Outdoor Education Challenge!

Well, I must admit, a post on our classroom blog is long overdue! I discovered Instagram this year and with its convenient and fast way of sharing photos and info, it became my social media of choice this school year. However, I realize that I do not want to let our blog fall to the wayside all together as this is also a great platform for sharing our learning adventures.  In Room 10 we recently experienced a unique and inspiring learning experience that I am so excited to share!

This month, our classroom (along with several others across our school division!) had the opportunity to bring our learning outdoors and benefit from the fresh air and use of natural materials. Research (Cooper, G.(1997) How Outdoor Education Contributes to Sustainabiltiy, Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Leadership, 14-1, 23-27) shows that beyond the obvious physical benefits of outdoor learning, outdoor education increases student motivation, utilizes multiple intelligences, promotes cooperation, reconnection with nature and develops critical and problem-solving skills. I can say, from first-hand experience, the research is spot on!

Our grade one class, along with Mme Laura’s grade two class, challenged ourselves to spend two weeks in the the ‘outdoor classroom’, rain or shine! And quite the challenge it proved to be with all the rain we had!  Mme Laura and I collaborated and planned how to meet the curricular outcomes while taking a more experiential, inquiry and land-based approach to our teaching. Making use of many natural elements and bringing our books, journals and pencils outside, we worked on mathematics, literacy, science, social studies and art outdoors. We are lucky to have such a beautiful naturescape school yard that by its design provides stimulation for creative learning.  We also were fortunate to be able to make use of the community beyond the school yard and went on several walking field trips to close by grassland and forest areas. We even had an impromptu presentation at the neighbourhood fire station while exploring the community! Rain and all, the challenge was a success; the students were engaged 100% of the time and especially loved the opportunity to work alongside another grade group. Thank-you to Mrs. Lowe at Stevenson School for sharing some great ideas and getting us started along our outdoor journey.

The outdoors provides a variety of alternate seating!

The outdoors provides a variety of alternate seating!

Reading and journaling outside.

Reading and journaling outside.

Playing math games in the great outdoors!

Playing math games in the great outdoors!

Having fun problem-solving with chalk on pavement!

Having fun problem-solving with chalk on pavement!

Measuring nature!

Measuring nature!

Groups working together to make a rain gauge!

Groups working together to make a rain gauge!

Our rain gauges fell over! We tried again the next day with Mme Laura's class.

Our rain gauges fell over! We tried again the next day with Mme Laura’s class.

This time the science experiment was a success!

This time the science experiment was a success!

Getting reading for our first walking fieldtrip and working together to map the route.

Getting reading for our first walking field trip and working together to map the route.

Ready, set, go! We're off to explore the great outdoors!

Ready, set, go! We’re off to explore the great outdoors!

We found many interesting insects at Woodhaven park!

We found many interesting insects at Woodhaven Park!

Engaged in a nature scavenger hunt!

Engaged in a nature scavenger hunt!

Taking time to rest, reflect and journal.

Taking time to rest, reflect and journal.

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Taking time to rest, reflect and journal.

Taking time to rest, reflect and journal.

Here we are in the forest by the Living Prairie Museum!

Here we are in the forest by the Living Prairie Museum!

Check out the beautiful nature bracelets we made!

Check out the beautiful nature bracelets we made!

What a fun way to spend a rainy day!

What a fun way to spend a rainy day!

Taking time to wonder about community helpers and looked who came out to visit!

Taking time to wonder about community helpers and look who came out to visit!

Exploring emotions with tree faces.

Exploring emotions with tree faces.

Creating with playdough and nature.

Creating with playdough and nature.

Exploring texture with tree rubbings.

Exploring texture with tree rubbings.

Observational art- every tree has a story...

Observational art- every tree has a story…

Look what can happen when you give children some sticks, burlap and let them work together and use their imagination!

Look what can happen when you give children some sticks, burlap and let them work together and use their imagination!

Nature weavings along our school yard fence.

Nature weavings along our school yard fence.

Nature weaving along our school yard fence.

Nature weaving along our school yard fence.

Students created their own game using nature materials.

Students created their own game using nature materials.

Working on one of our culminating projects- tie dye t-shirts!

Working on one of our culminating projects- tie dye t-shirts!

Students worked together to build a shelter using tarps, ropes and clothespins along side the baseball diamond so that we had a cozy place to read, sing and eat our snacks when it rained!

Students worked together to build a shelter using tarps, ropes and clothespins along side the baseball diamond so that we had a cozy place to read, sing and eat our snacks when it rained!

