School playgrounds may not just be for gym classes and recess.
When kids return to school, at least one BC teacher says pandemic is the ideal time for educators to move lessons out, not just because it can be easier on distance than in home, but also because it can give students the opportunity to learn old lessons in new ways. Funny Teacher Shirt Teaching Sixth Grade Is My Jam
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Cara Laudon, an inner-city elementary school teacher in Vancouver who currently holds a master’s degree in environmental education at Simon Fraser University, says a lot of classroom curriculum can be taught anywhere.
For example, she suggested, if students are learning geometry, they can practice calculating the perimeter of the school or playground. Or if they are studying the environment, they can learn directly about the water cycles by exploring their surroundings.
“We talk about the 100-mile diet, we can do 100-foot field trips,” Laudon said Tuesday on The Early Edition.
The Cowichan Valley School District’s return to school plan includes an outdoor education program. (Cowichan Valley School District – SD 79 / Facebook)
In Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, the local school district has incorporated a number of outdoor learning programs into its back-to-school plan.
Further south on the island, Carolyn Howe, a Victorian elementary school teacher and vice president of the Funny Teacher Shirt Teaching Sixth Grade Is My Jam Greater Victoria Teachers Association, also wants to increase outdoor learning opportunities within that district.
“I would love to get even more support for the outdoor learning spaces,” Howe said in an On The Island interview.
Ideally, she said, the district would have equipment where students could sit outdoors and methods of safely transporting supplies to and from the classroom.
In Vancouver, Laudon asked city administrators and staff to connect and provide all schools in the Funny Teacher Shirt Teaching Sixth Grade Is My Jam district a list of parks within walking distance to each school.
“We need broad support from families, from our employees, from our managers, and from the Funny Teacher Shirt Teaching Sixth Grade Is My Jam community,” Laudon said.
Teachers in grades 3 and 4 say outdoor education is free, accessible, and can be fun. If some students couldn’t afford waterproof raincoats or shoes, Laudon says that, in her experience, the school communities have been very generous in finding ways to equip the Funny Teacher Shirt Teaching Sixth Grade Is My Jam kids with what they do. need.
“And depending on the age of your students, you know, they don’t mind getting wet. They’re not made of sugar,” she said.