Van Dusen – The Garden Classroom Series

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Hello classroom gardeners! Thank you for joining us as we kick off another year of garden learning together. You’ll receive a reminder and the link each month from Van Dusen, so watch for that for continued access to the series going forward.

Session Ten: June 10, 2022

What a year! A big thank you to everyone who stuck with us for the entire year, and a shout out to those of you who took the time to watch the recordings afterwards. Our community is growing, and we are so glad to have you join us! If you want to watch the recording of this month’s session, you can view it here. It will be available until June 17th.

I would super appreciate participants filling out the prompts on this Padlet. Especially, any impact statements you could contribute. It helps us keep the series funded when we get feedback on how these learnings have transformed your teaching! Thank you for your help with this. You can also drop me a line directly if you’d rather send me something privately. Your feedback makes us better!

Blog posts that might be helpful:

How to grow garlic (instructions on harvesting garlic scapes)

Lavender play dough

Resources mentioned:

You can download my template for garden volunteers and edit for your own purposes:

Thank you again for a great year of learning together. Keep your eye out for an email from Van Dusen on next year’s series with registration dates & details. If you have not signed up to my email list, I’d also recommend you do that. I’ll send out an invitation to register from this site as well. Have a wonderful summer, friends! See you in the garden :)


Session Nine: May 5, 2022

We are so grateful to Linda Gilkenson who brightened up a wet and dreary day with her animated discussion of the amazing opportunities for inquiry that our human companions in the school garden offer! If you are looking for this month’s recording, you can access it here. It will be available until May 12, 2022.

Blog posts from this month’s session you may want to follow up with include:

How to build a bug hotel

How to build a butterfly garden

Resources to check out:

Linda’s website. You’ll want to join her mailing list, trust me!

Linda’s pests and diseases page

Buy Linda’s books

Not sure if this is the exact video Linda referenced, but here is a video of a ladybug feeding on aphids and then being removed by ants. Also just google lady bug eating aphids and you’ll have a full afternoon of gruesome videos to watch :)

Our last session will be on June 9, 2022. Van Dusen is offering prizes for teachers who attend the live event, so save the date and watch for the link the day before we meet!

Session Eight: April 7, 2022

Spring is here! Thanks to everyone who joined us live this month. A reminder that Van Dusen is offering some prizes next month, so those of you who prefer to watch the video later might want to join us in person May 5!! Next month we are welcoming back the wonderful Linda Gilkenson who will share her expertise on garden pests and helpful pollinators in the school garden, so you’ll definitely want to be there :)

If you are looking for this month’s recording on seedlings, transplants, perennials & annuals, you can view it here until April 14, 2022.

Blog Posts you may find helpful (check the list from March too- lots mentioned that are already linked):

Cool plant facts for kids

Growing Space Tomatoes

How to grow carrots with kids

How to grow potatoes with kids

Session Seven: March 3, 2022

A HUGE thank you to the marvellous Linda Gilkenson who joined us this month to share her expertise on all things seed starting! If you missed this session, it can be viewed here until March 10, 2022. If you are not already subscribed to Linda’s emails and would like to be, you can sign up here.

Blog pots you may find helpful:

How to make paper seed pots

Playful learning with dandelions

Interesting plant facts for kids (with fun activities)

How to grow rhubarb with kids

How to grow kale with kids

I’ve updated my school garden grants page- check it out for new funding opportunities!

Resources shared this session:

Linda Gilkenson’s website

Linda’s books

Grow lights

Heat mats

Paper pot rollers

Starter soil mix

I look forward to our next session on April 7th! Enjoy your spring break!

Session Six: February 10, 2022

Thank you to Amanda Adams from Growing Chefs who was able to share her expertise on container, window sill and kitchen gardens in our classrooms! If you missed this session, it can be viewed here until February 17, 2022.

Blog posts you may find helpful:

Winter Gardening With Kids (video from Landed Learning on how to plan your garden is in this post)

Valentine’s Day fun in your outdoor classroom!

