Today, I randomly got to thinking about field trips and how much fun they are, so I thought I’d share a bit about some of the things I’ve learned over the years to make field trips run smoothly for me.
Class trips are even more special when you have matching tee-shirts! OK, so I’m not a matchy-matchy person, but on a field trip this is a must for me. At my current school, all of the kids have matching tee shirts that we keep in the room for special events. I don’t have to worry about it this year, but not everyone is so lucky. To remedy this, in the first week of school I have every child bring in a plain white tee-shirt (the men’s under shirt style work best) and we tie-dye them. The kids mark the tags with their initials and do their own rubber band work. We soak the shirts in the dye mix in a big bucket all day and spread them over the fence to dry in the afternoon. When you have multiple classes in a grade level, it’s fun to choose different colors for your classes. When the shirts are dry, I use puffy paint or a fabric pen to write the kids’ first names and our school initials. Now I don’t have to worry about name tags! We use the shirts for everything… field day, field trips, assemblies, parent meetings, etc. It’s easy to spot my students, and we look pretty awesome! I’ve had so many museum and organization people comment on the shirts and mention how it helped them, too!
I pack my book bag. I don’t bring a cute purse or shoulder bag. I bring the old school, padded straps book bag. My book bag has these items:
- school ID
- permanent marker (for writing names on school lunches and bags from gift shops)
- camera (and extra batteries)
- clipboard (with several class lists, contact and medical information for all students, cell phone numbers of all chaperones, directions to the location and trip itinerary)
- chap stick
- hand sanitizer
- pack of baby wipes and trash bag (for accidental messes)
- ibuprofen, band aids and cough drops
I also try to be as organized as possible for my chaperones. When they arrive at the site, I hand each chaperone an index card with the names of all the students in their “group”, an overview of the day and my cell phone number if they need me. I also try to leave myself without a group of students for the trip, if possible. When I do that, I can most readily be available for my students and parents.
These are a few of the things that I do for field trip days to help be sure to have a great day!