Summer Graduate Course:

Growing Agriculture in Your Classroom

Beginning workshop: Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Ending workshop: Thursday, August 7, 2014
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
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About

Our popular 3 Credit Summer Graduate Course for educators returns for an eight year in the summer of 2014. Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom, collaborating with Fitchburg State College, will offer this three-credit graduate course, titled "Growing Agriculture in the Classroom," using Massachusetts farms as classrooms. Teachers will participate in agricultural-literacy training through fun, hands-on study and investigation of agriculture education resources. It will help enhance curriculum and assist with connections to the curriculum standard.

The course will meet on Tuesday, July 1st and Thursday August 7 at the Brigham Hill Community Farm in North Grafton from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Each participant must attend both sessions and also participate in six additional workshops during the summer, selected from approximately twelve workshops on a variety of topics in locations across the state.

Participants will keep a journal of their agricultural journey and developing a classroom project, which they will present to their peers on August 7. Farm workshops may cover topics such as nutrition; plant science; soils; water; economics; technology; ag-history; farm animals; energy, sustainable agriculture and more.

This course will assist new educators and those who want to expand their offerings to integrate agriculture into the classroom. Participants will learn how to create community partnerships; link the classroom to the farm; expand math, science, social studies, art, nutrition and other educational knowledge using agricultural examples, and explore technology and engineering techniques.

The fee for this eight-day course is $500 and includes all materials; farm workshops; some meals and three graduate credits or 67 professional development points from Fitchburg State College. Participants will be paired with a MAC board member to give long-term access to agricultural resources and support.

 

Schedule of Summer Workshops

Tuesday, July 8:

Technology on a Dairy Farm with STEM Connections for the Classroom at Barstow’s Dairy Farm in Hadley
 

On Tuesday, July 8, increase your knowledge of dairy cows and the economics of dairy farming at Barstow’s Dairy Farm in Hadley. We will introduce teachers to innovative dairy lessons available on the MAC website and learn about classroom composting opportunities. JoAnn Mossman will share vermicomposting techniques for the classroom and Paul Pieri will show us an anaerobic composting system adaptable to a classroom setting. Our day will include an opportunity to see how an anaerobic digester works and why this is becoming so popular in Massachusetts . Instructors, Cynthia Jensen and Maria Berrios will demonstrate ways to correlate this information with STEM education in the classroom. Workshop sponsored by the Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board.

 

Workshop Activities:
- Review computer lesson plans
- Vermicomposting: keeps waste from landfills, creates excellent compost, encourages children to make better food choices.
- Digester: keeps waste from landfills, chemistry of additions, economics of producing a safe fertilizer from farm waste, employs new technology

Standards/Frameworks:
* Earth/Space Science Grade 3-5
- - Standard 4: Explain and give examples of ways in which soil is formed (weathering of rock by water and wind, from decomposition of plant and animal remains.
* Life Science/Biology Grade 6-8
- - Standard 14: Explain roles and relationships among producers, consumers, decomposers in process of energy transfer in food web.
* Health - Nutrition Strand: Students will gain the knowledge and skills to select a diet that supports health and reduces the risk of illness and future chromic diseases.

Thursday, July 10 Fibers, Felting, and Fun at Jensen Homestead, Worthington and Phantom Farm, Worthington
 

This workshop offers and orientation to fiber basics using various natural fibers to produce yarns, card, spin and drop-spin. Cynthia Jensen, high school teacher and fiber enthusiast, invites you to her home in Worthington on Thursday, July 10. You will also have the opportunity to use natural dyes, felt and even harvest some of the fibers, while you enjoy practical, hands-on experiences that can be applied in the classroom. In the afternoon, we’ll meet some of the fiber animals at nearby Phantom Farm.

 

Workshop Activities:
- Ethical preservation of heirloom breeds.
- History of natural fibers and their use.
- Applying solutions to wool to change its fiber composition.
- History: using older machinery/methods for cleaning, carding, spinning fibers


Standards/Frameworks:
* Life Science:/Biology Grade 3-5:
- - Strand 1: Characteristics of Plants and Animals
- - Standard 1: Characterize plants and animals according to physical characteristics they share
- - Strand 2: Structures and Functions
- - Standard 2: Identify structures in plants (leaves, roots, flowers, stem, bark, wood) that are responsible for food production, support, water, transport, reproduction, growth and protection.
* Tech/Engineering Grade 3-5:
- - 1.3: Identify and explain the difference between simple and complex machines (e.g. hand can opener that includes multiple gears, wheel, wedge and lever.)

Tuesday, July 15 Success on the Farm and in the Classroom at Smolak Farms in North Andover
 

Smolak Farms in North Andover is 300 years old and covers 155 acres. The farm produces fruits and vegetables and also offers many activities and festivals to the public. On Tuesday, July 15, learn the farm’s history and about the varied ways that farming here has changed through the years with the generations of family managers. You will also have the chance to explore what it takes to keep a farm successful and viable today. Ken Oles will lead a discussion relating to how new ideas can be included in your classroom instruction.