How to grow Bread Beans with Kids

How to Grow Peas with Kids

How to Make a Paper Seed Pot

The Tomatosphere Project

What Seeds Need to Grow: A Seed InquiryWhat Seeds Need To Grow: A Seed Inquiry

How Seeds Travel

Resources shared in this session:

WestCoast Seeds Planting Guides

Paper pot maker

Grow lights

Heat mats

Plant labels

Weatherproof marker

Seed starting dome

Children’s garden gloves

I look forward to seeing you all on March 3 to discuss seed starting in detail with Linda Gilkenson!

Session Five: January 13, 2022

My favourite topic! Outdoor unstructured risky play was our topic this month and we covered a lot of theory with some examples of what this might look like in our practice. We also discussed why we want to support unstructured play in our school garden spaces. The recording for this session can be viewed here and is available until January 20, 2022.

Blog Posts you may find helpful:

What is risky play and why kids need it

Risky play in the fog

Risky play with tools at school

Risky play at heights

Transition to teaching outdoors

Resources shared in this session

How to dress for the weather infographic

Outdoor Play Canada

Outside Play risk reframing tool

Power of Play episode on The Nature of Things

Canadian Public Health Association Resources and Infographics that support unstructured outdoor play

Our next session is February 10, 2022. See you soon!

Session Four: December 2, 2021

This month we got crafty and learned all about how we can leverage the gifts from our gardens to create sustainable and earth-friendly crafts and gifts throughout the school year.

Blog posts you may find helpful:

Anywhere artist

Earth friendly ice art

Fairy nature wings

Lavender play dough

How to make garden stepping stones

Seed mandala art project

Nature selfies with loose parts

Not a box play ideas

Resources shared in this session:

Garden Therapy Website

Suppliers mentioned by Lori (for salve supplies):

Richards packaging

The Soap Dispensary

Karma Suds

Honeybee Centre

Honey Shop

Wix & Wax

One Love Hemp Company

The recording for this session can be viewed here until December 9, 2021.

And don’t forget to check out my Pinterest boards for more garden inspired arts and craft ideas!

Session Three: November 4, 2021

During out November session we dug into the joys of rain and mud play in the garden! Resources that may be helpful are listed below:

Blog posts you may find helpful:

Best book about rain

Water cycle inquiry

Rainy day play ideas

How to build a mud kitchen

Risky play in the fog

Flanders field poppies for Remembrance Day

Resources shared at this session:

Learning in places website

Westcoast seeds poppy seeds

Waterproof gloves by Vessi

Recording for this session is available here until November 11, 2021. There is a password to access the recording. Please check your email from Van Dusen for the password.

Session Two: October 14, 2021

During our October session, several resources and links were mentioned. You will find them listed below:

Blog posts you may find helpful:

School garden soil resources

Fall gardening tasks with kids

How to plant and grow garlic with kids

How to plant and grow broad (Fava) beans

Great anchor texts for seasonal change

Nature inspired anchor texts for fall

Pumpkin inspired STEAM activities

Ten great pumpkin life cycle anchor texts

How to grow pumpkins with kids

Halloween pumpkin math

BC school garden grants

Tomatosphere project (links to order seeds)

Resources from our second session:

School garden start up podcast with Nurturing Nature Connections

Article you can distribute to school and district leaders that shares six ways to support outdoor play & learning in our elementary schools.

Bulbs 4 Kids (sign up to be notified when kits are available again)

Healing City Soils

Emma Holmes work bio

Emma Holmes LInkedIn

Dr. Miranda Hart’s website (mentioned by Emma)

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

The Overstory by Richard Powers

Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard

Biggest Little Farm (also available on Netflix)

The recording for this session is available here. It will be accessible for viewing until October 21, 2021

More Resources and Ideas!

Don’t forget to join me on Pinterest for more ideas and resources that support your school garden and outdoor classroom.

Session One: September 23, 2021

During our September session, several resources and links were mentioned. You will find them listed below:

Blog posts you may find helpful:

Transition to teaching outdoors

Teaching prep outdoors

How to build a tippy tap

How to plant broad beans

How to plant garlic

School garden weed resources

How to grow a dinosaur garden

Resources from our first session:

Lori Snyder’s website

Invasive species council of BC

Westcoast seeds donation request link

Environmental Educators Provincial Specialist Association (EEPSA)

The recording for this session is no longer available. It was available until September 30, 2021.

More Resources and Ideas!

Don’t forget to join me on Pinterest for more ideas and resources that support your school garden and outdoor classroom.

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