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Learning OUTSIDE the Classroom

As we continue adjusting to the 2019-2020 school year, I find myself thinking about all of the valuable learning experiences our students have already participated in and benefited from…and it is only October! While reflecting on these experiences, I have realized that many have taken place OUTSIDE the classroom. I have capitalized OUTSIDE because these learning experiences have literally taken place outside and they have proven over and over again to be incredibly beneficial to our students!


Day Trips


Taking advantage of our New York City (and beyond) offerings is an essential part of our Churchill Elementary School Curriculum. Each day trip is planned to enhance what students are learning inside the classroom. Day trips also provide an opportunity for students to enhance their social development in ways that are not naturally allowed in a classroom setting. For example, field trips allow for students to get to know students outside of their homeroom class and allow for opportunities to learn and problem solve in ways that are not possible within the walls of the classroom. Day field trips enable our students to learn about our surrounding community and to have meaningful and experiential learning opportunities during the school day.


Overnight Trips


Our Churchill Elementary School takes one annual overnight trip to Nature’s Classroom with our Cluster D students and faculty. We have already completed this trip for the 2019-2020 school year and the student benefits are truly endless. For many Cluster D students, this is their very first time away from home. Thus, the benefit of learning how to cope with homesickness is immeasurable. This is often more difficult for some than it is for others, but year after year, the two-night trip to Nature’s Classroom has proven to help young students gain confidence and a sense of pride when they have this successful experience away from their families.


Also, learning outside is so important! Our students are so fortunate to benefit from this experience as they explore, learn, interact, and grow with nature’s natural classroom! This is especially beneficial for students who live and attend school in urban communities as they likely have less of an opportunity to explore the outdoors and all it has to offer.


We are so very fortunate to have the ability to provide these opportunities to our students and we look forward to more learning outside the classroom in the weeks and months to come!


Sara L. Cohen

Elementary School Principal

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