We had a blast on our annual Science of Tubing field trip. Every year, we go to Sunburst Winter Sports Park and the students engage in a day of science and fun! They are given a packet to complete and 2 hours to calculate data about the hill, mass, friction, average speed, acceleration, work, and power for snow tubing on the hill. They work in small groups, and they are given a spring scale, angle finder, and stop watch. We also used the iPads and downloaded apps like Speed Box, which has a speedometer function. It was the perfect balance of education and fun!
Field trips are wonderful opportunities to teach the ‘Hidden Curriculum.’ We learn how to behave on a bus, behave in public, be responsible for tools and equipment, clean up after ourselves, thank staff for their assistance, and how to have fun in a safe and respectful way. I love having a chance to bond with my students outside of the classroom. Believe it or not, they ask the teachers to join their group, ‘link up,’ and do a tube run with them – just for fun.
The teachers have a lot of fun, too! In fact, I don’t know who has more fun – the students or the teachers! We race kids. We joke and have a great time. We lend students our extra hats and scarves to let them know we care about them. We sing songs on the bus. These are the lasting memories that make school fun and learning possible. These are the memories that make it so hard to say goodbye to them in June!
Do you ever get the urge to be creative? I know some people are just creative all the time, but I like to think that I’m a healthy mix of practical and creative. Unfortunately, the creative side doesn’t get as much face time as I would like. The result is that every once in a while, I get the ‘creativity bug’ and I go on a major binge. I’ll stay up late painting a mural, spend all afternoon knitting a hat, or find a new Pinterest project to occupy my weekend. A lot of these projects sit unfinished (shhh… let’s not talk about that…)
Well this weekend, I just felt like drawing. I love to draw. So I sat down and started drawing zoo animals. (I really desperately can’t wait to have my own kids so I can decorate their nursery!) Well after a while, I had a pretty great collection going! I made 25 total. Here are some samples, and some ideas of how I would use this in an elementary classroom, if I had one. These would be some really fun activities to do before a field trip to the zoo!
In Art, explore different art materials to create texture and shading.
Or, create a cool graphic design!
In Science, label the parts of the animal. Draw the animals habitat.
Write details in or around the animal about the lifestyle and eating habits.
In Language Arts, write a story or poem inside or around the animal.
Use the animal as an illustration in your own book.
Do a research project on the animal and use the printable as a note-taking sheet.
For Math, take a poll to see which animal is the class favorite. Use the animal printouts to make a giant bar graph. Use multiple printouts to represent proportions and ratios (ex. 1 lion to ever 5 elephants).
For Social Studies, research the current topics around an animal. Is it frequently in the news? Being used to help society in some way? Endangered? Create a large mural with several habitats, and allow students to place each animal correctly.
In Foreign Language, use the printables as posters with the target words (ex: name of animal).
For your classroom, determine each student’s favorite animal, write his/her name on the animal, and place it on the desk as a name plate.