Ashcraft wins Texas Farm Bureau Lesson Plan Challenge
Kassidhe Ashcraft, a kindergarten teacher at Cherry Elementary, was named the winner of the K-2 division of the 2021 Texas Farm Bureau Lesson Plan Challenge this week.
The challenge asked teachers across the state to develop a lesson plan that clearly involved agriculture in the classroom. Mrs. Ashcraft's plan was a farm animal research project that her students worked on for two weeks.
"The students learned what researchers do, what resources researchers use to gather information, and how researchers share what they've learned with others," Mrs. Ashcraft said. "The students were divided into groups and researched one farm animal. They read books and used their Chromebooks to find information about their animal, wrote a report, and made a model of their farm animal.
"The whole Kindergarten team worked on developing the lesson plan with a lot of support from our Instructional Coach, Lisa Stuhler, and Katie Claxton, our Region 3 Texas Lesson Study Facilitator. This was the first time many of us did a research project with our Kindergarteners. Mrs. Stuhler and Mrs. Claxton were there to help with any obstacles that arose throughout the process."
The win means that Mrs. Ashcraft will receive a digital microscope for use in the classroom and a stipend to purchase classroom supplies. She will also receive a classroom garden kit and an ag book with an educator's guide. Mrs. Ashcraft was also invited to an all-expenses paid trip to the 2021 National Agriculture in the Classroom Annual Conference in Des Moines, Iowa June 28-July 1.
" I was so excited to learn that our lesson was chosen as the 1st place winner for the K-2 category," Mrs. Ashcraft said. "Cherry's Kindergarten team has been hard at work trying to make a challenging school year as fun and engaging as possible for our students. I'm happy the team is being recognized for their efforts!"
Mrs. Ashcraft said agriculture, especially in a rural community like Bay City, is important to introduce at an early age.
"Despite living in a community that is rich in agriculture, a lot of our students do not have the opportunity to be exposed to it," she said. "Agriculture is a building block of not just our community, but of our world. Even if these students never become farmers or ranchers, they will be lifelong consumers of the agriculture industry and it is important for them to learn early on what a big role agriculture plays in our daily lives."