Who are the cutest chicks on the block? My kinder-chickies of course! The peeping in the classroom will be ending soon as sending them all off to be adopted by kindergarten families by the end of the week.
It is that time of year again in kindergarten! This year we are proving to have a very successful spring hatch. Yesterday I was able to say good morning to these 5 chicks that had hatched over night, another one hatched right at the end of the day and I am guessing a few more hatched overnight. (I will be making my way into school later today when weather improves to check things out as school was canceled today due to freezing rain.)
I got a new learning tool this year and was able to learn and share more about candling eggs with an OvaScope, confirming fertile eggs and watching the embryos grow.
This is always such a fun and exciting process. I truly enjoy sharing this experience with my kindergarten students!
- saying "good morning" with wild blueberry scones
- meal prep for the week ahead
- a little bit of experimentation (dried tansy in a dye bath)
- A little bit of wandering - trying to soak up a little sunlight during this dark time of year. We lost a lot of our snow during a stretch of rain last week. Today we got a dusting over a layer of ice that has accumulated. Temperatures are below freezing, so there is some hope that our lakes will start to freeze and we will gently transition into our true winter.
Wishing you a good start to your week, from my little corner of the world to yours!
Here are a few snapshots from short, busy and fun week in kindergarten.
In the lesson plans were: pumpkin investigations!
Monday: Pumpkin seeds (My garden was generous this year I grew 16 pie pumpkins - and I had a couple donations - so each student was able to investigate their own pumpkin. I brought home one 5 gallon bucket of pumpkin "guts" for the chickens - and two 5 gallon buckets of cut and seeded pumpkins.
Monday night: The kindergarten teacher (and husband) roasted pumpkin seeds, the kindergarten teacher also bandaged the blisters that she got from slicing and cutting the tops off of 18 pumpkins.
Tuesday: Roasting pumpkins. In class we roasted a crockpot full of sliced and seeded pumpkins throughout the day, sharing with the kiddos one way pumpkins can be cooked.
Tuesday night: Roasting pumpkins - I had two crock pots going at home roasting pumpkins overnight and during the daytime to make the most of our harvest.
Wednesday: Pumpkin puree and pumpkin smoothies. In class I showed the kids what part of the pumpkin that we make into pumpkin puree and we celebrated our efforts by making (and enjoying) pumpkin smoothies.
Wednesday night: Before we went out and celebrated our anniversary, I finished up making pumpkin puree from all of the baked pumpkins. I was able to put up over 26 cups of fresh pumpkin. (I freeze it in 2 cup servings in quart freezer bags.)
Another successful year of pumpkining at home and school - done!
Now I just need to make it through a Halloween on a Monday night.
If you are looking for some pumpkin inspired ideas, check out my recent post on mothering.com:
Today was the day that we gathered with neighbors and friends to "turn our chickens into meat." Every year we go in on a big order of cornish rock broiler chickens (also known as 'meat birds'). We all raise them on our own, then we gather after about 9 weeks to butcher the chickens - work party style.
It is always a productive gathering with the added components of some playing around and a pot-luck style meal to celebrate our efforts. We now have 22 healthy, home-grown chickens in our freezer to feed our family. And - our kids have a concrete understanding of where their food comes from.
We picked up 29 baby chicks today! These are meat birds, that will live a good, healthy, but short life on our homestead.
The other chickens, our layers are being spoiled enjoying bouts of free ranging and feasts on garden weeds. Today they got the kale. I made the decision that we have enough in our freezer and I am just done with kale. Time to turn it into eggs!
Our expanded garden entails a bit more effort to keep the weeds under control. As result, I spent a significant portion of this afternoon on my hands and knees digging in the dirt pulling weeds. I collected a big bucketful of greens to treat the hens, which they will use as nutrients for their summer golden-yolk eggs. I consider it a good trade off for my the time and effort.
While I was out taking pictures of the chickens I wandered off to our other coop where we are raising our three pullets that I hatched in my kindergarten classroom this past Spring. It is fun to see them grow and change! Soon they will be graduating off of their chick-starter food and eating layer mash just like our more mature hens and ready to jump in and establish their pecking order in the flock.
It has been a day of catching up and getting back into the rhythm of life on our Northwoods hobby farm. It was fun to see the new sprouts and changes in growth in the garden and it feels good to have completed a good, productive weeding. A quick hike up our ridge revealed blooming wildflowers and berries ready to ripen.
Back home, feeling grounded after a productive day.
It sure feels like Spring in my kindergarten class! We are reading Charlotte's Web, we have a windowsill full of plants, we have a bunny running around the classroom - and - we have chicks hatching! So far four chicks have hatched -Lola, Chirp, Paul and Fluffers. I posted some videos to my instagram account if you want to see them in action. I LOVE sharing these fun experiences with the children in my life!
On Friday I put 12 eggs in the incubator with the kindergarten students. I had them name the eggs. They came up with:
Peep, Fluffers, Chirp, Luke, Lola, Daisy, Chicky, Harry, Susie, Paul, Diamond, Charlie and Hanna.
I got a brand new top-of -the-line incubator as a donation this year and I am happy to start my first hatch.
This year I am trying something new, I ordered a clutch of eggs Hatching Eggs For Education from mypetchicken.com. In the assortment I received a combination of Bantam Birchen Cochins, Easter Eggers, New Hampshire Reds, Silver Laced Wyandote, Salmon Faverolles and maybe a wildcard or two.
We are looking forward to an early May hatch. I will keep you posted!