It has been a long time since a basic book has been published for primary school teachers giving ideas for outdoor learning. This book is aimed at teachers who want to take their class outside more often and need quick and simple ideas. Here's a quick summary:
1) This is an activity book not an advice book nor one which reflects upon the value of outdoor learning. 2) Many activities will not be new to teachers or outdoor professionals who work a lot with children outside. However the presentation of the material is great and quickly accessible via the index and curriculum areas. It is still well worth buying. 3) Traditional activities such as leaf rubbings are expanded upon in an open-ended and flexible ways. Many of the suggestions are helpful in terms of taking a problem solving approach within an activity that aids high order thinking. I particularly liked the "Pass the Stick" activity. 4) Art, design and technology are a key focus. This is a clear interest of the author. Using digital technology is covered within the activities rather than as a separate section. 5) How to introduce pattern work outdoors is nicely explained. The art of storytelling is succinctly explained in another section. There are some good suggestions around farm visits.
I do not think, given the range of possibilities that exist for taking learning outside, that one book can ever do this subject justice. However this book is a welcome starting point for developing the habit of taking children outside on a frequent, regular basis.
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This book contains an excellent collection of ideas for primary school teachers, parents or anyone who wants to work outdoors with children. There are tons of great fun, creative activity & lesson ideas which are well explained. The lesson ideas are split up into subject areas. There is also a very useful section on how to organise outdoor learning lessons, how to design an outdoor classroom and how to make an outdoor lesson kit bag.
The children in my class have loved doing the activities from the book & I've recommended it to all of my teaching colleagues & friends who like doing outdoor activities with their own kids.
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The main highlight of the "Classroom Gems" series, for me, is that they focus wholeheartedly on activities and their successful application in the classroom, as opposed to the theory behind the practice. Whilst there is, of course, a place for theory, the strength of this series is its ability to give open-ended activities that can be picked up at a moment's notice. "Learning Outside the Classroom" is no different; the book categorieses activities by subject, allowing the reader to browse with ease and speed to their chosen topic and gives a wide variety of activities ideas and extensions. As a relatively new teacher with little outdoor learning experience, the clear layout of the activities and the step-by-step guide to its execution has given me the confidence to try a multitude of different activities in each of the curriculum areas. I would certainly recommend this book to those wanting to extend their knowledge of the ways in which objectives can be met in the outdoor classroom and extend their repertoire of ideas.
As a new Forest school leader I was struggling for ideas. This book provides lots of useful ideas for learning in the outdoors both for Forest school and classroom teachers. It covers all areas of the curriculum and provides extension activities. I would reccomend this book to anyone who believes in the outdors as a productive learning environment
This book has re - energised my teaching, it is a fabulous resource with so many useful and practical ideas. I would recommend this to all new teachers to help with great ideas and with more established teachers to add some light refreshment into your methods. Thanks so much for this book
Great little companion book with a bundle of ideas. Each activity is great within itself and superb as a springboard into promoting a child's curiosity. Definately worthy of a place in any outdoor activities library.