Greetings from Tiffany, and a bit of Mind-Full background…
Mind-Full Education has been a part my approach to working with children and families for many years. I came to education not through a family history of teaching and school success, but from a place of burning curiosity and confusion tinged with frustration. My natural curiosity resulted in lots of questions, many of which were not well received by my teachers. Those that welcomed my inquisitive nature are bright spots along my educational path.
Wanting all children to find support as they pursue answers, I chose to step into the classroom as a teacher. My instructional experiences are wide-ranging, including K-9, 6th, 7th, K & 6th, 4th/5th, and K-5 multi-age, with homeroom, all-subject, Social Studies, PE, ELA support and extension, PBIS instruction and monitoring, guest principal. All of these are a fantastic background for the K-8 structure of Mind-Full Meadows STEAM-Powered Learning Farm. The focus of my chosen educational path is also well-suited for such a small, robust FARM STEAM program.
Thoughtful questions from parents and adventurous interactions with children at my first Mind-Full Meadows summer camps over the summer of 2020 shifted my plans from simply leading camps to altering my career path. Mind-Full Meadows became the home to a developing STEAM-Powered Learning Farm!
Circumstances in our world and our state are such that all of us have taken the time to think very creatively about how we will best meet the educational and social-emotional needs of the children in our lives. The benefits of of an education founded in developing a robust relationship with the natural environment are many, and the integration of FARM* concepts with a rigorous STEAM framework results in highly engaged learning.
Mind-Full Meadows is a beautifully diverse 2.8 acre site, rich with opportunities for immersive, hands-on exploration of native plants and animals. Only five minutes from 18th and Chambers, the calm of the countryside surrounds you as you step from your car.
It has been populated with a variety of kid-friendly small farm animals, including both the smallest and largest breeds of chickens, with many fluffy friends in between.
The property and its inhabitants lend themselves to experiences both whimsical and real-world, magical and scientific thinking often running side by side. The property includes both Douglas Fir and Oregon White Oak forest, as well as a seasonal creek and open meadow. There are four bridges across the creek, an adventure trail, and a clubhouse in the woods. We have a greenhouse on site, as well as both raised bed and meadow gardens. Student interests are supported as they integrate what is outside with the high-caliber instructional materials and technology applications housed within the main building.
The learning of skills and their practical application take place in many settings. Students are grouped in a variety of ways throughout the week to support ongoing growth and collaborative problem-solving.
These are examples of some of the curricula we’re exploring during the 20/21 academic year. Aspects will change as learning opportunities arise.
We polish our learning lens with AEIOU actions:
Students at Mind-Full Meadows Access:
After teaching K-9 public school for almost three decades, with the last ten years immersed in a multi-age, project-based, child-focused K-5 school, I left my public school position over the summer of 2020, and began the process of designing my own instructional program for the 20/21 academic year. I chose to integrate my interest and experiences in STEAM education with the natural and FARM resources available at Mind-Full Meadows (MFM).
When I first arrived on the property, I knew the location and site layout of MFM was ideal for children, so my approach to developing the site is through the eyes of a child. I chose to create my FARM concept to capture these actions we all focus on in some way: