#1181 Trees for Schools (and Parks and Earth)

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!

#1168 Wiggly Worms, Decomposing, and BUGS!

What lives underground and wriggles?
Which decomposes faster: an apple core or a wrapper?
Black flies, mosquitoes and dragon flies: whose team do you want to be on?!

This month’s videos challenge young learners to think, question and develop strategies to find answers.

Watch the videos. 
See the notes underneath for learning extensions.

Wiggly worms!
Kindergaretn & Grade 1 inquiry into the the life of worms, soil and dirt!

Decomposing!
Which decomposes faster? Apple cores or wrappers?
Inquiry into natural vs plastic waste!

Bugs!!!
Who do you want on your team?
Black flies?
Mosquitoes?
Dragon flies?
… Pick very carefully!

See all the videos including:
• Mystery forest object
• Being happy
• Heart and breathing

We’re always looking for ideas to support Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3 learning with links to the Ontario curriculum and appropriate for homeschoolers and Forest School fans!

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