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CCUA: Outdoor Classroom Program

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by

Heather Gillich

on 18 April 2016

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Transcript of CCUA: Outdoor Classroom Program

What is an
Outdoor Classroom?
An outdoor classroom is any space where learning and educating take place in the natural environment.

For CCUA, this means using gardens, ponds, prairies, forests, and whatever landscapes are available
at urban schools.
Questions?
Outdoor Classroom Program Manager
Lori McCurdy
lori@columbiaurbanag.org or
(573) 514-4174
Purpose
The Outdoor Classroom Program exists to connect school communities to natural systems, with an emphasis on food origins by engaging school
communities in Outdoor Classroom Committees, working with the
Columbia Public Schools on curriculum and teacher resources,
and providing after school activities and in-class lessons.

Who can participate?
K - 5 schools
Students
Parents
Teachers
School Staff and Administration
Interested Community Members
CCUA Outdoor Classroom Program
Benefits of
Outdoor Classrooms
Get Your Leaders Involved!
Develop Your Vision!
Establish Your Action Plan!
Take Action!
Use Your Outdoor Classroom!
Gather a committee of dedicated leaders through administrators, school/agency staff, teachers, parents and community volunteers

Next, identify clearly defined roles and responsibilities for the committee as well as individual members such as bookkeeping, volunteer coordination and curriculum development.

CCUA is happy to help with your commitee!
Develop a vision that includes the expectations of everyone on your committee.

Consider the following:
What is the purpose of your outdoor classroom?
What are the goals of the committee members?
What does everyone envision for the space and the students involved?
What do the students envision for the space?

CCUA can work with committees and classrooms to identify goals in the FUN! lesson set.
Focus the group by establishing a clear set of goals and a strategy for accomplishing them.

When establishing a plan consider curriculum goals and goals for interacting with the community. Next, determine an action plan, develop a budget and include the whole committee in the decision-making process.

This is a great time to work with CCUA to set up 3 annual Work Parties to involve the community!
Map and design your space in order to move your outdoor classroom from a concept to a reality. Use your action plan in this step to determine who will organize the work, labor and
when to begin.

By this point, FUN! lessons will have ensured planting in the garden and outdoor classroom, maintenance Work Parties will be underway, and the school community will be working together to provide a quality learning space.
Increased fine motor skills and dexterity
Development of grit, problem solving, and critical thinking skills
Greater environmental awareness
Increased physical and emotional well being
Integrate your outdoor classroom into the curriculum to ensure enthusiasm about your space. Share updates through pictures, student projects and teacher experiences.

Remember, the sustainability of your outdoor classroom depends on long-term planning and development of leadership among parents, staff
and students.

CCUA will be there with you along the way!
Program Components of Outdoor Classroom
Outdoor Classroom Committees
After-school activities (through Nature Clubs)
In-class lessons (through FUN!)
Curriculum development and teacher resources

Ready to get started with an Outdoor Classroom?
Full transcript