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Saturday, June 8, 2024 from 
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Juniper Root Woodland Microschool
Chesterfield, Missouri

About this Nature-Based Training

Join us near St. Louis for an engaging day of nature-based teacher training at Juniper Root Woodland Microschool. Pending DESE approval, this training will awaken your senses, kindle curiosity, and spark more ideas for outdoor learning with young children. 

This retreat brings together experts in the field of nature-based early learning to share ideas and practices, with a variety of workshops to choose from. ERAFANS will provide a professional development certificate at the conclusion of the event (pending 6 clock hours of DESE approval). Please dress for the weather, as most of this training takes place outdoors, rain or shine. Coffee/tea with lite breakfast and lunch included on Saturday, but remember your canteen for drinks throughout the day. 

Note: We strive for zero waste during our training events; please bring your canteen for drinks.

Who Should Attend?

This training is ideal for educators, caregivers, and others working with young children ages 2 to 8. Our participants work in all kinds of settings, from nature-based schools and forest kindergartens to public schools, traditional preschools, HeadStart programs, childcare centers, daycare, and more. 

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. 

Child-Directed Learning: A New Way to Look at How We Support Students at Juniper Root
Julie Gill, Juniper Root Woodland Microschool
This session will provide an overview of Juniper Root Woodland Microschool. Juniper Root is a self-directed school with a heavy emphasis on nature. We utilize a holistic approach to education that aids children in the exploration of their individual passions in a collaborative group setting.

Risky Play
Jenn Thrasher, Wild Tykes Forest School
This session will dive into the benefits of risky play, how to assess risk, and how to communicate with families and administration. With a hands-on tool portion, teams will work together to create a risk-benefit chart. Participants will leave this training feeling prepared and confident to support young children through risky situations successfully.

Growing Together: The Nature Lab Approach to Parental Involvement for Forest Schools
April Roberts, Little Leaders Academy
Discover the transformative power of parental involvement and effective documentation in nature-based learning with our Nature Lab course. In this session, we'll explore strategies for building meaningful partnerships with parents and fostering a collaborative learning environment. Participants will gain insights into creating documentation practices that capture the essence of outdoor education, showcasing children's growth, exploration, and connection with nature. Join us to unlock the secrets of successful nature-based education, where engaged parents and purposeful documentation harmonize to create a thriving learning community in your nature school.

Building Student Relationships: Connecting through Routines and Rituals
Caiti Quatmann, Juniper Root Woodland Microschool
Discover how to integrate the social-emotional learning principles into your classroom with practical activities from "I Love You Rituals." This presentation offers educators innovative strategies to foster meaningful relationships with students, enhancing emotional intelligence and classroom community. Explore how these rituals, rooted in respect and empathy, can transform your teaching approach, creating an inclusive environment where every student thrives.

Journaling and Observation in Practice
Emily Hemeyer, Waldorf School of St. Louis
Whether you're new to journaling or a seasoned practitioner, join us for an immersive exploration of this enriching practice. Through lively discussions and engaging hands-on activities, we'll delve into the art of observation, inquiry, and wonder. Discover how to effortlessly weave journaling into various subjects, using prompts and activities to ignite personal discovery, fuel imagination, and foster lively group interaction.

Emotional Regulation: Supporting Students in Managing Big Feelings
Brittany Taussig, Rise Behavioral Consulting
During this session, teachers will learn several strategies to regulate both their student's emotions and their own. We will discuss some basic neuroscience related to how the brain functions during a meltdown or moment of dysregulation. I will also reference the Zones of Regulation and go through some verbal de-escalation strategies teachers can use with students of different ages.

Have questions? Email us at programs@erafans.orgPlease note that all participants are required to complete this waiver during registration. Our refund policies are found here as well.

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