FIELD Edventure Story
When Crestwood Elementary School approached FIELD Edventures, they already had a strong investment in outdoor education. Every student participated in “Outdoor Education Mondays” where community volunteers would take classes into the school forest and garden. The staff, however, desired a more integrated approach to outdoor education.
FIELD Edventure coaches worked with a core writing team of teachers and community volunteers to develop an outdoor inquiry framework with weekly environmental learning experiences integrated into science, social studies, and writing curriculum for all students, to provide nearly 12,000 hours of instruction outdoors.
In the fall of 2019, Crestwood teachers and administration, as well as District administration, expressed strong interest in developing outdoor experiences integrated into the new science curriculum, Amplify. While an engaging, phenomena based curriculum, Amplify is not place-based. Therefore, during the 2019-20 academic year, the F.I.E.L.D. Coach met repeatedly with administration and teachers to develop place-based, outdoor experiences connected to the Amplify lessons. Specifically, lessons have been created for kindergarten and third grade. In the fall, kindergarteners investigated the Crestwood school forest to determine if it could be a habitat for squirrels and various birds. This required them to understand the needs of animals and explore the woods to find evidence that various animals could find food, shelter, water, and air. During the third grade Amplify unit on heredity, students investigated bird songs and inherited and non-inherited traits of trees.
The FIELD Coach was engaged in the process of co-creating lessons for second and fifth to be taught later this spring, along with additional lessons for kindergarten and third grades. However, with the switch to remote learning as a means to slow the COVID19 pandemic, these lessons have been put on hold.
In addition, the coach collaborated extensively with the 4K teacher to integrate nature based play and learning through the co-creation of 3 units exploring snow, water and birds.