HOW WE Explore
At Country Day School, learning isn’t limited by walls. Teachers in all our grades and disciplines use our picturesque setting to bring learning outside into the open air. This emphasis on outdoor learning allows students to experience nature firsthand and to connect their discoveries to academic disciplines.
Our treehouse classroom opened in 2018 and is the only one of its kind in Western Pennsylvania. Inside the treehouse is a fully enclosed classroom with Murphy tables that unfold from the walls and large windows that provide plenty of fresh air and natural light. Outside, a large observation deck surrounds the classroom, and a suspension bridge runs to a platform on a neighboring tree. It is truly a playground for young minds.
In language arts, third graders write nature poetry in the woods, allowing their senses to investigate different elements of nature and using figurative language to describe their observations. Then they use poetic phrases to compose shape poems – poems that take on the shape of the objects they describe – to mirror what they witnessed in nature.
Shady Side teachers take advantage of opportunities to instruct outside the typical classroom, allowing children to learn in new and exciting environments.