If you can't take them to it, bring it to them!
Submitted by Angela Becker on Fri, 2017-07-14 00:00
Like so many of us, I feel that field trips are next to impossible to coordinate for my students. I have anywhere between 140-190 7th graders and that's only half of the students in our grade. Finding places that can accommodate 300+ students is next to impossible. Taking that many students out of the building really messes up the other teachers. (Field trips have to be broken up into smaller groups and maybe even stretched over more than one day. This causes issues for the other teachers in the building as they may lose multiple instruction days.) Finding funding for that many students (we can't charge any fees) can be difficult as well. Then it's there's the bus schedules, chaperones, etc. A colleague and I did coordinate a spring break trip to the Discovery Center to see the Bodies exhibit when it was here but I've only done it once.
I am looking forward to scheduling field trips for my Aquatic Ecology class (only 32 students) however it seems unlikely that my 7th graders will get any. So it's time I really explore the other options.
I can find plenty of documentaries and I have had a few guest speakers over the years, but the are so many more ways that could be bring the experts and resources into my room. I will actively pursue more guest speakers. I need to implement virtual fieldtrips and Skype sessions. I need to post information on my website for parents and students about where and when hands on opportunities are taking place. (I think I've heard everyone express how amazed they are at the educational experiences in our community.) and I want/need to line up more meeting opportunities like the Discovery Center one that I did. It was fun to see the students out with their families and I think the parents appreciate an event to take their students to when they are on break with them.
Who are you going to invite to your classroom? What virtual fieldtrips have you participated in? Do you untilize Skype in your classroom?