The Garden Classroom 2023/ 2024
Hello classroom gardeners! Thank you for joining us as we kick off another year of garden learning together. You’ll receive a reminder (and a session link) each month from Van Dusen, so watch for that to access the series going forward.
Session One: September 6, 2023
Big thanks to everyone who joined us on the first week back at school! If you couldn’t join us live, you can watch the recording here. You’ll need the password provided in your email from Van Dusen. During our September session, several resources and links were mentioned. You will find them listed below:
Blog posts you may find helpful:
Resources from our first session:
Outdoor Learning Store (purchase field guides and kits for looking closely in the garden here)
Our next session is scheduled for October 11 with Rachel Tidd. Everyone who attends live will be entered in the draw for a $25 gift card from the Outdoor Learning Store!
Session Two: October 11, 2023
Wowza! What a great session we had with Rachel Tidd. You do NOT want to miss this one. If you couldn’t join us live, be sure to watch the recording here. During our session many resources were shared. You can find them listed below:
Rachel’s WILD LEARNING website
Rachel also shared this roots & shoots activity, which pairs well with this book: Tops & Bottoms Book
After digging up the plant, lay it down and measure its total length from root to shoot. Then measure just the root and just the shoot (green part above the soil). Record your measurements in your math journal. What fraction of the total plant is the root, and what fraction of the total plant is the shoot?
Which part has the largest fraction of the plant, the root or the shoot?
• Compare your findings with other plants. What do you notice?
• Why do you think some plants have bigger shoots? What about roots?
• What could be the advantages of having big roots? What about big shoots?
• If you were a plant, what would you look like? Record the answers and sketches of your roots and shoots!
Waterproof garden marker (for writing on stones)
If you want to learn more about Patterns in Nature, watch this recording with kit creator, Janice Novakowski
Session Three: November 8, 2023
This month we welcomed back the always amazing Laura Jackman, who brilliantly shared how she weaves intergenerational place-making into her school garden and wetland. If you missed tonight’s session you’ll absolutely want to watch the recording. It can be viewed here with the password provided in your email from Van Dusen. Resources and blog posts related to tonight’s conversation (lots of discussion around mud and rain play!) are listed below:
Tiny Perfect Things (Book for exploring)
A Seed is Sleepy (Book for learning about seeds and how they travel)
Everybody Needs a Rock (Book for considering relationships with the more-then-human)
13 Moons on Turtle’s Back (Book for organizing seasonal evidence of learning)
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole (Book for introducing digging with shovels)
Carl and the Meaning of Life (Book for considering the purpose of worms)
What Does Peace Feel Like? (Book for Remembrance day for young children)
Next month we meet on December 6. Our guest will be Samantha Gambling from the Coalition for Healthy School Food. See you soon! Everyone who attends live will be entered in the draw for a $25 gift card from the Outdoor Learning Store!
Session Four: December 6, 2023
This month we were thrilled to welcome Samantha Gambling from the Coalition of Healthy School Food. We had a rich conversation about food literacy and food justice and school food advocacy! If you missed this session you can watch it here. Use the password provided in your email from Van Dusen to access.
Blog Posts you might find helpful:
Resources shared by Sam Gambling tonight:
Japan’s School Food Program
2) this webinar on Japan’s school food program as part of an international series by Dr. Rachel Engler Stringer, University of Saskatchewan
France’s school food program
2) a webinar on France’s school food program as part of Dr. Engler-Stringer’s international school lunch series.
A link for Feeding Futures FAQ
BC Ministry of Education “Build a School Food Program” website
Session Five: January 10, 2024
This month we were thrilled to have Farm to School BC regional manager Marcus Lobb join us to share all the resources available for teachers! If you missed this month’s session you can watch it here.
Blog Posts you might find helpful:
Resources mentioned tonight:
Whose Garden Is it? An anchor text for tracking snow prints in the garden
Don’t forget to join us at our next session on February 7 to learn more invasive species! Watch for the link from Van Dusen!
Session Six: February 8, 2024
This month we were so glad to have the most dynamic duo from The Invasive Species Council of BC join us! Stephanie and Jen prepared a brilliant presentation with engaging and FREE resources for teachers! If you missed this session, you really want to watch the recording here. If you have any questions for our presenters, you can email them here: [email protected]
Stephanie and Jen shared the following for participants:
Let’s Be PlantWise! Resources to Inspire Learners and Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species
- Sign up to join the free Invasive-Wise Education program for a virtual presentation for your class, project and lesson planning support and bonus gifts! (For BC teachers)
- Curriculum-based lessons and More!
- Including a lesson planning quick reference guide, downloadable Invasive Species Teaching Cards, and sign up for a virtual class visit.
- NEW! Aquatic Invaders! Connecting to and Protecting our Waterways. A Resource Guide for Educators.
ISCBC Resource and Links
- Invasive Species Council of British Columbia website https://bcinvasives.ca/; go to the Follow Us tab for social media links.
- ISCBC YouTube channel for webinars, “How to” series, and more! Go to the Playlists Tab and check out the Invasive-Wise Education Playlist.
- Games and Activities for activity booklets, colouring sheets, and online games.
- eLearning courses – Learn more about many topics and receive a certificate. Short courses, most of which are free.
- Take Action!
- Identify Invasive Species – facts and photos of many animals and plants that are invasive in BCGrow Me Instead Guide– native and non-invasive alternatives to commonly planted invasives in gardens.
- How to Report Invasive Species Apps and how to use them: Report Invasives BC, iNaturalist (Join the I Spy and Identify Project):
Connect with your Region
- Invasive Species Contacts in British Columbia
- Canadian Council on Invasive Species and links to Provincial Partner Contacts
- Try searching online with the name of your municipality and “invasive species” to find the most local information on issues and priorities.
HCTF Education (Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation)
- Field ID Cards (many are free to download) https://resourceroom.hctfeducation.ca/collections/field-guides-keys-cards
- Education Grants for outdoor learning and stewardship projects in BC https://www.hctfeducation.ca/education-grants/
- Invasive Plant Tag Lesson Plan and Native/Invasive Plant Cards
- Wildflower Seed Bombs
Get Crafty with Weed Pulls
** make sure all invasive plant material goes in the garbage
- For DIY Crafters and Artists (Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council) – Ideas, lessons, videos, and more! Projects for crafters of all ages.
- Painting with Invasives – Complete lesson plan from ISCBC
Our next session is March 6! We look forward to learning more about resources with The Water Rangers!