The Nature Explore Classroom at
Haddon Avenue STEAM Early Education Center
At Haddon EEC, we have the fortune of watching our children learn about the world around them in the most natural of ways, through play in a small beautiful oasis in the San Fernando Valley.
As a school, we provide instruction and explicit learning opportunities, but we see that the outdoor classroom of our Nature Explorer Yard provides endless learning opportunities through discovery.
We have parks nearby, but in our area, children are not often given the opportunity to observe nature and all it has to offer. In our outdoor classroom, our children learn how to share space with insects and animals and each other, they learn to adapt, and respect their environment, through care and observation.
Our children always have something to do as well. This minimizes behavior issues, as children navigate friendships and the space around them. For example, in our Action Area we have tricycles where children use their gross motor skills while navigating the use of space with their other friends. Opportunities they might not have otherwrise.
Our children also have opportunities to obsesrve cycles of wildlife. For example, a few classes were tracking the changes to a bird’s nest, taking pictures of eggs and seeing the eggs hatched. They were able to observe, in real time, what has happening. And it is all connected to science, and as a STEAM school, it builds exciitement to care for our environment and wildlife and school.
Our chilren are becoming more creative wth the space. For example, a windy day brought sticks to our yard. Without prompting children started collecting sticks and building a nest, others said it was a building, and some children did the same and built a campfire.
As a staff we are finding many ways to maximize our outdoor classroom. We’ve learned to go on scavenger hunts, use plants to help dye cloth, and encourage the children to become invested in our space by modeling caring behaviors that help maintain our yard. We get to see smiles, we get to dance, and we get to laugh and learn though the many micro and macro learning opportunities that are afforded to our children through discovery.
10085 Haddon Ave.
Pacoima, CA 91331