Hello friends! HAPPY SATURDAY!!!
How many of you are on Spring Break this week?! We are!!! I'm looking forward to a visit from my best friend and her kids, a trip to take the kids to the Rodeo, a night out watching Zac Brown, and my baby brother's wedding. So much for a "break"! HA!!!
Let's talk field trips, shall we?! If you're joining in on our book study, Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites, welcome!!!! You can link up with Deedee today and check out what she has to say about this chapter as well.
My favorite quote from this chapter...
Can I get an AMEN?!?!?!?
Survival in the REAL world. POWERFUL. We need to provide our kids with authentic experiences to give them the tools and skillset necessary for life outside the classroom.
In a **perfect** world, we'd be taking field trips every month. We'd visit places in and around our community that tie into our learning. We'd add tons of authentic experiences to our ever growing bank of knowledge and our kids would continue to grow their skillset in rich and meaningful ways.
This is not a perfect world.
We are faced with limited budgets...high stakes testing...a belief that time out of the classroom takes time away from instruction. Sad, don't you think?! But I digress.
Think about our babies who come to us with a wide range of experiences. Our babies who have been blessed with the opportunities to travel and see the world. Our babies who visit museums. Our babies who experience life outside of their home and community. In my experience, kids with these experiences tend to flourish quickly in the classroom. They come to school eager to learn and already have such a wide range of knowledge that they tend to grasp new concepts quickly.
They can tie their learning to authentic experiences they've already had. There is value in real life experiences. They add to our schema and ultimately that's our goal as teachers...to add to our kids'schema(s). Doesn't it just make sense to give ALL of our kids the same opportunities outside of the classroom??
I've taught in 3 different districts during my 13 years in the classroom. In each of those districts, we were provided with the funds to take our kids on 2 field trips a year. We visited the zoo, pumpkin patches, museums, plays, and parks. It was always so much fun to watch our kids make connections to their learning either prior to or proceeding the field trips. And the best part about those connections is that they were AUTOMATIC and embedded in their memories.
As a teacher, I know I can do a better job of providing these types of experiences for my kids. You're probably rolling your eyes as you're reading this, right?! How in the world can we be expected to do this with a limited budget or no budget at all?!?!?!
Let's think OUTSIDE of the box!!!!!
Just getting OUTSIDE of the classroom can be a field trip. When the weather permits, let's take our kids OUTSIDE to learn and work in their environment. This creates a new framework for learning and adds a whole new dimension to the "classroom".
What about field trips around the school?! Scavenger hunts (math or literacy) can easily be tied into learning and would provide your kids with authentic experiences OUTSIDE of the classroom.
Let's think about removing ourselves from the classroom altogether. VIRTUAL field trips are a GREAT alternative!!!!
Here are a few great sites for providing your kids with the experience of a virtual field trip.
You will find that some of these sites are free and some subscription based. Consider petitioning your PTA for the "gift" of a subscription.
And don't forget to utilize Donor's Choose as a way to fun a field trip, too!
I loved this chapter because it validated the way I feel about learning. It should be hands-on, meaningful, and AUTHENTIC. Providing our kids with these types of experiences will only ENHANCE their knowledge and skillset. We just have to get creative in how we provide these opportunities.
Come back next week for little discussion about GAMES (Chapter 4)!!!! Katie at Queen of the First Grade Jungle will be hosting and we hope you join us!!!
Chapters 1 & 2 have already been discussed. Hop over to Kickin it in Kindergarten to see what you missed.
And here is what the future brings!
Queen of the First Grade Jungle Chapter 4 (March 10th)
Fabulous in First Chapter 5 (March 14th)
One Extra Degree Chapter 6 (March 17th)
Mrs. Jump's Class Chapter 7 (March 28th)
The First Grade Parade Chapter 8 (March 31st)
In April, you will be visiting these girls for the remainder of the study:
Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten Chapter 9 &10 (April 4th)
What The Teacher Wants Chapter 11 (April 7th)
First Grader At Last Chapter 12 (April 11th)
Erica's Ed Ventures Chapter 13 (April 14th)
KinderGals Chapter 14 &15 (April 18th)
A Rocky Top Teacher Chapter 16 (April 21st)
Mrs. Wills Kindergarten Chapter 17 (April 25th)
Little Warriors Chapter 18 (April 28th)
Falling Into First Chapter 19 (May 2nd)
Kickin' it in Kindergarten Chapter 20 (May 5th)
You can join in for whatever part you like! If you are not a blogger, that is OK! We will want you to join in on the fun. You can participate in the conversation in the comments. We want this to be a positive collaboration between teachers! The whole point is to encourage each other with inspiring ideas while still using research based best practice.