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Teaching Students Outdoors

WHAT IS IT?

TSO is a fun, interactive, in-person, outdoors* professional development workshop

You will leave ready and motivated to teach your students outdoors the next day!

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR? 

Educators who want to teach students outdoors near their school. 

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

GROW…

  • your knowledge about *WHY* (the science!) teaching students outdoors and in nearby nature promotes wellness (mental, physical, social emotional) for students and teachers, academic success, equity, and a love of nature.

  • your skills to translate your instruction (teaching practice) to outdoor, nearby nature settings. 

  • your will – your “desire, intrinsic motivation, passion, or commitment” to implement outdoor nature-based learning with your students and/or colleagues. ​

GAIN…

  • Checklists, risk management strategies, and outdoor classroom management techniques for facilitating high-quality outdoor learning

  • Instructional protocols you can use with your students

  • Practices to make nature-based learning culturally responsive, equitable, and inclusive

AND… we are pretty sure you will have fun and feel better than when you arrived!

 

*We are attentive and responsive to the weather and the needs of our participants. As such, we teach AS MUCH AS IS EFFECTIVE outdoors – which will probably be almost everything. 

 

TSO can be offered as a full-day workshop (with guided planning time), a 4-hour workshop, or as a 4-hour workshop split into 2 x 2-hour sessions. We also offer a 2-hour "Mini-TSO" to get pique your interest so you want to go deeper.

 


*Credit to Elena Aguilar for identifying, framing, and naming the “knowledge, skills, and will” gaps professional learning facilitators and programs need to address to prompt changes to practice among adult learners.

60-minutes in Nature Challenge
*Coming Late Summer 2024*

Open your doors and your minds to outdoor learning opportunities in your school’s backyard! In the 60-Minutes in Nature Challenge, a trailblazing cohort of educators from your school will innovate, implement, and iterate apple-a-day outdoor nature-based learning experiences customized to their students and content, and fit for your school. 

How does it work?

  1. You (school leader(s)) assemble a dynamic cohort of up to 10 trailblazing educators from your school/district who are ready to be teacher-leaders who will embrace apple-a-day outdoor nature-based learning.

  2. We launch the 60-Minutes in Nature Challenge (“60-minutes”) with a Teaching Students Outdoors workshop and an overview of the program. Each 60-minutes participant completes a kick-off survey and a 1:1 kick-off interview with the GNL Facilitator. 

  3. Each participant starts to implement outdoor nature-based learning – growing their confidence week-by-week during 4 weeks innovating, iterating, on reflecting on the apple-a-day outdoor nature-based learning they make happen near school. At the end of each week, they complete a weekly reflection. GNL Facilitator provides ongoing coaching, feedback, and support.

  4. We gather as a Professional Learning Community led by the GNL Facilitator mid-way through “60-minutes” and toward the end of the challenge to share, strategize, and celebrate. Toward the end of 60-minutes, you (school leader(s)) conduct 60-minutes observations that will inform our final report and really help ensure your teachers feel your earnest investment in apple-a-day outdoor nature-based learning. 

  5. Participants wrap-up with an "exit survey" and Good Natured Learning compiles a report of Lessons Learned & Next Steps to guide your school/district to do MORE apple-a-day outdoor nature-based learning.

  6. Optional: We can help you share the nature-based learning LOVE with an interactive, community-building, nature-based presentation – featuring YOUR very own trailblazers – for your school, board, and/or community.

“60-minutes” is a 3-4 month supported Professional Learning Community.

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Apple-a-day consulting

Often schools have outdoor spaces just *waiting* to be filled with some tree-stump seats, a chalkboard, a teacher, and students. Just as often, barriers like improper outdoor clothing or missing permission slips can create a metaphorical mountain-sized problem when really they’re solvable molehills. 

 

What’s more, your school already has systems in place to support high-quality learning indoors. We will help you adapt those systems to support outdoor learning near your school. 

 

We are here to offer an outside perspective (pun intended!) to identify low-hanging fruit opportunities to bring nature’s benefits to your students and educators. 

 

Here are just some of the topics where we support apple-a-day outdoor nature-based learning in outdoor spaces near your school:

  • Outdoor teaching “Go-Bins” and supplies

  • Teacher checklists

  • Integrating outdoor learning in online registration

  • Outdoor classroom site plans including site-specific risk management

  • Weather & air quality guidelines for learning outdoors

  • Internal & external communications about nature-based learning

  • Honoring learning differences & student support plans

  • Community and family engagement

  • Equity & inclusion practices

  • Bathrooms

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