A Seasonal Circular | Spring 2017
Kootenay-Boundary School Districts
Supporting students’ understanding of their local environment
Empowering thoughtful action through learning that is
Making Waves in the Kootenays!
The Kootenay-Boundary Environmental Education (KBEE) partnership was initiated to support a coordinated focus on K-12 environmental education across the region.
Intentionally connecting the districts, schools, and teachers of the region and providing common awareness, access to professional development, resources, and opportunities will enhance the EE experience and learning of all of our students.
Daily doses of connecting our students to the outdoors & nature are key to their academic, social, emotional and physical success. Click here for research on the benefits of connecting students to nature & the outdoors.
Click here for a report was just published by Stanford University on the impacts of environmental education for K-12 students. This includes a higher aptitude for 21st century skills such as critical thinking, oral communication, analytical skills, problem solving, and higher-order thinking. https://naaee.org/eepro/blog/benefits-environmental-education-k-12.
You can find many connections to outdoor/place-based learning and the redesigned BC curriculum online here: http://cbeen.ca/curriculum/
Jennifer Roberts & Diane Casault
Terry Taylor & Lorna Newman
Kristi Crowe & Katherine Shearer
Over the winter the KBEE Committee has been working on a number of initiatives:
1) Take Me Outside Day: To promote the benefits of outdoor and place-based learning, KBEE launched the first regional Winter Take Me Outside Day in February with over 6000 students in the region participating! As a result, KBEE is undertaking a similar Spring Take Me Outside Day on Thursday, April 20. For more information and to register go to www.cbeen.org/outside
2) Sharing Stories and Inspiration: Place-Based Education Exemplars Video Project: This project will highlight mentor teachers and innovative practices from across the region in order to inspire more teachers to incorporate environmental education into their own work. The video series will explore the teaching practice and pedagogy of teachers who support outdoor, experiential, inquiry-based and place-based learning opportunities for their students.
3) Curricular Tools: Supplementing the videos will be a series of curriculum-linked teaching resources, derived from participating teachers to support and inspire their colleagues.
4) Leadership Clinic: KBEE school districts are supporting teachers' efforts to better collaborate and provide professional development in environmental education through the CBEEN 2017 Environmental Education Leadership Clinic. We believe that by supporting the development of local chapters of EEPSA, our teachers will have more opportunities to better support students' outdoor, experiential, place-based and place-conscious learning.
5) Assessment: We are working on assessment tools to monitor progress and assess our students' experience with environmental education in our schools;
6) Partnerships: We continue to strengthen relationships with other environmental learning organizations across the province including EEPSA, WildBC and CBEEN, as well as funders such as Columbia Basin Trust and the Vancouver Foundation.
Resources for taking your learning outside this Spring!
Our friends at WildBC have developed a number of resources for place-based outdoor learning. We encourage you to download lessons, copy sheets and more!
Resources are listed under the 5 main categories below and are also searchable in the Resource Database.
Energy, Atmosphere and Climate
Earth, Ecosystems and Ecology
Plants, Animals and Habitats
Water, Wetlands and Watersheds
Outdoors, Projects and Places
Teacher Tips and Tricks
Environmental Education Leadership Clinic
April 29 - May 2, Kootenay National Park
A team of teachers in each school district in the Columbia Basin has been selected to attend with the purpose of starting/developing a local chapter of the Environmental Educators Provincial Specialist Association in their school district. Read more...
Education: No Limits Conference
May 11-13, Jasper
The Global Environmental and Outdoor Education Council is teaming up with the Health and Physical Education Council to offer this joint conference.
See Change: National Environmental Learning Conference
May 18-21, Nova Scotia
Explore and share how innovative learning inspires connection to nature, more sustainable lifestyles and livelihoods, resilient communities and a life-giving planet.
Inquiring Voices Sustainability Symposium
September 29 - October 1, Blue Lake Centre
This annual pro-d event brings together educators to share, inquire, support, and collaborate with one another. This is a great opportunity to network, share resources and inspire one another.
Do you want to host your own professional development workshop? Click here to see a list of great workshops you can book, and access funding to pay for facilitators, venue and food.
Upcoming Pro-D Opportunities
Wild School Program
March 31 Deadline
This provides funding for a 3-year initiative for K-9 schools to help the school build connections with nature, develop ecological understandings and encourage stewardship practices.
Evergreen School Ground Greening Grants
April 13 Deadline
Up to $3,500 for schools to create outdoor classrooms and provide opportunities for students to engage with nature on their school grounds.
Click the button to check out CBEEN's Funding Directory!
CBEEN Funding Directory
EarthPLAY for Earth Day 2017 Webinar
March 22, Online
Learn about EarthPLAY for Earth Day, a program focused on improving play opportunities for young people in schools and other community spaces.
To Unplug or Plug In Webinar
March 27, Online
Review and select both the technology and the apps that will work best for your educational situation.
Fields Forward Education Workshop
April 7-9, Creston
This workshop is for educators to enhance their ability to start school gardens, to go deeper in their environmental education, to think about creative ways to teach using local community resources. Read more...
