Saturday, March 7, 2015

Book Study: Chapter 3: Field Trips

For this week's blogging book study: Chapter 3 of Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites by Marcia L. Tate, I'm linking up with Miss Wills' Kindergarten.
After last week's linky about Chapter 1&2 hosted by Elizabeth at Kinckin' It in Kindergarten , I couldn't wait to to keep reading...

But... to be completely honest.... when I read the title for Chapter 3: Field Trips.... I had unpleasant memories of...

- coordinating busing
- rescheduling due to inclement weather
- bus rides (ibuprofen please)
- counting my students over and over (2, 4, 6, 8...

- Where's Jimmy's buddy?
- convincing students that the port-a-potty is their only option at the pumpkin patch...

THEN I read.... field trips don't have to involve all of that....STRESS! They can be outside on the playground, under the tree in the school's front yard. *sigh of relief*

To put it plainly - field trips are REAL word experience. Get out of the classroom! Change of setting! Show the connection between what they are learning in the classroom and REAL LIFE!

What are the benefits?

So glad you asked! 

For students, the following are enhanced by field trips: higher-order thinking skills, observation, questioning skills, confidence,  positive attitude, deeper memory, capacity for memory....

Every May we go on 2 "field trips" involving animals. First, our local zoo...and... an at-school safari!

We set out from the safety of our classroom... into the wild savanna (aka: school hallways. They can be wild.)

Get your own copy of this Zoo Animal Safari graph HERE.
 Each time we see an animal.... we graph it.

Along our safari, we discuss our graphs: "Have we encountered more lions or cheetahs?", "Which animal have we seen the most?"

It's amazing how excited my class gets about this activity. They usually don't get that excited about graphing in class... point proven - get out of the classroom!

Earlier in the year, during our shapes unit... we go on a Shape Hunt with our ipad.

Found a Sphere!

Rectangular Prism
Since we have a limit of 2 field trips per year, we've found other ways to bring REAL word experiences INTO the classroom.

One family at our school raises ducks each spring. This picture is from a few years ago when they brought a few ducklings in for the class to "ooooo and ahhhh" over. The mom shared some amazing facts about ducks and how God gave them unique features and instincts to survive.

I want one!

Come join our book study!
Next week is all about using games to enhance learning. GAME ON!


  1. Love the "at school" safari as well as the shape hunt... great ways to get out of the classroom without all the stress of field trips! I agree with you... field trips can be VERY stressful.

    1. Thanks!
      So glad I'm not the only teacher that feels that way about field trips from time to time. :) Field trips do get easier each year. Now, when we go to the pumpkin patch... I know to bring a Sharpie for writing each student name on their pumpkin. AND to tell them they will get a mini pumpkin NOT a humungous one that costs extra $$. (Let's just say we had a tantrum boarding the bus that first year. haha! I can laugh now!)

  2. Lol! I have the exact same feelings about field trips sometimes. I'm the scheduling queen, money collector, form changer and reminder to everyone for every little thing. I do it because I know how important and worthwhile they are. I love your activities...thank you for sharing!

    1. Ha ha! Yes! Field trips definitely aren't a "free day", but the hands-on learning and memories that take place are totally worth it!

  3. I do find, that sometimes, the best planned out field trips do not always bring to life what I wanted them to bring to life. You really have to seek out quality ones {where those running them make it a seamless process}, and front load the content so that your students know so much about the topic that they feel invested in what's in front of them. I know, I always WORRY the day of a field trip and so often I feel like a successful one is one that I don't lose anybody - we got there and back all in one piece! HA!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

    1. Great point Holly! I'm always thankful for the field trips we go on where the people in charge "get" kids and know how to engage them. My favorite field trip was when we went to the zoo and someone paid for us to have a "live animal encounter". The kids were able to pet/hold the animals... and even have a stick bug walk on them! :)

  4. I definitely want to go on a shape hunt with my kindergarten students! We will be learning about 3D shapes and I am excited to take them on a "Field Trip" around the school to look for 3D shapes. I've seen singing at nursing homes on a few blogs and I just love that idea! Thanks for sharing and have a great rest of the weekend!


    1. Thanks Heather! 3D shapes is one of my favorite math units!
      It was funny... when we were going on the shape hunt... my students stopped a teacher in the hall and asked to take a picture of his head since it was a "sphere". He gave us a strange look. Haha!