Nov 18

Encountering Math, Science & Literacy in our Outdoor Classroom (a Free Webinar)

For six years, the Kindergarten class at Mine Centre Public School has been using to their outdoor “camp” to explore and understand part of the forest just down the road from their school. Visiting the outdoor classroom three times each week, students are encouraged to discover their surroundings and develop a relationship with the land. During these expeditions, educators Marge Hale, Sara Empey and Verna White create opportunities for the children to explore math, science and literacy through a series of lessons that leverage what the forest has to offer. A large number of students come from nearby Anishinaabemowin communities, so the team actively includes Anishinaabemowin culture into their activities. Join Marge, Sara and Verna as they share stories from some of their favourite experiences. They’ve seen spiders and ants, birds and trees, animal tracks and mushrooms – and every living thing in between! You will leave with lesson ideas you can try when you bring your own class outside. You may even feel inspired to start your own outdoor classroom!

Mine Centre School’s outdoor classroom received a recognition of excellence award from the Rainy River Board of Education in 2016. Their class’ inquiry process is included in the most recent edition of Natural Curiosity.

About the Speakers:

Marge Hale
With more than 35 years of experience in education, Marge Hale helps young children explore, inquire and engage their natural curiosity as the Kindergarten Teacher at Mine Centre Public School in Mine Centre, Ontario. Marge believes that when children are given the opportunity to regularly be in nature, they develop a connection to the earth, coming to respect plants, animals and each other.

Sara Empey
Sara Empey is the Designated Early Childhood Educator at Mine Centre School. She works alongside Marge in the kindergarten class. Growing up in Devlin, Ontario, Sara has spent a lot of time outdoors with family, friends and, now, her students. She loves to be outside with children, supporting their curiosity as they explore the world around them.

Verna White
Verna White is from Whitefish Bay First Nation and raised with the language and culture taught to her by her grandparents. She is the Ojibwe teacher at Mine Centre School and has been teaching there since 2011. She teaches Physical Education and Health to the Kindergarten class, as well as Social Studies/History to Grades 1 – 8. Verna loves to tell the children stories about animal names and how to respect the plants and animals by letting the students know that we are visitors in their home when at camp. Wintertime is just around the corner and she can’t wait to tell stories about how different animals came to be and how Nanaboozoo (our great teacher) decided he was going to copy woodpecker because he was hungry and ended up with a broken nose! So many fun stories!

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