Child & Nature Network International Conference
April 18-21, Vancouver
Inspiring keynotes, expertly-curated workshops, field trips and action labs designed to support and advance the work you do to connect children, families and communities to nature.
Directory of Community Partner Organizations
This online searchable directory lists over 100 organizations that support environmental education opportunities for all ages in the Columbia Basin.
Benefits of Connecting Children to Nature
Outdoor learning environments (OLEs) stimulate the diversity of children’s play experience and contribute to their healthy development. experience.
Click here to access.
Check out WildBC's Resource Room!
Click here to access.
Southeast Kootenay School District 5 had over 2400 students participate in Winter Take Me Outside Day!
At Fernie Secondary Grade 7-9 students enjoyed an afternoon of competitions organized by junior student council.
Highlands Elementary students captured snowflakes on some black furry fabric then went to the school field and found a spot that had not been compacted and measured the snow with a meter stick.
At TM Roberts, students studied solids, liquids, and gases as matter and looked at the effect of temperature on pressure in a gas. Using the scientific method, students hypothesized, and observed.
Frank J. Mitchell Elementary students were divided into four groups, and rotated through four stations; tag games, building with the snow, snow hill fun, free play.
Gordon Terrace Elementary students focused on an inquiry unit on light and sound, and studied light and shadows from the snow and trees.
Students at Elkford Secondary relished the chance to get outside in the local wilderness and experience a little bit of their literary reading, “A Mountain Journey” by Howard O’Hagan.
Amy Wood Elementary has been spending every Wednesday morning at Jim Smith Provincial Park participating in a forest kindergarten day we call "Wilderness Wednesday."
At Sparwood Secondary Melissa Traub built a great activity that was spun into the idea of exploring Canada through the Fur Trade. Students also worked on building directions and having others follow (a little bit of coding spun into the lesson). Penny Lowe is often outside x-country skiing or snowshoeing with her PE students.
Congrats to Rose Holmes at TM Roberts who was the draw prize winner of the outdoor learning resource 'Sizing up Winter'.
JMS Kindergarten collected information and photos for their next Knook Book. They are looking at berries in the forest and noticed so much more! The larches yellow needles carpet the forest .
GT have harvested kale, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, beets and potatoes. My class is having an outing each week somewhere in the neighbourhood and are working in the garden each week. We just spread all of the compost that has turned into soil into our garden. ��������qa6>� GT we have continued with our garden.We have harvested kale, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, beets and potatoes. My class is having an outing each week somewhere in the neighbourhood and are working in the garden each week. We just spread all of the compost that has turned into soil into our garden. GT we have continued with our garden.We have harvested kale, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, beets and potatoes. My class is having an outing each week somewhere in the neighbourhood and are working in the garden each week. We just spread all of the compost that has turned into soil into our garden.
They istened to listened to Our boardwalk pond has leaves that float, and soggy sinking leaves. We finished up at Mrs. Sauerborn's garden to do some winter planting and rake up big piles of leaves.
How do we deepen our students’ education experience with relevant place-based learning? How can all members in our district maintain integrity in their relationship to the natural world?
Over 1000 students from Rocky Mountain School District 6 took part in Winter Take Me Outside Day!
Every Child, Every Day:
Our students will experience environmental, outdoor, and community-based learning.
Students at David Thompson Secondary took to the ice of Lake Windermere to ice fish, built a snow pit, made a fire, and completed a scavenger hunt.
At Edgewater Elementary, students braved the wintery conditions and deep snow to try snowshoeing, and received ice balls from frozen water balloons and talked about how they were made and what would happen if the temperature changed.
Eileen Madson Primary students were asked if they could create a 'bobsled ball". their fabulous leadership qualities shinned through. They looked at the science of snowflakes, made our own animal tracks, and played a cooperative snow game.
JA Laird Elementary students played a game to practice cardinal directions, divided in two and a new type of dodge ball was created, and used liquid jello to represent animals in the wild.
Lady Grey Elementary students went outside with their Aboriginal Education Support Worker and played some outdoor traditional games in the fresh snow.
Lindsay Park Elementary used the story "Snow" by Joan Clark to base their outdoor learning.
Students at Marysville Elementary planned four stations for the kids to rotate through.
Students at Windermere Elementary headed down to Lake Windermere and enjoyed a fun afternoon of skiing and activities in the deep snow!
Congrats to Sandra Beckett from Alexander Park Elementary who was the recent recipient of a regional Environmental Education Award of Excellence! Click here to read the full story.
Given the emphasis on place-based learning, Aboriginal Perspectives and citizenship in the Curriculum, how can we instill place-based consciousness in ourselves and our students?
Over 500 students from School District 8 enjoyed Winter Take Me Outside Day!
At Wildflower, students ventured outdoors for their mid-winter snow carnival that they combined with Take Me Outside Day! They all grabbed snowshoes and walked around the playground together getting a feel for what snowshoes feel like in all of the snow. Snow Ice cream was made and eaten in cones, along with paint the snow and ice sculptures. It was a magical afternoon of exploration and fun on the best day with all the snow that had fallen the previous night!
