OUTDOOR Teacher RetreaT

Saturday, November 5, 2022                          

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education           
8480 Hagy's Mill Road, Philadelphia, PA 19128

About this Nature-Based Training

You can expect a hands-on day of outdoor fun in nature! We'll explore topics such as documentation in the outdoor classroom, aligning activities to standards and competencies, and more!  Presenters share insights and activities based on their work in nature preschools, forest kindergartens, or other nature-based programs. Training is ideal for educators working with children ages 3 years old-3rd grade. Light breakfast and lunch are included, but bring your canteen for drinks. 

ERAFANS will provide a professional development certificate at the conclusion of the event. Please dress for the weather, as 100% of this event will take place outdoors, and don't forget your canteen!


Saturday, November 5, 2022 from 8:30 AM - 4 PM
Morning and afternoon sessions include learning about Schuylkill's Nature Preschool and Kindergarten, documentation, naturalist skills and more! The morning sessions will include a Preschool/Pre-K track and a Kindergarten+ track. Breakfast and lunch included.

Workshop Descriptions

This retreat is packed with topics you will love! You can look forward to engaging, immersive sessions on the topics you need to learn, play, and explore with children outside. 

Morning Sessions I 10:40 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

Preschool/Pre-K Track

Counting Birds and Reading Trees: Math and Literacy Nature School Style, Melissa Sheppard, Star Child Nature School

Math and literacy in nature is much more than counting acorns and writing with sticks, although that’s fun too! Melissa Sheppard founder of Star Child Nature School in Burlington County NJ will guide us in bridging academic learning with nature based learning. Utilizing a natural environment fosters sensory integration, physical and cognitive development and a hands on approach to learning that children really connect with. Melissa will share writing, reading and math activities that you can take directly to your classroom, nature space or home. Best for ages preschool-K.

Kindergarten+ Track

Documentation and Reflecting on Children’s Interests, Rachel Swartzman, Awbury Nature Days

We all take a million photographs of children engaged in their work, yet those photos rarely get shared in meaningful ways. Through a dedicated practice of reflection meetings, teachers can grow an emergent curriculum based on the children's own interests and discoveries. By sharing images of the children's actual experiences reflected back to them, teachers are able to deepen the children's connection to the curriculum and to each other. In this workshop we will learn tools to simplify this practice for teachers, and explore the range of curricular connections our photographs afford.

Afternoon Sessions I 1:25-3:25 p.m.

Mushroom Moments: Fostering Childhood Connections with Fungi, Sam Bucciarelli, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

Tap into the mycelial web and connect with fungi through gameplay and exploration. This session will include group gameplay, a guided walk to search for mushrooms, tips for identifying and interacting with mushrooms, and a presentation on fungi education for children. Learn about the ways fungi can help students connect with nature, each other, and themselves.

Workshop descriptions and full schedule coming soon! 


ERAFANS will provide a light lunch (options available for gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian), but please plan to bring your own canteen for water! 

Have questions? Reach out to Emily Woodmansee at emily@erafans.org.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software