Chinago Nongom Wabang – Past, Today, and Tomorrow
Kitigan Zibi School has had a long history of passing their traditional Algonquin way of life to their students. Students have learned how to cook, sew, bead, fish, build, with many other traditional skills. This year at Kitigan Zibi School, with the support of Canadian Playful Schools Network, the teachers and staff will work together with community members and students’ parents to offer elementary students an engaging outdoor learning experience. On monthly cultural days, students will be able to choose from a variety of activities that spark their interest while also learning about their ancestry and local environment. On top of the activities mentioned above, some activities will vary depending on the month and season such as ice fishing, boiling sap to make maple syrup, and canoeing. The next steps will be to build upon the previous year of integrating traditional life skills into the classroom which will follow the students all the way to their adulthood.
Tell us about your team and your school community.
Kitigan Zibi is in Algonquin territory with Anishinaabe students. The grades range from Grade 1 to Secondary 5. The top priorty of the school is a nurturing community that values our Anishinabe language and culture promoting individual achievements and the development of healthy lifelong learners. The grades participating will be Grades 4, 5, and 6. With the support of the community members and students’ parents, the students will be learning and participating in life building skills.
Tell us about the importance of learning through play for your team and for your students.
Learning through play is particularly important in this group of students in order to maximize learning and student engagement. They enjoy collaborating in small groups with similar student strengths to contribute to a large collective class project. This form of learning has brought a new sense of fun to their education, and we as educators recognize the need to further support this passion. We believe that when this group is presented with the opportunity to build/make a project for a meaningful purpose to help their community, they will devote their utmost effort in succeeding. Overall, this revised method of teaching and learning is becoming a trend in ACMS, and previous classroom challenges and stresses seem to be alleviated due to this reinvented approach to learning. With a focus on art expression, technology games, maker spaces, hands on work, and passion projects, all of our students can find enjoyment and authentic learning. All of our students play a vital role in the success of the project, and they all count on one another.
Tell us about your interest in joining the Canadian Playful Schools Network.
Whole school participating (all grades). As kids get older, they’ll be teaching the younger grades. More than just once a month. Cultural activities as a part of life in the school. Kids enjoying school: joy. Letting students explore what they want to learn. Integrating all the modes of play: green, screen, machine, and everything in between. More project-based learning. Teachers as guides. Consistent: not a thing but a way. Currently: lower end. Things already in place but space to develop. Need to come together as a team to plan for the use of the resources.