Workshops help teachers go wild in the classroom


Workshops help teachers go wild in the classroom

Workshops help teachers go wild in the classroom

Summer is just around the corner and teachers and students alike are counting down the days until school is out. But just because classes are no longer in session doesn't mean that learning should stop. Especially for the teachers! Summer is the perfect time to take a breather, recoup and learn something new. That is why Lee Richardson Zoo is offering two professional development classes for teachers and caregivers who are interested in incorporating nature in the classroom.

On Friday, June 6, preschool through eighth-grade educators are invited to attend a workshop that will focus on outdoor learning and nature play. Studies have linked the amount of time children spend exploring the natural world with increased test scores, reduced Attention Defficent Disorder symptoms, reduced stress, and a higher level of agility, fitness and overall health. With all of these benefits, it makes sense to try to incorporate nature play into as many areas as possible. This workshop will have teachers participating in hands-on activities and help them discover how to integrate nature throughout their curriculum. We will be focusing on activities from the Project Wild and Project Learning Tree books. Participants will receive a copy of these books to keep and use in their own classrooms.

On Saturday, June 7, the focus of the workshop shifts to early childhood caregivers and educators. The early years of child development are critically important and set the foundation for a healthy, well-rounded individual later on. Participants in this workshop will learn how to safely and effectively engage children in outdoor exploration and nature play that are developmentally appropriate to little ones. For this session we will be referring to the books "Growing Up Wild" and "Project Learning Tree Environmental Experiences." Participants will also get a copy of these books to take with them. This session is also approved for six hours of KDHE continuing education credit!

Both workshops are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and cost $60 for one day or $100 for both days. This price includes lunch, snacks, drinks and two resource books for each workshop. There are some scholarships available thanks to the generosity of the Finney County Community Health Coalition, so please contact the zoo at 276-1250 for more details! The Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education also helped to sponsor these incredible learning opportunities.

So, teachers and caregivers, make sure to get your summer off to a great start of continued learning. These workshops are just one of many ways you can continue to exercise your brain when school is out. For the kiddos, don't forget about our fun, engaging and educational summer Zoo Edventures.

These wild Edventures are filling up quickly, so get your registration in today! To stay up-to-date with all the latest zoo happenings this summer, check out our website at or "like" us on Facebook!

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