Training is ideal for educators working with children ages 3-8 years old. Attendees join from all kinds of early learning settings - from nature-based programs and schools to traditional public schools, childcare centers, daycare, HeadStart, and home school settings. Light breakfast and lunch are included on Saturday, but bring your canteen for drinks.
In addition to a wonderful slate of workshops, our hosts at the Brukner Nature Center will offer informal tours of their learning environments and outdoor grounds. We would like to extend a special thank you to our partners at Brukner Nature Center and Forest Time Kindergarten for making this Outdoor Teacher Retreat possible!
This training is pending OH training approval. ERAFANS will provide a professional development certificate at the conclusion of the event. Please dress for the weather, as at least 50% of this event will take place outdoors, and don't forget your canteen!
Jeanette and Christopher Canyon, Author/Illustrators
Jeanette and Christopher Canyon are award winning illustrators of numerous children’s books. The natural world is a key inspiration to their art and creativity, resulting in books that evoke the imagination, and a sense of wonder.
Christopher Canyon has illustrated many books about Earth’s natural wonders. His books about the ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest, the Grand Canyon, and naturalist John Muir, have been favorites of nature centers, state parks, and national parks throughout the country. He is also popularly known for his whimsical picture book adaptations of songs by music legend, and environmental activist, John Denver. He has been involved with numerous organizations in promoting nature education such as the Earth Day Coalition, the Grand Canyon National Park and the Center for Children’s Environmental Literature.
Jeanette Canyon has received international acclaim for her uniquely engaging art and picture books. The popularity of her first book, Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef has resulted in working with organizations such as OCEANA and NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Project in producing work to promote the health of our planet’s oceans.
Currently, the Canyons are in production of book projects they are authoring and illustrating. When the Canyons aren’t busily creating books in their Columbus, Ohio studio, they travel extensively providing programs for schools, conferences and special events.
Keynote: Reaching Nature Through Illustrated Storybooks
Christopher will share aspects of his nature research, as well as his musical talents of weaving together words, music and art to create beautiful multi-sensory books to enrich the lives children, families, and educators. Jeanette will share how she creates her mesmerizing polymer clay illustrations for her award-winning picture books. The dynamic nature of her art is a direct reflection of her energetic personality that she brings to her audiences in sharing her unique talents. Jeanette will take participants on a creative journey by sharing how she produces her art for such titles as, Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef, City Beats: A Hip-Hoppy Pigeon Poem, and Over in the Jungle, A Rainforest Rhyme.
Registration and light breakfast
Resiliency Through Exposure to Nature
Meredith Florkey, Learning Tree Farm
This session underscores the need for young children to get out in nature. Not only do we build resiliency in our children through interaction with nature, but we find a new resiliency within our teaching as well. Using a continuum, participants will identify where their current teaching methods lie on the nature education model, where they want to be, and then work to neutralize roadblocks and gather resources.
But Do You Teach Them to Read?
Red Oak Community School
Every nature-based program has its skeptics. Discover some resources and tools you can use to effectively market your program to families and funders alike. Participate in a practice session where we will put our skills to the test.
Wildlife in the Classroom
Jen Dennison, OH Department of Natural Resources
Join the Division of Wildlife for a fun session on how to integrate more wildlife education in the classroom, whether it be with furs and skulls, live animals, replicas, or expanding your adventures outdoors. We’ll cover resources, grants, professional development, and more!
Keynote: Reaching Nature Through Illustrated Storybooks (see above)
Jeanette and Christopher Canyon, Children's Book Author/Illustrators
Lunch with informal tour of Brukner Nature Center
Holding Space Without Walls
Little Schoolhouse in the Woods, Lee and Jason Hamzy
Outdoor classrooms or spending time in nature with young children requires teachers to create a safe environment for children without having the literal restrictions that walls provide. This can be established through a steady rhythm, clear expectations, and consistency. We will discuss our approach and experiences in how routines help young children feel safe and held. We will also share stories and verses we use during transitions.
The Hows and Whys of Forest Kindergarten
Forest Time Kindergarten, Sherri Dauer and Annie Rose Land
Shining the L.I.G.H.T on Literacy Driven Outdoor Education, Angela McMurry
The L.I.G.H.T Project incorporates 72 children's books into the 5E learning technique for a hands-on program that can be completed in the classroom or outside. It was inspired by Richard Louv's book, The Last Child in the Woods, and through volunteer efforts with local outdoor programs. This once 'little-program-that-could' is now supported by the Matt Light Foundation and spreading throughout the United States. Though the program is based off of the Ohio Science Standards for first grade, it can be modified for preschool through grade three.
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Learn more about our payment and refund policies here. Thank you for joining us!