 

Workshop Activities:
- What is “value added”?
- Economics: making changes in marketing to stay profitable.
- Math: Daily income needed to stabilize the farm.
- Creativity of both farmers and teachers.
- Cooperative learning groups for brainstorming activities.

Standards/Frameworks:
* Health - Nutrition Strand:
- - Standard 3.5
- - Students will gain the knowledge and skills to select a diet that supports health and reduces the risk of illness and future chronic diseases.
* Social Studies: North American Geography, Grade 4 Concepts and Skills, Economics
- - 8: Give examples of how interaction of buyers and sellers influences the price of goods and services in markets.
* Social Studies: U.S. History, Geography, Economics & Government, Grade 5 Concepts and Skills
- -Economics 13: Define profit and describe how profit is an incentive for entrepreneurs.
* Geography/History Grade 3:
- - Standard 3.13: Give examples of goods and services provided by their local businesses and industries.

Thursday, July 17 Raising Children’s Awareness of Agriculture and Restoring a Family Farm and Apiary at Bernin Branch YMCA and Akin Bak Farm, Franklin
 

Starting at the YMCA, we will learn about the programs the “Y” has in place for improving children’s nutrition and planning school gardens. Then, we will tour a small farm, looking back through several generations of the same family who has worked this land, now in a suburban setting. Does the newest generation need to make changes? What has made this farm survive as the land around them is commercially developed? We will compare historical farming methods with more modern procedures and many years of beekeeping experience will be shared with the teachers as we observe hives and pollinators. Pollination activities for the classroom will be provided by Ken Oles.

 

Workshop Activities:
- Nutrition: plant school gardens, experience new foods as snacks.
- Brainstorm ways to use garden produce in cafeterias.
- History: old farm equipment vs. new.
- Science: pollination, bee social behavior
- Art: following directions for craft.
- Drama: acting out pollination activity.


Standards/Frameworks:
* Health - Nutrition Strand:
- - Standard 3.5: Students will gain the knowledge and skill to select a diet that supports health and reduces the risk of illness and future chronic diseases.
- - Standard 3.11: Analyze dietary intake and eating patterns.
* Geography/History Grade 3:
- - Standard 3.12: Explain how objects or artifacts of everyday life in the past tell us how ordinary people lived and how everyday life has changed.
* Life Science/Biology: Grade 3-5:
- - Standard 8: Describe how organisms meet some of their needs in an environment by using behaviors in response to stimuli received from the environment.
* Life Science/Biology: Grade 3-5:
- - Standard 2: Identify structures in plants (leaves, roots, flowers, stem, bark, wood) that are responsible for food production, support, water transport, reproduction, growth and protection.
* Life Science/Biology: Grade 3-5:
- - Standard 3: Recognize plants and animals go through predictable life cycles that include birth, growth, development, reproduction and death.
* Art: Theatre
- - Strand 1.7: Students will create & sustain a believable character throughout a scripted or improvised scene.

Tuesday, July 22 Forestry Management and Maple Sugar Production on a Family Farm at Curtis Farm, Westminster
 

Travel to Curtis Farm in Westminster on Tuesday, July 22, where we’ll hear from owners JoAnn and Chris Mossman about how they manage the responsibility that comes with a historical family farm. They’ll cover how they are preserving its authenticity while planning for the future. Learn about proper woodland management and managing and preserving the health and resources of this unique woodland, as well as maple syrup production. Science lessons related to trees will be shared , along with some resources from MAC’s website. In the afternoon, we will view the nearby school gardens and learn from JoAnn how lessons from the garden can have STEM connections.

 

Workshops Activities:
- History: inheriting old farming methods
- Math: classroom activities to determine diameter/height of trees, calculating drip circle, estimating gallons of sap needed for syrup, calculating amount of firewood needed.
- Science: observation and record keeping, graphs 7 diagrams, evaporation.
- Ecology: preserving the best of forest lands to assure healthy future growth.

Standards/Frameworks:
* Geography/History Grade 3
- - Standard 3.12: Explain how objects or artifacts of everyday life in the past tell us how ordinary people lived and how everyday life has changed.
* Life Science/Biology: Grade 3-5:
- - Standard 2: Identify structures in plants (leaves, roots, flowers, stem, bark, wood) that are responsible for food production, support, water transport, reproduction, growth and protection.
* Health - Personal and Community Health Strand,
- - Ecological Health Standard 13: Students will gain knowledge of the interdependence between the environment and physical health, and will acquire skills to care for the environment.

Thursday, July 24 Animals, Minerals, & Vegetables at Heifer Farm, Rutland
 

Thursday, July 24th takes us to Rutland, where we’ll start the day with a brief orientation to the history and philosophy of Heifer International’s mission. Then livestock manager Donna Kilpatrick, will demonstrate how raising animals and caring for them can be related to classroom activities. Our afternoon tour of the vegetable gardens with an emphasis on new garden bed preparation methods will enable us to view the variety of foods grown at Heifer International and inspire us for our own school gardens!

 

Workshop Activities:
- Philosophy/Ethics: caring for people in other cultures, raising livestock for meat and classroom observation.
- Science: testing and amending soil with minerals for soil health
- Drama: skit about pollination.

