Saturday, March 7, 2015

Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites: Chapter 3

      Field Trips. I'll be honest. It is a little bit of a love-hate relationship for me.  It takes a lot of planning and the field trips themselves can be exhausting. I usually only have one parent volunteer or staff person with me. Blah, blah, blah, if you are a teacher, you probably know already. But there is no doubt that field trips engage and immerse students in meaningful learning. Since meaningful learning that excited my kids is what I am all about, I am all about field trips!

     Field trips are most meaningful when we are connecting classroom learning to the real world. I am not a fan of random field trips or field trips for the sake of field trips. Every year, my students take a pumpkin patch field trip. We study pumpkins in the classroom before and after our field trip. 


My favorite field trip of all time is a field trip that my students took last year on the last day of school (and my birthday) to the zoo! Our wonderful prayer partners planned and paid for this trip. My kiddos spend about 5 hours at the zoo and the day was complete bliss. We kept the kids entertained with zoo events, instead of just walking around and seeing the animals. We fed sting rays, fed giraffes, went to the sea lion show, had lunch, and saw the Bonobo monkeys (my favorite animal.) 

     This year we have been enjoying in school field trips as well. We learned about police officers and police dogs and connected this experience to our community helpers unit. 

     Each year, our 3rd-8th graders put on a Living History Museum  as a way of celebrating Black History month. My students and I move from classroom to classroom as we tour the museum and speak with the historical figures. This year we studies Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and George Washington Carver prior to visiting the museum. My students were able to speak to all three of these historical figures during our "field trip." 

      After reading this chapter I want to improve by incorporating virtual field trips in my classroom. Any teachers who have done this before? I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions! 


  1. I think, as long as you are mindful of changing the scenery and exploring other avenues around your school - it's not such a bad thing to not go on an "official" field trip. That really does seem to be a common thread among teachers....field trips are an overwhelming experience for everyone involved. They take A LOT of management to ensure that students won't become overstimulated and then not take from the experience what Marcia Tate explains they will take from them. Not that they are all bad - but MAN do you have to stay on the kids to help them fully experience what you had hoped for them to experience. I'm with ya!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

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