Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT
Add to Calendar 


Symonds Elementary School 
79 Park Avenue
Keene, NH 03431

Driving Directions 


Peg Smeltz 
Antioch University New England 

Registration Fees:

Individual: $125

Group Rate: $100

(2 or more from same school/organization)

AUNE Alumni & Co-Sponsors: $75

AUNE Students: $50


Inside-Outside: Promising Practices in Nature- and Place-based Elementary Education 

Saturday, October 27, 2018
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Symonds Elementary School
79 Park Avenue, Keene, NH

Join us for this day-long conference of educators who are redefining what's possible in elementary education. As we build school programs around place-based social studies, outdoor science lessons, Forest Fridays and more, we're connecting children to the natural world, local communities and big ideas.

Conference Registration Check-In and Workshop Selection will open at 8:00 am. Morning refreshments will be available. We'll begin the day at 9:00 am with a ceremonial opening, followed by a morning keynote. Breakout workshop sessions will follow, and then lunch (on us)! The afternoon brings something new: a "keyNOT!" We're switching out the after lunch keynote and going for a more active and interactive conversation on important topics. Linking to the keynote theme of wall-less-ness, come prepared to share positive examples of your work teaching children outdoors. Another set of workshop sessions will take place in mid afternoon. A closing circle rounds out the day!

Because we are not doing a PRE-registration for workshop sessions this year, please come early and come prepared to sign up for your workshops at the morning registration check-in. Workshop titles and their presenter information follows. To see detailed descriptions of the workshop schedule, download this Conference Brochure.

Morning Keynote

Breaking Down the Barriers to Innovative Education

Paul Bocko, Antioch University New England, Keene, NH and
Aimee Arandia ěstensen, Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT

Nature- and place-based education done well can break down the barriers between schools and community. Wall-less-ness as a concept was identified by educators at the Green School in Bali, Indonesia. Their idea was that wall-less-ness is removing physical and figurative barriers to sustainability education. Playing with terminology around nature- and place-based education can help us make sure we are not complacent in our vision for education but adaptive to the ever-changing context of schools and communities. Paul and Aimee believe that wall-less-ness describes education that opens doors and breaks down barriers in order to playfully access context-rich learning that integrates the natural, built and cultural environment.

Paul and Aimee will share in presenting their take on wall-less-ness and how it has impacted their professional lives. Each will also share specific examples of wall-less-ness in images, stories, and discussion.

Afternoon Key-NOT:
Cheryl Charles, Antioch University New England
and YOU!

This is an active after-lunch opportunity to tackle some of the prevalent questions elementary educators face when doing the work of implementing nature-based or place-based programming into the traditional 'inside' school day. Cheryl Charles of Antioch's Nature-based Leadership Institute and co-founder of the Children & Nature Network will facilitate small group conversations on important topics.

Morning Workshops
  • Droppers, Poppers and Passers (And More!): How Seeds Get to Where They're Going
    Vanessa Stern, Union Street School, Springfield, VT
  • Water Wheels: An Engineering Design Challenge
    Sarah Boehm, Community Day Charter School, Lawrence, MA
  • Caterpillars: Misconceptons and Metamorphosis
    Sam Jaffe, The Caterpillar Lab, Marlborough, NH
  • Creativity in the ARTdoors
    Sarah Wilson, Environmental Artist & Antioch University New England, Keene, NH
  • Nature Writing: Connecting Students to the Natural World and Their Local Community
    Betsy Stacey, Keene Middle School, Keene, NH
  • Unearthing History
    Jason Lovett & Adam Altshuler, Kindle Farm, Newfane, VT

Afternoon Workshops

  • Science and Story: Enhancing Reading Comprehension through the Integration
    Deb Kardane, Academy Elementary School, Brattleboro, VT
  • There Are Birds in Your Neighborhood
    Polly Pattison, The Harris Center for Conservation Educaton
    Andy Dube, Franklin Elementary School, Keene, NH
  • Sense of Place through Art and Song
    Peter Siegel and John Bass, Symonds Elementary School, Keene, NH
  • A Neighborhood River: Developing and In-Depth Integrated Study
    Linda Donnelly and Chad Odwazny, The Common School, Amherst, MA
  • Rise and Fall of Water Power: A Place-Based Historical Exploration
    Laura White, Chesterfield Elementary School, Chesterfield, NH
    Tricia Hurley, Cup of Life, Keene, NH
  • Writing Poetry in Nature
    Leigh Anne Keichline, Juniper Hill School for Place-based Education, Alna, ME