THE LEARNING BARN
a t W i l l o w C r e e k F a r m
Sowing organic learning in a simple social setting.
Timeless Teachings in a Changing World
The Learning Barn is relocating. Please check back for more information. Here at The Learning Barn, you might hear the acronyms SEED and STREAM used from time-to-time. SEED is a description of classes that are geared toward sowing the foundations of human potential--student efficacy, exploration, and discovery. STREAM is an approach that we will use to develop these foundations. Please continue reading to learn more . . .
COMING SOON: SEED Birthday Parties!
SEED and STREAM
SEED (Student Exploration Efficacy and Discovery) Classes are offered for school-aged students in suggested age bands in two 12-15 week sessions each school year. Courses are Classes maintain a low student-teacher ratio to provide personalized learning and rich, real-world experiences, for maximum intellectual and social growth. Agricultural connections are embedded in these hands-on classes to connect students with the rural setting in a meaningful way.
The topics indicated for each course have been selected for their developmental appropriateness. However, the exciting advantage of classes at The Learning Barn is our ability to develop an authentic curriculum by capitalizing on children's play, individual fascination, group chemistry, and serendipity. In this way, our contextualized learning encourages students to see the connections between school learning and past, present, and future living. (Ideas about Placed-Based Learning from D. Sobel, Childhood and Nature, 2008)
What is STREAM? STREAM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics, and describes an integrative, and often trans-disciplinary, approach to education. According to Rob Furman of the Huffington Post, STREAM is “Science and Technology, interpreted through Engineering and the Arts, conveyed through Reading and writing, all based in elements of Mathematics” (2014).
Classes are also offered for students of all ages as fieldtrips and workshops on a variety of topics related to sustainable agriculture. All classes at The Learning Barn emphasize integrative STREAM learning in an environment that promotes students’ exploration, efficacy, and discovery.
SEED CORE COMPETENCIES:
Curiosity: the ability to ask questions and explore how the world works
Creativity: the ability to generate new ideas and apply them in practice
Criticism: the ability to analyze information and ideas to inform reasoned arguments and judgments
Communication: the ability to express thoughts and feelings clearly and confidently in a range of media and forms
Collaboration: the ability to work constructively with others
Compassion: the ability to empathize with others and to act accordingly
Composure: the ability to connect with the inner life of feeling and develop a sense of personal harmony and balance
Citizenship: the ability to engage constructively with society and participate in the processes that sustain it
(from K. Robinson, Creative Schools, 2015, pp. 137-140)
Students will relate math skills and concepts to real-world situations with hands-on problem solving and modeling activities. Agricultural connections, lab supplies, and art design project included. Minimum enrollment 4; maximum 15.
Math 1A, ages 6-9 (Whole Numbers, Numeration, Shapes, Time, Coins)
Math 2A, ages 8-11 (Multiplying & Dividing Whole Numbers)
Math 3A, ages 10-13 (Decimals, Percent, Data, Probability, Graphing)
Math 4A, ages 12-15 (Pre-Algebra)
Math 5A, ages 14-17 (Algebra I, Part II)
Math 1B, ages 6-9 (Adding & Subtracting Whole Numbers)
Math 2B, ages 8-11 (Fraction Concepts & Operations)
Math 3B, ages 10-13 (Measurement Systems,Tools and Applications)
Math 4B, ages 12-15 (Algebra I, Part 1)
Math 5B, ages 14-17 (Geometry)
While engaged in an interdisciplinary approach to science exploration, students will relate skills and concepts to farming and other real-world activities. Lab supplies, tools, and engineering design project included. Minimum enrollment 4; maximum 15.
