Week 6: Group B: Journal Entry

Today’s class was such a wonderful experience and a really awesome example for us to learn from in terms of teaching outdoor education. I feel like I learned an immense amount from Cristina, Christine and Lisa about what I need to be aware of and think about when planning for an alternative environment activity. There are a whole new set of requirements when bringing a group of kids into the outdoors and we have to be aware of all the safety issues and risks. I appreciated being taught what to tell students if they got lost outdoors and also how to organize the activity in ways that quell parent and administrator concerns. We must enlist the help of parents, other teachers, support staff and even older students in order to have a good adult to student ratio. We also need to make sure we are aware of the liabilities and waivers that need to be signed before taking kids for a lesson outside. Furthermore, we must have sufficient knowledge of first-aid or have someone on the excursion who does have this knowledge. Teaching an outdoor education class, or simply teaching any class outside, is such a valuable and worthwhile thing for us to do. I feel much less nervous about doing it after today’s class.

After reading the chapters for this week, there is so much to consider when planning a unit or even a lesson. I think routines, organization, clear communication and relationship building are some of the most important strategies for enhancing the learning environment for students. Especially for the younger grades, routines are so important. They reduce time wasted on classroom management issues or confusion. They get the kids into an activity and learning much faster and more efficiently. This ties in with organization. The ways you organize your students for activities has a huge impact on their comfort levels, feeling of safety and also their engagement in the exercise. The clearer our instructions, the quicker we can start playing and getting active. It reduces confusion and also helps with relationship building between teacher and students. The respect that comes from those clear interactions will help us be effective in engaging our students and keeping them excited about P.E.

One thought on “Week 6: Group B: Journal Entry”

    I should first point out that Audrey was part of the team teach. Being First Nations I was excited to learn about her Nations clans and the dances that go along with them and further to be given an opportunity to dance our way to the outdoors. As educators we need to remember to have fun and make learning fun for our students, and dance is a good way to include this. I agree with your comment about all the things we need to consider both in terms of safety, process and procedure when taking students outside. One thing I was thinking of while we were outside was the ways we can use the outdoors for teaching. It does not need to be totally structured it can be quite basic such as using the surroundings outside the school. For example for primary students, it can be something like going outside and reading a book. In the elementary grade levels you could incorporate 15-30 minutes of exercise, perhaps taking a run around the field, and with high school students giving them an opportunity to go read or finish an assignment outside. I feel we need to step outside the box and trying new things. We have to remember to not get caught up in the traditional classroom setting. In planning lessons plans it should be based on the interests of the students, developmental characteristics and the needs of the learners (pg. 51). Building relationships with students, their families and community in general is so important. Engaging our learners is of utmost importance. I agree as well, in terms of organization we need to plan and have back up plans for our plans but we must also be flexible and watch out for those teachable moments when they present themselves. Outdoor teaching, movement and hands -on learning is all part of my philosophy of teaching and I enjoyed this class!

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