Book Study!!! Chapter 3

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!!!

Moving on... 

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 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.


  1. I signed up for field trip zoom the other day - my "application" was just acknowledged - now I just have to delve in a see what it's really all about.

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

    1. Awesome, Holly!!! You'll have to let me know what you think!!! Anxious to hear about it!! Thanks for reading!

  2. I definitely have to check out more virtual field trip options! Thanks for the links! :)

    First Grade STARS

    1. LOVE virtual field trips! Hope you do, too!!! Thanks for reading!

  3. You're so right about how students come in with a wide range of experiences and how it affects their learning! Thank you for the virtual field trip links, that was such a big takeaway for me for this chapter! I know I need to think outside of my own box to provide meaningful learning experiences for my students!

    Teach Talk Inspire

    1. It can be so challenging sometimes, can't it?! Especially when so much is out of our control! HOpe those links help in the future! Thanks for reading!

  4. I have 18 children of which 11 are ELL students and one that just came into the United States this year. I really need to look into doing Virtual Field Trips to give my kids a more meaningful learning. I love taking my kids outside to our outdoor classroom to do learning in the spring. It is such a wonderful time and they love it!

    1. WOW!!!! You have such a diverse classroom!! I totally agree with outdoor's my favorite!! And for someone with ADD like me, it always tends to focus my attention, too! THanks for reading!

  5. AAAAAMEN :) I think we're so stuck trying to find ways to stick to standards IN SCHOOL that we forget what's offered OUTSIDE of school. I read this book a couple years ago and lovedddd it. Hope you all enjoy the book as much as I did!

    A Little of LiLi

    1. I'll second and third that AAAAAAMEN ;) Loving the book so far! Thanks for stopping by!!

  6. You are so right about the wide range of experiences. We all know the more we expose them to earlier the larger the benefits. Thank you for sharing all of the wonderful virtual field trip ideas.

    1. SO true, Kara!! Thanks for reading along!

  7. Thank you for the great links! I had never heard of those before!

    1. Hope you can use them in your classroom!!! Thanks for reading!

  8. I'm off to check out the virtual options. This chapter frustrated me because I know that it is what is right and yet I feel like some of it is out of my control. I have gotten around some of it by meeting families at places on the weekend after getting trips funded on DonorsChoose.

    A Very Curious Class

    1. I felt the same way, Amanda. SO much of it is out of our control!!! I love your idea of meeting families on the weekend!!! GREAT idea!!!! And definitely utilizing the resources and opportunities through Donor's Choose!!! THanks for your thoughts!!