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What Would an Outdoor Lesson Look Like Online?

In March I was able to work with an elementary school student on a science project via ZOOM and I thought sharing that process would be helpful to understand what the Bumble Bee or Mason Bee packages would look like.

I’ve had the privilege of teaching and becoming close with an amazing family that spends a lot of time in Idaho during the year. One of the kids in the family, Hank, is a 5th grader enrolled in a home-school program in another state. His family reached out and asked if I could help him with a big science project. To start his project, I was able to meet with him in person for a few hours one afternoon and we started the first couple steps of a student-driven inquiry project. These steps included--- planning the project, collecting materials, getting some of the testing done (he was very interested in mammal fur and heat retention) and finally creating a timeline with project goals and a plan to check in again.


After that meeting, Hank and his family traveled back down south and he continued working on his project. A few weeks later his mother sent me a draft of his report that I provided feedback on along with reviewing his poster/project template. During a scheduled ZOOM meeting Hank and I went over his project paper and practiced asking interview questions. This was my favorite part of helping him with his project! He had to connect with a scientist or expert in the field that his inquiry was in. I was able to connect Hank with a local scientist and set up a ZOOM meeting for all of us where he could ask questions and tell us more about his project. When he was done his mother sent me the final project and paper for me to review!


This all took place within a few months and from states away! So to break down the timeline it looked like this:


Week One: Set up an outdoor student-driven inquiry project, collect data, create a timeline/plan

Week Two & Three: Student works on data and draft of paper. I look it over and provide feedback

Week Three: ZOOM meeting with student to go over project, paper, and practice interview skills

Week Four: ZOOM meeting with scientist and student, student starts final drafts of project visual and paper

Week Five: Student finishes final drafts of project visual and paper. I look over and provide feedback


This process would be silmiliar to the BEES packages with the only changes being that Week One/Meeting One would take place online.

Both packages provide either four or five ZOOM meetings over a two month period! I would help students set up an outdoor inquiry or engineering project based on their interests and be there the whole step of the way! This could include providing digital guiding materials (worksheets, articles, websites, ect), connecting students to scientists, meeting school/state/home-school standards, looking over papers/projects and any other needs your student requires!


Hank's mother was kind enough to provide some feedback about my experience with Hank and to talk about some other moments I have worked with her and her family through the last couple years!


"I am happy for the opportunity to tell you about Ashlee.

Ashlee has made remarkable connections with my children, as well as many other children. Let me provide some examples. Ashlee instantly gets on their level, and actually participates with them in their activities. She jumps in 60 F lake water to get them to do a swim test, and she is so enthusiastic, the kids don’t complain, they jump right in after her with big smiles. She engages my young children in a way, that when they do a 3 mile hike, they are so busy learning and having fun, they don’t even realize they are on a hike. The kids are inspired to learn about the local animals, and their habitat, tracks, diet,...all things wilderness, and they ask to learn more. My oldest son, Hank, was so enamored with Ashlee’s knowledge and ability, he asked her to help with a school project that involved digging tunnels in the snow for 3 hours, to help study heat loss of different kinds of animal fur. Of course Ashlee made it just about the funnest thing he ever did, and even put Hank in touch with a local scientist to help continue his learning.


Ashlee is special, because she engages children in a way that they don't even realize they are learning; the kids are actually having fun, meanwhile as a by-product, they are absorbing all this knowledge Ashlee introduces to them. What a wonderful gift to be so inspirational to children!


As affable as Ashlee is, she is always prepared, the tasks are well planned, and she is reliable.


Ashlee is personable, and genius. She has taken me on several hikes around McCall, and I was learning the entire time but I also made a great friend. If you get a change to go on a hike with Ashlee, don’t miss the opportunity! " - Mary L.


Please contact me with any interest or questions about setting up a package for your family! I I can be reached on the Contact Page or send an email to backyardeesessions@gmail.com


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