The Nature Explore Classroom at Heritage Montessori School
Upon hearing of the Nature Explore certification program in late April of 2012, Sharon Shedrick of Heritage Montessori became excited to transform her already existing outdoor classroom into a certified Nature Explore Classroom.
During the first parents meeting, it was decided that they would pay for Sharon to go a Nature Explore Workshop. Everyone was excited and eager to volunteer and made it a goal to finish the classroom before school started in August. School families, community, neighbors and friends volunteered, donated money and materials and had a lot of fun creating the areas of the classroom and making this project become a reality.
With a large, fenced in yard, there is plenty of room for movement and for incorporating all the areas needed for Nature Explore certification. Many low cost, recycled items were used to complete the classroom. Pallets were used to build the stage and mosaic art areas while a picket fence was used for the stage back drop. Tires form a nice border for the compost and digging areas while also keeping loose materials contained. Native and flowering plants add color and interest to the classroom. As children encounter plant life, through their close observations, they learn to identify plants and also assume some responsibility for caring for those plants.
As Heritage Montessori School children engage in authentic play in their classroom, they are developing a variety of skills. Skills that are foundational in preparing them for their future.