CHICKEN SCRATCH: Our 3rd/4th Grade Literacy Project
In March of 2014 we unveiled the Sunflower Sentry Garden at Willow Creek Academy. While the garden was lovely, we knew we needed more friends around to keep us company. We decided to add five hens to the mix, and our students have been busy helping tend to the coop since their arrival.
In the fall of 2015, we upped the ante with our third-graders taking on roles as farmers, scientists, researchers and reporters. Now in 2016, they are writing the Hen House Diaries blog on our website, answering questions addressed to the hens by fellow students of the academy. Throughout the school year, our kids will be caring for the flock, closely monitoring their behavior and embarking on a hands-on learning adventure like no other.
We call the project Chicken Scratch, but don’t let the name fool you—we’re serious about building academic skills and agricultural awareness. Have a look around and see what we’re all about!
Meet Anne Siskin: a long-time Sausalito resident and educator. Anne’s focus is on project-based learning that encourages students to think critically and solve problems unconventionally. Her methods are creative, student-driven, hands-on and experiential. And the projects closest to her heart are those based in conservation, sustainability, farm-to-table, animal husbandry and field studies.
Can’t find Anne in the classroom? Try looking for her outdoors, where she is likely taking her teaching beyond the four walls of the schoolhouse and into the garden classroom or outside world.
Barbara Adams heads TediJak Productions and publishes two original culinary websites: Beyond Wonderful and Beyond Wonderful Kids Cook: Garden to Table.
Barbara’s two true loves are kids and cooking. And after years of professional cooking, raising a family, and as a producer in the online and software industries, it only made sense to marry her first two passions. She is a cooking instructor and also manages the Sunflower Sentry Garden at Willow Creek Academy, where the Chicken Scratch hens reside..
SISKIN’s WCA 3rd/4th GRADE CLASS
Meet our bright group of learners and leaders! They are what this project is all about. These third and fourth-graders serve as scientists, researchers, writers and reporters.
And, of course, they are also our farmers! In our unconventional outdoor classroom, kids care for plants and animals regularly and are encourage to ask questions and make observations along the way. It is a truly a unique and exciting way to learn, and we’re thrilled with their enthusiasms and willingness to take their schooling out of the classroom and into a space that is so hands-on and impactful.