Blogs on Field Trips

Blogs on Field TripsRSS
Patrick Cook DeeganApril 15, 2014

All of us are reliant upon the sun for energy, the earth for food, trees for air, and water for drinking. But when we go about our busy lives, it is easy to take the water, air and plants around us for granted. The practice of mindfulness takes us off autopilot, allows us to pause, experience the present moment and give gratitude for all the elements of the natural world that support our daily lives.

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Stacey GoodmanFebruary 17, 2014

A few years ago I took my students to see an exhibit of work by William Kentridge, an artist from South Africa who uses drawings, robotics, and animation to explore themes of historical memory. What's not to love? However, when I went to the museum lobby to wait for them -- a full five minutes before the meeting time, there they all were, apparently bored and fidgeting with their smart phones. A trip to the museum seems requisite for many art and history teachers, but without a little imaginative planning, might feel like a real drag to our students.

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Monica BurnsJuly 31, 2013

Not every school has the resources necessary to take their students on an airplane . . . or spaceship. The iPad can bring the world to your students' fingertips in ways never before possible. Many national parks and museums have apps designed for onsite visitors. These navigational tools are also great for classrooms who can't make the trip. In fact, a variety of free apps can be used as virtual field trips so that children can travel the world from your classroom!

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I'm the proud daughter of a lifelong public school teacher, and one of the things my mom loved best about being an educator was the opportunity to travel in the spring and summer. She brought artifacts, photographs, language, and lessons from every place she traveled back into her classroom, and her students were richer for it. Now retired, my mom made a goal of visiting every continent, and she goes to schools in nearly every country she visits, enchanting the children there with bubble bottles, pencils, and her trademark stuffed-animal backpack purses.

So I know that teachers are natural adventurers. I'm sure you don't need convincing to see that whether you have the resources to travel internationally or just take a short local trip, traveling can be enriching both personally and professionally for educators. Just watch the videos in this week's playlist for some ideas!

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Danielle Moss LeeMarch 14, 2012

Late one afternoon last week, I found a student smiling a smile of sheer relief at the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF). "Only 40 days left," she grinned. She was meticulously counting down the days to the end of the school year.

I smiled to myself. As much as I enjoyed the years I spent teaching in New York City, I have to admit that I, too, hit The Wall around this time of year. Sometimes it takes nothing less than sheer will and determination to make it through.

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Milton ChenSeptember 16, 2011

This summer, when millions of families took the iconic American vacation in our National Parks, I had a chance to visit with many educators who are using the Parks for place-based learning. In June, I spoke at the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom conference, a passionate group of teachers, park rangers, and nonprofit educators who are giving students a deeper, more meaningful connection to the history of slavery in our nation. The Underground Railroad Network is not a single National Park but, as its name indicates, a network of places far more extensive than I was aware of.

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Elena AguilarJuly 12, 2011

I am writing this post from the mountains of northern Thailand, ten days into a four-week adventure with my seven-year-old son and husband. This is the first serious travel we've done with our son -- the first time in a country where we don't speak the language, don't have family, and don't understand many of the customs. Pre-child, I was a traveler.

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Milton ChenNovember 3, 2010

One of my favorite books in high school was John Steinbeck's Travels With Charley, his account of his road trip around the U. S., late in his career, accompanied only by his French poodle Charley. Not having traveled much as a boy beyond my home state of Illinois, into Wisconsin and Indiana, I was mesmerized by his stories of the vastness and diversity of our country.

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