Through outdoor education and place-based learning we explore the interconnectedness of the land, the people, and the natural flora and fauna of the region. We may focus on specific content areas at different points in time or through an interconnected thematic unit. At Woodbury we have a strong committment to integrating outdoor education into our instructional programming. Through outdoor education students feel a sense of connection to the people and land they are surrounded by. This in turn leads to informed and engaged citizens who will work together to create a rich and vibrant community.
Outdoor Education Programming at Woodbury:
Educating Children Outdoors (ECO): All students engage in outdoor education 2 hours/week with Nature Educator, Ken Benton, from North Branch Nature Center. ECO is a standards-based nature immersion program that works in collaboration with classroom teachers and their students. ECO’s goal is to help children and their schools to develop a lasting relationship with the natural world and foster a sense of place and stewardship in our local Vermont communities. ECO works with schools on a weekly and biweekly basis to help meet Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards outdoors while introducing children to the natural community right outside their classroom.
ECO helps Woodbury teachers to engage their students in natural inquiry-based learning. The surrounding environment becomes a co-teacher as we explore the fields for insects and build bear dens in the forest. ECO capitalizes on the opportunities of learning outdoors that support social and emotional learning such as group dynamics, work projects, learning to take care of others and how to take care of our environment.
Students at Woodbury Elementary School participate in Four Winds every other month with our amazing community volunteers!
Four Winds Nature Institute is a non-profit organization advancing the understanding, appreciation and protection of the environment through community-based natural science education and research.
Founded in 2006, Four Winds strives to improve environmental literacy throughout a community by providing people of all ages with meaningful opportunities to explore the natural world. In developing and offering programs, Four Winds is committed to those that address the following goals:
- Increasing people’s knowledge of the natural world through direct observation, hands-on learning activities, and rich outdoor experiences.
- Improving science literacy (content and skills) by encouraging people to explore their local environment.
- Connecting a broad and diverse audience of people to the natural world on an ongoing and meaningful basis.
- Providing people with the critical thinking, problem solving, and citizenship skills to make informed decisions on local environmental issues.
Mrs. Demers dressed up as insect during one of our Four Winds lessons this fall.
Gardening: Throughout the year students participate in various components of supporting with our school garden. Students support with planting, tending the garden, as well as harvesting. This is implemented into the school day and opportunities are additionally provided to engage in gardening during our REACH Afterschool Program.
Nordic Skiing at Craftsbury Outdoor Center: Students in all grade levels participate in a 5 session nordic ski program at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Students have the option to attend a lesson and explore the trails and forests of the Northeast Kingdom.
Ice Skating at Woodbury: Woodbury Elementary School is fortunate to have a skating rink on campus. A committed group of parent and community volunteers maintain the rink and it is used by students at recess and during PE throughout the winter.
Annual School Hike: We kick off the school year with an all school hike with trails that leave, literally, from outside our front door. This trail system is used throughout the year by the school community. This event helps us build community within our school and brings students outside the walls of the classroom!