Fall Farm Sprouts 2017 – Week #8 Wednesday PM

What a beautiful ending to our biggest season of Farm Sprouts yet! We grew so much, individually and as a group. Today we signed in by sharing our favorite memory of the season. Some memories included hiking out to the forest, working with the horses, riding behind the tractor, caring for the farm animals, and simply playing outside!

We ground corn to feed our chickens. In the winter especially, our animals rely on us to keep them strong and healthy. We feed them hay and feed. We learned a new word today – pasture! When our pastures are covered with snow, the animals aren’t able to graze in the fields. How do they stay warm? They are mammals, which means they are covered in fur and warm-blooded. We have sheds and barns for them to come in to warm up and straw to provide them with a place to rest. We also told stories with puppets and explored food groups and natural materials, like leaves, among other classroom activities before gathering as a group today.

We sang our song, “Oh, Fall is Here” one last time.

Oh, Fall Is Here
MSU Tollgate Farm Version
Sung To: “Oh, Christmas Tree”

Oh, fall is here. Oh, fall is here,
And wintertime is coming.
The squirrels get ready. Yes, they do.
They gather nuts to get them through. (gather nuts with hands)
The wintertime, cold wintertime,
It’s fall and winter’s coming.

Repeat the song, each time replacing the third and
fourth lines above with a different verse below.

The sheep get ready. Yes, they do.
They grow warm fleeces to get them through. (cover your body with fleece)

The trees get ready. Yes, they do.
They shed their leaves to get them through. (flutter “leaves” to the ground)

The goats get ready. Yes, they do.
They grow thick coats to get them through. (cover your body with fur)

The geese get ready. Yes, they do.
They migrate south to get them through. (flap your “wings”)

As a summative group assessment activity, we held a discussion about our Wonder Wall. We thought about all we learned about being a part of the farm community: how to be safe on the farm, how to think like scientists, how to do real work on the farm. We said, “We are strong!” “We are adventurous!” “We are appreciated!” We talked about what we had accomplished, discovered, learned, and contributed over the fall season. Then we joined together to create a mural representing our thoughts about our essential question.

After completing our mural, it was time to head outside to enjoy the last day! First, we had the task of accomplishing fall clean up by clearing out the garden bed near our classroom space. We transported the dead plant materials to our compost trailer. With that big job complete, we headed to the chicken coop to feed the chickens some of the grain we had ground earlier. We challenged our physical abilities in the straw maze, working to climb, balance, crouch, run, and jump! We stopped to visit the new, draft horses who spent their earlier years working at Greenfield Village and who would now spent their retirement years with us at the farm. Lastly, we hiked up to the silo for a snack and a story. We loved the smoothie and said good night and goodbye to the different areas of the farm by reading the book, Sleep Tight, Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle, a perfect closing to the season.

 

MSU Tollgate Farm “Silo Smoothies”

1-2 apples (from MSU Tollgate Farm)
1 cup rainbow chard (from MSU Tollgate Farm’s Sustainable Agriculture Program)
1 cup frozen Michigan cranberries
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup coconut water
2 Tbs. honey (from MSU Tollgate Farm and harvested by Clay Ottoni, SEMBA)
a handful of ice

We concluded with a race down the hill and a wagon ride around the farm with our families. Thank you all for your support and for the opportunity to help your children grow! #msuextension #gogreen #spartanswill

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Fall Farm Sprouts 2017 – Week #8 Wednesday AM

What a beautiful ending to our biggest season of Farm Sprouts yet! We grew so much, individually and as a group. Today we signed in by sharing our favorite memory of the season. Some memories included hiking out to the forest, working with the horses, riding behind the tractor, caring for the farm animals, and simply playing outside!

We ground corn to feed our chickens. In the winter especially, our animals rely on us to keep them strong and healthy. We feed them hay and feed. We learned a new word today – pasture! When our pastures are covered with snow, the animals aren’t able to graze in the fields. How do they stay warm? They are mammals, which means they are covered in fur and warm-blooded. We have sheds and barns for them to come in to warm up and straw to provide them with a place to rest. We also told stories with puppets and explored food groups and natural materials, like leaves, among other classroom activities before gathering as a group today.

