FFA Inquiry Unit

There may be a way for your students to understand the WHY of FFA without speaking one fact about it to your students.

ENTER THE FFA INQUIRY UNIT

If you have been following along on instagram I have been chronicling my FFA Unit in my Basic Ag Classes. And A LOT of people wanted in, so here you go….

Link to LESSON PLAN: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1faiMCpUFkgyD_Zou_Q37bfSEaHU2Akg2XwkidoHYSxA/copy

Link to CSI WORKSHEET: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eDYj1G2sJ_AwhNW3uUby5UC53OoCDOE7_pzDBBPGODk/copy

Here is the LOWDOWN Day-by-Day

DAY 1

Classroom Scene Investigation

Step 1: Record clues (item you found), evidence (what it means) 

Virtual Edition: Use www.ffa.org and www.gaaged.org as your “Crime Scenes” * to add more rows, RIGHT CLICK on a row, then CLICK Insert Row Above/Below (fill out the FIRST Table with Clues & Evidence)

In-Person Edition: Let students walk around your room finding clues about FFA (awards, trophies, posters, pictures etc.) 

Step 2:  You are charged to become the EXPERT (According to the Oxford Dictionary an expert is “a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.”) on FFA. Start with figuring out the 5 W’s and H using any resources you can find (including the ones you used above) FIll out the second table 5 W’s & H. 

DAY 2

FFA Pitch Project

Now that you have put on your expert hats, I need you to think like the National FFA CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Mark Poeschl. He was just approached by a HUGE company let’s say your favorite company (ex. Apple, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Nike etc.) because WHY NOT! To become a potential sponsor of FFA, but they have NO IDEA what it is. You need to come up with a PITCH about why that company should sponsor National FFA. Make sure you know #allthethings because you are the CEO so you are the EXPERT on this topic.

Virtual Edition: You can assign individually or groups (if you can manage them easily) have them present in class or record on FlipGrid (Fun tip: students can screen share on FlipGrid so you can see their PPT)

In-Person Edition: You can assign individually or groups. Have them present in front of the class. I also have added a day for the groups to practice present to other groups for feedback. 

DAY 2 Activities: Pick company

Research FFA & company (you chose) mission/values

Continue to research WHY the company you chose should invest in FFA

-Introduction (find common connections between FFA & your company)

-Main Point 1 (choose a main reason WHY your company should invest in FFA)

-Main Point 2 (another point)

-Close (summarize what you said, and ask for the support) 

Day 3 Activities: Start your script (scratch paper) & PowerPoint (Post a Template for your students to edit)

Day 4 Activities: Record & Turn in FlipGrid (screen share your PowerPoint) Grade using rubric (see lesson plan)

Day 5 Activities: Reflection Activity

Virtual Edition-Prompt questions in the chat or make a shareable google doc/word doc for students to put their thoughts-think a virtual gallery walk 

In-person Edition-After Pitch Day set up Reflection Stations-6-8 stations (30-40 minutes) (Ex. Meet with Teacher, What was the best part of Pitch Day, What was the worst part of the Pitch Day, What would you/your team do differently next time, What was one thing that really stood out to you about another presentation, What do you feel about FFA now, What questions do you still have about FFA? Write a THANK YOU NOTE to judges)

-Give students 5 minutes per station, have them fill out a reflection document and turn it

Enjoy friend! 

Teacher Confidence

I wish I was more confident in the classroom.

Don’t we all?

There is something deep down you know you wish to change. Maybe it’s classroom management Maybe it’s a particular skill you teach Maybe it’s feeling alone Whatever it is, there is a way to level up your teacher confidence!

What is teacher confidence? “teachers confidence in their ability to promote students’ learning” Hoy, 2000.

Here are 4️⃣ ways to level up your confidence this year All quotes from Tschannen-Moran, Woolfolk-Hoy, and Hoy, 1998.

1️⃣ MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE ➕ “Feelings of relaxation and positive emotions signal self-assurance and the anticipation of future success”

How do you do it? Reframe your response to a “failure” or “mistake” to say “Good.” Find the good in all things.

2️⃣ FIND ENCOURAGING TEACHER FRIENDS 👯‍♂️ “Social persuasion can contribute to successful performances”

How do you do it? Make new friends in your school, county, region, state, nation that you can chat/text/DM when you need to talk!

