Nature Commitment II

Back in October I posted about my Nature Committment for my Holistic Teaching and Learning class. The semester is coming to an end so I thought I would share the rest of my photos.  I enjoyed paying attention to my surroundings. I was able to find the beauty that surrounds me daily, the beauty that I would normally not notice. My last class may be on Wednesday but that doesn’t mean I need to stop.

    Slow Down. Pay Attention. Appreciate Your Surroundings. Beauty Is Everywhere.

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    Procrastination: Report Card Edition Part II

    Here we are again…it’s report card writing time! Looking to procrastinate? Then this is the post for you!

    – Check your food diary on the My Fitness Pal app every half hour or so and then think about what snacks will keep you below your daily intake limit

    – Search Pinterest for snack recipes or any healthy recipes

    – Write down the ingredients you need to make Curried Chickpea Salad tomorrow

    – Check out online Black Friday deals

    – Start watching a cheesy Christmas movie (A Christmas Prince) on Netflix

    – Search for things to try to sell on Facebook bidding sites…the thrill of receiving money for stuff you no longer want is addicting

    – Think about how you should do something more productive…like fold laundry or clean the kitchen

    – Fold said laundry. It’s better than tackling the “From Your Teacher” section of report cards.

    – Download a karaoke app. If you sing in a band you really should practice.

    – Clean the kitchen. Your dad might come over on the weekend and you remember the time he took pictures of your messy place.

    – Remember that your mom follows your blog and will get an email saying you wrote a new post. Now she’ll know just how unproductive you were (She’ll let you know if there are any typos in your post though…thanks mom!)

    – Realize it’s almost 11:30pm and Coen will be awake soon. Speak of the Devil, there he is now. Now he’ll provide me with a distraction.

    Well, that’s all folks. It’s amazing what you can get done in the span of a few hours when there are report cards to write.

    Happy Writing, Teacher Friends! ❤

    Grade 2/3 Postcard Project: Help Us Out!

    Back in the summer someone in a Facebook Group I’m in posted about something they called the Canadian Postcard Exchange and I was intrigued. Basically you commit to having your class send a postcard (homemade or store-bought) to 25 other schools in Canada. I thought this would be a fun activity for my grade 2 and 3 students. It’s also a great way to learn a little about other provinces since you’re supposed to include three fascinating facts on your postcard. I introduced the project to my class today and they seem very excited.

    I was talking to Coen last night and thought, “Hey, I could extend this to different countries around the world if people are willing to participate.” He has agreed to be a part of this! 

    My idea is to have my class brainstorm questions they have about other countries. We’ll narrow down the questions (probably to five) and send them to anyone who is interested in helping us out. We’ll send out our answers to the same question! Participants can answer the questions via email and if they would like to send us a postcard I’ll pass along the school address. Alternatively, if they just want to send a postcard then that’s okay too.

    My hope is that students will learn a few things about different countries and cultures! If you’re from Canada and still wish to participate that’s great – we don’t have all the provinces covered through the Canadian Postcard Exchange and I’m sure everyone will have different answers to student questions!

    If you’re interested in helping us out, please comment below with your email address or email me at writinglifeofacanadiangirl@gmail.com. Please also include your country. I’ll send you the info when I have it organized. Thank you so much! 

    Vancouver: After the Rain

    Yesterday I spent my day at the PSA Superconference in downtown Vancouver. It rained throughout the morning but the fall colours were still stunning.

    Afterwards I went for dinner with friends (also teachers) at Steamworks then walked to Main Street-Science World Station. It had turned into a beautiful night. I couldn’t help but stop and take a few photos and I thought I would share them with you! ❤

    Place-Based Learning: Malcolm Knapp Research Forest Visit

    As part of the Holistic Teaching and Learning course I am taking we visited the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest in Maple Ridge. This week our focus was Place-Based Learning so we met with our former classmate, Randy, who works at the Maple Ridge Environmental School. The Research Forest is one of the learning environments the school uses.

    We began our visit with about 10 minutes to find a spot in the forest alone. I spent the time looking at my surroundings and trying to bring my thoughts back to the nature around me when my mind started to drift. I also paid attention to the sounds that I could hear nearby and in the distance. I took a few pictures from the spot I chose.

