Thursday, 19 May 2016

Final Saturday Workshop: Cultivating Mindfulness

I just wanted to add a few details to what Sofia posted about last Saturday's workshop, the last day of our CFE.  Here is some info about some of the plants we used for our activities (tea-hunt + lunch).

Mint (la menthe) is a plant used in middle-eastern cuisine.  You can also make tea with the leaves.  Just rince the leaves and chop them with a knife.  Either place them in a boiling water and or bring to the boil over medium heat. Add honey or brown sugar to the cup.  Pour through a sieve.  If you wish, you can also add a teabag of green or black tea for the extra taste.

Sage (la sauge) - with its flowers - is a plant used in cooking.  Sage goes well with pork, beef, duck and chicken recipes, and fatty meats in particular. In Italy it is commonly chopped, mixed with melted butter and served stirred into pasta or gnocchi.

Rosemary (le romarin) with its flowers - Spike meat, poultry and game with rosemary - alternatively, chop it and use in stuffings and sauces for fish, lamb or chicken.  Also try on roast potatoes.

We had a feast with our guests after the garden activities.  It was fun to demonstrate our receipes for dips and incorporate freshly picked ingredients such as chives, parsley and rosemary directly from our scavenger hunt in the orchard garden.  We also made a pot of mint tea and a pot of lemon balm tea.

Being part of the Orchard Garden CFE was a priviledge and a fun experience.  I learned valuable skills that I will use at home and in the community when I become a teacher.  I truly see the benefit of bringing students into the garden and I feel prepared to start my own school garden, or at least contribute to one in near the future.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Sofia - Final Day of the Orchard Garden CFE!

Our three weeks of Community Field Experience drew to a close today with a workshop that we have been preparing. We collectively chose the theme of "Cultivating Mindfulness."
To start off, we all took part in a Tea Hunt, in which we were given coordinates on an X and Y axis. We then had to use the coordinates to locate different herbs in the garden (such as mint and lemon balm). To make the activity even more challenging, we were given the name of the herb in French rather than English! This was a fun and engaging way to begin, and got us all into the relaxed spirit of the day.

After this we did a Soundscaping activity. This involved a few minutes of meditation and listening mindfully to the sounds we heard in the garden (such as wind in the trees, birdsong, passing cars, buzzing bees, etc). Each person then drew a visual representation of the sounds they heard. We then created a narrative with the sounds by putting all of our pictures together. This is a great and relaxing activity, which could be adapted for so many different subjects (such as art, science, English, etc.). I personally really enjoyed this, and found it very intriguing.

After soundscaping and some more herb-harvesting, we made a delicious lunch together. Using some ingredients from the garden, we split into groups to make different dips, such as Green Herb Hummus, Cheesy Spinach Dip, Tzatziki, and Avocado Dip, which we ate with lots of bread, cheese, and fruits!

I really enjoyed my CFE at the Orchard Garden; it was a great mix of hands-on gardening, garden-based lesson planning, visiting school gardens, going on field trips (such as to the botanical garden), and drawing meaningful conclusions about how nature can be incorporated into schools.
I feel very grateful for the knowledge I have gained here, and have a much better idea of how to actually go about implementing and/or taking part in a school garden.

Friday, 13 May 2016

6th Aboriginal Math K-12 Symposium 

Today we attended 6th Aboriginal Math K-12 Symposium at the First nation Longhouse as volunteers. 
I was impressed by the design of the building that reflects the architectural traditions of the Northwest Coast. The building was designed by larry mcfarland architects and received the Governor General’s Awards for Architecture in 1994.

Here is the project description that I found on the Mcfarland Marcea architects’ website:
 The First Nations House of Learning at UBC provides a place for First Nations on the University campus that addresses the past and the future simultaneously. The building form combines the simplicity of traditional construction with a more contemporary form, thus emphasizing the progressive nature of the community it contains. Traditionally sited according to the true cardinal points of the compass, the threshold between the UBC Longhouse and the campus grid is distinctly marked in both section and in plan. A curving exterior stair connects the two, descending to a central court through a cedar framework which emulates the form of the traditional Pit House.

The traditional shed form of the longhouse is animated through the varying pitch of the roof rafters. This curving form contrasts the simple planked form of the Great Hall, which is separated from the main body of the Longhouse by means of a glass sheathed corridor exposing the massive timber construction. Landscaping helps to modulate the light entering the building; cedar decks and boardwalks combined with river rock, gravel, wildflowers and a snag-filled waterfall create a natural exterior environment.”

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Orchard Garden CFE- May 11

Hello! Laura, Fatima, and Stephanie here to tell you about our Wednesday, May 11.

