Outdoor Education Group Teach Reflection

I felt that our team-teach on Outdoor Education went really well! It was refreshing to be outside to do a lesson, and the feedback from TCs participating in the lesson was that is was very fun and engaging. Particularly, comments that the lesson could lead well into a cross-curricular lesson, and that many were interested in doing the same lesson in their own practicums were very encouraging and in-line with some of the goals we had as a group.

One thing that I noticed about the planning process for an outdoor lesson was that it was very easy to overthink things. I often caught myself thinking about how to make the lesson as “outdoorsy” and rich as possible, but really the most important thing is just to get kids outside. In fact, it is a very positive thing to be able to get kids outside without making a big deal out of it. We want to encourage our students just to get outside at any chance they get – they don’t need to wait until its time for “outdoor education” initiated only by an adult or teacher with their own motivations and goals.

In the end, though, I feel our lesson ended up being a great balance between a more formally presented outdoor education lesson and a fun way to get our class outside. If I were to change anything about the lesson it would have been to do the whole thing, including the instant activity and the introduction outside as well. We structured it with the first two components inside to help with our transition, but perhaps we could have just asked the class to quickly walk out into the courtyard and start our lesson there.

Overall, doing outdoor education was really fun and I’m looking forward to teaching PE, both indoors and out, on my practicum.

One thought on “Outdoor Education Group Teach Reflection”

  1. Christine,

    I thought your group teach was AMAZING!

    First of all the dancing in our clans was an incredible way to get us warmed up, and move us to the outdoor location. One thing I noticed was that because we were continuously switching between the frog dance to other clan dances, I was focused solely on the dance movement and so I didn’t lose concentration, or feel the need to wander off and explore outside of our group. This was also a great way to incorporate Aboriginal education into the lesson.

    A second occurrence that really stuck with me was when Lisa spoke about respecting the environment around us; she told us to watch where we are stepping because we might damage or kill some of the plants on the ground. Throughout the remainder of the lesson I was mindful of where and what I was stepping on, and this carried on throughout my day, and the rest of the week. Its interesting to see that such a brief comment can resonate with someone so intensely.

    I really enjoyed the game we played; the directions were clear and the team teach group did a great job of making us feel that we could ask questions. I liked that we were already part of designated groups, as well as the fact that everyone was active strategically throughout the game.

    The cool down activity was great as it really got us to notice the environment which we were walking through. By searching for interesting colors, I in turn noticed things that I would have otherwise not seen. It was a relaxing way to end the physical part of the lesson.

    I took a lot from the outdoor discussions that we had, and I agree, that it is not about planning an amazing outdoor activity so much as it is about actually physically being outside. I feel that much in the way that we carried out our group discussion, we could teach other lessons outside; the lessons do not have to necessarily be about physical health or literacy, but could really stretch across the curriculum as long as students are learning the value of the outdoors, and equally are learning the significance of the land and how to respect it. In our group we discussed different ideas for lessons which could be carried out in a similar setting to where we were; we talked about math and counting leaves or sticks, how that activity could later be incorporated into an art project. The possibilities are endless, and we must take advantage of this incredible classroom outside of the classroom.

    Finally I think using the outdoors to take part in team building activities was brilliant. I don’t know that it would have had the same effect inside the gym.

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