3️⃣ OBSERVE OTHERS 👓 “Watching others teach in skillful and adept ways—can access t the observer’s personal teaching competence”

How do you do it? GET out of your classroom! Knock of the classroom door 🚪 next door and ask to watch for 10 minutes! (Virtually-same thing, email an exceptional teacher in your school to sit in on their lecture!)

4️⃣ BE ADVENTUROUS 🧗🏽‍♀️ “Mastery or enacting (actually doing it) experiences are the most powerful source of efficacy information”

How do you do it? Try new things, test out a new technique, no a new review activity, create a new attention-getter etc.

So, which of the 4️⃣ are you going to try this year? Let me know⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️

Want a deeper dive into teacher confidence? Check out the latest episode of the Green & Growing Podcast.

Into the unknown

It feels like this upcoming school year we are walking…

(Cue Elsa)

INTO THE UNKNOWN, INTO THE UNKNOWN, INTO THE UNKNOWN

Ooooo oooo ooo ooo

There may be a way for you to feel more peace this upcoming school year.

Leaning into the unknown creates momentum

And what that means to you is will move forward with confidence

And the real value is you will feel more peace. 

I just read an article from an An FBI agent of 25 years who said “If you want to increase safety, you must move toward the challenge.” She said when confronted with the unknown out brain goes into fight, flight, or freeze mode. Which releases hormones like cortisol which turn on “survival mode”. When you lean into the challenge with calm you reduce your cortisol levels so your brain can focus on prefrontal cortex jobs like planning and decision making.

And being able to move forward is what you want right?

Here is a place to start.

Join the GERMINATE Virtual Conferences this week. Over 850 registered agriculture education teachers, for 30 pre-recorded sessions from current agriculture teachers in the topics of FFA, SAE and Classroom Instruction.

Pouring into your teacher cup now will help you take one confident step into the unknown.

End of year reflection

Want to get better next year?

I’m going to ask you to do something you might not want to do, bear with me.

Ask your students for feedback.

Let them give you feedback on the good and bad of the class. The growth points you have and the gold that you have already uncovered!

Here are 3 ways you can do this!

TOP 5 BOTTOM 5

Top 5 and Bottom 3 list of concepts/knowledge gained by being a part of AgEd class this year. These can include topics discussed in class or learned throughout your participation in FFA or your SAE. 
Each of your TOP 5 and Bottom 5 aspects require written documentation. This must include at least a paragraph for each point on your list. You must address why you found value in learning this aspect, and how it will help you in the real world. 
Include a visual for each TOP 5 aspect in your written project.
(Can be done in paper form or presentation form)

COURSE REFLECTION

Address the following FOUR questions in at least one paragraph EACH: (1)  What did you learn about yourself throughout the semester? (2)  If you had it to do over again, what would you change?  (3) Consider the course as a whole: What was most beneficial to your development in agriculture? (4) What would you have liked to learn more about? (Can be done in paper form or presentation form) Get a copy of the Top 5 Bottom 5 and Course Reflection document HERE.

Google Form Course Evaluation
There is a template on google forms for a course evaluation. You can tweak it to fit your class/curriculum. Google forms are a great way to collect data and evaluate it. You can check it out here.

Virtual Coffee Recap 4/6 & 4/13

Virtual Coffee has passed its 4th week and here is your recap! Below are the topics for the coffees (4/6 on the left, 4/13 on the right)

You can join us at the next coffee! Virtual Coffee is every Monday at 11 a.m. EST. The calls will last about an hour. You can join us via ZOOM.

Hope to see you there!

You can access the Virtual Coffee content in THREE ways.

Listen to the playback on the Ag with Mrs. Wedger Podcast ( you can find it on Apple Podcasts and Spotify)

Watch the playback of the coffee. You can access it on the Digital Learning Resources in the Green & Growing Education Teachable site for free (lots of other great resources are there too)

Read the chat from the Zoom call on this google doc link for 4/6 and 4/13.

Virtual Coffee 3/23/30 Recap

Over 75 agriculture teachers from across the county attended the first Virtual Coffee hosted by Hannah Wedger and Sarah Nerswick!

