Writing my way through the school year!

Anyway, my new principal doesn’t seem to have this same issue, so, we are going on a field trip on Jan. 26.   This one is special, because we are going to meet our pen pals, the Wilmington University Women’s Basketball team! Go Wildcats!

One day I was reading the competition’s other district’s newsletter.  I saw an article about a trip they had taken to watch the UD team, who were their pen pals, play basketball. And as one who is not shy about using others’ great ideas, I got in touch with two universities near my school and made a request for pen pals.  I also got in touch with one of my teacher friends in that particular district, and she gave me the emails of the teachers who had set it up.The Wilmington University asst. coach got in touch with me, and as they say, the rest is history!

We almost didn’t get there. I didn’t get the Target grant I applied for, and I thought this field trip had fouled out. But, the PTA is paying for the bus, and Wilmington University is going to feed us. My kids are creating posters with catchy slogans to hold up at the game.  We are studying their stats. They are writing a response to the last letters they received from the Wildcat women, and presenting  them to their pen pals, in person. And let’s not forget what we will do with the pictures and videos we’ll take while we are there!  (Art, Writing, Math, cross-curricular, I’d say.) Man, we are pumped!

What happened to field trips? Why do some administrators think 2 or 3 field trips a year (and 20 min of recess) are going to make a difference in whether these kids pass those tests? What happened to exposing our students to the world around them, letting them experience life outside the classroom?  Using a trip to supplement that great story you’re reading, or enhance a SS or science unit? When I taught in New York, we would jump  on the subway with 25-30 kids in a NY minute!

The term “Keeping it real” is played out now, I know.  But field trips do just that.  They keep it real. They give kids the opportunity to experience life “for real.” Some of these kids do not have the chance to see outside their neighborhoods.  Field trips give them that chance.  I have nothing against virtual field trips, as a matter of fact, I have taken my class on a  few myself.  But if I had a choice of the Franklin Institute online and piling my kids on a bus to Franklin Institute, the bus trip, with all the noise, bumps, and mishaps, trumps a virtual field trip any day!

When my kids look at some of the places our International friends (Quadblogging) go, they question why they can’t go on trips like that. Who wouldn’t want to go to a Science camp or some of the other cool places our Quad friends travel to? I can’t blame them for making the comparison.

Yes, this trip is after school ,  it will be three hours long,  I will probably be exhausted the next day, (No school for the students), but you know what? It will be worth it when they meet their pen pals, stuff their faces, wave their posters, and cheer their lungs out! Field trips are so cool!

Comments on: "Field Trip! (And I Don’t Mean Virtual)" (8)

  1. This sounds like so much fun!! I know your kids will really enjoy it! I’m sorry to say that the field trip & recess cutting isn’t just at your school. As a beginning teacher.. it’s almost a sorry profession to be getting into 😦

  2. Our school generally allows one field trip per year. Fifth grade (oldest in the building) and Kindergarten (youngest) sometimes get 2-3 with outside funding. In our school, I’m afraid it’s a budget issue. Even if we can get an outside source to fund the admission and lunch costs, we still have to cover the costs of fuel and paying a driver or drivers.

  3. I feel your pain with field trips. Not only is our administration resistant, but colleagues are as well. Taking up their teaching time is anathema.

    • Wow, that’s a shame that your colleagues feel like that. I understand administrators and budget cuts, but I never thought teachers would be against field trips.Learn something new every day!

  4. I love field trips too! And I love that you’ve matched the kids up with penpals so that they are encouraged to read, write, and communicate. I think there are so many things to be learned from REAL experiences, and kids actually care about what they’re learning. They have a reason to do it, instead of just being told, “Fill out this work sheet.” Well done! 😀

    • Thank you! Believe it or not, I have most of them writing 3 or more paragraph pen pal letters. They really care, and want to share their lives with their pen pals. One of the basketball players told one of my girls that she is inspired by her.(She loves that my student is true to herself and has her own sense of style). Can you imagine how that made my 5th grader feel about herself?

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