Standards/Frameworks:
* Health - Nutrition Strand:
- - Standard 3.5: Students will gain the knowledge and skill to select a diet that supports health and reduces the risk of illness and future chronic diseases.
- - Standard 3.11: Analyze dietary intake and eating patterns.
* Life Science/Biology: Grade 6-8:
- - Standard 7: Recognize that every organism requires a set of instructions that specify its traits. These are stored in the organism’s chromosomes. Heredity is the passage of those instructions from one generation to another.
* Life Science/Biology: Grade 3-5: Adaptation of Living Things
- - Standard 6: Give examples of how inherited characteristics may change over time as adaptations to changes in the environment that enable organisms to survive.
* Earth/Space Science Grade 3-5
- - Standard 4: Explain and give examples of ways in which soil is formed (weathering of rock by water and wind, from decomposition of plant and animal remains.)
* Earth/Space Science: Grade 3-5
- - Standard 5: Recognize and discuss different properties of soil, including color, texture, the ability to retain water and the ability to support the growth of plants.
* Tech/Engineering Grade 3-5:
- - 1.3: Identify and explain the difference between simple and complex machines (e.g. hand can opener that includes multiple gears, wheel, wedge and lever.)
* Art:
- - Theatre Strand 1.7: Students will create and sustain a believable character throughout a scripted improvised scene.

Tuesday, July 29

The Benefits of Agriculture Education at Norfolk Agricultural School, Walpole

 

Spend Tuesday, July 29 exploring the benefits of Agricultural Education at Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole. We’ll tour the newly expanded facilities as this special school that offers students the opportunity to explore agriculture and natural resources along with a traditional education. Learn how agriculture is woven into the curriculum and the benefits of an the educational experience at an agricultural high school and the many majors that are offered to students. Learn why this may be the perfect choice for some of your students. Instructors will provide appropriate lessons ideas that can be taken back to your own classroom.

 

Workshop Activities:
- Exploring non-traditional classroom choices
- Science: horticulture practices to optimize health of plants, ethical raising of livestock
- Technology: engineering and machinery


Standards/Frameworks:
* Life Science/Biology: Grade 3-5:
- - Standard 2: Identify structures in plants (leaves, roots, flowers, stem, bark, wood) that are responsible for food production, support, water transport, reproduction, growth and protection.
* Life Science/Biology: Grade 3-5:
- - Standard 3: Recognize plants and animals go through predictable life cycles that include birth, growth, development, reproduction and death.
* Tech/Engineering Grade 3-5:
- - 1.3: Identify and explain the difference between simple and complex machines (e.g. hand can opener that includes multiple gears, wheel, wedge and lever.)
Tech/Engineering Grade 6-8:
- - 1.1: Given a task, identify appropriate materials based on specific properties and characteristics.

Thursday, July 31 Farming Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities at Cape Abilities, Marston Mills & Dennis
 

The mission of Cape Abilities is to serve individuals with disabilities, so as to empower them to achieve meaningful and valued roles in society. We will learn how this innovative program provides employment to many adults with disabilities while growing some of the best vegetables on Cape Cod! Some questions will be answered for us: Can you grow tomatoes without soil? What’s it like to harvest sea salt? Do methods need to be modified to provide for individual learning styles? We will begin our day at the gardens in Marston Mills where plant propagation takes place, then move to the greenhouses and retail vegetable stand in Dennis. Ken Oles will share lessons that can bring some of this greenhouse technology into your classroom.

 

Workshop Activities:
- Science: Hydroponics (calculating proper temperatures, correct amount of nutrients).
- Evaporation techniques to harvest salt from ocean water.
- Math: Graphing and charting, determining amounts of sea water needed.
- Economics: Determining fair wages for work, evaluating costs of making modifications to workplace for employees.
- Maintaining safe working conditions for employees.

Standards/Frameworks:
* Physical Science Chemistry & Physics Grade 3-5:
- - Standard 2: Compare and contrast solids, liquids and gases based on the basic properties of each of these states of matter.
- - Standard 3: Describe how water can be changed from one state to another by adding or taking away heat.
* Physical Science (Chemistry & Physics) Grade 6-8:
- - Standard 14: Recognize that heat is a form of energy and that temperature change results from adding or taking away heat from a system.
* Tech/Engineering (Bioengineering): Grade 6-8:
- - 7.1: Explain examples of adaptive or assistance devices (e.g. prosthetic devices, wheelchairs, eyeglasses, grab bars, hearing aids, lifts, braces).
* North American Geography Grade 4:
- - Concepts and Skills, Economics 8; Give examples of how interaction of buyers and sellers influences the prices of goods and services in markets.

Tuesday, August 5 MAC Summer Conference Connecting the Classroom to the School Garden at Tahanto Regional High School in Northborough. Read more about our summer conferenceread more

 

Using Massachusetts Farms as your classroom, learn how agriculture can enhance your curriculum, enthrall your students and make connections to the Curriculum Standards. Workshops offer hands-on, open-ended experiences, activities and resources related to a variety of agricultural topics. Participants will:

Sponsored by:

Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom & Fitchburg State College