The purpose of the Virtual Coffee was to provide a community of problem solvers! Each teacher was able to start the call by “tooting their horn.” They could shout out a win to the group. Then we hopped into the meat and potatoes of the call, SPOTLIGHT TEACHERS. This is where five teachers were able to ask the group for their input on a problem they were facing due to digital learning. And man, did the teachers SHOW UP. If you would like to listen to this weeks call you can check it out HERE on the Ag with Mrs. Wedger Podcast. Below you will find the three ways you can access the content shared at the coffee!

You can join us at the next coffee! Virtual Coffee is every Monday at 11 a.m. EST. The calls will last about an hour. You can join us via ZOOM.

Hope to see you there!

You can access the Virtual Coffee content in THREE ways.

Listen to the playback on the Ag with Mrs. Wedger Podcast ( you can find it on Apple Podcasts and Spotify)

Watch the playback of the coffee. You can access it on the Digital Learning Resources in the Green & Growing Education Teachable site for free (lots of other great resources are there too)

Read the chat from the Zoom call on this google doc link.

Digital Learning Resources

In the midst of COVID-19 a lot of teachers are looking at a few weeks (at minimum) of digital learning.

If you are like me, you were caught off guard this week. I wanted to help in anyway possible. I went through the GERMINATE Virtual Conference Archieves and pur together all the information I believe can help agriculture teachers learn different ways to provide quality instruction to their students via digital learning.

All of the content is housed on TEACHABLE, the same site that the GERMINATE Virtual Conferences are housed. EVERYTHING in the Digital Learning Resources “course” are free. Use, share, re-use, re-share.

This is where the “community” part of the Green & Growing Education mission statement comes in. This is about providing all students the best instruction we can in the circumstances.

Now is the time to love our neighbors, by protecting our neighbors.

Here is the link for you to join the totally 100% free DIGITAL LEARNING RESOURCES from Green & Growing Education.

I am pulling for you, always ❤

What you do today, will show up a year from now

I heard that quote for the first time early this year at my GUIDE Culture training.

And it struck me.

I think back to a year from today. I know that the little deposits I was making in myself have paid dividends a year later.

And it all started with changing one thing in my life.

Let me take you back to Black Friday 2018. It had been about 9 months since I had my son Callan and I needed a change. An advertisement for Pure Barre popped up on my social media. I used to do it consistently but had some pregnancy issues that made me stop and then I didn’t prioritize anything but baby snuggles for the 4 months I was off work with him. So, I decided, I am in the groove with work now and handling my two little loves. I can commit to working out again.

I have now been going to my Pure Barre studio consistently since December 2018. But, that was just the start of the snowball effect.

-My husband and I joined a married couples small group

-I started First Friday Webinars

-The Green & Growing Mastermind was born

-I invested in my first personal development course

-The idea of a virtual conference was planted in my brain

All from one thing. When you invest in yourself, in whatever way you need, it will pay off. I needed a big turn around in 2018, and getting a grasp on my health was just the beginning. So many other amazing things have happened. I am happier and in a much better place mentally, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and it all overflows into my classroom teaching. I am a better teacher when I take care of myself. I truly can see it the days I don’t work out or have a minute to myself, I am sluggish and unmotivated.

Am I in a perfect place, no. We never will be. But, the thought is this, what are you doing today that you will thank yourself for a year from today?

Vermicomposting

Vermicomposting is a method of using worms to transform organic waste into a nutrient-rich fertilizer (via Hunker).

Check out this cute TED ED video on vermicomposting

Here is how we made our bins at our recent Young Farmer meeting.

Step 1: Obtain Bins

We have used kitty litter bins, 5-gallon buckets and (FREE) ice cream bins from Kilwins. Really any TWO buckets that sit nicely together with a lid will work.

Step 2: Drill Holes into the TOP bucket

Drill about 4-6 holes in the lid, on the top rim of the top bucket and the bottom of the top bucket (for drainage to the other bucket). Your top bin will be your farm, the bottom bin is for drainage only.

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Step 3: Add Worm friendly bedding & moisture

Put newspaper cuttings (1/2 inch strips) or shredded paper in the bottom of your top bin. I’ve used both with great success. Take a trip to the front office of school and I bet you’ll find exactly what you need! Spray a small amount of water on your paper to make a moist BUT NOT WET environment for your worms!

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Step 4: Add your worms

We bought our worms from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm which you can also buy on Amazon. For a class of 25 people we bought 500 worms for about $35. You could buy more a less depending on your situation. Place your worms under your bedding.

