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Ask teachers for their ideas on integrating grounds activities into the curriculum.
Find out the types of outdoor classroom projects they would like to use. Children may be excited about having a pond, for example, but there is no point in installing one if teachers are not interested in using it.
Teachers spend time in the yard supervising children during morning and afternoon and lunch time recesses. They can provide valuable information on the spaces most and least favoured by the children, safety concerns, problem areas, and possible solutions. Teachers can comment on the play needs of children throughout the year and whether these needs are being met.
Teachers sometimes raise concerns about grounds greening projects reducing their ability to adequately supervise children at play. Networking with other schools that are greening their grounds helps to reduce their concerns. Also, check out Making a Model to learn how building a walk-in floor model of the grounds can help you ensure that important sight lines are preserved.
During the grounds transformation process, teachers can help monitor and evaluate changes in children's behaviour in the school yard, and their attitudes towards learning, each other and their environment.
Teachers can create a demand chart which lists outdoor classroom ideas for them to vote on. Each teacher has five votes and checks the projects they are most likely to use. This helps to prioritize project implementation.
Spreading the word
Let the students know when the teachers are being surveyed and ask them to tell their families about it. Teachers can suggest that children, parents and other family members hold their own mini-brainstorming session at home to help complete the Parent Surveys.