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schools stjoseph stjoseph 1868B649-835C-4836-967F-F3FBEF3676B6 5658
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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Kindergarten at St. Joseph’s and the Outdoor Classroom
 
At St. Joseph kindergarten the playground is the classroom!  We strive to spend 50% of our Kindergarten day in our outdoor classroom. This encourages and sparks the natural curiosity of our students, promotes exercise, and provides opportunities to learn in an authentic, child-directed, center and inquiry-based setting. We, the teachers, are there to extend children’s thinking and support their learning as they discover the natural world around them, pose questions, make theories and test predictions. A writing center and an arts studio, Lego and play-dough as well as a welcoming snack table are some of the centers you will find in our indoor and outdoor classrooms. Additionally, observing ladybugs, collecting worms for our terrariums, looking at the texture of different stones and rocks, asking why the leaves are falling from the trees, collecting sticks and comparing them based on thickness and length, and wondering about why ice is forming in that corner of the playground are what you may see going on at any given day at our school. Being a city school, “Nature Deficit Disorder “affects many of our students—this growing disconnect with the outdoors is cause for concern. Many of our students are spending less time outside being active and more time inside and sedentary. We believe that it is important to bring children back into the outdoors and foster a learning environment in nature. Learning outdoors helps develop and improve critical thinking and problem solving skills; it brings out the creativity in our students and teaches them stewardship: to respect and care for the environment, for God's creation.