My Experience with Outdoor Learning in Kindergarten

14th May 2017

By Emma Gedge Kindergarten Lead Teacher Canadian International School of Singapore

Every day, the students in my kindergarten class spend time learning, working together and exploring in the outdoor classroom at the Canadian International School of Singapore.

Daily outdoor learning helps to develop healthy, active lifestyles and routines for our students, while providing them with hands-on experiences in our natural world. Through these experiences, the children learn to understand and respect nature, and feel a connection to our world and our community.

Every day outside is different – the weather is always changing, we observe new bugs and plants, and we constantly discover new materials in the outdoor classroom. During this time, the children are learning to be adaptable to change and resourceful in the real world. Being outside provides the students with rich opportunities to develop their problem-solving skills and use their imagination. In the outdoors, they can play safely and freely while learning to try new things and take risks.

Being outside ignites a unique excitement and curiosity in these young learners that cannot be replicated in the classroom.

The children engage in reading, writing and mathematics explorations in the natural world through observing, collecting and sorting, making predictions and testing theories.

Our outdoor learning time is split into three parts.

  • First, we meet as a class in our mindfulness circle. The children are led through a series of breathing, listening and relaxation exercises. This helps the children to understand and engage their senses, and tune into their personal well-being every day.
  • Then the students are given a task to complete outside for the day – this can range from making observational drawings; writing sentences on the writing walls and pathways; collecting, sorting and counting natural materials, etc. In these daily tasks we are applying skills and knowledge taught in the classroom to real world experiences in the outdoor classroom.
  • After meeting again and reflecting on our learning for the day, the children are given time for free play. During this time the students exercise their social skills while engaging in cooperative, imaginative play on the hills, in the sandbox, and in the tunnel. By encouraging the children to explore and understand the space independently, we are teaching them to be self-reliant.

Every day we are finding freedom, exercising independence, exciting our senses and, most importantly, learning by doing.

 

To learn more about the benefits of outdoor learning, please view these articles below:

 

Follow Emma Gedge, Kindergarten Lead Teacher Canadian International School of Singaporeon Twitter: @msemmagedge

 

 

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Thanks for joining the movement, we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂

Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

We’ll send you a newsletter shortly. Time to play is critical for every child – share your moments with us by tagging #OutdoorClassroomDay and make every day a day to learn and play outdoors!

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