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Weekly Challenge # 26 – #KndSpring, Collaboration on Environmental Education

March 24, 2014

Ranger Rob 2

The most powerful tool we have to build on a student’s learning potential is their own curiosity. As such, it is our responsibility to feed those hungry for knowledge and to whet the appetite for those with an interest in the out-of-doors.

One of the most successful #KindergartenBioBlitz weeks happened last month and was focussed on looking for signs of spring. Classes from far and wide took part sending in photos and questions.

This initiative started last June has most certainly grown into something special and it will continue I promise.

However I also think that the “Blitz” which allows engagement between the wonder of a child and a “nature expert” can go a step further still and that is with more collaboration between classes.

How quickly is the snow melting at a school in one area as opposed to another?

What birds are returning and which ones seem to have disappeared?

Can you hear the spring peepers peeping or the hammer striking like call of the wood frog?

When are the blossoms coming out on the tree or the first leaves shooting through the buds?

As such, we’ve started a Spring Kindergarten Collaboration Project focussing on our own school board but as always encourage it to expand beyond.

Classes that sign up are encouraged to continue to send in questions and discoveries but now using the #kndspring hashtag for the entire month of April. I’ll be sending out weekly ideas for inquiry and exploration to those participating.

As well, using a multitude of social media platforms including Padlet and Thinglink, we’re encouraging Kindergarten classes to collaborate with each other as well. Students can track other classes discoveries and compare, query and answer. The big advantages? Students and teachers will be able to get new ideas for study, share results, compare conditions and most exciting of all – discuss with other schools what they’ve discovered and respond to inquiry from peers in other areas.

One of the greatest parts for myself, is that I have the opportunity to meet and work with students that have participated in the #KindergartenBioBlitz and this new #kndspring initiative. I’m eager to help light the spark with some hands on springtime investigation.

Our students are sometimes visual learners. Sometimes they are auditory. Others need to reflect for a while or respond as soon as they have something to share. No matter where your students fit – this collaborative will hopefully help your students blossom like the blooms on the spring time apple tree!

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