School Field Trips
by Laura Reagan-Porras
A well-planned school field trip makes topics of study come alive by helping children associate concepts learned in the classroom with real world applications. Students retain information on the subject as a result of field trips and they demonstrate a greater interest in learning more through in-depth study on their own. Parents have a vital role to play – they can help enhance learning outcomes, address related safety issues and ensure the fun!
Field Trip Fact Finding
Parents Can Boost Learning Outcomes
Ask your child:
- Why are you going on this field trip?
- What have you been studying in school that relates to the field trip?
- What do you expect to see on the field trip?
- Because I know you will have an assignment to do after the field trip, how will you remember what information you need for your report or project?
Field Trip Safety Issues
Parents Can Improve Security
Safety concerns may arise on field trips but preparation can minimize potential problems. Increased adult-to-child ratios also can minimize safety issues. Volunteer to chaperone for field trips, or if you can’t volunteer, use these strategies to keep your child safe on field trips.
- Make sure your child knows their contact information, (phone numbers, addresses, where parents work)
- Emphasize to your child how important it is that they stay with their group.
- Wash their school shirt ahead of time so your child is wearing the same color as their group.
- In a calm manner, prepare your child for what to do if they are separated from their group. You may want to make several suggestions, like return to the zoo entrance or ticket office and ask that an adult page your teacher over the loud speaker or tell your child to look for a uniformed security guard or museum docent to ask for help in locating the class.
- Remind your child to go to the restroom with a buddy or small group.
- Play a brief reminder game about Stranger Danger and what to do. Praise your child for remembering.
Field Trip Fun
Parents Can Set the Mood
Help boost the fun factor on field trips and avoid behavior issues by keeping students engaged. Parents can also help create social learning opportunities.
- Use name tags so new parent chaperones learn student’s names quickly.
- Have the kids think up nicknames for the parents for their chaperone nametags.
- Chaperones can ask students what they think they will see when they arrive at their field trip location, while students are riding on the bus.
- Sing songs on the bus ride to the field trip location.
- Give your child an old fashioned disposable camera to take photos on the field trip.
- Talk to students throughout the field trip about what their favorite part is.
- On the bus ride back to school, play a sequence game about what students saw first, second, third and finally, last on the field trip.
- Remember to catch students being good and affirm random acts of kindness that you see, such as: Susie, I really like the way you are taking turns. Joey, that was really nice of you to let Max see the exhibit first.