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Teaching outside: a breath of fresh air
Are your students suffering from cabin fever? Or are they weary of sitting indoors when the sun’s shining beyond the classroom walls?
Being cooped up in a classroom environment can take its toll. So, why not get them out into the fresh air and give teaching outside a whirl?
This article looks at the benefits that teaching outside can have on student behaviour and well-being as well as some practical ideas for taking lessons outside of the classroom.
What are the benefits of teaching outside?
There are many reasons to change the learning environment once in a while. Teaching outside has several perks to offer, including:
1) Improving student engagement:
Most teachers agree that it can be tricky to keep a class focused. This is particularly true when the better weather comes along and all kids really want is to be outside enjoying it! Switching up the learning environment can be a great solution, as it allows kids to enjoy the outdoors and keeps things fresh which is more likely to keep them engaged in their learning.
2) Making learning relevant:
By taking teaching outside of the classroom, you’ll encounter a host of opportunities to make their learning more authentic. Many concepts that students struggle to understand in class can be much better explained within a real-world context. A short field-trip (e.g. to a museum or local place of interest) can work wonders for a geography or history class, for example.
3) Reducing problems with behaviour:
Whilst teachers will inevitably have to come up with a set of ground rules for learning outside of the classroom, being outdoors can generally have a positive effect on student behaviour. And students are less likely to play up if the whole class will be taken back indoors as a result!
4) Activating their imagination:
Sometimes taking students outside of the classroom unleashes their creativity and reveals a side to them that they normally keep hidden. Teachers can channel this additional creativity and enthusiasm by giving them activities such as role plays, drama, art and design projects, or problem-solving tasks to work on.
5) Developing their interest in the environment:
Teaching outside provides a great opportunity to educate your students about the environment, and even the local area and community. This helps towards their development as responsible citizens, which can be tricky to teach in a meaningful way inside a classroom.
Ideas for teaching outside
Mixing up the learning environment doesn’t have to involve complex travel arrangements, detailed forward-planning or extensive resources.
In fact, the best place to start is the school grounds! Here are some options you can explore:
- Play areas: get creative with your school’s play areas for team-building games or problem-solving activities
- Use natural habitats: make use of meadows, ponds, forest and hedgerows for field study or scientific exercises
- School garden or growing areas: use areas like vegetable gardens to get students excited about sustainability, food tech and science
- Whole site: organise activities like orienteering across all of your school’s spaces, stage an outdoor play, music concert or get students involved in some funky outside art
Don’t be put off by a spot of rain or bad weather either – at Utility Rentals, we have an awesome range of all-weather playground canopies, making teaching outside possible in any season. And, with our flexible rental terms you needn’t worry about maxing out your school budget!
Would you like to find out more about the equipment we have to help your school with teaching outside? Call the friendly Utility Rentals team today.