Saturday, March 30, 2013

Nature's Classroom

This week I was offered an awesome teacher opportunity.  I got to accompany 120 5th graders on a 4-day, 3-night field trip.  Sounds like a great time, right?!?  Haha actually it was a lot of fun.

We got to go to Nature's Classroom, which is a residential, environmental educational program.  Basically, the students (and 8 teachers) got to live on the campus for the week and learn about science from the leaders that work at the site.  I really wish I had taken more pictures, but I have about 3, which I posted yesterday.   I'll just have to tell you about it instead!

The kids arrived at school and we loaded them onto the bus.  We loaded all their stuff onto another bus.  Yes, their luggage filled an ENTIRE school bus!  They had to bring really warm clothes since they were going to be outside for almost 12 hours each day and it's only about 40 degrees here in New England.

When we arrived at Nature's Classroom, all the leaders were there to greet us as we pulled in.  They jumped on the bus with this incredible energy.  I want to know what is in their coffee since they kept this energy up ALL week - it was amazing!  The students got off the bus and formed a line from the bus to the dorm and unloaded the luggage assembly line style.  So funny to watch!

The students were assigned "field groups."  There were about 12 students to each group and one Nature's Classroom Field Group leader.  They would meet with their field groups a few times a day to hike through the woods and learn about nature.  They learned about animal tracks and sounds, how to build shelters, how to camouflage themselves and much more!

In the afternoons, the students got to pick classes to attend.  These were also taught by the field group leaders.  They got to do the coolest experiments!  For example, there was pig, shark and turtle dissections.  One class was how to make hot air balloons (then they got to actually fly them).  In another, they got to make a maze for a rat and then tested it with a real rat - so cool!

At all the meals, there was one student in charge of each table (they signed up a for a meal at the beginning of the week).  They were called waitrons.  The waitron was in charge of bringing the food to the table (served family style) and cleaning it up when the meal was over.  If a student wanted to get up to use the bathroom or to get a drink, they had to ask their waitron for permission.  It was great to see the students have so much responsibility!  Each teacher and field group leader chose a table to sit at for each meal.  It was a great chance to interact with the students and learn about their day.

We had a great time and the kids talk about it for weeks.  I definitely didn't do it justice with this post.  If I get to go again next year, I will bring my camera and be sure to take lots of pictures!  I highly recommend this program if you are ever given the chance.

And don't forget!  Today is the start of the Spring Cleaning Sale - clean out those TpT wish lists!  My TpT store will be 20% off today and tomorrow.


My friends are also having sales!  Check out their great deals!





2 comments:

  1. oh my gosh, I went to Nature's Classroom when I was in grade 6! It must have been so fun to watch the students experience everything!!

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