Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Are School Field Trips Becoming Obsolete?

The 5th grade went to the Blue Rocks baseball game today and we had a blast! I loved interacting with my students outside of the classroom. It's rare that we get the chance to do that anymore. We sat in the stadium, talking, laughing, and cheering. It was as far from standardized testing as you can get!:)

What happened to field trips? How can anyone think three to four  field trips a year are going to make a difference in whether these kids pass those tests? What happened to exposing our students to the world around them, letting them experience life outside the classroom?  Using a trip to supplement that great story you’re reading, or enhance a SS or science unit? When I taught in New York, we would jump  on the subway with 25-30 kids in a NY minute!

The term “Keeping it real” is played out now, I know.  But field trips do just that.  They keep it real. They give kids the opportunity to experience life “for real.” Some of these kids do not have the chance to see outside their neighborhoods. There's nothing wrong with virtual field trips, I have taken my class on a  few.  But if I had a choice of the Franklin Institute online and piling my kids on a bus and traveling to the Franklin Institute, the bus trip, with all the noise, bumps, and mishaps, trumps a virtual field trip any day!

Our pen pals on Edmodo recently took a trip to Tybee Island in Georgia. My students ask me why we can’t go on trips like that. What do I tell them?

I am exhausted. But it was worth it.
Field trips are so cool!

1 comment:

  1. I agree that getting out and seeing, in our example, one of the few remaining Gold Rush towns in California showed them more than reading in a textbook ever could. Now, if I can manage to book a bus during the same time that senior trips statewide take buses away from fourth-graders, we can go to the gold camp tent re-enactment. That would be even better! Getting that bus application in for May 2014 in the next two weeks!