Cresthaven Public School
Gillis Green Team
- 17 Challenges Completed
- 0 Challenges not completed
A Green-Powered Canada
This week we learned about different kinds of energy. We started by talking about non-renewable energy sources & their drawbacks. As part of this we did an oil spill experiment to understand the challenges around clean up when this happens. Then we started to look at renewable energy sources. This work was done with an unexpected shift to online learning but it didn't stop the kids from doing some amazing stuff! Students built pinwheels to understand wind energy. Some even challenged themselves further and built a more complex wind turbine that did the work of making a pulley move to lift a cup of marbles. Amazing! We looked at how my outdoor solar lights work. We built dams out of materials at home to help understand hydro power. Students decided if they thought energy from water was good or bad and listed advantages and disadvantages of using tidal power. Students worked with a number of videos, fictional and non-fiction texts to build their understanding of these non-renewable energy sources available in Canada!
First off, we brainstormed various ways that people get around that use energy. Next we thought of energy-free ways to travel. Then we thought about the beautiful winter wonderland outside our classroom window. What fun ways can we get around in winter that don't require energy? This is inspired our "when it's white outside, you can be green" themed posters. Our aim is to encourage people to get outside in winter and choose a method of getting around that's both good for their bodies and good for the planet. Which way to travel would you choose - sled, snowshoe, ski or skate?
We participated in World Water Day on March 22 with a number of activities both before, during and after this date. This year the theme was valuing water so we began our thinking by exploring ways we use water. Then we considered what water means to us. We posted this work on Twitter with the hashtag #Water2Me as part of this year's World Water Day campaign. On Monday, we participated in a walk for water with the kindergarten class. We carried signs asking others to save water that we made with cardboard from boxes & decorated with wallpaper from discarded sample books. We had a great response from people on foot, bike and in vehicles. We were inspired by some amazing women and their stories of why they walk for water. We pledged to save water & care for our local water when we returned from our walk. We added our class on the Junior Water Walkers map. We continue to extend our learning following the walk and are now learning about clean water access issues in many Indigenous communities and about our water footprints.
Do You Really Need It?
Students completed the first part of the challenge by listed 5 things they use often that require energy and estimating how long they use the items per day. A sorting activity was then created that used everyone's ideas and students decided whether they thought each item was a "want" or a "need." Students were asked to tell about one item that they found difficult to sort. Since we learning virtually right now, each day is filled with hours of screen time. On top of that, the students often play online games during recess and at lunch. Some of these games they play together so it is a chance for them to socialize but it is MORE screen time. We decided to spend a day engaged in screen-free activities when it wasn't learning time. Students shared what they did, what they disliked about it, what they enjoyed about it and whether they might go screen-free more often in the upcoming week.
We worked with the text "Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring Life to Earth" as the start to this challenge. Students sketch-noted their thinking and understanding of the relationships between the sun, the plants and animals. Then we decorated compostable pots with faces and planted wheat grass seeds. A few days after planting, our schools shut down so we took our grass heads home. They have begun to sprout hair! Hope they know you can't get a haircut in Ontario these days...
How Big Are Your Carbon Feet?
First we watched the Carbon Monster and Green Ninja videos to learn about carbon footprints. We used the Go Green resource to help us calculate our carbon footprints, represented by how many rings are coloured in on our foot templates. Then on the backside, we recorded some goals for reducing our carbon footprints to share with others.
Limited Edition: Game Time!
We learned about Canada's food waste by reading a Canadian Reader article. We identified ways food is wasted and how to reduce our waste by highlighting this information in two different colours. We used this info to complete the challenge sheet. Then we played a game of charades to act out the big ideas from the text.
One Hour No Power
We just returned to in-person class after 6 weeks of online learning. That was a LOT of screen time. What more perfect time than this to take a real tech break and complete this challenge? During our first 4 days back in class, we spent 4-5 hours a day completely powered down. No devices, nothing projected on a screen to look at, no lights on. Even at other times of the day, we kept lights to a minimum and only used the large screen in our classroom to project short videos or information for brief periods of time. We didn't touch any devices until the last hour of class on Friday. 44 eyes say thank you.
Round and Round it Goes
We looked at cycles in nature, thinking back to some previous learning about the interconnections between plants and animals in the forest. Then we looked at the linear approach we typically take to how we make stuff. Using my jacket as an example, we began to look at a closed loop model. Made from reclaimed fabric & with insulation made from plastic water bottles, it was a great concrete example to introduce the idea of a circular economy. We watched a few videos that helped explain this further. Then, using the "how we make stuff" website as a resource, students created infographics to demonstrate how we can do things better!
