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Natalie Shikoski

Natalie ShikoskiMy name is Natalie Shikoski and I have been teaching in Green Bay for 15 years. I studied at Marian University, and I taught at St. Bernard Catholic School, Chappell Elementary school, and Altmayer Elementary.

In the 2018-19 school year I started teaching at Oak Learning Center, the nature-based 4K at the Wildlife Sanctuary. My favorite thing about teaching at Oak is being outside with the students; every day is an adventure! We spend up to 80% of our day outside with a naturalist. As we are exploring, the naturalist educates us on plants and animals we discover. The students are engaged with the natural world and learn to care deeply about and take care of the Earth. Literacy, math, and social/emotional skills are woven into our day with Creative Curriculum in alignment with Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards.

Research shows that nature-based education benefits children in many ways: Children develop great cognitive skills because of the heightened awareness and focus of being in nature. Physical skills grow as well; students can take risks (safely) by climbing and jumping off rocks and trees. Social/emotional skills grow as the students develop empathy for animals, which in turn leads to empathy toward people. The best part is that our students (and teachers) are full of wonder and excitement about learning outside! 

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