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Weekly Challenge for #EnviroEd # 44 – #KndFall – Autumn is the Time to Plant Seeds of Inquiry

September 21, 2014

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Autumn.

From an ecological sense for many it may seem as if it is the ending of a cycle. Trees lose their leaves, temperatures drop and many of our favourite critters either prepare to migrate or hibernate.

From a teacher’s point of view though, autumn is a time of renewal. New students, new lessons, new possibilities and new growth.

Now is the time to plant the seeds of exploration and inquiry and work steady for a fruitful harvest come spring.

This past spring we asked Kindergarten classes to share their signs that spring was close at hand and used the hashtag #kndspring. We also storified the discussion over a 5 week period. Students and teachers alike were amazed at how the seasonal signs such as the first crocuses in the gardens at the front of the school arrived weeks apart even when the schools were only a short distance away from each other. This of course lead to inquiry as to why this was the case … (south facing gardens vs north facing gardens, etc)

As classes across North America participate we discover how the seasons look everywhere. Although living in Ontario, Canada – my siblings are all out in Alberta and Saskatchewan and have not had the experience of a bright red maple leaf for instance. Most leaves turn yellow in the autumn where they are.

I received a Tweet just today from some inspiring Toronto-based Kindergarten classes who wanted to let me know that they are once more looking for the signs of change as we did in the spring.

One of the things I enjoy the most with these initiatives is the collaboration and discussion. Feel free to share via Twitter using the hashtag #kndfall, or if not a twittering class, you can join the discussion on the Autumn Kindergarten Collaboration Padlet created for this initiative over the next few weeks as well. I’m going to attempt to “meet” with a few classes online myself via Skype or in other ways as well to encourage the discussion over the next few weeks.

So, with autumn’s arrival – I encourage once more classes to explore, share and discuss signs that summer is changing into autumn. Continue to explore your own backyards looking for the signs that autumn, and experiential learning are indeed upon us!

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