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Bridge School, 55 Middleby Road, Lexington, MA 02421

Big Backyard: 2015-2016

Big Backyard is a seasonal program that relies on parent volunteers to lead nature walks around Bridge School for small groups of students from their child's class. The Big Backyard program introduces children to many aspects of the natural world using the natural areas around Bridge as an outdoor classroom. Observation, learning to ask good questions, problem solving, and respect for the natural environment are emphasized throughout the program.

The theme of each walk is coordinated with the classroom science curriculum for each grade based on the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework. Big Backyard walks are great fun, and provide a way for parents to support the classroom teachers and interact with their own children. No previous experience is necessary. First time parents are always welcome.

If you would like to volunteer, but are unable to make the training dates listed below, or if you would like more information, please contact one of the Bridge Big Backyard co-coordinators: Constanza Lisdero, Andrew McKee, or Mary Alice Haddad.

Overview General Training
Karen McCarthy, district-wide program coordinator and science curriculum specialist presents the general philosophy behind the program. Dates and location are announced via Bridge to Home. Please consider attending this overview training if you haven’t before.

Walk Review Training by Grade Level
Walk trainings by grade level are held seasonally (for fall, winter, and spring) by the Bridge School Big Backyard coordinators. When dates and times for walks and training are set we will post them on this site (see below). Guides for each of the walks are available in PDF format. Links to these can be found further down this page. If you would like to lead a seasonal walk please come to the designated training. We will provide printed versions of the guides at each of the training sessions.

We will meet for training in the front lobby of the school. Please arrive 5-10 minutes before the start of the training session so that we can begin promptly. Please dress appropriately for going outside and walking in the woods, as we will cover the route of the walk regardless of the weather, within reason.

Important note:
Any adult working with children at the school is required to have a Massachusetts CORI check. To have this done, please fill out the form (available from the school office) and bring it to the office in person along with a valid driver's license. Per procedures, school staff are required to see a valid driver's license, copy it, and attach it to the form. The CORI form takes several days to process, so please do this at least a week prior to the walk. The good news is that completed CORI checks are good for three years and one applies for all school activities so you don't have to submit separate forms should you volunteer for other things at the school. Please click here for the form. Questions? Contact Kerry Daley.

Click on the links below to access walk descriptions, materials, and training schedules.

  Kindergarten Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5
FALL Plants and Seasonal Changes

Animals and What They Need to Survive

Native American Needs


Plants, Animals, and Seasonal Changes


Animals and What They Need to Survive

Using Thermometers

No winter walk





























Supplemental Materials:

Environmental Basics Handbook