The following are ongoing things we do on a weekly basis.
Students will work towards earning beads in a variety of hard and soft skills. Most we will be working on in class, but there are opportunities to work on some at home, too. See the list below for more information. This list will be added to depending on interest, group development or skills we are trying to target. For a complete list, click here.
We ask our students to choose visit one special place in nature repeatedly (each week) and to get to know it as well as they can. Students are asked to spend varying amounts of time sitting quietly in their spots. In this special spot, we learn to sit still, be by ourselves, and enjoy the feeling of familiarity and knowledge of place that develops over time. Ultimately, a student’s sit spot will become like a safe home from which their curiosity can spark an interest in nature’s mysteries. This time focuses on student-centered learning, place-based learning, personal growth, scientific-inquiry, solitary time and reflection.
Each morning before we begin our day, we have a smudge with the students. The smudging ceremony is a purification ceremony. Any one of the four sacred medicines can be used, and we use white sage. The sage is burned, and the everyone “bathes” themselves in the smoke, ending at the heart. As the students put it: “it takes out the bad and brings in the good”. This also helps us appreciate and acknowledge the cultural history of the area and ties in to our learning about the Petun people.
Weekly check-ins occur at the beginning of the day. This is a time for the groups to answer simple questions and to be open with the team. The activity changes each week (ie. Rose and Thorn, Temperature Reading, Mood in Colours, etc) but the purpose is the same.
Each group was given a fairly blank “map” of the property at the beginning of our time together. As we explore, students add and name areas and places on the map that are special to them (ie. “Fossil Mountain”, “Forest Hut”, Sit Spots, etc). This is not only exciting for the students, it encourages stewardship of the land. We use this all day, and as a way of reflecting before going home at the end of the day.
“STORY” of the Day
This refers to ongoing debriefing throughout the day of experiences to draw out learning. This can happen in a variety of way.