General Science, ages 6-9 (Plant Structures & Processes, Water, Erosion, Recycling)
Earth & Space Science I, ages 8-11 (Solar System, Plate Tectonics, Crystals, Rocks & Fossils)
Life Science I, ages 10-13 (Plant & Animal Structures, Cells, Photosynthesis, Heredity)
Physical Science I, ages 12-15 (Atoms, Molecules, Matter, Chemical Properties & Reactions, Mixtures & Solutions)
Biology, ages 14-17 (Ecology, Cells, Genetics, Organization of Life's Diversity, and the Human Body Systems)
General Science II (Sun, Moon, & Stars; Day, Night & Seasons; Sound & Light, Senses)
Earth & Space Science II (Earth’s Atmosphere, Water Cycle, Weather and Natural Disasters, Conservation & Preservation)
Life Science II (Human Body Systems, Food Webs, Ecosystems, Conservation & Preservation)
Physical Science II (Energy Forms & Sources, Force & Motion, Waves, Middle School KidWind Challenge)
Renewable Energy & Engineering Design (Energy Sources, Electricity, Generation & Applications, High School KidWind Challenge)
"Thank you for doing this soap making class! I learned a new and fun creative process. You provided lots of ingredients and great molds. I really like your farm and Learning Barn. You have a school that has lots of potential." ~A. Layman
SEED Hobby Farming Workshops:
Periodically, workshops that provide hands-on learning related to farm life will be offered to the general public. Please read on to learn how you and your friends can participate in these fun, hands-on activities!
SEED Soap Making
“The Learning Barn has provided my middle school aged daughter with hands-on afterschool enrichment that both compliments her school education and allows her the opportunity to use her education in a real-world environment. It is her favorite place to be each week!” ~A. Hamblin
Afterschool SEED Courses:
Course offerings after school are designed to provide enrichment for elementary, middle and high school aged students in a club-like setting. Students will meet once each week to explore topics as citizen scientists, and apply their findings to agriculturally related activities. Engineering design project tools and supplies included. Minimum course enrollment 4, maximum 15.
Wading in the Water: (Ages 10-13) Clean water is essential to life on our planet. Learn how a clean stream provides habitat and hobby for all who dwell on the farm. Collect data for an international water monitoring organization, raise Brook Trout for the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and seine the stream to discover the world of macro-invertebrates. Then tie a few flies with some wool from the farm, and practice casting techniques as part of the National Fishing in the Schools Project.
Digging in the Dirt: (Ages 12-15) Get your shovels ready to explore the land beneath our feet. Conduct citizen science soil testing for pharmaceutical research, participate in Box Turtle Monitoring for the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, harvest and sample root crops, and examine both living and non-living specimens extracted from the dirt. Then design and create a dirt-making device to re-energize the soil in the gardens.
Field Testing the Farmer's Almanac: (Ages 14-17) Look high into the heavens with a variety of telescopes to discover what observers have come to know about our Solar System. Then test the predictions of this popular farming guidebook, and draw your own conclusions about when to plant, when to harvest, and when to live simply and take a day off for artistic and engineering creativity.
Living off the Land: (Ages 14-17) Explore the practical potential of owning and operating a small farm. Design and create a DIY project for self-suffient living that promotes sustainable agriculture. Learn the best practices of consumer science that enable a hobby farm to be profitable. Then develop and implement a plan to deliver a unique and marketable product from farmyard to farm stand.
Backyard Bird Sleuths: (Ages 8-11) Chickens are just one example of the feathered friends students can learn about on the farm. Explore the fields for signs and songs of all things fowl, and share your collected data with an international ornithology lab. Then build an upcycled bird house for native inhabitants, and make a unique craft with feathers donated by our favorite egg-laying residents.
KidWind Challenge: (Ages-Middle and High School students) Explore energy production options while learning about the world of wind energy. Engage in the engineering design process as you design and build a small-scale wind turbine. Then demonstrate leadership and efficacy as you participate in a KidWind Challenge as part of a team of entrepreneurs.
"The Learning Barn is a great place for students to put into action what we teach in the classroom. Wendy did a great job planning activities to keep students engaged in the Project Based Learning experience that she provided. We also loved visiting with the farm animals and having a relaxing day out of the classroom. We look forward to visiting again soon!" ~Mr. Andy Metzler, Agriscience & STEM Teacher at Auburn Middle School
Fieldtrips: Experiential learning activities focus on sustainable agriculture best practices, and include an engineering design project problem scenario to apply learnings in a real-world context. Activities can also be customized and coordinated to parallel classroom learning.