written by Andrea Barnes, Nature Immersion Specialist at Alpenglow School
October’s weather came in like a lion but that didn’t phase our students, if anything it appeared to inspire their outdoor learning and play. Here’s a few highlights of the time spent with Alpenglow’s Nature Immersion Specialist this month.
The Grade 5/6’s did a weather field study right after the big October snow storm. Like real climatologists, they captured, recorded and predicted the weather. They played a rousing game of ‘capture the weather’, explored weather and climate features while hiking the Larch Island trails, and ended their morning acting out a weather play. They solidified their learning by sharing their knowledge in circle and capturing their findings with some solo field journaling time.
The Grade 2/3 class hiked down to the dry creek bed past Lions Park to study our local rocks. They really enjoyed sorting the creek rocks into colours, patterns, textures, etc and recorded their favourite sorting tool into their nature journals. Then they used their senses to identify rocks using their eyes, ears, noses, and even teeth. Lastly, they created beautiful rock art and brainstormed how rocks are used in our community.
The Grade 1/2 class went on a sound 'I wonder’ hike of Larch Island. This was the first hike for many of the Grade 1’s and they did great! Thanks to the parents that attended we were able to play a couple ‘sound’ activities along the trail. They also recorded all their ‘I wonder statements’ to help them value questions during their nature exploration time.
The Grade 3/4 class explored map making in the back forest. They played a big game of “map maker mayhem” which had them running to the cardinal directions and doing other crazy mapping antics. They heard a story about how 5 children received parts of a map and what it all meant. Then, they created their own treasure maps, tested them, and exchanged them with partners to find each other’s treasurers in the forest. They finished their time doing an inventory of what ‘values’ and ‘places’ they’d add to a map of the school’s forest.
During a nice break in the snowy weather, parents were able to explore what it looks like and feels like to learn outdoors during an ACES information night this month. We discussed the beauty and benefit of nature-based learning and reviewed some of the models used in designing our children’s outdoor experiences.
I am most grateful for another month learning alongside our incredible teachers and eager students.
Nature-Based Learning is a main pillar of learning at Alpenglow School
Follow our students and teachers as they take their classrooms outside to explore, connect and learn in our own natural environment.