I got a nice little package in the mail from my friends at Cardinal Heights. Thank you so very much for your kind words and well wishes. Although Cardinal Heights is closing and you will all go your separate ways, it’s the memories that you take with you that are the most important of all.
I remember that I was in the very last graduating class at the Old Saltfleet High School in Stoney Creek. The building is long gone, but those memories are still the same. I can still remember my friends, the teachers and most of all the experiences. I will also have fond memories of Cardinal Heights. you guys were a big part of my life – thank you all.
Good bye Cardinal Heights you will always be in my memories.
Learning in the classroom is an essential and time-honored aspect of the educational experience. We have all sat in the classroom, working on our writing and math, looking out the window – on a beautiful day, wondering what was happening outside. Well one beautiful day in May we decided to take the classroom outside to Dundas Valley Conservation Area for some much need experiential learning.
For as long as I have taught with HWDSB I have been venturing out to Dundas Valley Conservation Area to work with my friends Beth Stormont of the Hamilton Conservation Authority and Sandy Root of Down to Earth Environmental Education. My very first experience teaching in the natural environment was with Sandy. We began working together way back in 1996 when I was hired by her as a camp counselor for Canterbury Hills Camp. Her message has always been consistent – ‘learn and explore the world in which we live.’ She has always discussed the need to learn about natural habits and the need to conserve them for future generations.
In school we can learn about the science and biology of animals through text books. We can learn about conservation and the need to reduce our environmental footprint by watching documentaries, but until you smell, see, and touch the beauty of the environment around you it’s difficult to fully understand and put into practice true environmental stewardship.
When we arrived on May 8 we greeted by Sandy and visited the new classroom found next door to Dundas Valley Trail Center. We had the opportunity to view various specimens and artifacts. We spent a great deal of time learning about the breeding grounds of salamanders and the importance of protecting their habits. Our lesson culminated in venturing to the small vernal pools where we conducted a salamander rescue project and the results were inspiring…
Sandy’s new classroom
Lucas with a hawk feather
Identifying salamander species
Identifying a Jefferson Salamander, endangered species.
Teaching about the salamander habitat
Ashley and Mrs. Maximo rescuing a spotted salamander
Mr. Melmer protecting the salamander habit reducing the need for salamander rescue
Log rolling (there was plenty of time for goofing around!)
Students have just begun the stage of receiving feedback about their art pieces. Many students have engaged in the process that we like to refer to as the ‘hot seat’ to get feedback from friends. Students give each other constructive feedback and may choose whether or not to act upon that feedback. The result : engaging and unique art pieces created by each student..
Carter is deep in thought contemplating his next addition to his piece…
Today students have immersed themselves in digital technology. So far we have gone to the Museum of modern art, taken an Art quiz using the app Nearpod, have answered a math question using screen capturing technology and posted our math responses to our online course at The Hub!