One of the things that I like to try to do a few times a quarter is survey your students to see what it is that they care the most about. The way I see it, half the battle of being a good teacher is engaging students — so if I can find out what they care the most about, I can create a more engaging learning space.
In my recent survey, the theme that came up time and again was that your kids want to go outside more often. I get that, given that we don’t have recess at Salem Middle.
To address that, I’m going to start taking the kids out more often during science class.
Right now is actually the perfect time to do that because we are studying ecosystems. We can study a bunch of concepts in our unit outside. And there is usually a day or two every week where the temperatures hit 50, so getting outside isn’t impossible even though it is December.
To pull that off, though, I need every student to be prepared to go outside every day!
I told your students that I’m going to act like Dad any day that we go outside — and if they aren’t dressed warmly, they won’t be able to join us! They’ll end up sitting in the back of another teacher’s classroom reading about ecosystems instead.
Here’s how you can help: The easiest thing to do is make your child wear a coat to school every day. If they say that it won’t fit in their lockers, have them see me. I will let them store it in a cabinet in the science classroom. Also, consider stuffing an old winter hat in the pocket of those coats. Keeping heads covered is the best way to stay warm in the winter.
If you can’t get your child to wear a coat every day, send in a few old sweatshirts and an old winter hat that they can keep in their lockers permanently. At least then, they’ll have something to layer on if we go outside.
And nudge your kids to leave the shorts and flip flops at home until we get to spring!
We are going outside at least one day next week — we are going to start a year-long observation of the pond park that should be fun.
Hope this helps,