Explore how curved pieces of glass help you read…
2022 is upon us!
Many people set goals for the new year… Watch the video… share your goals!
A few of my favourite recent inquiries:
What was life like 200 yeas ago?
Name these farm parts from 100 years ago!
Help us name this kitten!
This fall, the leaves are turning red and bizarre fungi are growing in the forest!
Watch the videos below with your students to encourage investigation:
I stumbled upon this windowless brick building in the middle of a forest.
Why is it here?
What is the story behind it?!
Ask your friends, family and teachers, too!
In the fall of 2015 I was weeding our garden. I pulled a small spruce tree.
As it came out of the ground I realized that tree was valuable for our classroom and the students.
I quickly planted it in a pot and brought it to school. We learned about the tree, science and math… it even served as our class Christmas tree. It was a weedy “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree” but it was perfect!
In the spring, we planted the tree at school. Students wrote a wish on a cedar shim that were placed around the tree. At the end of the school year I asked a student if she ever visited the class tree in the school yard. “Everyday,” she beamed!
I realized the power of trees in the classroom…
Since then I have built learning around potted trees that I introduce to class. We write about them, compare them, measure them, research them… and eventually the trees get planted at school. Students develop a connection with the trees (and related learning.) So good.
Rewind 30+ years: I worked as a tree planter for 4 summers and planted about 240,000 trees in Ontario and Alberta, Quebec and British Columbia. It was a tough job. I loved it. I still have access to two of the tiny trees from 1989. They’re now 5 metres tall.
Trees in this post are some of the trees planted at schools. Below is our backyard tree nursery. Most of these trees come from seed, tree giveaways or from our own yard.
Since 2015 I’ve planted 20-50 trees each year at schools, parks and beyond. I love watching them grow.
Want some trees? Look for free tree giveaways in your community, buy them from a nursery or grow them from seed. Enjoy!
My last message for students:
“Be kind, find your own super powers, work hard and you will be…”
Inquiry videos to inspire young learners’ exploration:
What happens to your garbage?:
Who (or what) filled the lake?!:
Recently our local paper picked up the story of the rise in popularity of the inquiry videos aimed at kindergarten to grade 3 students:
The Inquiry videos have attracted more than 1250 subscribers and have been viewed 40,000 times.
Watch a recent video about swamp sounds:
Watch the latest video about probability and weather:
One year ago – April 25, 2020 – I posted the first of my inquiry videos that set the tone of the 70 that have followed…
It all started shortly after COVID closed our schools. An educational assistant and teacher suggested I create a short video to share with the Grade 1s in our school. I didn’t take long to agree. Thanks Kristine and Jenna!
A big thanks to you, the students, teachers and families for watching and inspiring me to create more.
I had hoped to reach 1000 subscribers by the one year anniversary.
Today, there are 1107 subscribers.
Please subscribe and click notifications on if you want to hear about the latest videos before everyone else!
Watch this recent video Swamp Sounds! What’s Making all that Noise?!