Check out out list of tips for using the outdoors as a classroom. All tips are from educators from our committee. If you would like further advice about using nature as your classroom, don't hesitate to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We'll be happy to connect you with an outdoor classroom veteran!
"Allow children to explore the outdoor area before you have them sit down and focus"
"Give students many opportunities to be outdoors for class. The more they are used to the outside being an extension of the classroom, the more they will do quality work outdoors"
"Be sure to establish physical boundaries, and make sure everyone understands where they are"
"Tell the children a plan for in case they get lost - don't move, make a lot of noise, and listen for the group"
"When you gather students to give them instructions make sure you are in the area with the fewest distractions"
"Clipboards and paper can be useful if students will need to take notes or write things down"
"A buddy system can be helpful for keeping track of all students"
"When hiking, ask the students to stay behind you as you walk, and have another adult be the ‘caboose’"
"Tell students they should be able to see you or other leaders at all times"
"Have an organized system for getting the kids outside, then repeat for coming back inside"
"Have a sound signal to gather students together"
"Set ground rules before going outside (ex. No throwing sticks, no living things should be disturbed)"
"Make sure children are well prepared for the weather and conditions for being outside"
"Model an excitement for being in and learning from the outdoors"
"Leaders don’t need to know everything but should show that they are curious and willing to learn with the students"
"Make sure everyone is prepared for going outside for a while - they've gone to the bathroom, have water, bug spray, etc."
"Working collaboratively, we will share resources and form connections between educators and between educators and experts."
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