Learning in the Garden–Lessons & More

Sara LockieOutdoor EducationLeave a Comment

How often do you think of plants? You might have house plants, maybe a garden. You most certainly eat some plants, if only potatoes! (Chips? Fries anyone?) But maybe a school garden is a new concept for you. Of course, school gardens are beautiful. And kids do love to eat things they’ve grown. But school gardens also provide unique laboratories … Read

Water All Around Us–Lessons & More!

Sara LockieOutdoor EducationLeave a Comment

Kids fishing

Although water is all around us, this vital resource needs protection. Teach your students about water, and how they can help conserve it with the lessons in the Next Step Water Unit. Hands-on learning through ready-to-go activities that are content-rich AND fun! Begin by going on a water scavenger hunt. Play a game to simulate the water cycle. Create an … Read

We Need Pollinators–Lessons & More!

Sara LockieOutdoor EducationLeave a Comment

Butterfly on a flower

The Pollinator Lesson Pack includes six hands-on lessons connected to the Iowa Core for Kindergarten-5th grade. The Next Step Adventure Education Team partnered with Story County Conservation to develop these engaging lessons. Use them to increase your students’ awareness of pollinators. Each lesson is linked with a specific grade level, but the activities can be adapted to all ages, and are … Read

Launching #99Parks!

Sara LockieOutdoor Education1 Comment

Shelly & Sara

What a fun day at Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center for the launch of Travel Iowa’s #99Parks! Shelly Johnson and I had a great time at the event, and even more fun helping to develop the activities, materials and backpacks for the Challenge. The Iowa Department of Tourism is challenging Iowa families to visit one park in each of Iowa’s 99 counties … Read

FUN!!! With Kids & Worms

Shelly JohnsonFamily adventures, Outdoor Education, Team BuildingLeave a Comment

Brody Middle School students

How do you get middle school kids to think about garbage and composting? Well, you simply bring some wiggly worms to school. Along with the live ones, it doesn’t hurt to provide some gummy ones as well. Last Wednesday I did just that–I took worms of both types, along with some other stuff to College, Career, and Community (C3) Day at … Read

Summer Days

Sara LockieFamily adventures, Outdoor EducationLeave a Comment

Last spring our mailbox was crammed with glossy brochures filled with summer opportunities. Day camps, overnight camps, weekly classes, weekend trips. They all sounded like fantastic new experiences that our kids would enjoy and remember for a lifetime. “I just want to be at home,” my 10-year-old son glanced at the brochures and said, “But Mom, the schedule is always … Read

Want Better Discussions? Frame the Conversation

Jesse WilcoxOutdoor Education, Philosophy & MusingsLeave a Comment

Just as important as the verbal interactions we use with students, we must also be aware of our non-verbal behaviors. Eye-contact, smiles, looking interested, and open body posture can make the environment feel much more open and welcoming. When we relax and employ these more positive nonverbal behaviors, students tend to engage in and contribute to classroom discussions (Herman, 2008). … Read

Want Better Discussions? Just Wait A Few Seconds.

Jesse WilcoxOutdoor Education, Philosophy & MusingsLeave a Comment

My last post introduced some questioning methods that can engage students in more authentic classroom conversations. Now that you’ve had a chance to try some open-ended questions or the HRASE Strategy, and incorporate them into your classroom repertoire, we have two more approaches to try Wait Time I and Wait Time II. This can be a powerful way to encourage … Read