    We then gathered as a group and Randy asked us if there were any questions we had about what we noticed. From there we headed off on a short walk to a pond. We saw two deer on the way! I wish I had been able to get a picture. When we arrived at the pond Randy gave us an opportunity to be learners with a couple activities students at the school have done. We looked at a living organism from the pond and tried to identify it. We were also encouraged to collect our own samples of water and to see what living organisms we could see. It was neat to experience this as an adult. I enjoyed seeing how groups of us worked together and what questions were sparked.

    We chatted in small groups about the idea of Environmental Education. We considered possibilities in our own classrooms and any challenges we thought would arise and any questions we had. Afterwards we had an opportunity to ask Randy any questions. My question was related to writing – “What if a student wants to write a story about a princess in a castle for example? Would she be allowed to do this?” Basically it sounded like the student would be encouraged to somehow make the environment, in this case the forest, part of the story somehow.

    Before we walked back to the parking lot I snapped a few pictures of the pond area.

    I enjoyed our trip to the forest and it has given me lots to think about. I will likely spend some time looking at how I could do something place-based with my class!

    Apple Crumble Tarts

    I’m heading to my parent’s for Thanksgiving dinner tonight and since I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin pie I told my mom I would make another dessert. Pinterest rarely fails me! I decided I wanted to make something using apples and thought about tarts! A quick search resulted in a recipe for Mini Cider Spiced Cranberry Apple Pies. They were simple to make and I tweaked a few things to make them my own.

    I was happy to see that pre-made shells were used!

    I used two apples (McIntosh) instead of using cranberries.

    I mixed up the chopped apple with flour, sugar and cinnamon. The recipe called for nutmeg as well but I didn’t have any.

    Next, I spooned the filling into the shells. I had a bit of filling leftover.

    Mixing the ingredients for the topping was easy. It called for butter but I didn’t have any of that either. I know, terrible. So I used margarine.

     Once mixed the topping went onto the tarts.

    I baked them for 30 minutes and they came out looking like this.

    I was happy with how they turned out except the shells weren’t cooked quite enough. I didn’t want to risk burning the topping so I didn’t leave them in longer. Next time I will try baking the shells a bit before filling them. 

    Taste-wise I thought they were pretty yummy. My dad found them a little too sweet and my brother said they were awesome.

    I’ll definitely make these again and perhaps I’ll try them with a different fruit!

    You can find the original recipe on The Recipe Rebel blog. Click HERE!

    Happy Baking ❤

    A Little Taste of Holland: New Westminster Style

    When my mom told me she was planning to go out for breakfast with her three best friends from school and that she figured it would be okay if I tagged along I was eager to join! I think it’s pretty amazing that they have remained friends after all these years. Although I’m in my 30’s I still call them all “Auntie” and don’t plan on ever stopping. 

    My mom and I decided we would keep the fact that I was coming a secret from Auntie Debbie who was in town from Terrace – exciting! Then on Friday night I got a message from Auntie Debbie telling me about breakfast and asking if I wanted to surprise MY MOM by coming! Too funny. Auntie Janice didn’t know I was coming so there was still a surprise.

    Auntie Sharon suggested going to Angelina’s Dutch Corner in New Westminster.

    My mom and I parked by the Quay so we could walk along the Fraser River to get to the restaurant. It was such a beautiful fall morning! For all the rain we get we sure have some spectacularly stunning days.

    It was a short but enjoyable walk to Angelina’s. The restaurant was small but Auntie Sharon arrived early enough for us to get a table. I was overwhelmed by the size of the menu but I had already decided I would get a Pannekoeken as a reminder of my time in Amsterdam! I chose the Bacon, Mushrooms and Cheese. I got my choice of four cheeses – Edam, Gouda, Cheddar or Jalapeno Jack. I chose Gouda – my fave! I also added a side of hollandaise. Real healthy lol.

    Although not as tasty as the ones I had in Amsterdam, it was still delicious and I definitely plan to return. For those of you who have an Entertainment Book – there’s a coupon!

    To read about my time in Amsterdam click HERE!