January Highlights from MN Ag in the Classroom

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MAITC Newsletter Banner 6.2.2017
Happy New Year from Minnesota Ag in the Classroom

2019: The Year Begins!

2019 is officially underway!  We are excited to embark on another year of sharing the story of agriculture with K-12 students.  In January, we are starting the new year by focusing on “new” agriculture that might give you a fresh perspective about the food, fiber, plants and animals that we rely on every day!  Growing AlgaeFarming with Drones?  Not surviving A Day Without Agriculture?  Yes to all of these questions and many more! 

Emerging Agriculture Lessons and Activity Ideas

Urban Organics Aquaculture

Exploring Aquaponics

3rd-5th grade students will identify the basic needs of plants and fish and engineer, assemble, maintain and observe a small-scale aquaponics system that meets plant and fish needs.

agriculture landscape

High Tech Farming

6th-8th grade students will discover technologies that are used on farms to increase efficiency and yields and decrease costs and environmental impact.

Teacher Feature: Ms. Mandy Bellm

Media and Digital Learning Coordinator, Waconia Middle School,  Waconia, MN

Ms. Bellm developed two lessons that are included in our Cream of the Crop Lesson Booklet: Minnesota Flowers for Pollinators and Minnesota Apples: Sweet Fruit, Bitter Controversies

Mandy Bellm

How has agriculture and the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Program impacted your students and instruction? The Ag in the Classroom program has really brought our edible classroom to the next level. Before working with Michele Melius (Waconia Middle School Social Studies teacher and Edible Classroom Coordinator) to develop curriculum, my only experience in the garden was starting pepper seeds in my Spanish class. Afterward, I have been able to collaborate with Michele and several other teachers to use the garden for authentic learning experiences, bringing the curriculum alive and using it in a more interdisciplinary way. The lessons themselves were fun to write and try out, especially creating hyperdocs so students could work at their own pace.

Waconia Edible Classroom

Students spend time in Waconia's Edible Classroom.


Planning for Spring?

Cream of the Crop Lesson booklet

There might be snow on the ground, but we know many Minnesota gardeners are already planning for spring!  Our Cream of the Crop booklet provides inspiration for standards-based connections in science, social studies, language arts and health.  The activities are focused on garden produce and other specialty crops  - fruits, vegetables, honey, maple syrup, and others!

The Minnesota Schoolyard Gardens Conference is another opportunity to get excited for the gardening season!  Attend to gain innovative strategies for building sustaining and engaging diverse learning in a thriving schoolyard garden.  Details for this March 1st conference can be found at: http://www.arboretum.umn.edu/Schoolyards2019.aspx

Stop By and Say Hi!

Find us at one of the many conferences we will be exhibiting and/or hosting a workshop at over the next few months.  We'd love to chat and share our FREE resources with you!

Explore our Virtual Barn

Virtual Barn Image

What is the virtual barn? Just like farmers keep their prized possessions (animals and crops for feed) in a barn, we're collecting very important information in our virtual barn - input from educators!  After using a MAITC lesson or resource, visit our virtual barn to share your feedback.  By providing feedback, not only are you entered to win one of our awesome Monthly Theme Kits (these feature a lesson and everything you'll need to do the lesson in your classroom) but you're also helping us improve and spread the word about agricultural literacy.

Ag Trivia

Congratulations to our December Trivia winner Bill Ziegler!  Bill knew that Antacctica is the only continent that does not have evergreen trees.

January Trivia Question: Who is the newly appointed Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner?

Send your answer to sue.knott@state.mn.us. All correct responders within the first 24 hours after the newsletter is sent, will be entered in a drawing to win a MAITC reusable bag!