These were just a few snapshots of our time outdoors. It was a memorable learning experience that we will keep with us. Here’s what our class had to say:

“I liked all the walks”- Andrew and Adriaan

“I loved the outdoor space”- Cayden

“I liked spending time in the shelter we made”- Jaxon

“I liked walking through the forest at the Living Prairie Museum”- Carson

“I liked when we built the fort together”- Olivia

“I liked exploring the forest”- Madden

“I loved the outside time and all the fresh air” Ethan

” I loved the exploration centers”- Norah and Kacy

“I loved working in our journals”- Aszaria

“I liked reading outside” -Hannah

“I liked when we went to the fire station”- Zade

“I liked learning about insects”- Sophie

“The experience outdoors was a great success!”- Jack

“I enjoyed everything about the Outdoor Challenge!”- Vince

“I liked finding worms and bugs”- Violet

“I liked finding caterpillars!”- Diora

“The outdoor challenge was fun!”-Sam

Fall Fun

Our blog has been quiet this past month, however Room 10 has been busy! Throughout the month of October, our class has been engaged in many fun and hands-on learning experiences, such as reviewing and learning new Fall vocabulary (French), getting our first classroom inquiry on Bats up and started, learning with a physical theatre artist from The Integrated Arts program and having fun in Halloween-themed math centres, just to name a few. Check out the following video of our class performing the poem, Petite feuille, and pictures of some of our favourite Fall Fun activities: Pumpkin Day and Halloween.

IMG_1663 from Pam McLachlan on Vimeo.

Room 10's annual Pumpkin Day was so much fun and a great success thanks to all our parent volunteers! Kicking the day off with class predictions.

Salle 10’s annual Pumpkin Day was so much fun and a great success thanks to all our parent volunteers! Kicking the day off with class predictions.

Having fun counting the seeds in the big pumpkin.

Having fun counting the seeds in the big pumpkin.

This pumpkin investigation was a hit!

This pumpkin investigation was a hit!

Pumpkin slime!

Pumpkin slime!

Measuring the circumference of our pumpkins.

Measuring the circumference of our pumpkins.

Estimating and weighing our pumpkins' weight.

Estimating and weighing our pumpkins’ weight.

Will the force of air from a blow-dryer make our pumpkin roll? The result: No rolling pumpkins.

Will the force of air from a blow-dryer make our pumpkin roll? The result: No rolling pumpkins.

Let's try again... still no rolling pumpkins!

Let’s try again… still no rolling pumpkins!

Do you think our pumpkin will float or sink?  They float!

Do you think our pumpkin will float or sink?
They float!

Estimating and measuring the height of our pumpkins with Unifex cubes.

Estimating and measuring the height of our pumpkins with Unifex cubes.

Pumpkin painting!

Pumpkin painting!

Pumpkin painting!

Pumpkin painting!

Pumpkin painting!

Pumpkin painting!

Pumpkin painting!

Pumpkin painting!

Pumpkin painting!

Pumpkin painting!

Our school Halloween parade, followed by classroom games, was also a lot of fun– great costumes everyone!

Joyeuse Halloween!

Joyeuse Halloween!

Cookie decorating!

Cookie decorating!

Spider races!

Spider races!

Ghost bowling!

Ghost bowling!

Ghost bowling turned into Ghost Towers.

Ghost bowling turned into Ghost Towers.

Pin the nose on the pumpkin!

Pin the nose on the pumpkin!

Stay tuned for more classroom news from Salle 10!

We Love to Sing!

One of our favourite ways to learn and practice our French language skills is through song and dance. We sing songs each morning as we learn different ways to greet one another, songs to learn the days of the week and months of the year, songs to transition throughout the day and clean up and also to say good-bye to our friends when it is time to end our day.

Here are some of the songs we sing in our classroom:

Salut mes amis! -Le clown Alexandre/Paul Langel (click the link to view the song)

 

Around Our Classroom

Wow! The first week of school just flew by! We had a blast learning together and making new friends. Celebrating Dot Day and Pirate Day was especially fun and a great way to build a strong classroom community.  Here are a few snapshots of our week together and some of the things we like doing in grade 1.

We start off every afternoon with a calm and relaxed Free Write time.

We start off every afternoon with a calm and relaxed Free Write time.

 Adriaan enjoys  writing words he knows during Free Write.

Adriaan enjoys writing words he knows during Free Write.

Writing messages to our family at home.

Sophie likes writing messages about family at home.

Andrew enjoying quiet time in the reading corner.

Andrew enjoying quiet time in the reading corner.

We love Exploration time. Aszaria and Madelynn collaborating as they construct.

We love Exploration time. Aszaria and Madelynn collaborating as they construct.

Cayden and Violet working together during Exploration time.

Cayden and Violet working together during Exploration time.

Colour sorting during Exploration time.

Norah and Olivia colour sorting during Exploration time.

Hannah and Diora enjoy threading patterns during Exploration time, and they are working on fine motor skills at the same time!

Hannah and Diora enjoy threading patterns during Exploration time, and they are working on fine motor skills at the same time!

We love that we get three recess times now! Sam and Madden playing with their friend Devin.

We love that we get three recess times now! Sam and Madden playing with their friend Devin.

Ahoy Mateys! Pirate Day was awesome. Great way to end our first week of school.

Ahoy Mateys! Pirate Day was awesome. Great way to end our first week of school.

Ready for the new school year!

September is here and the new school year begins next week! I can’t wait to meet all the new grade one students and their families at opening day conferences Wednesday and Thursday. Our first day of classes is Friday, September 11 and it promises to be a fun-filled day. Here is a sneak peek at our classroom this year. It is ready and waiting for students! Stay tuned for classroom updates as we start back to school.

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