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Teacher Guide for Using the Outdoor Classroom. A PowerPoint presentation designed to complement the Outdoor Classroom video A project to support the classroom.

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Presentation on theme: "Teacher Guide for Using the Outdoor Classroom. A PowerPoint presentation designed to complement the Outdoor Classroom video A project to support the classroom."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teacher Guide for Using the Outdoor Classroom

2 A PowerPoint presentation designed to complement the Outdoor Classroom video A project to support the classroom teacher from Jeffers Foundation

3 Contents Why use the Outdoor Classroom? Teaching Higher Level Thinking Skills Planning and Preparation for Taking Students Outdoors Sample Outdoor Guidelines Getting to the Outdoor Classroom How to Visit Area Without Making a Big Impact Outdoor Classroom Management Techniques The Walking Field Trip Starter Activities (Teaching ALL Subjects Outdoors) Returning to the Indoor Classroom Follow-up Activities in the Indoor Classroom Appendix

4 Why use the outdoor classroom? The outdoor classroom provides opportunities for students to gain knowledge and obtain skills in a natural environment. Instructors can allow students to learn by doing, taking a “hands-on” approach to learning in an outdoor setting.

5 Will help students develop an understanding, appreciation and respect for the environment The outdoor classroom is not as crowded Research shows that children learn more when in natural light (Scholastic, Early Childhood Today) Unlimited opportunities exist for “hands on/experiential” learning (I do and I understand) The outdoor classroom offers many opportunities to teach any subject using nature as your assistant Our children are our next generation of environmentally aware adults and “Stewards of the Earth.” Provides unlimited opportunities for higher level thinking (Bloom’s Taxonomy)

6 Bloom’s New Taxonomy Teaching Higher Level Thinking Skills

7 Higher Level Thinking

8 Remembering: Can the student recall or remember the information? define, duplicate, list, memorize, recall, repeat, reproduce state Understanding: Can the student explain ideas or concepts? classify, describe, discuss, explain, identify, locate, recognize, report, select, translate, paraphrase Applying: Can the student use the information in a new way? choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write.

9 Analyzing: Can the student distinguish between the different parts? appraise, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test. Evaluating: Can the student justify a stand or decision? appraise, argue, defend, judge, select, support, value, evaluate Creating: Can the student create new product or point of view? assemble, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, write.

10 Planning and Preparation for Taking Students Outdoors Explore outdoor classroom area prior to visit to be familiar with the site: (safety: water, poison ivy, bees, etc.) Establish, model and practice expected behavior in the outdoor classroom using many of the same rules that you have established in the indoor classroom. Consider using volunteers to assist with management. Establish a line leader and caboose Have a first aid kit, a cell phone or walkie-talkie for emergency purposes. Make sure office staff knows where you are going and what your plans are

11 Establish Signals (Example) One whistle: Look at person in charge Two whistles: Go to established meeting place Three whistles: Emergency, all return to classroom

12 Sample Outdoor Guidelines Model the techniques and steps you expect your students to follow Establish consequences and follow through for inappropriate behavior as in the indoor classroom Set physical boundaries Emphasize keeping up with the leader Stay on trails provided

13 Getting to the Outdoor Classroom Plan short activities on the way to the Outdoor Classroom to keep group focused Model the techniques and steps you expect your students to follow Pick a color and have students find as many things in nature that have that color Pick a letter of the alphabet and have students identify as many objects as they can that begin with that letter Count paces between landmarks. Discuss average, median and mode Phenology - look for signs of the season and make predictions

14 How to Visit Area Without Making a Big Impact Equate hallway walking with outdoor walking; walk quietly with hands to self Be respectful of living things and leave natural things where they were found

15 Outdoor Classroom Management Techniques Discuss Safety based on area you will be visiting Strategic placement of students in line or in small groups To help focus attention, give specific assignments Share responsibilities for carrying equipment Provide frequent time reminders Check-in with progress made

16 The Walking Field Trip Observation: The first walk could be very short walk just observing things in nature The Theme Walk: Other walks could have a theme: Looking for things that start with a letter of the alphabet, a certain color, or a shape. Language Walk: Develop a language bank to increase student’s nature vocabulary by identifying “things” in nature.

17 Give each student a laminated picture chart to use in identifying things they observe while on a walking trip: Animal Tracking Chart to identify animal tracks and scat in winter Leaf Chart to identify various types of leaves Tree Chart to identify different species of trees Sample lesson

18 Starter Activities Teaching ALL subjects outdoors

19 Choose an activity that can best be taught outdoors Math – Data gathering, types of leaves, most types, biggest, smallest, compare Measurement – measure stump or tree to find circumference, radius, diameter Noun or adjective bank for poetry - increase student‘s nature vocabulary by identifying things in nature Reading – Simply read a book about nature or have students read outside Writing – conduct a poetry lesson or have students write in journals Science – study weather, rocks, insects, water, soil, erosion, land forms Social Studies – Mapping, geography of land, history of area Physical Education –snowshoeing, cross country skiing, hiking Art – drawing, painting, sketching natural objects Music – songs about nature, listening for sounds, “song birds” Special Education – hands on experiences Responsive Classroom – morning meetings can be held outside