While learning about food waste, we found out about the problem of "ugly food." Sometimes perfectly good food never even makes it to the store because it grew in a funny shape. It has taken immense resources to grow it and then it is just thrown away. We also throw out food well before we need to. Food that is no longer fresh is often still perfectly good for soups or smoothies. Food rotting in landfill releases methane gas. Students tackled one of these problems and shared their learning through creating comics that urge us to waste less food. Comics were shared on Twitter to educate others.
To begin this challenge, students worked in small groups to share their ideas on Jamboard about what waste is, why it matters and how we might reduce it. Then we worked for 5 days to track our waste. We shared our results as we went along as part of our math learning. At the end of the 5 days we calculated how many items we kept from landfill and combined our totals. We also used the data we collected to make some digital bar graphs.
The Phantom of the Classroom
We learned what phantom power is and looked at the watt meter and how it works. We tried out the phantom power calculator and examples of phantom power from around Ms. Gillis's house. Then we went on our own searches for phantom power in our homes. We created maps in Google Draw to show some of the phantom power we discovered.
Tips and Tricks
World Water Day was March 22. In the days leading up to it and throughout the remainder of the week following the event, we posted over 20 tweets related to water to our class Twitter account. We shared our learning and actions around water to encourage others to think about the importance of water and their water use. One of our activities was to look at the water footprints of different foods, particularly fruits. We made some digital posters that compared two fruits and encouraged others to choose the fruit that grows using less water. (It was a great math opportunity too!) In reality, it is complicated as some fruits had smaller water footprints but larger carbon footprints. (For example it takes more water to grow an apple than an orange, but we grow apples locally.) We discussed that as a class too!
We learned about plastic pollution in the water & the problem of micro plastics. We then began to explore the specific problem of mask pollution since the onset of the pandemic. Masks production was also explored. We learned about Canadian efforts to develop recycling methods for disposable masks. We also learned some simple ways to make our own reusable masks and washable filters. This lead to our planning as a class of the story we wished to tell. There were many things we learned that couldn't make it into our one minute video but that lead to good thinking about how to choose details that matter most. Students worked on creating a variety of digital pictures and animations using Google slides. We learned how to find royalty free images, what copyright is & why it matters. Since we had to work on our digital work individually (we can't share devices due to Covid protocols), it was not possible to use everyone's work. Students who didn't end up with one of their digital creations selected were included as our demonstrators or as camera persons. Everyone's voice is included in our narrative. And considering we did all the voice recordings with our masks on, it's not too bad! We know some people are required to wear medical masks, but please dispose them properly. We encourage those who can to wear reusable masks. Stay safe everyone!
We focused on water usage during hand-washing because we wash our hands so often these days! We watched a video to review hand-washing techniques recommended by the WHO. We measured that it used 2L 400mL of water if we left the tap on while following the steps. We tracked our hand-washing for a day & calculated the total water usage. Then we looked at how we could save water if we turned off the tap while scrubbing. We discussed the faucet as a touch point and looked at ways we could do this safely. We also talked about routines we can use at home vs hand-washing in public places. Our second method used only 600mL of water each time. We tracked our hand-washing for a 2nd day & calculated the new totals. Then compared day 1 & 2 to find out how much water we saved.
What’s For Lunch?
We've been learning about the Eat Well Plate. We chose favourite fruits, vegetables, proteins & whole grains to make our own plates that would represent a balanced meal we would enjoy. We researched which of our choices can come from local farmers and the symbol to look for in the grocery store that indicates food from Ontario. We also learned it often depends on the season whether or not we can by it from local farners. We looked at where our other foods are from and talked about the benefits in terms of freshness & energy use when you buy local foods.
What’s Old is New Again
Did you know that it is estimated that about 145 million Valentine cards are sent each year? Think about the trees. Think about the energy. And that's just to make those cards. Then think about the energy and resources it takes to deliver them too! We decided we would show our love this year with ZERO Waste Valentines. Students were challenged to make a heart out of materials they had a home. (No paper, no waste, create with things you have.) Art one minute and then right back to its original use the next minute. Zero Waste. Students then photographed the hearts and inserted the images into Google Draw to create the rest of their graphic designs. An added challenge was to think about the material the heart was made form and try to come up with some kind of pun. Such clever Grade 2/3s. Watch out Hallmark because he comes the Gillis Green Team! (As an aside, the teacher may have had just as much fun created a bunch of examples as the kids did with this task. Hee hee.)