Outdoor Ed. Wetlands

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  • Final Blog Entry
    1. What I remember the best from Outdoor Ed from this past year would probably have to be the full day of canoeing down the little Saskatchewan river. Though the trip went way longer than we all thought that it would be, I still had fun along the way! 
    2. What challenged me the most from this past year in Outdoor Ed would have to be the importance wetlands PowerPoint that we had to do that had to be at least 15 slides long. Some of the things were very hard to find and I felt like everyone had most of the same things on each of their PowerPoints. 
    3. What I found interesting to do in Outdoor Ed this year was when Barret Miller came to our school and helped us out with our interpretative skills. It was so cool to see how much of a natural he was at interpreting and I found that he helped us out a lot. 
    4. I would have liked to have more group work activities because its always a lot easier to do something when I have someone to do it with. I liked it when we worked on projects together like the natural leader posters, the wetlands ecosystems booklet, the frostbite games, and when the different schools came down to our wetlands. 
    5. The skills that I developed in this class that will be useful for me into the future would be having and knowing how to handle kids in certain situations whether they are fooling around or not paying attention. I also learned some really cool tips for how to build a ‘quinsy’ (I’m not sure how to spell it) if you were stuck outside and need a place to stay for the night. 
    6. I would suggest a little less repetitive work and projects on wetlands and more fun activities such as canoeing, camping and fishing. It feels like everything that we did on wetlands was just being repeated over and over again so I was really happy when we did something different like going canoeing down the river. 
    7. I would not be interested in paying for some more unique experiences such as going camping, hiking, fishing, and traveling to different places. I don’t like to spend my money on things such as camping or canoeing at different places when I am missing all of my other classes, because when we start to spend days out of school my projects start to pile up. 
    8. I thought that there was a good balance between outdoor activity and the outdoor theory in this course because it was good to watch videos on paddling strokes and what to do when something happens, and trying it out for yourself in real life. I feel like there is a little bit more of a connection between what you learned and what you just did when you are inside and out. 
    9. I would do less of learning about wetlands, and more of things such as surviving in the wilderness. Things like learning how to pack smartly before going on a hike or long trip, and survival skills like catching your own food or building a shelter in any season of the year. 
    10. I think that we should be doing more of the concepts/skill development activities because it is a chance to really put yourself to the test and learn how to live and survive on your own. It can help if for example you were stranded and you don’t know how long you were going to be alone for. 

  • Whole Day Canoe Trip
  • A) What did I do well? — I did well at paddling my canoe with my partner and being positive more towards the middle/end of the trip. At times we were very good at communicating what was going on, where we needed to go and what to avoid. I also thought that I did very well at staying behind the canoe and pushing it towards a sand bar when the canoe tipped over. My partner and I really worked together and pulled through when we had to empty out our canoe that was full of water. 

    B) What do I need to improve? — I need to improve my skills on working with a partner, when we were paddling and steering and trying to communicate when we weren’t doing what we wanted to. At times I started to get upset with my partner and we had some discussion and misunderstandings on what was going on. 

    C) What did I really enjoy? — I really enjoyed the view and being able to have the experience of canoeing and just being out on the water. I found it to be relaxing during parts of the trip and how much fun we had during it all. I really enjoyed it when another group in front of us said that there was a problem ahead, and it was a bunch of cows crossing the river right in front of us. 

    D) What did I find difficult? Why? — What I found difficult was trying to stay positive towards the end of the trip when we thought that the bridge was coming up but it really wasn’t. My partner and I started to pretend that the bridge was right around the corner but it really wasn’t. Also, when we got into more of an open area the wind really picked up which made it really hard to paddle and keep going in a straight line. 

    E) Would I recommend canoe excursions in the future? Why? Why not? — Yes, I would definitely recommend a canoe trip for others in the future because it is a great experience for kids to get outdoors and try new things. The one thing that I would recommend for people to do and prepare for before getting out on the water is it is hard to paddle at some times, and you will get tired. 

