The Nature Explore Classroom at

Shirlee Green Preschool
at Congregation Shaare Emeth

Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing.”

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For example; if you plant seeds in a garden, but they do not grow it reflects upon the possible reasons for not growing.  Your goal is to beautify the world while trusting in God for his assistance.  So you may ask yourself – did the seeds get too much light, not enough light?  Did the seeds get enough water?  Through these life experiences and our trust in God, we learn to try again and again until we accomplish success!

Outdoor Kitah – provides for a child to learn in a way not possible in a traditional indoor classroom.  An outdoor classroom allows preschool children to move freely in the outdoor space.  I’ve observed how children turn a typical hollow log into a slide for imaginative turtles, a shelter for the ants, and many other creative ideas in the same week with the same log.

Mitzvah Garden – Creating a food source in nature for our students and those less fortunate.  The pumpkins from our mitzvah garden looked beautiful in many sukkot throughout the Temple.  Also, cucumbers and tomatoes were eaten by students that usually turned away from these foods at home.  So much food was available due to the love of this garden, we were able to extend food to Room at the Inn, a group for families without a home.

What a better way to implement experiential learning than by planting seeds in the exploration center in March.  By May, the seeds have matured into small plants awaiting transplanting in the mitzvah garden.  And finally, they mature into large sunflowers that provide shade in the outdoor classroom.  The sunflower also provides much curiosity for dissection and food for birds and children!  Imaginations are stimulated, creativity is provoked, and learning is accomplished!!

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11645 Ladue Road
Creve Coeur, MO  63141

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