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Step 5: Feed the worms

Now that you have a suitable home for your wigglers, feed those babies! You can feed them fresh waste (coffee grounds, tea bags, veggies, fruits,), avoid too much citrus, cooked items and don’t compost meat (it is harder to process and will attract unwanted pests). The more you feed them, the more they will reproduce and the more hard-working composters in your farm.

Step 6: ENJOY and harvest the black gold in a few months

When you see a lot of black (worm castings) it is time to harvest. One method would be to add another bucket to your farm with the holes, moist paper bedding and food. Once the worms have finished the food in the original bin they will migrate up to the top bin leaving all that beautiful composted rich fertilizer below.

 

Parliamentary Procedure Inquiry Style

I actually love teaching parliamentary procedure.

That may be an unpopular opinion but, I think this new inquiry style might make the non-parli-pro-believers turn to love it a little bit more.

Check it out!

DAY 1

1️⃣ Confuse the kids by saying Parliamentary Procedure a lot (optional) ⠀
2️⃣ Write out the 5W’s and H questions you want kids to answer about Parliamentary Procedure⠀
3️⃣ Have students work in groups to research the answers and post their answer on the board with post-it’s⠀
4️⃣Review their answers (and include a little parli-pro—-a student volunteers an answer as you review, ask the class “all those in favor say yay, all those opposed no” then give them the answer you want. I had them write out the “official” answers on a note sheet⠀
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**ps…if you aren’t 1 to 1 NO WORRIES! Print out an article or two that contains all the answers and place them at each table, that the kids look through those to find the answers**⠀

DAY 2

1️⃣ Watch a quick video about the basics of Parli-pro (I chose a 3 mins section of a longer 4-H Parli-pro video from Oregon 4-H) stop and discuss as needed (we stopped and defined debatable, amendable and majority vote)⠀
2️⃣ Show a short clip of a @nationalffa
Conduct of Chapter meeting nationals competition (I used 2019 video, start at 7:50 for the first chapter). Discuss how they talk, what their body language is like, how they debated etc.⠀
3️⃣ Give them their assignment: they have been approached by the principal to create a demonstration of proper Parli-pro for an upcoming “hot topic” meeting (ex, no homework, early release, open lunches etc). They must address (fill in whatever you want Parli-pro related), talk for a minimum of ___ minutes, and everyone must participate.⠀
4️⃣ Go write a script, you’ll perform for the class tomorrow!⠀
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That’s it! ⠀

Will it be perfect, nope! But are they learning, YES! My student teacher and I even chatted afterward saying they were all so engaged with the struggle on figuring out what and how to say everything. The struggle is where the learning happens, not when we spoon-feed the answers 😊 Honor the struggle and feel the burn! ⠀

DAY 3

Presentation day!⠀

Students got up in front of their peers to present their scripts. It was great! Students (in my opinion) had a better grasp of Parli pro doing this then I have seen my students accomplish in the past. Why?⠀

1️⃣ Better debates⠀
2️⃣ More buy-in⠀
3️⃣ More creative notions⠀

🥳⠀Here is a link to the grading sheet I used for the presentations. Very simple, students got points for speaking at least twice and then got scored on the impact of their debates.

DAY 4

Time to wrap this up with some FOOD. We did a snack class meeting! Here’s whatcha do… (This lesson is from the trail mix parli-pro idea I learned my first year teaching from Allison Jennings in North Carolina)

1️⃣ Give each student two ability cards (see below-I made one “debate” card for each student, and then one “other motion/ability” card)⠀

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2️⃣ Explain that we will be having a class meeting and the agenda is on the board. We must determine the following: 1. Will we make a snack? 2. What 3 items will be included in the snack? 3. How will the snack be distributed?⠀
3️⃣ Students must turn in their ability cards through the meeting and properly pass each agenda item before adjourning OR NO snack⠀
4️⃣ You serve as chairperson and help out as needed (we added a few new motions today-question of privilege, division of assembly, and point of order)⠀
5️⃣ Enjoy the snacks when the meeting is finished⠀

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The kids actually loved it. Saying things that made me believe they had fun! Whoop whoop, that’s a win in the teacher column! ⠀

And my kids, who haven’t sat through a PowerPoint on parliamentary procedure did just as well IF NOT better than the years I’ve taught this traditionally with lecture! ⠀