing Liquids to Solids

I love opportunities to help my students learn a little bit about the jobs provide us with products that keep our community in the spotlight. The Dairy Industry helps our own community as we have several cheese factories as well as Dairy farms even just a mile down the road.

The dairy cow is our state Domestic animal. We see them as we drive in the country…However even if you are NOT a dairy state this lesson is a great opportunity  for you to do an easy and quick lesson on how butter is made.

Literally, all you need is a jar with a lid, whipping cream, and a bit of salt! Get your kiddos in a circle and shake. Two minutes later or two times around the circle and you have yourself butter! I love all of the other connections we can make. We use math by creating a survey and vote on if we like butter or not. Seriously…it is so tasty and after the kids get a taste on a cracker…they are hooked!

Here is what I do:
1.     I ask them what are things we get from a cow. We make a list on an anchor chart

2.     I ask them if they know how milk is produced. I  then proceed to share with them that we will be learning about milk makers. We make mammal connections, but we discuss specifically that we will learn about dairy cows.

3.       I show an old Reading Rainbow that reads Milk Maker by Gail Gibbons, but it also does a               great  job adding lots of great details about cows.

4.       I then share with them how we will make butter.

5.     We make butter and then before we taste test we write the process of how to make butter.  A           bit of inspiration in order to taste test…work first then eat!

6.     When we are through taste testing we make a dairy cow art project.

7. We follow it up with our math connection graphing! If you are interested in making butter in your room and need some help…check out my Milk Maker Let’s Make Butter Pack!

Find the Milk Maker: Let's Make Butter Pack HERE

Help butter them up with fun and engaging activities that can teach a bigger concept...Changes in Matter! 

Let's Get Growing

It's my favorite time of year, planting season. Time to get our kinder-gardeners learning how to plant seeds so that when they are BIG first graders they can see their pumpkin patch. Sometimes it takes a long time to grow BIG.
Starting from seed and watching them grow so that we can replant them in our school garden is very exciting!

Our first graders are able to learn about insects and plant flowers so that the bees come to pollinate the vegetable flowers so that we can eat beans, cucumbers, kale, broccoli, and squash to name a few.

Here is our new improved School Garden! New benches, new  beds, new pumpkin patch!

Indoor planting and observations in our Green House!

2nd graders, with the help of their FOSS kit grow everything from beans to tomatoes, zucchini, and kohlrabi as they learn about what a plant needs, to the parts of the plant. My favorite activities include planting potatoes that they will pick as third graders "gold rush style" as well as the mystery seed for Mother's Day as they wait to see how parents pass on traits to their children...marigolds just blooming look like the adult marigold from the nursery!

3rd graders are learning about sound, but it is equally as important to get them growing, too! Next week, during Earth Week we will be learning about planting container gardens as we focus a week on living sustainably! We will also do a quick lesson on how eating vegetables "sounds" good to me when they plant their cabbage plants that are donated to our school each year. I hate to say that most of them died. They cam this year three weeks early, before spring break, and after it snowed 11 days in a row. Our grow lights didn't do them justice!

4th graders will soon plant the three sisters as they are learning about Wisconsin Native American tribes. Beans, Squash, and corn will be their specialty!
After 3 years of waiting...edible stems! Asparagus!

5th graders will get first hand lessons in World War II as I share my father-in-law's WWII memorabilia and we plant a victory garden of tomatoes, broccoli, and lettuce. We might even throw in some radish and spinach to boot!

This year, we are also lucky enough to get honey sticks for our students so that I can teach a pollination lesson to our kindergarten through fifth grade students. We will focus on pollinators for April's Harvest of the Month!

Here is our garden tip of the week...

As you teach students how to plant seeds, use these six simple words:

1. Scoop...

2. Pat...

3. Poke...

4. Drop
5. Cover....and then Water!

As the students get older I add more and more concepts to those 6 simple steps. K-2 just those words work, however as they get older we focus on how far down the seed should be placed in the soil and learning to read a seed packet!

So there is a run down of our School Garden progress! Whether you are growing in a baggie, or in a milk carton...in a container garden or a large school garden...I will always say that planting a seed is magic! It allows children to see where their food comes from and it allows them to get their hands dirty as they learn!

Here is a FREEBIE to get you growing!


Apple Time in Science Class!

Our school is getting bigger next year. We are adding sections of Pre-K and 4 other classrooms onto our existing school building. We also purchases some land that will be used for a road for a new pick up system. The good thing is...we have five apple trees to use that is on the newly purchased land! The sad news...the trees will be cut down this year to make room for the road.

I am all for opportunities! I asked if I could take as many kids as I could over to the next lot to use the apple trees as a learning tool! My principal said yes! All Kindergartners and first graders have been able to learn about apples this week. I started off with some great freebies from TPT, but I needed to make it my own.

 I have one hour to teach a ton! I want every moment to count. My kinders are learning about the five senses....so I needed to get them to write or draw very simply!

 I want them all to do a taste test. I want them to all find treasures for our "treasure tray!"  This was a great idea to have the little put the fun things they found on the ground in one place and then share it all together inside!

Here are the sheets that I redid to work for my kiddos! Here is are the apple freebies for you!

I hope these ideas are "apple"ing to you! I also hope it helps you see how science can be simple! Grab a bag of apples...print a sheet...read a great book like Apples by Gail Gibbons...and you are all set to go! Make moments any time you can! ( I even snuck some new vocabulary in the mix...tart is a fun word to comprehend...just give them a Granny Smith...!)

