I offer a variety of school garden and outdoor classroom professional learning workshops and walkshops that are customized for your school or organization’s objectives. If you don’t see a topic you are looking for, contact me to see what we can come up with together! Outdoor classroom professional learning workshops run from 2-5 hours each and are generally suitable for parents, public and independent elementary school teachers, pre-service teachers, educational assistants, school councillors and other district personnel. Workshops can be booked as a series. Click here to send a request for rates and availability. COVID UPDATE: Most workshops are now being offered as webinars. Webinars tend to run shorter to maximize participation and participant enthusiasm for the workshop. Most webinars will be offered as 90 minute sessions, with time allowed at the end for questions and discussion, in addition to the material presented.
Transition to teaching outdoors
These are strange and stressful days for educators heading back to school amidst a global pandemic. This 90 minute webinar is offered to districts or schools looking for inspiration, practical ideas, and capacity building for their school community who wish to take the learning outdoors as much as possible. Specific tips, based on this blog post will be discussed, and the session or series can be customized to the unique specifications of your school community. How to teach without pencils and paper, effective assessment, and whole school strategic thinking for taking the learning outdoors will be offered.
Outdoor Classroom Management
A common misconception, when taking students outdoors, is that they will be off task or challenging to manage. In this workshop we will consider how an outdoor classroom is just like any other classroom and completely different, at the same time! Learn how to connect with kids in a way that restores and protects relationships, while creating a joyful classroom culture of wonder and inquiry-inspired learning. Leave with practical skills, like entry and exit routines, as well as proven techniques and strategies for effective high yield routines in academic learning outdoors.
Preparing Outdoor Spaces For Imaginative and Risky Play
In this workshop we will explore the research on why unstructured outdoor play is critical for developing children’s social, emotional and cognitive strengths. Leave with practical and inspiring ideas for preparing creative, imaginative and super fun spaces where children of all ages will engage in productive play for hours, no matter the weather! This session will focus on the concepts of “risky” or unstructured nature play in the school garden context, and prepare participants for assessing risks, hazards and benefits in their school garden.
In this transformative session we will explore the pedagogy of play and the global body of research that powerfully influences decision making for outdoor play where children play, learn and grow. Learn how to harness the power of unstructured nature play to enhance children’s creativity, social and emotional well-being. This session will emphasize the importance of place, with specific recommendations for how your particular setting can be used to meaningfully engage children in environmental and ecologically sustainable nature play, in all weather and seasons.
Outdoor Play with Loose Parts
Play isn’t just for primary! In this workshop, participants will be inspired by the use of loose parts for mathematical thinking, scientific inquiry and creative storytelling in the garden to engage learners from K-7 in meaningful, student directed inquiry. Learn more about the pedagogy of loose parts, practical tips for managing outdoor learning resources, risk management, and how an emergent curriculum supports flexible thinking and problem solving in the outdoor classroom.
Bring your long range plans and your curiosity to this action packed workshop! Learn how the big ideas of our BC curriculum can be effectively explored outdoors in a meaningful context for scientific inquiry. Participants will be introduced to ways we can weave an emergent curriculum with existing lesson plans, for a magical learning experience. Hands-on learning will be emphasized, along with cross-curricular opportunities for deep understanding and connection to the natural world.
The outdoor classroom, school-yard, and garden are perfect spaces and places for inclusive and creative storytelling, vocabulary development, non-fiction writing, fine motor skill development and more! Participants will be introduced to multiple hands-on opportunities for a broad range of literacy skills in a highly engaging and motivating environment that supports reflective and diverse literacy skills across the curriculum.
Math is everywhere in the garden! Participants will be introduced to hands-on, interactive, and joyful ways of naturally engaging children in mathematical thinking in the garden. We’ll explore how wonder and curiosity can generate questions that guide real life problem solving. From seeing patterns in nature, to data collection of germination rates, this workshop will share motivating and accessible math strategies that leave everyone feeling successful.
Everyone can agree that having less mess at the end of an art lesson is a good thing, right?! Why not take your visual arts lessons outdoors? In this workshop we’ll explore how your school-yard can provide endless inspiration for creative and imaginative artistic representations that are eco-friendly and consume less ‘stuff’! Leave with inspiration for holiday, mother’s day and father’s day gift-giving ideas that won’t cost a fortune and are kind to the earth too!
Contact me to book your outdoor classroom professional learning session!
I’m looking forward to growing and learning with you! For more information, contact me here.