Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fabulous Field Trips

Hey there!  It's Alison from Ms. Lilypad's Primary Pond.  It's feeling more like fall every day where I live, and fall always makes me think of...FIELD TRIPS!

I'm a reading specialist now, so I don't have the privilege of accompanying kiddos on field trips anymore.  I definitely miss the annual pumpkin farm trip with my Kinders, but I don't miss the stress of keeping track of the little ones all day long!  I was always so exhausted afterward!

If you are planning field trips for this school year, you may want to get started now!  I always found that things book up quickly (especially the pumpkin farm trip), so I tried to plan in advance.  Here are some tips for planning a successful field trip:

- Plan ahead.  Decide (preferably at the beginning of the school year) where and when you want to go.  Think about your curriculum and what units you will teach when, as well as the weather and how much funding (if any) you will receive for your trips.

- Be creative with funding!  Many PTAs will sponsor field trips.  If this is not an option, go out into your community.  Ask the farm, zoo, or wherever you want to go if they will cover the cost of your trip.  They may be more willing to do so if you are at a low income school.  Ask (with your principal's permission) businesses in the community if they would be willing to sponsor a trip.  Hey, it never hurts to ask, right?!

- When you are planning, write everything down!  Make sure you write down the names of the people you talk to, times, rules about bus parking, if you can bring sack lunches, etc.  I always think I will remember things...and then I don't.  Write it down just to be safe!

- Call a week or two before the trip to confirm!  Businesses close, employees leave, you name it - it can happen.

- Be clear about the rules when asking parents to volunteer.  I always had my parents sign an agreement.  Depending upon your school, you may need to consider things like whether or not they are allowed to purchase things for their child while they are there, sharing food with children who are not their own, etc.

- Prepare an emergency backpack/bag.  Your school nurse may have Epi pens or other medication that you will need to take with you.  You may also want to bring hand sanitizer, bandaids, break-and-use ice packs, plastic baggies, sunscreen, water, emergency phone numbers, paper and pen, or other items with you.  Make the bag in advance...I am so guilty of throwing everything together the morning of the trip!

What great tips do you have for planning fabulous field trips?  Comment below!  And if you'd like a free field trip planning packet (with planning sheets, printable name tags, parent letters, and more), click on the picture to download for free.  Happy field tripping!


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