The Classroom Beyond Newsletter

Nature-Based Education at a Zoo Preschool

Hi, friends! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate hearing from you through e-mail, the comment form, and even in person about my little informal education project. Clearly there’s an audience out there! Thanks again for your interest… and don’t forget, if you know an informal educator who’s got something to say about teaching, ask them to get in touch!

The Podcast

This week, I chat with Eileen Garcia-Sanchez of the San Antonio Zoo Preschool. Eileen and I talk about what traditional preschool looks like when blended with the outdoors, not to mention the unique environment of a zoo. Here’s a link to the podcast episode.

The Blog

I was curious about teaching in the harsh climate of a Texas summer. Eileen assured me that heat can’t spoil a child’s sense of adventure and discovery. And, of course, there are these moss balls to explore! I didn’t know what those were, either – it turns out that there’s a bromeliad-relative called ball moss found all over the region. They are fascinating and bizarre, so I blog about them here

Also, of course, since Eileen had so much to say about risky play I wrote up a quick gloss of that fascinating topic. (The TL;DR is: Smart Risky Play Makes Kids Safer.)

Coming Soon!

It’s time to expand our definition of informal educator! Next week, I talk with Memphis music teacher Jim Cornfoot, so try to imagine what arts instruction has in common with outdoor education. (Spoiler: it’s quite a lot.)

As always, please feel free to get in touch with feedback or ideas. It’s a brand new project and I’d love to know which parts are working for you.


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