And what did you learn at school today?

Posted on May 19, 2016 by Krista Cressman

Every night after school, Mom and Dad would ask my brother and I… “So what did you learn at school today?” to which both of us would reply with a short and never-changing “nothing”. The conversation was the same, but still, our parents asked, just in case our answers to that age old question might change.

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A mighty “YEEHAW!” from our visitors will get this tractor moving!

I really, really, REALLY hope that after a class comes to visit the farm, they have a lot more to say about their day than a one word response like my brother an I so… ATTENTION PARENTS! (and teachers who are wondering what to expect when their class arrives. Here is the inside scoop about what students do when they come to visit the farm for a field trip.

Our staff is made up of an incredibly talented team of awesome people that I feel so privileged to be a part of. We have qualified teachers and early childhood educators, farming backgrounds, and people who are extremely passionate about what we do here at Steckle to ensure students have a great visit!

We generally run two tours a day. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. Some days we have upwards of 120 kids visit in a day! Our staff greets the school bus in our parking lot and then we walk up to the barn all together. From here, we split off into smaller groups (10-15 students, depending on the total class size) and begin our rotations to explore life on the farm!

A Kindergarten Tour Example:

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Rows upon rows of potatoes!

During the wagon ride, we search for signs of spring. We look at our apple trees and learn how the blossom will eventually turn into a yummy apple. What are some other yummy things we can make with our apples? As we move around the farm we talk about what we can grow in our own gardens at home. Farmers are our expert growers that help to make sure we have enough food to eat all year long!

At the planting station, we are having the students help us plant potatoes! What do plants need to help them grow? Here, we learn about what the potato plant will look like after it starts to grow, long after we have left the farm. But don’t worry, Victoria, our wonderful garden manager will keep an eye on them for us!

Springtime, as I have mentioned in my other posts, is all about baby animals at the farm. Students are introduced to some of our baby birds (chicks, ducklings, turkey poults) in the lower barn and we make comparisons of each bird. We move outside where our piglets, lambs, and calves live. From far away, we sometimes think that Morley looks like a dalmatian at the fire department but then we remember!

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Morley is a Holstein, not a dalmatian!

We’re not fire fighters, we’re farmers! As we get closer, we realize that Morley is a calf!

Our last rotation involves a special treat and some playtime in the straw! Students enjoy an oatmeal cookie in the upper barn. We have a center set up so that students can explore the types of food that some of our animals eat. We can see, smell, and feel the feed but we do not eat it! (We already had our cookie anyway!)

90 minutes goes by very quickly and all too soon, it is time to make our way back down the path and go back to school. We hope that each student who comes to visit has memorable experience and will be back visit us soon!

-Allie