Wednesday, May 4, 2016

More Than a Field Trip

Field trips are more than just a day away from school. Field trips are an opportunity for students to connect what they are learning in class to real world experiences.At the museum, students were able to touch, feel, see and listen to what they’re learning about  and gain a better understanding about the topics.

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining 3rd graders on their field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry. Although I’ve chaperoned field trips before, this is the first field trip where I did more than escort students to their seats in the theater before a performance. On this trip, I would be able to walk around and explore the museum with students. I looked forward to the trip,especially because for many of the students, this was their first time visiting the Museum of Science & Industry.

The Fab Five

      In 3rd grade, students are currently discussing Force and Motion. They've studied changing communities. They've studied about the state of Illinois. At the museum, we were able to view exhibits that allowed us to continue conversations on these topics that originated in the classroom.  The best part was when they first saw an exhibit that just wowed them! I loved hearing the amazement in their voices when they sat in a big tracker and pretended to mow down corn. Or when they saw the huge model train set. For one student who came from India a couple of years ago, this was an opportunity to learn a little more about the different communities in the USA. Spending a few hours together gave me a chance to slow down and give their questions more attention than is sometimes allowed in a classroom setting.

But making connections to content was not the only benefit of this field trip. Being outside of the school setting with this small group of 5 allowed me to see a different side of their personalities. I think they were able to see a little different side of me too. We were able to get a little sillier than we usually do. We learned a little more about each other. So this was more than just a field trip. It was a a chance to connect with students and strengthen relationships.

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