Planting the idea of teaching outdoors

More than 20 Lincoln Public Schools educators attended a workshop at Holmes Elementary School on Aug. 3 to learn about how they can use gardens and outdoor learning spaces to teach math, science and language arts.

LPS Sustainability Coordinator Brittney Albin organized the free half-day event, which included time inside the school and outside in the Holmes garden. Representatives from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Nebraska Forest Service and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources showed the group of mostly elementary school teachers how they could incorporate school gardens into the approved LPS curriculum.

“We know there’s an interest from teachers for them to have students spend time outside and we want to align that with what’s going on in our schools every day,” Albin said.

Cameron Mettinbrink is one of those interested teachers. He’s about to begin his first year with LPS, as a kindergarten teacher at Lakeview Elementary School. After attending the workshop, he’s excited to find ways to incorporate outdoor learning spaces into his lessons.

“It’s teaching kids that learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom,” Mettinbrink said.

The Aug. 3 workshop was geared toward elementary school teachers, but Albin said she hopes to organize future workshops for middle school and high school teachers.

Published: August 8, 2018, Updated: September 28, 2018