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Location: St. Johnsbury

Training Type: Online Real Time

Total Hours: 6

Cost: $ 20

Scholarship: No

Contact Information:

April Zajko
(802) 424-1046

Introduction to Growing Outdoor Classrooms and Design Elements Sylvia Kennedy-Godin

Special Topics:
Sponsor: April's Teaching Tree
Instructor: April Zajko, M.Ed.

Every outdoor classroom is as unique as the school or program that designs and builds it. This training will define terms related to outdoor classrooms, give an overview of what an outdoor classroom can become, help define key factors in how outdoor classrooms differ from typical playgrounds. Participants will explore the developmental benefits of outdoor classroom and learn how to communicate these benefits to parents. Research confirms that learning outdoors promotes child development and learning in all domains – physical, cognitive, and social emotional. By understanding the benefits of outdoor learning and participants will learn ways to share information with stakeholders as a powerful way to communicate the value of creating nature inspired learning spaces. Once stakeholders understand how outdoor classrooms positively impacts student growth, development, and learning they will be more confident in investing time and money into building or expanding the outdoor learning space. ** Whether you are starting from scratch, transforming a traditional playground into a nature-inspired play area, or expanding an existing outdoor classroom this training will help you define and prioritize design elements for your space. Participants will create the “Outdoor Classroom Map & Vision” which is a scaled map of your current space and how you would like to transform the space. In this model participants will also list their current resources, identify barriers, and create a wish list so that their vision of an outdoor classroom begins to take shape. Participants will be encouraged to find a visible space within your program to display your “Outdoor Classroom Map & Vision” so you will begin to get more buy in.

Core Knowledge Area
  • Healthy Environment & Nutrition
  • What We Teach
  • Infant/Toddler
  • Preschool/PreK
  • School-Age
Session Dates
Session Times
July 29, 2020
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
August 5, 2020
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Additional Information

This will be offered as a 2+2+2 model on July 29 & August 5 from 5-7 pm with a two hour practice component in between. In order to earn the 6 hours of professional development participants must complete all three parts of the course. To hold your spot, email April Zajko at aprilzajko@gmail.com ~ To complete registration, please send a $20 check made payable to April Zajko, P.O. Box 4115, Saint Johnsbury, VT 05819 ~ In your envelope (or by email), please include your Full Name, BFIS Credential ID #, Place of Employment (no initials), Mailing Address, Email, and Phone Number. All this information is needed to submit attendance to Northern Lights. Please note: Currently I do NOT have a way to accept online payments. Once your check is received, I will email you the Zoom link and will give you access to the "Growing Outdoor Classroom" powerpoint slides and resource list!