We sang our song, “Oh, Fall is Here” one last time.

Oh, Fall Is Here
MSU Tollgate Farm Version
Sung To: “Oh, Christmas Tree”

Oh, fall is here. Oh, fall is here,
And wintertime is coming.
The squirrels get ready. Yes, they do.
They gather nuts to get them through. (gather nuts with hands)
The wintertime, cold wintertime,
It’s fall and winter’s coming.

Repeat the song, each time replacing the third and
fourth lines above with a different verse below.

The sheep get ready. Yes, they do.
They grow warm fleeces to get them through. (cover your body with fleece)

The trees get ready. Yes, they do.
They shed their leaves to get them through. (flutter “leaves” to the ground)

The goats get ready. Yes, they do.
They grow thick coats to get them through. (cover your body with fur)

The geese get ready. Yes, they do.
They migrate south to get them through. (flap your “wings”)

As a summative group assessment activity, we held a discussion about our Wonder Wall. We thought about all we learned about being a part of the farm community: how to be safe on the farm, how to think like scientists, how to do real work on the farm. We said, “We are strong!” “We are adventurous!” “We are appreciated!” We talked about what we had accomplished, discovered, learned, and contributed over the fall season. Then we joined together to create a mural representing our thoughts about our essential question.

After completing our mural, it was time to head outside to enjoy the last day! We explored the garden, noting the changes that had taken place. We no longer spotted bees or flowers. Many of the plants were trimmed or were brown. We challenged our physical abilities in the straw maze, working to climb, balance, crouch, run, and jump! We met our big, new draft horses who spent their younger days working at Greenfield Village and will now spend their retirement days at the farm. Lastly, we hiked up to the silo for a snack and a story. We loved the smoothie and said good night and goodbye to the different areas of the farm by reading the book, Sleep Tight, Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle, a perfect closing to the season.

MSU Tollgate Farm “Silo Smoothies”

1-2 apples (from MSU Tollgate Farm)
1 cup rainbow chard (from MSU Tollgate Farm’s Sustainable Agriculture Program)
1 cup frozen Michigan cranberries
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup coconut water
2 Tbs. honey (from MSU Tollgate Farm and harvested by Clay Ottoni, SEMBA)
a handful of ice

We concluded with a race down the hill and a wagon ride around the farm with our families. Thank you all for your support and for the opportunity to help your children grow! #msuextension #gogreen #spartanswill

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Fall Farm Sprouts 2017 – Week #8 Tuesday PM

What a beautiful ending to our biggest season of Farm Sprouts yet! We grew so much, individually and as a group. Today we signed in by sharing our favorite memory of the season. Some memories included hiking out to the forest, working with the horses, riding behind the tractor, caring for the farm animals, and simply playing outside!

We ground corn to feed our chickens. In the winter especially, our animals rely on us to keep them strong and healthy. We feed them hay and feed. We learned a new word today – pasture! When our pastures are covered with snow, the animals aren’t able to graze in the fields. How do they stay warm? They are mammals, which means they are covered in fur and warm-blooded. We have sheds and barns for them to come in to warm up and straw to provide them with a place to rest. We also told stories with puppets and explored food groups and natural materials, like leaves, among other classroom activities before gathering as a group today.

We sang our song, “Oh, Fall is Here” one last time.

Oh, Fall Is Here
MSU Tollgate Farm Version
Sung To: “Oh, Christmas Tree”

Oh, fall is here. Oh, fall is here,
And wintertime is coming.
The squirrels get ready. Yes, they do.
They gather nuts to get them through. (gather nuts with hands)
The wintertime, cold wintertime,
It’s fall and winter’s coming.

Repeat the song, each time replacing the third and
fourth lines above with a different verse below.

