BSI's strategy for academic achievement combines rigorous investigations into science and literacy with opportunities for open exploration and independent learning. Teaching and learning in the schoolyard broadens horizons, provides concrete examples of concepts taught inside and reconnects urban teachers and children with the natural environment just outside their school door. BSI's Science in the Schoolyard™ and Outdoor Writers Workshop™ programs:
- incorporate our 10 years of experience in using the schoolyard for teaching and learning and
- provide the tools, educational resources and on-site support to help schools use their schoolyard to create positive academic and behavioral results.
BSI offers district-wide courses, on-site and in-depth Science in the Schoolyard™ and Outdoor Writers Workshop™ professional development and resources, resources for teaching in the schoolyard, and quarterly meetings of Outdoor Learning Facilitators at BPS schools with outdoor classrooms. BSI professional development programs have been developed in conjunction with the BPS science and literacy departments and BPS teachers. It is based on recent research on how students learn, and uses an inquiry approach with teams of teachers focusing on grade-level strategies, differentiated instruction, and on-site practice.
View our video to take an inside look at the Thomas Gardner Elementary School's outdoor classroom.