Field Trip Tips for You!

I don’t know about you, but I have always enjoyed taking students on field trips (when working for districts where we actually had the funding to go).  It was great watching them explore outside of the classroom.

Of course, when you take a group of students and chaperones outside of the security of your school, it can be a little stressful to say to least.

I have always enjoyed field trips. When you take a group of students outside of the security of your school, it can be a little stressful to say to least.

One of my favorite field trips was our annual trip to the mudflats when I taught in Southwest FL.  It was a county sponsored event every year for our third graders.  I personally wasn’t sure what a mudflat even was before I moved to Florida, so this was bound to be an interesting trip.

We loaded up 6 full classrooms of kids on the buses shortly after arriving at school.

We had coolers for cold drinks and anything else that might melt (I mean, we lived in FL after all).

All the packed lunches were stored in laundry baskets and put in a seat near the front with the teachers.

As we arrived, I have been told that we would be wading in water, so to plan on bringing the appropriate clothes, but I wondered how well that was going to go with a group of “gentlemen” in my class that year that I was terrified would wreak havoc and be drenched 5 minutes into the trip.

Well, I was in for a surprise!

Not only were the boys I was concerned about NOT jumping and splashing others, but they were fully invested in the lesson!

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At the mudflats, the environmental leaders who were in charge, took small groups to wade up to their knees in the murky water and then they used nets scraped along the bottom to see what they could pull up and view.

There were tons of shells, insects, and small critters.

My students were engaged.  They were even excited to use the microscopes set up to view the silty sand closer to look for more hidden treasures.

All in all it was a wonderful day to spend outside of the classroom learning all sorts of science-y things.

No one was wet beyond their knees and everyone was still talking about what their group found long into the following week.  #success!

Free Youth Day Trip Ideas

Most teachers know the educational importance of field trips.

They realize that students will learn about the subject of the trip (which relates to learning objectives in the curriculum), but most importantly, they will also learn social skills and practice manners for group outings in public.

For some students, they may rarely go out in public places with their family.  Or they may not have been instructed on the appropriate way to maintain themselves when they do.  These are all teachable moments that can truly create better human beings as adults.

So what happens if your school has zero funds to allow you to leave the building?

How about a few of these ideas to find a suitable replacement:

First, contact local organizations to see if they are interested in sponsoring a day trip for your classroom.  Some examples could be a trip to the bank, local wildlife rescue, local theater, or even a grocery store stockroom.

Many organizations within the community would be thrilled to show students what they do and how they are making an impact right where they live.

Second, ask the local PTO/PTA group if they are able to contribute to the funding to secure buses for the trip.  Most field trip budgets will require the cost of transportation, including the fee that the bus driver will make for working those extra hours.

Third, you could ask for donations from friends, family, and student stakeholders to cover the cost of a trip.  Similar to “sponsoring a book” the donors might be thrilled to “sponsor a trip” for a group of kids.  Give them the reasons why you want to take the trip, how the students will benefit, and what they cost is.  Make sure you send pictures from the completed trip to the donors who invest in your class.

Another option is to have the field trip come to you!

There are tons of groups that have community members that would love to bring their world to the classroom and share with your children!

For example, I have had bank VPs who have brought in money and check registers, librarians who have brought puppets and crates full of books, and I have even had scientists bring in paper airplane packs for students to learn more about mathematical theories.

A last option is to try a virtual field trip, which students love too!

I LOVE the Discovery Education website’s virtual field trips.  Sometimes if I have an extra few minutes to fill, I pop one on and have students write down at least 1 fact they learned while watching.  They really enjoy them!

Field Trip Permission Slips

When creating a field trip permission slip, you don’t need to write an essay.

If your school district doesn’t have a basic PDF template for you to fill out and print to send home with students, you can create one yourself or grab one from the list below.

More resources:

What if you are a new teacher and will be hosting your first ever field trip?

It can be downright terrifying.

No worries!  Organized Classroom and the fans at our Facebook fan page have your back!

Thanks to all who contributed to the latest free eBook:  Field Trip Tips for Teachers!  Yay!

Filled with ideas and helpful hints, it just might give you a suggestion you had never thought of before.

I have always enjoyed field trips. When you take a group of students outside of the security of your school, it can be a little stressful to say to least.

Read, relax, and enjoy the learning experience!

Chances are the students will – and you don’t want them to have all the fun alone!


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