Getting started with the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge

With more than 1,000 classrooms across Canada participating in the 2017 Classroom Energy Diet Challenge, many of them for the first time, “Where do I begin?” is a common question we get asked by teachers of all grade levels. Here are some tips from teachers who have experience with the program on how they kick off a whirlwind two months of fun, learning and helping the planet!

• Email [email protected] and ask them to mail you a tracking poster. It is a great visual for you and students love checking off which challenges they have completed.

• Think about which challenges will best fit into the subject you teach or the curriculum for your grade. Think about ways you can connect the big ideas from the challenges to your teaching. It does not need to be an “”exact”” fit. This allows the challenge to enhance what you are already doing in the classroom instead of being just something else you have to try to fit into your busy day. Focus on these challenges as a starting point if you are not aiming to complete them all.

• While you look through the challenges, flag the ones that require more time to complete – for example, the Get Growing challenge or the Track Your Trash challenge. Plan to get these started early on so you aren’t scrambling to complete them at the end.

• Look to see which challenges go well together. Some of the challenges connect especially well and can be done at the same time. This helps students see connections between various concepts related to energy and to complete more than one challenge at a time.

• Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. As long as you respect the essence of the challenge, you can adapt what you do with your students to fit their needs, your curriculum or student interests/abilities. 

• Don’t stress about completing all 25 challenges. Focus on the ones your students are really into. To be eligible to win prizes, all you need to do is complete 3 challenges! 

• Download the CEDC app, available for Apple and Android devices. Track your progress in the challenge, view lesson plans on the go and instantly upload proof! 

Good luck and have fun!