In observance of Earth Hour, Richland Academy turned off the lights and went ‘technology-free’ for one hour on Friday, March 30. By taking part in this ‘lights out’ event, we acknowledged our commitment to personal and operational actions that benefit the planet in the year ahead. For more information on global Earth Hour (March 31), visit earthhour.org.
“In this influential work about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Last Child in the Woods is the first book to bring together a new and growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults.” (Source: RichardLouv.com)
“Nature-deficit disorder may have grave consequences for today’s often sedentary, over-protected youth, according to an interview in the current issue of the American Journal of Play with Richard Louv and conservationist Cheryl Charles (who helped launch the ‘Leave No Child Inside’ initiative along with Louv).” (Source: journalofplay.org) However, more than just raising an alarm, “practical solutions and simple ways to heal the broken bond” are offered, many of which are right in our own backyard.
Click here to read about the Outdoor Experiential Inquiry-Based Learning embraced by Richland Academy.
“The children and nature movement is fueled by this fundamental idea: the child in nature is an endangered species, and the health of children and the health of the Earth are inseparable.”
Recently, our JK students collaboratively created an elaborate impromptu building piece, later sharing their ‘stories’ and giving the experience full meaning for them:
- Zackary shared that, “We thought that we made a rainbow. We laid it down so that the animals could walk over and on the rainbow!”
- Sophia described “a tower” that she made to add to the structure. Her prior knowledge about ‘towers’ and ‘castles’ from fairy tales resonated with her, as she explained a certain part of the building project.
- Kian shared that, “It started on the stump of log that is on the carpet in our classroom. It went all over the carpet. We saved it to show you. I think we made a zoo for the King Lion.”
- Olivia’s thought was that, “It looks like a jungle.” She also shared a most intriguing thought that, “We were like a building team!”
Recently, our Grade 4, 5 and 6 classes had the opportunity to meet with renowned author, Arthur Slade, via Skype. The students eagerly asked Mr. Slade questions about the life of an author, his inspiration for the book “Jolted” (studied by the Fourth Graders), and how he comes up with his story ideas.
Our JK students investigate volume and capacity by ‘experimenting’ with ‘green water.’ Their ‘testing’ involves pouring larger containers into smaller ones and smaller ones into larger beakers.By making the water colour green, the children are able to see the water flowing, pouring, and entering/exiting the containers and beakers more clearly and with greater significance.
Grade 5/6 launched an inquiry into oceans. Working in groups based on individual interests, students researched and presented their findings on the world’s major oceans in a “Prezi” presentation. Prezi is an online, cloud-based presentation software and storytelling tool for exploring and sharing ideas. Students needed not only to research and collaborate, but also learn how to use a new presentation program collaboratively. After conducting their own research and drafting a first rendering of their presentations, students added information after visiting the Ontario Science Center and subjecting their presentations to the critique of their peers. After going back to the drawing board, editing and re editing their work, students presented their research in formal presentations to the class. This is only one example of the fantastic work in technology and research they achieved!