Promoting outdoor learning in sports
By Anna Ramos
When we think about learning outdoor, scenes like garden, under the tree are the best described always the first things that come to mind. However, where students live or where their school is situated should not prevent us from providing them with experiences learning outside the classroom, especially given the general benefits. Access to nature has also been shown to decrease the misbehavior of students and stress levels of teachers as well. The outdoors provides a change of pace from classroom which students and teachers enjoy. Nature can be a good setting for conducting outdoor learning like sports and written test too.
Learning outdoor is active and increases students’ mental, social and most importantly physical health. Physical activity such as simple sports support emotional, behavioral and intellectual development in a sense that it develops: a sense of self independence, confidence, creativity, decision making, problem-solving skills, empathy towards others, self- discipline, initiative and most significantly motor skills. A brief stroll in an outdoor environment or a short visit to a playground can positively impact students’ attentiveness as well as their working memory. This is of particular interest to the teachers of students who live in a places like urban centers, where access to green space might be more limited.
Today, we educators alike know that students need at least 30- minute of moderate to maximum exercise each day, we need to encourage our students to spend at least an hour being active might not seem like such of a challenge. The truth is that, nowadays we are living in a world of technology where in our students are spending more time glued to screen time and rooted to classroom desk.
Currently, the Department of Education conducted the Palarong Panlalawigan which aims to hone physical strengths of our students and develop a culture of fitness for the future. It is also the perfect time for schools to start prioritizing activity and introducing the benefits of regular movement to our students and to get involve with sports such as exercise friendly fun. This opportunity will give the students to build their physique and can help put fitness first.
Sometimes improving the physical fitness and active culture in a school environment also requires right resources. Making sure that we need to have a various low cost and high reward materials that are already aligned to palaro and physical education standards.
In a world where it’s becoming more difficult to engage students in sports activity, allowing them to take control of their fitness is the perfect way to promote positive habits. When students spend so much of the time stuck indoors, learning in a traditional classroom, any break from the room can have a hugely positive impact on engagement. But getting outside has a lot of other benefits as well.
Some benefits of outdoor learning are as follows:
• Improves eye movement
• Build core muscle strength
• Help develop gross motor skills, counting skills and letter.
• Practice following simple instructions while being active.
• Build motor coordination skills which are necessary for sports.
• Have their observation skills and learn from his/her experience.
• Encourage social interaction and expand vocabulary
Digital programs, music and even simple task cards can help teachers start developing and promoting outdoor learning like for instances:
• Do the fitness activities outside the classroom to get the students moving during the class period.
• Play uplifting music to promote movement during opening, break and closing.
• Do exercise programs available before and after school.
These are really fantastic list of learning ideas that can be done outdoors in the warmer weather. It is a chance to appreciate and better understand nature an opportunity to get some exercise, and a great way of creating a multi-sensory experience. Don’t miss out on all the advantages of promoting outdoor learning in sports. They will be more likely to try it.