  • Wetland Interpretation Day
    1. What worked at my station? - What worked at my station was when we got the kids to put the animals and plants on the poster and the way we managed our time better the second day and held the kids attention for a longer time. 
    2. What didn’t work at my station? - What didn’t work at my station was some students weren’t listening as well as the others, and the younger kids had a harder time remembering what organisms went in what column during the review questions. 
    3. What was a difficulty I didn’t expect? - The difficulty that I did not expect was how wild the kids were after lunch. It got to be difficult with the older kids because the started to ignore us and some were making the other kids get distracted. 
    4. Were there outstanding students at my station? - Yes, we had some outstanding students at my station. They were very interested in what we were telling them and answered a lot of the questions correctly that we had to ask. 
    5. What could we do better? - We could have split up the work a little bit better because I felt like some people in my group did less work while others did more. 
    6. My comments. -Overall, the kids were great and I think that a lot of them had tons of fun at all of the stations they went around to. I hope that they will tell other how much fun they had and will encourage others to want to enjoy the same experience. Maybe they will want to do the same thing when they are in grade 10!

  • Canoe Gear List
  • Gear list for canoeing on June 8th
    - sunglasses
    - extra pair of clothes (pants, socks, shirts, sweaters, etc.) (fast drying: not jeans)
    - sunscreen
    - rain jacket/windbreaker jacket
    - good shoes (able to get wet)
    - food/snacks
    - water
    - hat (optional)
    - bug spray
    - whistle
    - rope
    - bail bucket
    - towel
    - garbage bags

  • Interpretation Walk with Barret Miller
  •           On Friday May 18th, Barret Miller came and helped us out with our interpretation skills. We went over and discussed the stations that we are going to be doing on Tuesday May 29th and Thursday May 31st. In the classroom he went through the stations with us and tweaked a few things on the program as well. When my group was going over our station, he suggested that we play a different game that would hopefully be easier to explain to the kids called Plankton, Perch, Pike and Planaria. He also suggested that we try to provide more examples and relate to the kids more often so they better understand he concept. Also to get them thinking about what things they already know about in the wild. Some things that Mr. Miller told the class altogether is not to worry about how the kids will act because if you speak clear, slow, and get to the point, they will pay attention and not get as bored. Once we had finished going over all of stations, us and Mr. Miller all walked down to the wetlands and took a little tour around. 

              Mr. Miller started off talking to us about how to bring the kids into your zone where everyone can hear what you are saying and also what way to stand. We are to stand with the sun in our eyes, the wind in our faces and to speak loud and clear if it is a windy day. We were also told on some good places to stand where for example if it were cold and windy, to find a hillside, building or trees to block the wind. Also, for the Adapt or Die station, which my group will be doing the second day, to get rid of the game and do a little tour of different spots around the wetland and not to go into too much depth when we are talking. Finding areas where you can see that activity has taken place such as where a beaver has chewed down some trees can be a good place to stop and let the kids explore how things are done in the wild while you are briefly explaining. 

              Once we got to my station and where it was going to be, he talked more about what he had said to us in the classroom and showed us how it is to be done. We also played the new game he showed us and showed us how to explain and play it smoothly. It was way easier to play than the other game we originally had. We learned that having a sound machine of some sort is an easier way to get the kids to listen rather than trying to talk over them. I learned that using popsicle sticks instead of colourful chips is better for the environment if some of them are lost in the grass, because they are degradable. The one thing that we will really have to make sure to always be aware of will be the birds that have made a nest in the watershed. We will have to make sure that the kids are leaving them alone and not becoming agitated. 

              After we were finished giving the tour around the wetland, we walked back to the school and Barret Miller asked us if there was anything that we liked that would better improve our interpretation skills and make our station a lot more fun, once he had spoke to us about them. He shared some stories to us about him as an interpreter and a few were pretty funny and he also said some things about different types of bugs and animals and what they do to get food. Overall, I was very glad to have had Barret Miller come and help all of us out with our interpreting skills and hope that everyone will be successful when the day comes. 

