2013 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award
FIVE TEACHERS, TEAM OF TEACHERS SELECTED FOR THE 2013 EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING ABOUT AGRICULTURE AWARD
The national award program, "Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture," honors outstanding teachers who bring innovation and practical teaching about agriculture into the classroom.
2013 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award Recipients:
Mary Kensok, North Dakota - Her hands-on, creative style of teaching cleverly connects abstract concepts with concrete understanding. Mary believes learning is about making connections, and agriculture is that vital area that connects our world – people, food, land and life. For over 25 years, Mary's commitment to incorporating agricultural literacy into learning has included countless activities and methods that weave agriculture into students' daily living.
Andrea Seagraves, Georgia - There are two agricultural programs running concurrently in Andrea's kindergarten special and general education inclusive classrooms. First, the "Agricultural Alphabet" is a yearlong curriculum correlating agriculture to letters in the alphabet. Then there is a protected time set aside each Friday dedicated to lessons which incorporate agricultural literature and Common Core standards across the curriculum. Andrea calls this time 'Farm Fridays'.
Kaylene Esplin, Utah - She teaches an integrated 8th grade science curriculum (ecology, chemistry, geology and physics). Previously Kaylene taught one term of each discipline but wanted to find a way to integrate these science disciplines to demonstrate how they overlap in real world applications. Based on her experience and insight gained from an Ag in the Classroom workshop, she decided to contextualize and deliver an integrated curriculum featuring agriculture.
Julie Kelly, Missouri - The Willow Springs Elementary School curriculum provides opportunities to cover a wide variety of agricultural concepts within the classroom. Julie's semester long unit was designed to meet mandatory learning standards at the state and national level in communication arts, math, science and social studies. The second grade students in Julie's class used pizza to learn about agriculture.
Jenna McCann, Kathie Thompson, Tracy Haupt, Jamie Christianson, Nancy Toberman (Wisconsin) - The little town of Merrimac (less than 500) does not have a grocery store and fresh produce is not readily available; however, the town is surrounded by agriculture. The teachers were challenged to build a connection through experience. Their transformation began five years ago with the creation of a school garden and a partnership with local master gardeners. Today, each grade level at Merrimac School provides instruction and experiences that lay the foundation for understanding the different areas of agriculture.