Nature Based Learning shout-outs!

Teaching Teams, 
One word...WOWZA! 
The world of connections, wonders, and learning that is emerging in your newsletters are really beautiful because they are intentional, authentic, and reflect the many ways you, yourselves, are connected as these observations would not be if you were not. 
*Now indulge me on a long email with CELEBRATIONS and SHARING...
2's: You are showing us how even our smallest explorers are experiencing risk, developing language around how to navigate nature and the benefit of messy play! Your observations are showing us the many questions and connections students are making everyday.
3's: You are helping us see how deep the learning is as students explore their outdoor classroom. They are developing purpose, caregiving, respect, curiosity, imagination, problem-solving, social-connections, concentration, self-control, confidence, flexibility and...gaining benefits to their health.
4's:  As your students explore our place, they are learning to feel accomplished, learning boundaries and collaboration. This foundation and connection to place (such as nature scavenger hunts) is benefiting them creatively as they start to apply their learning to cooking and using discoveries like figs in their recipes!  
K: Because of your students' deep connection to "place", they are reflecting on how nature feels to them and connecting that to being in the "green zone" or in a "peaceful place". Because of how you dwell in place, they are noticing how they may have an impact on removing invasive species. And, because of how you explore with, you are making discoveries with your students that can then extend into learning inside the classroom. 
Primary: Just a simple photo sharing of deer bones in the woods tells a story of time, persistence, collaboration, curiosity, and problem-solving. Such a fantastic way to start the year with allowing this natural curiosity to emerge and not be let's face it, finding bones in the woods may be uncomfortable to some. 
Intermediate:  Following the trail of your students interest in history of place with something as simple as a lime kiln allows them to connect to nature in a different way. Through the study of timelines, history, and people/places in time allows them to appreciate how long something has "been" (like rock formation or a black walnut tree).
5th: Through your fieldwork and student reflections in the classroom, we have seen where DEIBJ, Social Studies, and Environmental Studies come together with student interest in how the land of Louisville has been used (past and present), starting with the guiding question, "How did Louisville end up getting divided up into parts based on skin color?" and taking students back to the beginning with studies of our Indigenous Peoples
Now a few SHARES:

Rachel Beck
Director of Environmental Programs
Virginia Chance School