Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The outdoor classroom

There is a real sense of peace that comes from being in an outside classroom.  Sound dissipates and thoughts become clear.

As the weather has improved I have started taking my class outside for more than just physical education. Our outdoor classroom is as big as we want it to be.  Everybody has their own space.  Groups can work together without competing with others for "noise volume", I can take a guided reading group and actually hear the children clearly.  I currently have 24 children writing stories about where ever their imagination takes them too.

I feel calmer and relaxed in this space.  Not sure if it's because I have more air to breathe and it is quieter, or if it is simply the tuis reminding me that it is spring and warmer weather is on its way.

I thought I would ask the children for their reflections on what it was like to be outside today and how it effected their learning:

It was calm and sunny and breezy. It was quiet. It made me think more.

I could add more stuff because it was calm and quiet.

It was a quiet enough to do a whole entire page without noticing.  When you are outside it is more calm.

The outside makes us quiet.

It was calm and peaceful because of the birds tweeting.

It's nice inside and outside but outside your imagination comes to life. It brings ideas on the breeze.

It makes me want to write more and makes me feel quiet.

It is really loud inside because the sound has nowhere to go. The sound can go anywhere outside.

You feel trapped inside.  I don't think as much.  It is easier to think outside.