Getting Started with Outdoor Learning: Part 1 – Stepping out the Door

In partnership with the Nature-Based Education Consortium (NBEC), CREA produced a series of three short videos¬† to make outdoor teaching more accessible to teachers. The series, Getting Started with Outdoor Learning, is available on NBEC’s website and here on CREA’s website.

Part 1: Stepping out the Door, addresses basic supplies, logistics, and routines needed when taking students outdoors. Part 2: Simple Activities, offers a number of activities that can be repeated multiple times over the course of a year. Part 3: A Different Approach and Knowing What to Expect highlights some teaching approaches unique to outdoor teaching, and tips for dealing with common issues encountered when outside.

This post features Part 1: Stepping out the Door. In this video, CREA Educators Sarah Rodgers and Carey reassure teachers that many classroom teaching strategies will transfer to the outdoors but note that the outside is a little different. Watch the video (below) to learn from Sarah and Carey as they elaborate on the following topics:

Getting Ready
  • Develop procedures for going outdoors, regarding clothing, learning tools, etc
  • Assemble a teacher toolkit (5 gal bucket) that goes on every outing
  • Choose the outdoor space that’s right for the type of activity you have planned
  • Choose from many outdoor seating options
Getting There/Transitions
  • Set the mood and intention
  • Give students a ‘job’ while they’re in transit
  • Go out the same door each time (not the recess door, ideally)
  • Move with purpose and establish the style of travel
  • Build endurance for outdoor learning gradually
Routines and Structures
  • Start with structured time (e.g. circle and share)
  • Start with short, simple, structured activities¬†
  • Set expectations (e.g. Can you see me? Is it safe? Are you cooperating with others?)

Part 2, Simple Activities, is available here.

Part 3 is available here.