Today we had a chance to take a virtual field trip to Ellis Island, which is shared by New York and New Jersey. Here’s the link we talked about in class that has more information and cool videos.
We went to the Burke Museum today, and it was fantastic! Not only was the lesson really interesting, but everything was perfectly appropriate and well-organized. The kids had a chance to touch First Nation artifacts, and everyone had great feedback. They adored the Carnaval exhibit, too.
Here are a few photos from our visit.
A million and a half thanks to EVERYONE at the Burke Museum. Everyone we encountered, including the patient gift shop cashier, treated us with enthusiasm and kindness.
Huzzah! Next up: third grade field trip to Seattle Children’s Theatre’s production of Frog and Toad!
Our class had an amazing trip to the University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences center this Thursday!
“We were able to sit in college seats rather than regular seats, I felt like I was in college,” T.E. said.
“I liked it when we were on the roof and they showed us the rain collector and the instrument that measured how much light there was,” K.A. said.
Several of us thought the roof was going to be flat or go right upto the edge like in the old silent movie “Safety Last.”
“I thought the exploding cloud was really cool and it was nice of them to show it to us and having a volunteer was nice — it was kind of nice to have X help us,” A.B. said.
On our way out, we saw Cliff Mass and two of his TA’s coming out of Weather 101. We recognized Dr. Mass from his YouTube videos and from his NPR podcasts. Many students noted that he seemed older in real life than in the videos, although it was mentioned to them that that might not be the most tactful thing to say.
“My favorite part was when we were on the roof and Chris told us about the little thing that spins and told us about which way the wind was blowing — the wind vane. My second favorite part was when we took the picture and made funny faces,” A.G. said.
The photo A is talking about can’t be posted to this website because this is a non-district website, BUT families, if you e-mail me I will send you a copy. I CAN show you this picture of us walking up the staircase to the
“I was afraid it was going to be flat and we were going to slip, but instead it had a large square around it so we couldn’t fall,” A. V-G. said.
We made it today. And what a day it was! Huzzah!
Our scheduled October 12 field trip to Wildwood Park was initially postponed a week because we struggled with appropriate in-class behavior and we were slow to follow directions, but our practice paid off because we had, frankly, a flawless trip this afternoon!
The weather was wonderful, and students worked hard to accomplish everything we needed to in the morning to ensure we could set out for the park on time. A field trip to Wildwood Park is really more of a “field trip” with air quotes because it’s RIGHT next door to our school. But the fact that it’s off campus and requires OFFICIAL field trip paperwork gives it an air of greater importance.
The science gave it an air of greater importance too. Students trekked to the park armed with their clipboards, pencils (there was NO pencil drama — everyone was responsible and made a plan in case their pencils broke/got lost/were stolen by a squirrel), and super-neat FIELD GUIDES.
Once there, students had the option of exploring independently, or perambulating with me in a leisurely manner to ensure they didn’t miss any of the sights. They mapped out deciduous trees, evergreen trees, and ferns. As I’m typing this, I am JUST NOW reminded of The Definitive Central Park Map. I TOTALLY wish I would have thought of that this morning to show students before we left.
No matter. We had a blast. I was thoroughly impressed at my students’ ability to let go and have a great time, yet still take care of the Official Science Business they needed to attend to. The sketched and described trees, moss, and ferns, and they were careful to stay in my line of sight (no chaperones today, sadly).
After Official Science Business was attended to, we used the remaining time to play on the Wildwood Park Big Toy. As someone whose elementary school park boasted a strictly wood-and-bolts play structure, the crazy spider-y rope climbing portion and the see-saw swing things kind of blew my mind.
Then, it was time to head back to school. The entire trip, including the walk to and from the park (which, granted, was right next door), including the “tour” and time to fill out Field Guides, including the play time on the Big Toy, was less than one hour. Students declared the trip a success, and I’d agree.
One of our PTA parents (who doesn’t have a student in my class) asked why more teachers don’t plan trips like I did. Here’s an expanded look at the answer I gave her.
The first reason, the one I imagine is most pressing to our teachers, is because most classrooms at our school have greater than half their class reading a year or two (or more) behind grade level, so it can be difficult to get field trips approved. You’ll notice I was careful to say “it can be difficult,” not “you can’t do it,” because I believe that if your field trip doesn’t align to more than one core subject area, frankly, you’re not planning the trip to maximize its learning potential.
The second reason is that paperwork’s a pain. It’s decidedly less painful to me because I’ve filled out many field trip forms in the past few years (every math team contest counts as a field trip, which means 5-6 permission slips during the competition season), so I can fill out the paperwork pretty quickly. But in addition to filing everything properly, the teacher then needs to collect permission slips, which often aren’t returned. Even on a free field trip somewhere nearby, teachers need chaperones. If we were going anywhere other than next door, I would have needed at least two people to step up and join us. We have a trip to the UW planned for Thursday, and I’m not quite sure what we’ll do because I only have one available parent with Washington Patrol approval.
Speaking of which, want to join us at the UW Department of Atmospheric Sciences on Thursday??? You’d be home by noon. CONTACT ME, because we’d love to have you there. I’ve been listening to Cliff Mass’ KPLU podcasts lately to improve my weather knowledge.
Our field trip to see Frog and Toad is coming up so quickly! We’ll be seeing the show November 30 at 12:30 PM. I was downtown today and posed for a picture with the banner outside Seattle Children’s Theatre.
I’m constantly amazed at the quality and sheer volume of work in the Detroit Institute of Art. The highlight of my day was definitely the iPad interactive guide to the Diego Rivera Detroit Industry mural. I’d learned some about the meaning and symbolism in the mural in the past, but the effort and detail that went into this new guide gave me chills. That alone was more than worth the price of admission.
Here are some of my other favorites. I’ve included myself or other visitors to show you the scale of the art, not just because we’re so beautiful.
I’ve had Audubon on the brain because of his connections to Gary Schmidt’s brilliant Okay for Now. **SPOILER** I asked a docent if this print was a plate that was removed from a folio or a book, and he said that’d be something I needed to ask the curator. I don’t know how to contact a curator, but you can bet I’ll find out!
We talked last year both in art and just during literacy about how artists make objects larger to show that they’re supposed to be closer to the viewer. I think this piece makes that point really well, and I love how huge it is.
In one of the hallways of glass cases, they had a bunch of marionettes displayed. These were used in a production of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. They have to switch out the marionettes every six months because they’re fragile and sensitive to light.
That’s about all I have energy to share with you right now! I hope you enjoyed this little peek into some of the amazing items at the DIA. I miss you, ladies and gentlemen, and I’m so excited to start learning with you again in less than a month!