more about this German approach to learning and playing look up the European

More about this german approach to learning and

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more about this German approach to learning and playing look up the European Federation of City Farms or go to .bdja.or g/ . The Gateway School - St. Louis, Missouri A previously mentioned example that must be cited for further discussion when considering play and education is Gateway School in St. Louis. Besides providing for education through more natural settings, this playground has also sought new ways to combine mathematics and science into the play environment. “The plan was that the school be a playground for the mind” (Landscape Architecture, 2000, p. 71). At Gateway School, children can use their entire schoolyard for both learning and playing. For example, the math and physical science play areas consist of flexible spaces designed to clarify abstract problems. Features include Solar System Walk, the Hydrolics Lab, the Physics Playground, the Distance Scale, the Math Playground and numerous outdoor classrooms, complete with comfortable seating and microclimates. The cosmic display, for example, is a portion of the Math Playground where pavement surfacing has been used to cut sections through geometric forms. The whimsical combination of these forms makes them fun to play and imagine with even when not in Math class. The measuring stick, a bright yellow oversized measuring tape, allows children to gauge real distances. It can also be used for fun games such as leap frog and long jump. The limestone ellipse in the Physics Playground is an area of crushed stone and sand that allows for digging, and provides a place for building simple structures or machines. Innovative Play Structures Research Project August, 2001 Page 36
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Whether a child is in class or not, it is always ‘play time’ when you get to manipulate your own environment. Geography is taught at the meeting place above the Amphitheatre where the map of Missouri is sandblasted into a directional compass. The Amphitheatre itself is a place where school plays and creative productions are presented. Gateway School has been awarded the American Association of Landscape Architects Merit Award. Although this project had a very large budget provided by some major corporate sponsors, many individual ideas can be borrowed and incorporated into more modest scale playground developments in places such as Manitoba. Local Examples In Manitoba, the move towards creating educational play components in the school ground is beginning to be considered. At David Livingstone School, in Winnipeg, the school and community decided that an outdoor classroom that could also serve as a teenage ‘hang out’ area, would be beneficial. The classroom is designed as an elliptical shaped space bounded by two concrete seat walls. The pavement serves as a scientific and cultural educational tool. A central sundial locates the cardinal directions, Aboriginal spirit totems associated with these directions such as the eagle, coyote, bear and bison are used as reminders of cultural stories. A pole in the centre of the classroom serves as a measuring device for the sun’s movement.
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