  • Interpretation with Barret Miller
  • Tomorrow, Barret Miller is coming down to our wetland and helping us out for being an interpreter for when the grade 4’s come down to the wetlands. The first day I am at ‘Producers, Consumers and Decomposers’ station and at ‘Adapt or Die’ the second day. Some questions that I will ask Mr. Miller when he is here is;

    Producers, Consumers and Decomposers 
    1. How can I tell if the kids are taking in information about what I am explaining?
    2. How can I include the topic into the way I am explaining the game, and help them follow if they are not understanding?

    Adapt or Die 
    1. How can I keep the kids entertained and following what I am talking about after playing a game?
    2. How can I keep the kids listening and like me, if they are fooling around and not caring?

  • River Paddling
  • Today we went canoeing out on the river. My canoe group was Owen, Matthew, and I and we all started out at the bottom of the Rivers dam and went to Mr. Mayor’s house. I was sitting in the middle of the canoe so I wasn’t doing that much, but I was pointing things out, helping steer, and stop. I learned why it is important to watch out for sweepers and strainers and big rocks in the water, and was able to watch Mr. Colsen and Miriam rescue Nathan and Jayden after they got stuck in the rapids. My group and I got very lucky a few times out on the river by almost hitting some big rocks and maintaining a good position through some rapids when people were hitting us from behind. There were some spots on the river where we had to get out and portage our canoe but the rest of the way was fairly calm. My favourite part of the trip was when we had to ferry and going through the small rapids. Overall, I thought that it was very fun especially when you have a good group and can’t wait till June 8th!

  • Water Testing in Wetlands
  • On Friday, we had a lady come to our school and we tested the water in our Rivers Wetland. The depth of our wetland is 0.762 meters and is 14.69 degrees C. We checked the amount of dissolved oxygen that was in the water, the ammonia level, the turbidity, the phosphate level, and the pH level. We went through procedures to test these levels and used a transparency tube and a sonde machine. The Sonde machine was a digital recorder that would record and determine what the water temperature was, what the pressure of the water was, what the conductivity was, and many more. There was a tube like device that was in the pail full of water from the wetland, connected to the recording device which determined different levels. The average pH (phenol red) level for a wetland is 7 and ours was 8.21.
    Ammonia: 0.05
    Dissolved oxygen: 10.6
    Phosphate: 0
    Conductivity: 218
    Transparency: 105.6
    Turbidity: 3.55

  • Fundamentals of Interpretation
  • There are 5 principles of interpretation. Interpretation should do 5 things; relate to the audience, reveal information about the topic, be a combination of many arts, provok interest in the topic and be a part of a greater whole.

    1. Relate to your audience — interpretation should somehow relate to your audience in someway. This can consist of talking friendly, using familiar words they’ll understand, smile and make eye contact, create small talk and speaking loud and clear so everyone can hear what you are saying. It’s also important to be level with your audience and not to be talking down or up to them.

    2. Reveal information about the topic — revealing information about a topic isn’t just about spilling it out all in one shot, but slowly building up to the main topic. Catching the interest of your audience can also keep them focused in while you are building up along with asking questions throughout the presentation and testing their vocabulary.

    3. Be a combination of many arts — being able to present in many different ways is important as well as being a storyteller, acting it out, being an educator, creating a dance, being a visual artist, and creating a comedy to amuse your audience.

    4. Provok interest in the topic — showing a picture, creating a skit, playing games, and asking questions can grab the attention of your audience and be effective for providing interest. Such as using catchy signs and titles can also grab the attention of the people you are presenting to.

    5. Be a part of a greater whole — sharing ideas when in a group can help you aim to present a whole rather than a part. Tie individual messages into a bigger picture that can make it easier for people to relate and understand. Ex. A sign about a beach can be tied into the greater ecosystem by showing its relationship or role to the community.

  • Wetlands Presentation
  • Here is a link to my Importance of Wetlands presentation: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1BxZXh0Sv96zcfw6fX4s7-6nzbgsR_wY1MAes1FDhtCQ
    And here is a link to my Wetlands Infographic:

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