Field Journaling Accelerates Learning for Kids
Well-known field guide artist leads workshop with teachers
In August 2016, John Muir Laws, artist and creator of the widely used Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada, led a second round of teacher workshops for Loyalton Schools and the staff of C Roy Carmichael Elementary in Portola and Quincy Elementary School.
A total of 32 teachers participated in the hands-on workshops, receiving curriculum and other journaling resources, including class sets of field journals for their students.
Why do these workshops matter? FRLT's Learning Landscapes coordinator Rob Wade emphasizes that field journaling has been an exciting accelerator for Learning Landscapes as it has provided a powerful and relevant activity that is effective at every grade level. It supports teachers to teach outside more frequently. The fact that it integrates science, language arts, art, and math allows teachers to use it across the curriculum as they explore phenomenon, pose questions and solve problems they encounter on their campus and adjacent Learning Landscapes outdoor classrooms.
My 4th graders are so excited about their new science journals. We went to our outdoor classroom today to sketch a plant as well as describe it using descriptive writing and math. We came back to the classroom and in pairs used the field guides to find the name of our plants. It was one of those perfect activities from beginning to end...beautiful, sunny afternoon, pine scented air, happy students. Thanks so much for the workshop and all the wonderful supplies you gave us.
And in Quincy, Kindergarten teacher Kathy Whitaker is getting her students out every week.
The Jack Laws Field Journaling Workshop was fun, interesting and a positive experience for me. My students LOVE their little hard bond journals. It is my goal to journal every week. With 4 weeks of school I have accomplished my goal so far. Students LOVE their time outside. I have tied this journal to math, science, and writing.
The workshops came as a result of a partnership between the Plumas National Forest, local school districts, and FRLT's Learning Landscapes program, with generous support from the Northern Sierra Partnership and friends like you.
Thank you for helping to grow young land stewards!