A Teaching Garden Levels The Playing Field

10 Jul

 One thing that I’ve found throughout my teaching career and especially in the last few months, with the installation of our American Heart Association Teaching Garden is that outdoor learning is an important part of children’s development. When kids are outside and away from the fluorescent lighting and four walls that make up their classroom, it frees them. Working outdoors is more relaxing and engaging. Teachers can teach a wide range of curriculum and incorporate many concepts in an outdoor setting. Students can investigate, explore and take part in hands on learning that can’t be provided by a book, a video or a lecture. Working in an outdoor environment creates that “being there” experience that locks in learning for our kids.

 

 With hands on learning, you can meet the needs of many kinds of students to reinforce and apply their learning. Students who lack confidence in a classroom can be leaders when they are in the garden. The garden gives kids success, builds their self-esteem and gives them a place that they can be proud of. Kids who learn differently, have reading challenges or who need to move quite a bit greatly benefit from an outdoor garden curriculum as well. They can see science in the making, witness the beautiful colors of a wildflower bed, dig in the dirt, watch preying mantis, butterflies and aphids in their habitats and contribute to the garden in many ways. All students can work cooperatively while taking on different roles and responsibilities that aren’t available in a classroom setting. It offers variety and endless opportunities for learning and growth.

 

Our school garden connects parents, teachers and students in ways that I have never seen before. Everyone is a part of our garden. From planting seeds, moving mulch, trimming out dead leaves, watering or just reaping the harvest, there are no prerequisites or standards set in place to limit anyone. It is a fair game and a place for all to shine. Get going and get those kids out in the dirt to dig in!

 

 

Guest Blogger: Kim Aman

A public school teacher working towards integrating school curriculum and farming at Moss Haven Elementary School.

Twitter: @mhe_farm                                                                    

Blog: http:// mosshavenfarm.blogspot.com

The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

The American Heart Association’s blog is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment. Only your healthcare provider can provide that. The American Heart Association recommends that you consult your healthcare provider regarding your personal health matters. If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or another emergency, please call 911 immediately.

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