20 Language Arts Reading: A simple activity to enhance reading is to simply read with or to your students outdoors Language: Develop a language bank to increase student’s nature vocabulary by having them identify things they see in nature Writing: Journaling and writing poetry about “things” you observe in nature make writing real

21 Math Counting: Count “things” seen in nature: birds, trees, pinecones critters, etc. Sorting: Sort “things” seen in nature: rocks, leaves, seeds by size, shape, color, etc. Collect and Graph Data: Collect data from a bird feeder, record weather information (rainfall. snow, temperature etc.) Geometry: Learn to use compass, GPS, estimate the height of tree, find shapes in nature

22 Outdoor Science Biological Sciences Biology Physiology Ecology Botany Physical Sciences Astronomy Chemistry Physics Earth Science Oceanography Meteorology Geology

23 SCIENCE Science is an area in which there already exists a multitude of activities designed to be taught in the Outdoor Classroom. In addition, Minnesota DNR has the following curriculum Guides available for teachers: -Project WET -Project WILD -Project Learning Tree -MinnAqua

24 Social Studies History: Learn about the history of land near school, what kinds of trees, waterways, who lived there, how land changed over time. Geography: Make maps of various outdoor areas, map flight of birds in winter, how does weather effect land forms? Economics: How does supply and demand affect the lives of the birds, squirrels, etc., at a bird feeder?

25 Art Draw, Paint, Sketch natural objects outdoors Sculptures: Using natural objects Mosaics/Collages: Using natural objects Camera Art: Photograph things in nature Observation: Creative art through observation

26 Physical Education Fall and Spring: students are outside for physical activities on a regular basis Winter Activities: Could include: outdoor games, hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or an ‘Ikiderod’ dog sled race

27 Music Sing: Sing outdoors with the students Listen: Listen to sounds made by various songbirds Record: Record birds at a birdfeeder, duplicate sound with musical instruments Concert: Hold a concert or sing-along outdoors 27

28 Special Education The outdoor classroom is a wonderful place for all students. It engages more senses, provides physical activity, and provides many ‘hands on’ opportunities. Special Needs students can learn side by side with all students

29 Returning to the indoor classroom Make sure area is left in natural condition. Check to see that no equipment has been left behind. Make sure no student (or parent) has been left behind Continue activities used in ‘getting to the outdoor classroom.’

30 Follow-up activities in the indoor classroom Leave time for follow-up and processing the lesson Grade as you would any other lesson taught indoors Keep students responsible and accountable for their work Have them share their experiences: partners, small groups, whole group PRAISE: Tell them what they did right to make their lesson successful

31 We LOVE the Outdoor Classroom in the winter… Happy teachers Happy kids

32 The Outdoor Classroom Your students will love it… We hope this presentation has been helpful to you. The Outdoor Classroom has so many advantages. We hope you will use it many times throughout the year to provide meaningful activities for your students. Thanks from Jeffers Foundation

33 If you have any questions, please feel free to contact: Dar Fosse 612-747-3245 Jeffers Foundation P.O. Box 408 Wayzata, Minnesota 55391

34 Appendix

35 What does the research say about the importance of exposing children to the outdoors? Outdoor Education Research

36 Nature Experience Nature experience has been linked to better performance by children in school. Factoring out other variables, studies nationwide showed that schools that used Outdoor Classrooms and other forms of nature-based ‘experiential education’ were associated with significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math. One recent study found that students in outdoor science programs improved their science testing scores by 27%. American Institute for Research, 2005

37 Using the Outdoors to Enhance Classroom Performance highlights the vast research linking time kids spend outside to increased classroom preparedness. American’s childhood has largely moved indoors in the past 15 years. The increasingly indoor lifestyle causes several factors that work against high performance in the classroom National Wildlife Federation, 2009 A New Report: Time Out

38 No Child Left Inside Research finds that schools that teach the core subjects using the environment as an integrating context demonstrate reduced discipline and classroom management problems; increased engagement and enthusiasm for learning; and greater student pride and ownership in accomplishments. SEER State Education and Environmental Roundtable 1998 (On April 22, 2009 both House and Senate versions of NCLI were introduced to Congress. If passed would be first EE legislation to pass in 25 years.)

39 Research on Children’s Physical Activity Children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years spend an average of 1.5 hours a day with electronic media and youths between the ages of 8 and 18 spend an average of 6.5 hours a day with electronic media. That is more than 45 hours a week…and this figure in on the increase Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005 and 2006

40 About 7 out of 10 U.S. children have low levels of vitamin D, which puts them at risk for bone and heart disease. The best source of Vitamin D is sunlight requiring only 15 minutes per day Science Daily *-2009 Vitamin D

41 Nature-Deficit Disorder Nature-Deficit Disorder is not an official diagnosis, but a way of viewing the problem, and describes the human costs of alienation from nature, among them: -diminished use of the senses -attention difficulties -higher rates of physical and emotional illness The disorder can be detected in individuals, families and communities. Studies show that nature may be useful as a therapy for children with ADHD. Some researchers now recommend that parents and educators make available more nature experiences, especially green places for these children. Richard Louve, Last Child in the Woods o


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