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Supporting Nature-Based Learning
March 4, 2021
Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.
-Frank Lloyd Wright
Much has been written lately about the value of providing children with ‘loose parts,’ especially when those come from natural sources. In the book, Growing With Nature: Supporting Whole-Child Learning in Outdoor Classrooms, Johanna Booth-Miner, Director of Live and Learn Early Learning Center in Lee, New Hampshire, shared this story:

"In the outdoor classroom our preschool children are able to use ‘natural loose parts’ to explore connections and concepts such as physics, fulcrums, bridges, balance and others. When allowed to manipulate boards, sticks and wooden tree cookies, children can bridge ideas and hypothesize to discover answers."

Sandra Duncan and Jody Martin, in their book, Bringing the Outside In provide suggestions for adding nature’s loose parts to the indoor classroom, such as:
"Gradually add natural elements to your block center so children are not overwhelmed with excitement, end up dumping more than they build, or use materials in inappropriate ways. Add one or two new natural items each week so children are given the chance to incorporate these new elements into their building…"

Want to learn more about the value of nature-based experiences? There is a free ECI webinar, "Supporting Teachers in Nature-Based Programs," presented by Sheila Williams Ridge and Sarah Sivright on March 10, 2021 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time.

Here’s the description:
Whether you are considering increasing your outdoor learning as an option to keep children safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic or to meet the developmental needs of the children, this webinar will parse the role of administrators in nature-based learning environments.

Join this webinar to:
• Explore ways to prepare and support teachers in outdoor environments
• Develop systems for observing and assessing children and teachers
• Learn strategies to communicate with families around the values and practices of outdoor learning, especially around health and safety.

Buy One, Get One FREE

Buy Bringing the Outside In and get Keeping it Growing FREE with coupon code OUTSIDE.

Make sure both titles are in your cart before checkout!

Bringing the Outside In offers nature-based experiences to encourage educators and young children to bring the natural world into the early childhood classroom. Each hands-on, open-ended, and sensory-oriented experience is designed to spark discovery and imagination; encourage conversations and collaborations; and allow young children to develop a sense of wonder and get to know the natural world.

Keeping it Growing, a practical and inspirational book, grounded in a study of thriving Nature Explore Classrooms throughout the United States, offers research-based principles for keeping your outdoor classroom growing in a sustainable way. Ideas for engaging and supporting staff, families, and community volunteers, and for making maintenance an enjoyable part of the learning (instead of a chore) are shared through real-life stories and beautiful photographs.

Enter coupon code OUTSIDE at checkout.

Offer valid through March 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. May not be combined with any other offer. Not valid on past purchases or bulk purchase discounts. Both titles must be in your cart for discount to apply.



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ExchangeEveryDay is the official electronic newsletter for Exchange Press. It is delivered five days a week containing news stories, success stories, solutions, trend reports, and much more.

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