Summertime is a time to connect with nature. If you happen to be close to the water, you have daily reminders of this. I always know when sunrise and sunset is, as well as high and low tide. This creates a rhythm to the day that effects all that I do.
In the summer edition of Tufts Magazine, there was an article titled What’s lost when kids lose touch with nature? In it, W. George Scarlett talks about the disconnect with the natural world. No longer are kids let loose to play in the woods or to roam the outside. Instead, they are indoors connected to TV and video games or outdoors in organized sports. This alienation from nature is a new focus of research. Is there a connection to obesity and attention deficit disorder in children? Not so long ago, many classrooms had a room pet. This taught the students care taking and promoted wonder. I haven't seen one in years.
Howard Gardner has added naturalist intelligence to his list of multiple intelligences. Do you have a student who is "nature smart"? Take time to gaze at a spider web and observe critters outside the school yard. Write nature journals and embed nature in math problems. How can you connect nature to your classroom?