Willaw Elementary brought their math geometry lesson outside and used our bodies to make shapes in the snow. They also did a search for shapes on our playground. The kids loved seeing the tube slide as a cylinder and finding parallelograms in unexpected places.
Students in Grades 5 and 6 tried to pack snow into containers -tubs and a large plywood form to build with. The snow was a bit to powdery to take on form easily. The girls were successful in creating a bottom rung of an igloo. The boys cleared off an igloo built earlier and filled the plywood form for carving next week.
Students at Redfish Elementary enjoyed participating at multi-age stations: Bird Seed Gelatin molds, Snow Sculpture, Sliding scientists, and snowball fun.
Congratulations to Linda Out from Winlaw Elementary who was the recent recipient of a regional Environmental Education Award of Excellence! Click here to read the full story. http://cbeen.ca/2017-awards-of-excellence-recipients-announced/
Lucerne Elementary had members of the Valhalla Nordic Cross Country Ski Club take them out to the Nordic trail in Hills for the entire afternoon,. The snow was light and soft, and conditions were great. The students skied the "Teardrop" and fun was had by all.
Outdoor learning is a match with SD10's signature pedagogy- place-conscious learning. It helps students self-regulate their learning, improves both student and staff well-being (as is evident in current research on the positive role of environmental education, physical health and well-being to increased academic achievement)and integrates powerful learning in the redesigned curriculum in relevant ways.
On January 23, a environmental education pro-d workshop was held, and Gary Parkstrom, Richelle Johnston, Leslie Leitch, Biz Tupper, Erika Momeyer, and Katrina Sumrall were all part of a panel sharing ideas on environmental education, field trip planning and risk assessment.
SD10 has developed a series of videos to showcase place-consious learning. Click on the links below or to the right to view some of these:
Primary Outdoor Classroom
Collaborative Environmental Stewardship
Gardens, Greenhouses & Sustainability
They are small but mighty! School District 10 had 180 students participate in Winter Take Me Outside day - over 40% of the students in the school district.
A Green school district that regularly practices innovative place-conscious outdoor learning, embodies ecological and sustainability principles in all classrooms, schools and district operations, incorporates First Peoples Principles of Learning in outdoor experience, and improves student self-regulation and health through outdoor experiences.
At Fruitvale Elementary, the kindergarten class headed outside to paint the snow and talked about all of the senses we used to create our outdoor snow masterpiece. The Applied Design classes went outside to build structures out of snow.
Glenmerry Elementary has been inquiring about what type of sled will work best. The students build sleds and did research, created a prototype and tested. We had many successful sleds and some ones that need further research. Watch a video!
JL Crowe Elementary took their students outside to learn about snow and what happens when it melts. Students predicted what they thought would happen to the snow in their bottles, then we marked where we all thought the water would be at once melted.
Kinaird Elementary embraced all of the fresh snow and had 4 classes join up for a snow day.
At Robson Commmunity School they have been studying Haida Gwaii culture and recently looked at their homes in comparison to our homes and igloos. Their task was to build a snow fort with a unique entrance and enough space to sit as a class!
Rossland Summit School got a huge amount of snow so it was a great opportunity for us to teach the students about how the temperature outside creates snow, rain, hail etc. (evaporation and precipitation). We also discussed and looked at how snowflakes are formed, how many points they have and how each snowflake is unique.
At Twin Rivers Elementary, students enjoyed walking in the deep snow, body sledding and snowshoeing.
Webster Elementary students participated in a variety of outdoor activities from snowshoeing, to winter hikes to Wildsight's "WInter Wonder".
Committed to providing our learners with quality public education through partnerships with our communities and connections to our natural environment.
School District 20 had over 3600 students participate in Winter Take Me Outside Day!
Boundary Central Secondary School headed outside to celebrate "Carnival" style. They had some very deep snow in which to play a round of Capture the Flag, Ultimate Frisbee, Dodgeball and Tug of War. They wrapped up our very active outdoor adventure with Cabane à Sucre. S'était bien amusant!!
Hutton Elementary spent time building in the snow with big and little buddies. It was great to see the kids work together and enjoy their extended time outside together. The problem solving and collaboration that happened as groups formed and worked on various snow fort designs was exciting and empowering for the kids.
As well, the Hutton Hideaway students completed the snow melt activity which was listed as a suggestion. The students were close with their predictions on how much water would be produced. Everyone was surprised at how long it took to melt the snow. Students were also quite shocked at how much sand, hair and grass there was in the water.
To recognize SD51 for their outstanding rate of participation, they have been awarded the brand new Green Teacher publication, 'Tackling our Phobias' which looks at teaching about conservation through things like insects, snakes, and invasive species. Click here to find out more.
School District 51 won the prize for the most participation in Winter Take Me Outside Day with over 60% of students in the district participating!
How can we cultivate personal and social consciousness of the environment to empower students through thoughtful action to affect positive, sustainable change?