Teaching Photos

What School Looks Like When Learning Moves Outside

By Jaclyn Borowski — September 15, 2021 1 min read
Teacher Angela Ninde, right, works with students in their garden at Centreville Elementary School in Centreville, Va., on Sept. 7, 2021.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

For students in Angela Ninde’s 5th grade class at Centreville Elementary School, taking their math lesson outside is a daily occurrence. On one day in early September, they moved in groups—from a lesson at picnic tables where they used dice to learn the difference between odd and even numbers, to a section of planters where they dug holes for fresh seeds and trimmed kale from their existing crops, to an area with markers and large sheets of paper where they could spread out on the ground and illustrate different ways of using multiplication to represent the same number. Ninde has made learning outside a staple of her lesson plans, and has seen huge benefits for her students.

Reporter Madeline Will and I spent part of the day with Ninde’s class to see what holding class outdoors looks like. Learn more about how outdoor teaching and learning works in Ninde’s school, and the challenges that other administrators and teachers face in trying to shift learning time to outside of a school building’s walls.

From left, Estuardo Najarro, Robin Chew and Nawal Mohamed cut kale from their garden during class at Centreville Elementary School in Centreville, Va., on Sept. 7, 2021.
Students plant seeds in their garden during class at Centreville Elementary School in Centreville, Va., on Sept. 7, 2021.
From left, Zach Elwell, Talan Harris and Angelo Pareda plant seeds in their garden at Centreville Elementary School in Centreville, Va., on Sept. 7, 2021.
Lyric Monroe admires a recently released butterfly that’s landed in the garden at Centreville Elementary School in Centreville, Va., on Sept. 7, 2021.
Angie Ninde leads her class through a math lesson outside at Centreville Elementary School in Centreville, Va., on Sept. 7, 2021.
Lyric Monroe and Bobbi Johnson (top) and Jennifer Girgis (bottom right) participate in a math lesson during class at Centreville Elementary School in Centreville, Va., on Sept. 7, 2021.
From left, Adam Brooks, Mila Puphal and Nawal Mohamed work on a multiplication assignment during class outdoors at Centreville Elementary School in Centreville, Va., on Sept. 7, 2021.
Students work on a multiplication assignment during class outdoors at Centreville Elementary School in Centreville, Va., on Sept. 7, 2021.
Kira Vue, center, discusses an assignment on multiples during class outside at Centreville Elementary School in Centreville, Va., on Sept. 7, 2021.
Students in Angie Ninde’s class prepare to head back inside at Centreville Elementary School in Centreville, Va., on Sept. 7, 2021.
Layan Altarawneh holds the door for her classmates as they head back inside at Centreville Elementary School in Centreville, Va., on Sept. 7, 2021.

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Early Childhood Webinar
How the Science of Reading Elevates Our Early Learners to Success
From the creators of ABCmouse, learn how a solution grounded in the science of reading can prepare our youngest learners for kindergarten.
Content provided by Age of Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
English-Language Learners Webinar
Classroom Strategies for Building EL Students’ Confidence and Success
Fueling success for EL students who are learning new concepts while navigating an unfamiliar language. Join the national discussion of strategies and Q&A.
Content provided by Project Lead The Way
Future of Work Live Online Discussion Seat at the Table: Understanding the Critical Link Between Student Mental Health and the Future of Work
In recent months, there’s been a rallying cry against the teaching of social-emotional skills. Discover why students need these skills now more than ever.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Opinion From Reading Instruction to Teacher Leadership: 1,000 Educators Share Their Advice
For more than a decade, Larry Ferlazzo has been curating intelligence from colleagues and K-12 experts. Read what they have to say.
1 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Teaching Opinion The Danger With Giving Students Feedback
Feedback works best when it's just one step in a learning process, writes Alfie Kohn.
Alfie Kohn
5 min read
Illustration of teacher and students walking away from a spotlight shinning on an empty school desk and chair
J.R. Bee for Education Week
Teaching Opinion Collaborate With Your Colleagues. You'll Prosper and So Will Your Students
Teachers can learn a lot from their peers and all the other staff members in their school.
4 min read
A team of people work together to build a block structure.
Imam Fathoni/iStock<br/>
Teaching Opinion Looking for Ways to Organize Your Classroom? Try Out These Tips
Be sure to set up your classroom so that it helps students learn and you save time.
3 min read
Opinion 23Henig planning future 1206435418
Anastasia Usenko/iStock/Getty<br/>