L.E.O. - Lessons in Education Outdoors - Levels I, II, & III

Course Number: L.E.O. I; L.E.O. II; L.E.O. III (Course numbers will be assigned and registration links provided as cohorts are built.)
Instructor: Kurt Valenta, M.Ed.
Location: The instructor will hold the course at the participating school if a minimum of 6 teachers and/or staff members participate.
Dates and Times: Exact meeting dates and times to be determined by the cohort. Each one of the stand-alone 1-credit courses to be held as a two-consecutive-day-session determined by cohort consensus.
Credits: 1 Graduate Credit
Tuition: L.E.O. I - $300; L.E.O. II - $400; L.E.O. III -$400

Note: Please register directly with Kurt Valenta at Exordium. Please notify Exordium if you wish to take the course for Castleton credit. You will then be given the link to the online registration form.

Course Description

This is a series of 3 one-credit courses. The courses can be taken in any order. For more detailed information, contact instructor Kurt Valenta.

L.E.O. – Level I – An Introduction to Lessons in Educating Outdoors – (1 Credit – 15 hrs.)

A one-credit course using your schoolyard and its surrounding landscape to learn how to engage students of all ages in a cross-curricular learning experience. We will learn how to use the trees, grass, playgrounds and so much else to investigate, discover and journal about the many aspects of the natural world. Using these explorations, we will develop ways they can be used to meet State and National Standards and 21st Century learning objectives in math, science, literacy and social studies.

Goals:
The goals to be achieved in the Introductory L.E.O. course are threefold:

  1. To bring an awareness of the extent of the natural world that can be found in every conceivable type of schoolyard.
  2. To imbue the teacher with a confidence and skillset to be able to step outside of the classroom environment and successfully manage the learning experience of a student cohort.
  3. Bring real-world connections to students by applying inquiry- and place-based problem-solving to the cross-curricular learning opportunities identified in the school’s landscape.

L.E.O. Level II – Applications for Lessons in Educating Outdoors – (1 Credit – 15 hrs.)

Building on L.E.O. Level I, this course will delve deeper into specific habitats as well as look at the various aspects of the natural world such as adaptations, cycles, designs and social structure. Each participant will receive a basic exploration kit as well as a packet of teaching aids that will help to jump-start their classroom ventures into the outdoors.

L.E.O. Level II will deepen your knowledge of a variety of nature’s aspects by:

  1. Taking a close look through hands-on exploration of specific habitats and the animals that live in them.
  2. Through the use of Guides, Dichotomous Keys and a wide variety of resource materials both print and web-based.

L.E.O. – Level III – Extending the Applications of L.E.O. ( 1 Credit – 15 hrs.)

Learn to construct simple equipment to enhance your investigations and allow the students to take ownership of their learning while gaining an understanding of basic principles of mechanics, physics, and science. Potential sources of materials, simple designs and how they are used are the main takeaway. Upon completing all three levels of the L.E.O. course participants will understand the potential scope of their schoolyard landscape for teaching enhanced outdoor lessons and have the knowledge to build or source materials that support those lessons.

L.E.O. Level III is intended to have participants learn the underlying principles in the equipment and tools often used in investigating the natural world. The building projects themselves become stand-alone lessons that encompass a variety of disciplines learned through hands-on participation.

For additional course & registration information

Kurt Valenta
(802) 238-3697