Today was a pretty intense work period, so we used this day to refine our ideas, the workbook, and do a quick run through of our workshop for Saturday May 14th.

This morning, we all gathered at the garden to do a run through of our workshop on Saturday. We practiced setting up the tent, decided on creating a welcome sign for the students, and made sure we were equipped with all of the materials for the workshop (clipboards, pencils, charcoal, hats, etc). We refined our transitions, decided on how to introduce the workshop to the rest of the students, and practiced our scripts to one another. Toni was there to assist us and helped us with any confusion that we had in the morning. Once we all felt confident as a group, we decided to head back to Scarfe to try to finish up our workbook.

Each of us had completed a recipe and a small lesson for our workshop. We combined each lesson and recipe together into a booklet and Steph and Aman figured out the formatting (thanks for making the booklet look so pretty guys!). As a result of today, we are proudly able to say that we have almost completed our booklet (we were missing Alice and Pari today and want to make sure everything is good to go with them) and feel quite confident about how the workshop will run come Saturday. A sneak peak into our Saturday looks like this:
  • Introductions at the garden
  • Tea hunt activity using french & math
  • Soundscape drawing activity using meditation
  • Dipping around the word, rooted in social studies and science
  • Roundtable lunch
  • Exit slip: Head, Heart & Hands

We don’t want to give too much away, so there’s a quick summary of what you can expect at the workshop! Happy gardening :)

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Aman - May 10, 2016 Blog Post

Today we spent majority of the day working on our workshop that will be taking place on Saturday later this week. Although it was quite stressful to get everything organized and discuss the logistics of the workshop, we accomplished quite a bit as a group! We were able to go through the schedule and see what we needed to edit. One of our advisers (John) was able to help us think about all possible outcomes of each activity by asking important questions (i.e. "what will be the transition from activity A to activity B?, will that transition be fluid or awkward?, etc.). Everyone had posted the recipes on the Google doc the night before which was great because we were able to review those and sort out the ingredient list. For example, we were able to see which ingredients overlapped throughout the list and some group members offered to bring things from home in order to avoid additional spending. Once we edited the schedule, the recipes, and the activities, we were able to create an itinerary which we would be giving to the guests at the beginning of the workshop. Lastly, before we went to the Orchard Garden we were able to create a draft of the resource booklet we are going to be giving the participants on Saturday and from the looks of it, it should be done by tomorrow! Before the day was over, we went out to the Orchard Garden to look for and prepare all the equipment/material we need for Saturday.

Monday, 9 May 2016

CFE Week 3 Monday (UBC Botanical Garden)

Today we visited the UBC Botanical garden. We started in the Physic garden, looking at the different herbs used for medicine. We were also discussing how we can relate the garden with our teaching. We had ideas such as scavenger hunt, soundscaping, smell-scaping, and relating it to history or literature. For math, I think the shapes of the beds are interesting. We can find the area using area of the sector. We can also look at angle on a sundial and do a project of making sundials.

We continued exploring the UBC Botanical garden and discovered this beautiful amphitheatre. Certain spots in the center of the stage amplifies and echoes the sound, we had fun trying to find the spot. This could also be a math exploration on sound waves and relating it to trigonometric functions. This beautiful water fountain structure is called the Hypanthium. We were also discussing why water runs along the surface of the structure and not fall off the edge. Before we left the Botanical garden, we explored the vegetable garden and discussed ideas for our Saturday workshop. We continued working on the workshop in the afternoon at UBC Orchard Garden.

Friday, 6 May 2016

May 6 - Orchard Garden CFE

May 6 Blog Post- Orchard Garden CFE

Laura- Stories

Today we had the pleasure of being introduced to the garden on the roof of the NEST called “Roots in the Roof.” Brandon delved right into the garden and what it’s trying to represent. What really caught my eye were the hexagonal stories that were intertwined with the fence that wraps around the garden. Each hexagon contained a different written piece; whether it be a poem, a story, or an experience. One hexagon that really affected me was the poem about a student whose mother passed away. She connected her experience to food, and how her mother would always get up early so she could make her breakfast. She expressed how just a small gesture could mean so much; something as simple as getting up earlier than her to take more stress off her for the day was incredibly meaningful. It really moved me and it helped me understand how something as normalized as food can hold such an important place in someone’s heart and memories. Brandon expressed how important community was to the project, and seeing these hexagons really brought that home as each person was connecting through a different experience, but it was all based on the same thing: food. It was really awesome to see such a beautiful display of English being used to connect to the garden through poetry, storytelling, and experiences. I would definitely consider using a project like this in the future if I’m able to start a garden!

