Outdoor Explorers

Every Tuesday on the Trails

In this pilot program, one day a week, every week of the school year, my first graders will take their learning outside. Content from all first grade curricular areas can be addressed and supported in an outdoor classroom. Time spent learning in the outdoors provides children with cognitive, creative, physical, social and emotional benefits.¹ Watch a few brief videos to consider the value of outdoor learning:

Outdoor Classrooms Promote Student Engagement and Learning

Nature-Based Learning and the Forest School Model

Nature Deficit Disorder

Authentic growth happens from the inside out, and our elementary school is fortunate to have teacher leaders who foster student-centered learning. My first graders’ greatest joys can be seen when they are given the opportunity to explore, the time to discover and the respect to develop their own understandings.

Flanders’ teachers continually work to develop their craft and implement diverse pathways to learning. One approach to learning that is particularly enhanced by our school’s site location is working in an outdoor classroom. Flanders is surrounded by forest, meadows and ponds. We’ll explore local habitats, engage our senses, push ourselves to take risks and develop new skills. Back inside the school building, we will further investigate our discoveries and transfer our new understandings to further enhance our academic and social growth. Additionally, as students experience the first grade curriculum in our outdoor classroom they will develop lasting understandings of and connections with their natural world.

Please see the For Families menu for current information and program details.


¹D. Sobel and K. Finch, Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens (St.Paul, MN: Redleaf Press, 2016) 142.