Posted by: jwhiff | February 14, 2011

After School Nature Club

Even though I have not regretted taking groups of students out on the Inlet on Fridays (my day off), the shame of doing this is that it is unreasonable to expect that other teachers should ever do the same.  In my mind, I used my Friday to jump start a connection that I hoped could be realistically maintained through other means, such as after school nature clubs or class field trips.  I would like this project to be an inspiring example for other teachers, not exceptional, impossible and thus demoralizing.

For the first time ever, I gave the nature club idea a go.  At first I only met with one student, but now officially have two on board.  I am taking it slow, because I don’t want to be overwhelmed by numbers.  I want to do a quality job of supporting student interest and numbers do make a difference.  I hope to add several more keen students over time.

Anyway, together these two students, my son and I wandered down to the Inlet this Thursday to observe the salt marsh.  We were focused on two main issues: what is the evidence that geese are consuming the grasses of the marsh and what is the evidence that erosion is an issue.

We had only a short time to gather evidence.  I gave my camera to one student for the most part, and she wandered onto the marsh and took a range of photos that we would really like to investigate with our experts.  We also measured the water level of Noon’s Creek (is was 30 cm…exactly half the level of the previous Friday).  We saw no geese and didn’t find much evidence of them either, to be honest.  The grasses, although they look dead from a distance, are slowly starting to sprout new growth.  Perhaps this is what the geese are waiting for?

I will hopefully try again this Thursday after school.  I would like to keep pushing forward.  I am also hopeful to have a class visit from yet another expert in the field soon.  I’ll keep you posted!


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