Spring Farm Sprouts 2017 – Week #5 (AM)

Tractors, worms, and chicks, oh my! We had a full morning at the farm using our senses to explore the farm. We signed in this week by forming letters with yarn and began talking about the properties of wool, taking the opportunity to feel raw wool. We had a guest teacher this week! Ms. Ellen joined the morning group and we greatly appreciate her contributions this week. She just happens to love plants and gardening, so it was the perfect day to have her with us! Upon arrival, she assisted children with meeting the four chicks hatched during our incubator project. It is powerful for children to see the full life cycle of a chicken, from studying embryology to visiting our pastured chickens. We checked in with our decomposition experiment, making it rain in the bags. We’ll continue to observe what happens to the natural materials we added to the soil in the coming weeks.

During our large group meeting, we celebrated our chick hatching with another round of singing and dancing to “Josefina la gallina.” Many thanks to Nicole Simmons, our Animal Care Coordinator, for supporting us with our hatching project! We took a look at our Wonder Wall, recalling past experiences and creating connections to construct new understandings. Our Wonder Wall includes documentation of our learning experiences, including photos, quotes, and journal entries. During a discussion about seeds, one Farm Sprout exclaimed, “From a seed, it turns into a tiny plant and then food!”

Outside near the Children’s Garden, we worked on completing our ongoing process-based art project, dissected plants, and explored our vermicomposting bin. Our project is now ready to go home next week. We enjoyed choosing plants for dissection. Farm Sprouts utilized various tools and materials, such as tweezers, scissors, pipettes, magnifying lenses, and sorting trays to learn more about how they grow, with a sensory table full of water available to support the investigation. One Farm Sprout even discovered a worm wriggling through the roots of his plant! We also discovered worm eggs in our bin and cared for the worms by adding newspaper strips, carrot peels, and a misting of water to the bin to keep our red wigglers healthy and comfortable. We will spend more time with the bin in the coming weeks.

For our snack this week we had voted for kiwis. We learned that there is also a bird that shares the name of the kiwi fruit. We talked about growing seasons and why local fruits are not readily available in the spring in Michigan. We noted the tiny black seeds and fuzzy skin. Most really enjoyed this snack.

Next, we headed to the greenhouse to transplant our sunflowers. They had grown several inches. Some still had the seed coat attached! On our way to the garden, we visited our animals out to pasture and observed a tractor at work, collecting compost to take out to our C.S.A. garden. The rainy weather will certainly provide our sunflowers with the water they need to grow in their new environment to be harvested next fall by the next season of Farm Sprouts!

We closed the day with reading The Dandelion Seed by Joseph Anthony, the perfect ending to a day of exploring cycles in nature.


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