Saturday, March 7, 2015

Book Study: Worksheets Don't Build Dendrites Chapter 3 {Field Trips}

I'm linking up with Deedee from Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten and I'm excited to share my learning from Chapter 3 with you.  I love a good field trip!  Yes, they can be stressful to plan and organize, keep track of the kids and make sure everything goes smoothly, but they are so worth it for our kiddos!

I know field trips are a fantastic way for students to learn. In our district, field trips are a grade level/district decision.    One field trip our kindergarten classes go on each year is a trip to the Nature Center run by our local college.  We are an urban district, so this trip to the Nature Center is some of our students' first trip to the country.  It is always interesting to hear their reactions.

The last 2 or 3 years, we have visited a house about 3 blocks from school that is a former Underground Railroad house.  We visited different rooms in the house and did lessons on long ago and today.  It has not been mentioned this year, but I'm hoping that we can continue this trip since it is in walking distance.

In the past, we have also walked to the fire station, local library and a grocery store for a tour.  These trips weren't consistent from year to year.  The last 2 years we have visited our local college for a tour and lunch in the cafeteria.  The goal of that trip was to get our kiddos excited about college at an early age.

I've used DonorsChoose to sponsor field trips to a Children's Science Center about 45 minutes from school as well as a trip to the Cleveland Zoo.  Both of these trips took place on a Saturday with parents transporting their own students.  I used DonorsChoose to pay for each child and for 1 adult per family.  On average, I had around 50% of my families attend.

For the past 4 years, donors on DonorsChoose have also sponsored a trip to our local "paint your own pottery" studio.  This is an evening trip that parents have to transport their child to.  My kiddos who come love this experience every year!

In September/October, my team has been inviting our students to join us at the apple orchard.  We usually do this on a Sunday afternoon and in the past 8 years, it has been cold and/or rainy most times. The trip goes really well with our fall unit.  Students and families can pick apples and pumpkins after the short presentation by the orchard staff.

So what do I want to learn from this chapter?  I would love to give my students even more experiences.   I would like to look into some virtual options to "take" my kiddos students I can't actually take them out of the classroom.  I'd love to hear your ideas to bring my students experiences.  How do you bring real world learning to your students?


  1. I signed up for Field Trip Zoom {virtual field trips} but don't know much about it yet. I'm going to see if that will work for our class!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

    1. I am off to check it out; thanks for the tip!


  2. Field trips that you can walk to are always great! It's also a great way for kids to be out in their community and see how different things work. You are the second post I have seen that used Donors Choose to fund a field trip - what a great idea!! Thanks for sharing!!


    1. I love walking to places in our community! We have to go on all field trips as a grade level (12 classes of K) per our district, so we don't go on as many as I'd like. Enjoy your weekend, Heather!

  3. I'm jealous that you can walk to so many places! I would love to see an Underground Railroad house! And I really like the idea about having "field trips" outside of school time as was mentioned in the book and here in your post. I think my kids would love that, and I'm fortunate enough to be in a school where I think a lot of parents would bring them. My wheels are turning!

    First Grade STARS

    1. The Underground Railroad house is pretty cool. My students love seeing me outside school, and I think it is a great opportunity for parents to meet and chat as well. Have a great weekend, Marissa!