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Ep. 112 Open Air Classrooms with Amy Cornet

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When we asked Amy, who teaches at an outdoor school if there were any cons to learning in the outdoors, she couldn’t think of even one! However, she could name endless pros. Tune in to hear all of them!

Amy started her teaching career in Japan for a year and then came back home to Canada and has been working for Sturgeon Public Schools since. She has been teaching kindergarten for the past 14 years. A few years back, she read “There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather” by Linda Åkeson McGurkand together with another kindergarten teacher and principal, they made a proposal to their school board to run an outdoor kindergarten program. This is now officially their second year of the program. She has two daughters and three stepdaughters, and you can find them skating, sledding, going for walks, exploring new places, playing games in the backyard, and having fires. On top of that, her family is trying to get 1000 hours outside this year.

Benefits of Outdoor Learning: 

  • Allows for play-based learning  
  • Children can direct play 
  • Allows for greater regulation and more joy! 
  • Getting outside [especially before noon] helps regulate the circadian rhythm and helps sleep patterns  
  • Suits many diverse learning needs and is inclusive to everyone  
  • Lends well to boosting moods 
  • Lessens the time needed for classroom management – kids don’t need to sit still or “stop running” 
  • Kids learn to problem-solve together  
  • Offers opportunities for risk-taking and adds to resilience  

 Sturgeon Heights School: 

  • Their school is not a forest school [forest schools have very specific regulations and go through a certification process]
  • Their school follows the Alberta curriculum, and does it all while including lots of outdoor time (minimum 2 hours per day)
  • They are now adding outdoor schooling for up to Grade 3!
  • Provincial regulations allow them to take the kids outside until -25 degrees Celsius (with wind chill)
  • They have people come to them for “field trip” experiences
  • They have not found a negative to being outside more!

Kids are naturally curious learners. We don’t need to be worried about if they are learning outside…they are! 

If we as adults lead, they will follow [us outside]! 

Item Recommendations: 

Heated Vest & Travel Hammock 

Book Recommendation: 

There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather by Linda Åkeson McGurk

Follow Sturgeon Public Schools at: 

IG: @openairkindergarten or @sturgeonheightsschool


Thank you to Morrison Outdoors for sponsoring today’s podcast! Find more at: Use code FREECANADA within Canada from March 1-March 31, 2023 for free shipping on orders over $50!

Today’s Host: @adriannaadventures & @laurenrodycheberle from @kidswhoexplore
Production: @kpmediaproductions. Music: @michaelferraro_music