School Name: Golden Horn Elementary School
School District: Yukon Education
Inquiry Team Members: Trish Hirsch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily Quarton: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Inquiry Team Contact Email: email@example.com
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Grade Levels: Primary (K-3)
Curricular Area(s): Language Arts – Literacy
Focus Addressed: Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Experiential learning, Growth mindset, Land, Nature or Place-based learning
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? – to engage students in outdoor classroom while learning alphabet letters and sounds.
Scanning: Where are you going with our learning: We wanted to bring learning outside in a hands-on engaged way. With a soft start first thing in the morning with fresh air morning breathing (Mind Up program), yoga, O’Canada and some hands on literacy activities. Then the students would come inside, eat a snack and begin to write.
Focus: This area was selected because we wanted to see if taking the students out first thing in the morning would help them settle into Journal writing and starting our day in a positive way.
Hunch: In my class, I had a very active group of boys that I wanted to motivate while learning alphabet letters and sounds. My hunch was by starting our day outside and being in nature while doing hands-on activities would benefit and increase the amount of writing once we were back in the classroom.
New Professional Learning: My colleague and grade partner, Emily Quarton, and I worked together to come up with a plan to take both K classes outside each morning.
Taking Action: We brainstormed ways we could bring our learning outside in a way that would engage our students. We wanted to include our usual morning routine of Mind Up breathing and Yoga and listening to O’Canada. We found a meeting spot in the school yard where we would all gather then we would do our outside literacy activities.
Checking: The evidence of learning came in the form of their journals once we came back inside to write. We were satisfied with the amount of writing and the class energy seemed to be more settled and focused.
Reflections/Advice: Our school has a strong Outdoor Experiential goal where we connect the curriculum in our outdoor classroom. Each classroom teacher has a block of time for outside learning and we usually link it to Science, Social Studies, Arts and P.E curriculum. The K teachers wanted to try to be out first thing in the morning for Literacy learning. I learned that we can exchange our daily classroom routines to an outdoor classroom and have students engaged and ready to learn. Next, we would like to bring more of our learning outdoors and make it experiential for our students. By letting them explore their surroundings, and use natural objects for their learning. We expanded our outdoor teaching in Math lessons learning concepts using the natural environment.