Bonus Blog for December

Hi. I just had a few thoughts that extend out of my previous post The best present is one you can give year round.
I thought it would work best as a two minute reminder about the wonders of outdoor time for students even when the weather outside is frightful.
Stay warm and well. Will

What’s this about fresh air?

After all of that hard work and kindness, don’t forget to celebrate a little too. When the snow flies, there is nothing like an outdoor hike combined with a game of snow tag(not to be confused with snowball throwing). Students love the fresh air and physical movement too. The time spent preparing for the elements is well worth the mental health, exercise, and class unity that outdoor opportunities provide. It’s also a great chance for your learners to see you play and having fun too. You can wrap it up by serving hot cocoa and cookies(or approved health conscious treat) too.

Although outside time is one method to gift time to your class, it is not always possible. Sometimes students become schoolbound because of extreme weather(usually cold or rain). After a few days, the vibe of a school gets thrown off. The lackadaisical attitude becomes hard to miss except in the mischief department where students seem to be able to consistently achieve. I knew we had had too many indoor recesses in a row when a student called me dad.

It is important our students maximize the times when they are able to get outside. This is never more evident than in the older grades of 6-8 where students are routinely hiding in the bathrooms or going around rooms begging to help teachers. I think we have missed something when students celebrate when it is indoor recess instead of getting some fresh air.

There is so much to learn in an outdoor setting. It is calming and exciting at the same time. It allows for movement, engagement, and wonder. It can be as simple as a neighbourhood hike, a read aloud under a shady tree or a snow fort building lesson for structures and stability. For Math purists there can be hypothetical conversations about the number of snowflakes that it takes to cover a certain area?

Thanks for reading.

Updated: December 27, 2018 — 9:15 pm

The Author

Will Gourley

J/I lead learner and SERT at Adrienne Clarkson PS in the YRDSB. Focused on disruptive, and divergent modern learning. Member of the global TED-Ed(Club) movement, 1 of 110 TED Ed Innovative Educators, and Global Math Project Ambassador. Twitter @willgourley Proudly blogging here and at

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