- Bringing Project Based Learning to our Classroom - August 12, 2018
- Keep the Engagement Alive: Start the Year with Purpose - August 5, 2018
- It's Our Fault: A Teacher's Confession - March 18, 2018
- Keeping Your Teaching Real: A Teacher's Role - March 11, 2018
- Sketch Notes in the Elementary Classroom - February 15, 2017
- Teach From the Heart - February 9, 2017
- Who is the Teacher: School or Family? - January 11, 2017
- Dear President Elect Trump, From Your Teachers - November 17, 2016
- Let them Be Children - October 21, 2016
- Print Resources: Great Tools for Kids - October 17, 2016
The winter was long here in Kansas. When we finally got some spring air it was refreshing to open the windows and get outside. Students and teachers can both benefit from getting out of the classroom.
It’s just a space, the classroom. Learning comes from the lessons, the questions, the educator, and the interactions among and with your students. If the activity you are doing does not require supplies, resources or technology, why are you indoors? If students are reading or working without these supplies, go outside! I have a classroom set of clipboards (garage sales or local business donations are great resources to pick some up for cheap) so we can take spelling test or complete work outside. For more ideas check out this article. Setting up some simple expectations, like any good classroom management, will allow you to open your doors to a fresh air learning environment.
Field trips are a popular spring activity for good reason. Getting out of the classroom brings experiences to your students to enrich learning. If you can’t leave the building though, bring the world into you. Technology makes it possible for you to invite experts into your room or explore museums virtually. Interview and learn from authors as well as visit locations around the globe. If it is a local field trip or a virtual field trip, opening your doors to these experiences brings opportunities to your students.
Expand your resources. Science and math are everywhere outside. Use the playground to find angles and measure distances. Learn about exercise and heart rates. Find habitats and erosion on the school grounds. Find ways to experiment and let students create experiments to test ideas about our natural world. Engaging and fun activities keep learning as the focus and help decrease negative behavior that is common as the year comes to an end. Open the doors to more questions and learning as you step out into the school ground.
As the school year winds down, look for opportunities to open your doors. Set boundaries and explain expectations for behavior as well as objectives. Move the classroom outside of your room either into the playground, the school ground, or virtually. Have fun setting up opportunities for your students to keep learning as a focus for the remainder of the year.