Here is the whole Apple FREEBIE pack ready for you to download with even more activities!


Digging For Gold In Science

Funny thing is...I was a social studies minor. I never really had a great science teacher to get me excited about science. So...when I can take a social studies topic and combine it with a science I am golden! Here is an idea for your school garden...

Last year, my second graders planted potatoes. Little did they know they would be digging for gold...Yukon Gold to be exact. This little lesson is a great way to teach the gold rush, measurement,  and Earth Materials. Here is the Freebie Link For You!!

First...I had the kiddos come in and get them excited about digging for gold. I put the book Gold Rush on Epic books up on the Smartboard. I shared the book and compared what they would be doing outside. When the story was done I had each student pick a card: either I will get to California by boat or I will get to California by boat. They found a partner with the same card. (Just a fun way to find a new partner....) The boaters got to pick a tool at the mercantile...then they were off to stake their claim (using spoons with their names on them as their stakes.) Each spot was in a grid pattern.
Marking a grid in the potato patch...staking a claim...and digging for gold!
The students had a set time to dig for gold. The boaters got three extra minutes in the garden...finally the covered wagon crew. When they found gold...it was magic!
Look at that gold! This is a great way to start our FOSS Earth Materials unit! Digging in the Earth to find rocks and minerals!
Next, we needed to see who had the "mother lode"! We spend two weeks learning how to use a scale and measure in grams. Once again using a garden helps tie in social studies, science, and math!
Using a scale to measure how much each prospector was able to find was a great connection to math! 
Next, it is time to record our weights on our graph. Keeping record allows us to see which group out of 4 classes doing this activity actually hauls in the "mother lode". You can see some kiddos in the background even weighing their potatoes again!

How exciting for the kids to reap the benefits of what they planted in second grade in a great lesson about history!

Prep: gridding a potato patch, getting spoons ready with markers, setting out a mercantile with tools, printing sheets and cards up, letting them dig, having them measure, then reflecting on learning. A highly productive lesson to teach science...social studies...and math! I love that we could use our school garden in such a successful way. These potatoes will be our September Harvest of The Month!

Sunday Scoop...Microgreens Freebie

As I was sitting here thinking about the Sunday Scoop over at The Teaching Trio....I forgot all about the microgreens growing at school. That I have to check on...coddle...talk to...so that they grow. Never grew them before, but let's just say those little shoots are getting taller and taller and the kids are so excited about growing something in the winter. So...here's the scoop....

I am sitting here over 45 minutes away from my laundry at my daughter's volleyball practice. Just a bit of alone time that I love. The sound of girls shouting "mine" and the bouncing of volleyballs is drowned out by the typing of my keys. Laundry can wait...

Funny thing...though...when you sit you remember all the things you might have to do when you are home. I have added to the things happy to do...help my son finish a large Egyptian project when I get home...then play cards. Homework first.

I will also add...I had to help my oldest daughter edit her paper for college...yes...since they were little...I have edited for spelling, errors, and doubles...and given pointers or two my childrens' papers. I was a pretty good writer and edited hundreds of papers in my day. Closing sentences the toughest. Now, that is done...I am looking to get down to business and figure out my task cards for my 5th graders for review. It goes with my PPG...SLO...all that jazz.

But, first back to microgreens...
Kale...look at those little guys!

Lettuce...check it out!

Taking care of business!
Microgreen Sheets Freebie just for you! I used these sheets with my 4/5 garden club group! A fun...winter activity that we will share in our upcoming harvest of the month.

Do you garden? School or home? Would love to here what you plant and when you start your seeds. Have a great week!

Why Wheat? Harvest of the Month

I know how those kiddos talk...why do we have to eat that yucky wheat bread? Why do we have pizza crust that is wheat instead of white. Yikes. Well, the low down for our kiddos at my school comes in the form of morning message. We create infomercials so that our students can here that nutritional values of what they eat and why it is so important to know what we put in our bodies. In an article by Teen Health, Why is Whole Wheat Grain Bread Healthier I shared with our kiddos the facts in the article.

We even tied in our second grade solids and liquids unit by making butter. We also taught the kiddos the difference between butter and margarine and how easy it is to make butter! What a great connection to healthy lifestyles and healthy eating.

Learning to vote...having a voice...butter vs. margarine....which tastes better?

Setting it up outside of our very busy lunchroom allows us to keep the line moving without stopping our cooks from serving lunch.

Butter wins! 

Liquid to Solid...Buttering It Up!

This week, we combined the our FOSS science unit...Solids and Liquids into a fun Farm to School connection! Our 2nd graders learned how to make butter! I first ask the kiddos how milk gets to the store. Then, we show the vimeo video The Milk Maker from the Reading Rainbow found at http://vimeo.com/6240198.  After we watch up to 20 minutes and the cow says "Moo", we stop to work on our sheet that I made.. in my Milk Makers: Let's Make Butter Pack.

This is the poster I made to do a writing project with...How to make butter!

Our Cow Craftity...to add to our recipe writing project!

7-10 minutes is all it takes!
Fresh butter is YUMMY!

Here is all you need to make a liquid into a solid. An udderly fun activity!
Tomorrow...the butter is getting used in our harvest of the month activity...why wheat bread is better for you than white bread...and which tastes better on it...butter or margerine? Stay tuned...

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