The sheep get ready. Yes, they do.
They grow warm fleeces to get them through. (cover your body with fleece)

The trees get ready. Yes, they do.
They shed their leaves to get them through. (flutter “leaves” to the ground)

The goats get ready. Yes, they do.
They grow thick coats to get them through. (cover your body with fur)

The geese get ready. Yes, they do.
They migrate south to get them through. (flap your “wings”)

As a summative group assessment activity, we held a discussion about our Wonder Wall. We thought about all we learned about being a part of the farm community: how to be safe on the farm, how to think like scientists, how to do real work on the farm. We said, “We are strong!” “We are adventurous!” “We are appreciated!” We talked about what we had accomplished, discovered, learned, and contributed over the fall season. Then we joined together to create a mural representing our thoughts about our essential question.

After completing our mural, it was time to head outside to enjoy the last day! We explored the garden, noting the changes that had taken place. We no longer spotted bees or flowers. Many of the plants were trimmed or were brown. We challenged our physical abilities in the straw maze, working to climb, balance, crouch, run, and jump! We fed our ground corn to the chickens. We even had a rooster join us for a walk down the lane! Lastly, we hiked up to the silo for a snack and a story. We loved the smoothie and said good night and goodbye to the different areas of the farm by reading the book, Sleep Tight, Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle, a perfect closing to the season.

MSU Tollgate Farm “Silo Smoothies”

1-2 apples (from MSU Tollgate Farm)
1 cup rainbow chard (from MSU Tollgate Farm’s Sustainable Agriculture Program)
1 cup frozen Michigan cranberries
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup coconut water
2 Tbs. honey (from MSU Tollgate Farm and harvested by Clay Ottoni, SEMBA)
a handful of ice

We concluded with a race down the hill and a wagon ride around the farm with our families. Thank you all for your support and for the opportunity to help your children grow! #msuextension #gogreen #spartanswill

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Fall Farm Sprouts 2017 – Week #8 Tuesday AM

What a beautiful ending to our biggest season of Farm Sprouts yet! We grew so much, individually and as a group. Today we signed in by sharing our favorite memory of the season. Some memories included hiking out to the forest, working with the horses, riding behind the tractor, caring for the farm animals, and simply playing outside!

We ground corn to feed our chickens. In the winter especially, our animals rely on us to keep them strong and healthy. We feed them hay and feed. We learned a new word today – pasture! When our pastures are covered with snow, the animals aren’t able to graze in the fields. How do they stay warm? They are mammals, which means they are covered in fur and warm-blooded. We have sheds and barns for them to come in to warm up and straw to provide them with a place to rest. We also told stories with puppets and explored food groups and natural materials, like leaves, among other classroom activities before gathering as a group today.

We sang our song, “Oh, Fall is Here” one last time.

Oh, Fall Is Here
MSU Tollgate Farm Version
Sung To: “Oh, Christmas Tree”

Oh, fall is here. Oh, fall is here,
And wintertime is coming.
The squirrels get ready. Yes, they do.
They gather nuts to get them through. (gather nuts with hands)
The wintertime, cold wintertime,
It’s fall and winter’s coming.

Repeat the song, each time replacing the third and
fourth lines above with a different verse below.

The sheep get ready. Yes, they do.
They grow warm fleeces to get them through. (cover your body with fleece)

The trees get ready. Yes, they do.
They shed their leaves to get them through. (flutter “leaves” to the ground)

The goats get ready. Yes, they do.
They grow thick coats to get them through. (cover your body with fur)

The geese get ready. Yes, they do.
They migrate south to get them through. (flap your “wings”)

As a summative group assessment activity, we held a discussion about our Wonder Wall. We thought about all we learned about being a part of the farm community: how to be safe on the farm, how to think like scientists, how to do real work on the farm. We said, “We are strong!” “We are adventurous!” “We are appreciated!” We talked about what we had accomplished, discovered, learned, and contributed over the fall season. Then we joined together to create a mural representing our thoughts about our essential question.

After completing our mural, it was time to head outside to enjoy the last day! We explored the garden, noting the changes that had taken place. We no longer spotted bees or flowers. Many of the plants were trimmed or were brown. We challenged our physical abilities in the straw maze, working to climb, balance, crouch, run, and jump! Lastly, we hiked up to the silo for a snack and a story. We loved the smoothie and said good night and goodbye to the different areas of the farm by reading the book, Sleep Tight, Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle, a perfect closing to the season.

