For students in Angela Ninde’s 5th grade class at Centreville Elementary School, taking their math lesson outside is a daily occurrence. On one day in early September, they moved in groups—from a lesson at picnic tables where they used dice to learn the difference between odd and even numbers, to a section of planters where they dug holes for fresh seeds and trimmed kale from their existing crops, to an area with markers and large sheets of paper where they could spread out on the ground and illustrate different ways of using multiplication to represent the same number. Ninde has made learning outside a staple of her lesson plans, and has seen huge benefits for her students.
Reporter Madeline Will and I spent part of the day with Ninde’s class to see what holding class outdoors looks like. Learn more about how outdoor teaching and learning works in Ninde’s school, and the challenges that other administrators and teachers face in trying to shift learning time to outside of a school building’s walls.