On any given day in our outdoor classrooms, you can see children digging, building, exploring, running, and climbing. You can also hear them talking about the insects they observe, plants they grow, and asking questions about their wonderings. It is an extension of the classroom, where students are also learning about the world around them.
These outdoor classroom environments are very different than the urban communities that most of the district’s children live in. These classrooms become our “YES,” as children are able to explore, create, and learn. Our teachers experience what Sam Dennis and colleagues observed in their 2019 study, “Contrary to the widely held belief that time outdoors overexcites children and encourages challenging behavior, educators who use natural outdoor classrooms report a decrease in distractibility and increase in positive behavior, such as improved attention and listening.”