MSU Tollgate Farm “Silo Smoothies”

1-2 apples (from MSU Tollgate Farm)
1 cup rainbow chard (from MSU Tollgate Farm’s Sustainable Agriculture Program)
1 cup frozen Michigan cranberries
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup coconut water
2 Tbs. honey (from MSU Tollgate Farm and harvested by Clay Ottoni, SEMBA)
a handful of ice

We concluded with a race down the hill and a wagon ride around the farm with our families. Thank you all for your support and for the opportunity to help your children grow! #msuextension #gogreen #spartanswill

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Fall Farm Sprouts 2017 – Week #7 Wednesday PM

We’re arriving to the end of the program and working to build final connections to support the big question of our inquiry project, “How do plants and animals prepare for winter?” The ideas, questions, and thoughts are really flowing and we have seen huge growth in scientific thinking skills. Our Wonder Wall becomes the place where we make the learning visible to the children to support memory recall of past experiences in order to build connections and create new understandings. We’ve been referring to the Wonder Wall as we gather these past few weeks, as it is in these past weeks that all we’ve been learning really begins to come together. We invite you to take some time to visit the Wonder Wall at the program conclusion next week!

To sign in this week, we wrote a letter from our name on the scute of a turtle’s back. We voted for silo or tractor and will likely end up visiting both next week, as many were curious about both! We had an experiment set up to explore the properties of wool and feathers with observation and discussion on what happens when water drips onto these animal coverings. One child stated, “It beads.” We wondered why? We observed that water and oil separate when we shake them in a tube. We’ll continue to explore what is going on and how animals stay warm and dry as the season transitions to winter. We also sang and danced to the Tollgate version of the song, “Oh, Fall is Here.”

We gathered to take out Coltrane, a red-bellied cooter turtle, for some hands-on time, a first for many! We made observations about his anatomy and how he moves. We thought about his habitat and his needs, which include water, rocks, and a heat lamp. We felt his shell and his feet, head, and tail. We noticed his body was cool compared to ours and the other mammals on the farm. We learned he is cold-blooded and figured out that the heat lamp keeps him warm and the rocks help him climb up to dry out. What do wild turtles do to survive the winter? How could we find out? These are additional questions we could explore and this is a wonderful component of inquiry-based learning on a farm. The opportunities for learning and discovery are endless and equally fascinating for both teachers and children!

It was then time to head outside for a hike to the Animal Barn. On the way, we sang our “Hunt the Cows!” song. You can expect to learn it as well next week! At the barn we met Bear, a young North Country Cheviot breed of sheep, born in the spring. A sheep named Bear? That is silly! We felt Bear’s wool and marveled at its thickness. We observed sheep behavior and compared it to the behavior of goats. How is their behavior different? Farm Sprouts should have some thoughts to share with you! We stopped to spend time with our rabbits as well, noting their soft fur and how it compared to Bear’s wool.

Back at the Activity Center, we prepared our snack, baked sweet potatoes grown right here at MSU Tollgate Farm by our Sustainable Agriculture program and served with butter, sea salt, and Tollgate maple syrup. Yum! Most gave them a taste and some gobbled them down in their entirety! While we were eating, we read the book Fall Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow. Farm Sprouts were really interested in the different leaves and enjoyed matching the leaves to the trees. This book inspired some great leaf hunting near the pond!

After filling our bellies, we turned to a project. Farm Sprouts felted and dyed wool into bracelets to take home as a memento from the season next week. Some of us documented our ideas about animal coverings and we “cooked” with corn in the sensory table.

Lastly, we headed out on a big adventure hike, which included crossing a waterfall and exploring the north end of the pond. Farm Sprouts decided it should be a “Gingko Tree Hunt” and sure enough, we found some! We were fascinated by their bright yellow, fan-shaped leaves and each took one home. There are some really fascinating trees to discover at the farm! We spotted Canadian geese and ducks, including both our farm ducks and wild ducks.

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus

 

 

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