The Nature Explore Classroom at

Gulliver Academy

Gulliver Schools in Miami, FL has always valued the importance of being outdoors. We have an open campus where students, teachers, and parents are able to walk the outdoor hallways to deliver children to their classrooms and students enjoy time in our patio areas throughout the day during lunch, assemblies, reading classes and for all special events and activities. Our outdoor space is a true extension of the learning that takes place all day long.

The Primary grades have always enjoyed a garden area with raised plots for planting local fruits and vegetables. Families are invited to join us as we plant, harvest, and cook with the produce. Over time, our community of teachers wanted something more for the space; a place for our students to freely explore nature while still incorporating our play-based curriculum. After researching for some time, we found that the Nature Explore program best met all our wants and needs for an outdoor classroom. We worked with a Nature Explore landscape architect, as well as a consultant to help us bring the most out of our small and intimate space. Through meticulous planning and teacher and student input, we created a natural area filled with countless opportunities for our students to grow, learn, and explore.

Our Nature Explore Classroom has transformed the open area located between the Primary and Lower School buildings into a lush outdoor area enjoyed by all, as it allows our students to interact with natural materials daily. Students have the opportunity to explore the open areas using the natural pathways created by our plants and child-made steppingstones. The garden is lush with milkweed plants that attract monarch butterflies, and local flora and fauna, insects, and birds call it home. All our building blocks and furniture, including storage bins, are made of natural materials allowing for a rich natural environment.

Our outdoor classroom is a true extension of the learning taking place every day indoors. During center time, the children are able to flow from inside to outside and work in small groups to explore numerous learning concepts, including science, handwriting, math, reading and collaborative problem-solving. The double-sided easel allows for creative expression as well as a tool for teaching, our small tables and benches make it easy for children to work together on building activities, collage work and art projects. When butterflies are fluttering near milkweed plants, conversations about life cycles and connections to our science program are made. One of the most popular features is our water table and the sheer joy it brings our students as they test items that sink and float, how to keep water from getting to the next level of the table, and bringing it over from our water collection system.

Our outdoor classroom allows all members of our community a space to gather and come together for learning opportunities and celebrations.

Address

12595 Red Road
Miami, FL  33156