Aman- Salad bowl game

Following our tour of the Roots on the Roof garden, Brendan introduced us to the salad bowl game. The purpose of this game was to refresh our memories of the different plants growing in the garden and what we had learned throughout the discussion about the garden (I.e. What connections we made, etc.). Once we were split into two different teams, one member would choose a random slip of paper that had a plant name on it and had to describe it to the teammates, who had to guess the name of the plant. The game was quite interesting because we were able to review what we learned and hear all the different connections everyone made regarding the chosen plant. Hearing these different connections helped us remember the plant for future rounds (I.e Italian was the description given for oregano, purple was the clue given to describe lavender, etc). Any teacher could modify this game to fit their teaching subject while also incorporating garden learning/development! For example, I could teach the students mini history lessons on particular plants in my future garden and those historical facts could be used as clues for describing the plants!


Brendan gave us a tour around Roots on the Roof and showed us all the different vegetables and herbs this little, and beautiful garden contains. Chocolate mint was what stood out the most for me; the texture, the smell, and the taste reminded me of my childhood and that was also what Brendan talked about. “ A lot of people talk about food through their experiences and memories”

We also harvested a really big Radish and Brendan washed, and cut the Radish and we all eat it. The whole experience was educational, spiritual, and fun.  

Stephanie- Progress
In the afternoon, the Orchard Garden CFE team gathered to plan our next exciting project: a garden workshop held on Saturday, May 14.  In the past two weeks we had the privilege of visiting numerous school gardens and talking with passionate educators who put a lot of time and effort into creating a garden as a community and teaching area.  With a lot of knowledge and inspiration under our belt, we began to lay out the details of our garden workshop.  Although the details of this workshop won’t be released until a later date, we are aiming to cater this workshop to be informative and inspirational, especially for educators who are interested in teaching in a school garden, and of course, fun for people of all ages! I will share that it involves teaching across the curriculum, so you by attending this workshop you will leave with knowledge not just about one subject but possibly a few.  We have a fun activity prepared for lunch as well; we hope to see some of the readers there at the Orchard Garden workshop on May 14th!

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Sofia - Orchard Garden CFE - May 5th

Today we went to lovely UBC Farm, where all kinds of great things happen! We were in the Children's Garden with the Landed Learning Project, where UBC Farm works with elementary school children to teach them all about gardening. We received a warm welcome with coffee, tea, and cookies to start off our day. There were a large number of community volunteers who come to help the children to learn about gardening; it was great to see children working with people who are all different ages. 
Every time the children visit there is a different theme to the day. Today's theme was water - which Stacey, the leader, pointed out is an essential topic especially at this time of year as we are coming into drought and forest fire season. Children learned about the importance of water for irrigation and hydration and how photosynthesis works. 
They then learned how to make "Compost Tea" which is brewed with compost, weeds and other plant parts to create a nutrient-rich "tea" which delivers nourishment and aerobic bacteria to the plants. It also acts as a pest and disease suppressant. 

The Landed Learning days seem to be a fantastic and innovative way for young students to learn not only gardening/outdoor skills, but also valuable information about science, nature, math (through counting and calculating ratios), English (through new vocabulary, garden planning, and communication) and many other things. There is also a great social-emotional component, as students need to not only work with their classmates, but also with community members of all ages. Without working and cooperating together, they would not be able to accomplish as much as they do. 

To end the day we spent time helping small groups of 4 - 5 students to do various garden tasks. For example, one group weeded bluebells, one harvested some kale, another got rid of some caterpillars that had invaded a tree. In total there were 5 or 6 work stations, and we got quite a bit done!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Tyee Montessori Elementary School Visit - May 4th

Today we visited Tyee Montessori Elementary School where students have participated in the Think and Eat Green at School project and have done a lot of cooking, knitting, gardening, and art works. The school has been decorated with students’ art works that has made the school a very beautiful place.


In the morning, we (Alice and I) helped three groups of students (Gr 4/5/6) to make seed bombs. We had an interactive discussion about the origin of the seed bombs and why seed bomb was invented in the first place. Students were very excited about this hands-on experience and the discussion which followed. We also provided them with the mathematical shapes that they were familiar with so that they could make their seed bombs in a shape that they liked. After making seed bombs, since students liked to take their seed bombs home, we helped them to rap their seed bombs.

We also had the opportunity to observe the Roots of Empathy lesson. An interesting lesson that helps young students to improve their compassionate feelings towards others.

In the afternoon, we helped three more groups of students (Gr 1/2/3) to make seed bombs.