This 12-hour course pairs benefits of outdoor learning with strategies for implementation in your preschool, daycare, public or private school setting. As we move through the course, you will examine the physical spaces in your program (indoors and out) and explore ways to harness them for healthy outdoor play and learning. We will also identify ways that outdoor learning aligns with curriculum and discuss how to demonstrate the benefits to stakeholders such as fellow staff, administrators, maintenance crew, and parents. We will explore practical approaches to moving class outside and help your team transform teaching practices to confidently teach in outdoor settings. This includes considerations for sites in urban and rural settings, guidance on risk management, planning for diverse learner needs, and low- or no-cost options for materials. Taking cues from nature-based programs and forest schools, we will highlight resources and research throughout as models of outdoor learning. Participants will leave with strategies, tools, and a supportive network of colleagues to make outdoor learning a reality this fall! The format of this interactive course is a combination of facilitated discussion, work among a small cohort of teachers, and asynchronous independent learning experiences with a culminating project that you will be able to share with fellow teachers at your school. Guest presenters include Jessica Wong of John Spry Community Elementary School, Chicago and Heather Quinn from Hummingbird Hill Nature Preschool in Reisterstown, MD.
The format of this interactive course is a combination of facilitated discussion, work in a smaller cohort of teachers, and asynchronous independent learning experiences. This course includes 6 clock hours of virtual course time along with 6 clock hours live and in person at the Carrie Murray Nature Center (1901 Ridgetop Rd, Baltimore, MD 21207)
RECOMMENDED READING (not included)
Barefoot and Balanced: How Unrestricted Nature Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children by Angela Hanscom
Nature-Based Learning: Anytime, Anywhere, on Any Budget by Julie Powers and Sheila Williams Ridge
A Forest Days Handbook by Eliza Minucci
Nature Play Workshop for Families: A Guide to 40+ Outdoor Learning Experiences in All Seasons by Monica Wiedel-Lubinski and Karen Madigan
This is a 12-hour course, spread out over two weeks, offered both online and in-person. Participants engage in facilitated discussions and meet with a small cohort of teachers to explore various topics during the course. Full participation will include interactive outdoor experiences that are documented and shared throughout. (See details below.)
Wed., March 2 (online) from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Mon., March 7 (online) from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Wed., March 9 (online) from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Sat., March 12 (live) from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
The live session on Saturday, March 12th will take place at the Carrie Murray Nature Center (1901 Ridgetop Rd, Baltimore, MD 21207). Lunch will be provided but please bring your own canteen and any snacks.
All attendees will receive a professional development certificate for successful completion of this course. This course qualifies for 12 MSDE clock hours.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
This course is ideal for teachers in preschool, childcare, and elementary school settings who want to move learning outside! Feel free to reach out to Monica with questions.
*Thanks to PNC grant funding this course is free to any Baltimore City early childhood educator or director working with children ages birth-5 years.