Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. -Frank Lloyd Wright
The Deephaven Elementary Parent Teacher Association fundraised, planned and built an outdoor classroom in our neglected and overgrown courtyard. The PTA wanted to provide a forum for “hands on” learning about the natural world.
The outdoor classroom supports major objectives in the science and math curriculum and provides another forum for creative and critical thinking. Our teaching staff was active in design and implementation. The classroom compliments curriculum for all grade levels (K-5) and touches over 550 students/year. Each student experiences at least one event per season in the outdoor classroom.
The outdoor classroom is 48 feet by 147 feet in size and is available for use by community members and organizations.
Elements of the outdoor classroom include:
- Pond Water Feature
- Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary (feeders/birdbaths)
- Weather Station (Thermometer/Weather Vane)
- Area for complete class instruction -- a seating circle large enough for more than 25 students
- Seating circles for small group instruction
- Two large potting benches to use as an Exploratory Area, i.e., digging up worms, digging in dirt, etc. – especially relevant for younger grades
- A swing for Special Ed students or other students needing to “take-a-break”
- 5 Picnic Tables, one handicap accessible
- Electrical source for microphones, demonstrations, etc.
You don't understand anything until you learn it more than one way.- Marvin Minsky