How Field Trip Friday Saved my Virtual Teaching

12:00 AM

Field Trip Fridays!  Students loved them and so did I!  Let me tell you how Field Trip Friday saved my virtual teaching time on Fridays - and the students' time too! 


This blog post is about how teachers can us Field Trip Friday to save themselves work time on a Friday while students are learning online!

What is Field Trip Friday?

Field Trip Friday was a brainstorm that I had with my Teacher BFF when virtual teaching was put into place.  We were one of those Districts that were on Spring Break when the Pandemic broke loose.  We literally lost our Break to worry and change.  Needless to say, this Instagram post says it all! 


Having worked within a one-to-one classroom in the past, we both knew how virtual teaching would overload us with filming lessons, posting lessons, and grading the assignments.  We knew that parents would be overloaded, so that meant we would also be fielding a ton of questions.  So, how could we lift the load?  And that's when it hit!  Field Trip Friday!!!  Every Friday would be catch-up day wrapped in a "Fun Friday" was around a virtual field trip!  That's how Field Trip Friday saved our virtual teaching! A whole day to get it all done by excusing ourselves from being online with students and for students to have fun discovering things we didn't have time for in the classroom!  

Where We Went

For Field Trip Friday to save my Virtual Teaching time, I had to get creative!  It didn't take long for my Teaching BBF and I to sit down and make a plan.  Where can we take these students that would keep them focused and still provide a real learning experience?  What did we want them to do to cover curriculum?  We devised a plan, based off of Science curriculum.  I teach 2nd and she teaches 3rd, but this would work in any grade if matched correctly to what your students' needs are.  

When we looked at our Science curriculum, we discovered that our Road Maps from the District aligned us into the same topics - habitats and life science!  BINGO!  Our plans took off!  Here are the Field Trip Friday topics we covered:

  • The Tundra with a focus on Polar Bears (Grab it Here!)
  • Rainforests with a focus on Animals of the Rain Forest
  • Deserts with a focus on Defining a Desert
  • Mountains with a focus on Mount Kilimanjaro and the 5 Different Ecosystems found there
  • Oceans with a focus on Coral Reefs and the Ecosystem Problems they Face
  • Space with a focus on Colonizing Mars

All of these Field Trip Fridays saved my virtual teaching by providing time for me, and my Teaching BFF's, in a nice chunk to grade and do other planning for the week to come! 

Split the Work if You Can

I can tell you that if we didn't split the work, Field Trip Friday would not have been as much fun.  Try to find a partner, or your whole team, to split the work on these trips. It did take time at the front and at the back-answering discussion questions and grading the folders.  But the free time we had on Friday's was well worth the time we invested to have this done.  Plus, to be honest, the students totally looked forward to this because it provided a quick experience and gave them time just to catch up on any work they still needed to finish!  Win-Win! 


How Field Trip Friday will Save my Regular Teaching

No one knows what our schooling will look like in the future.  There are a ton of questions about how, where, when, etc. But I know that Field Trip Friday saved my virtual teaching time, so it can save class time too!  Here's what I envision for my Friday's.  

  • Read Aloud to pair with Field Trip Friday
  • Targeted Focus on Integration of our weekly reading topic, including Science and Social Studies
  • A journal that is to be turned in for scoring
  • Headphones and social distancing to complete the task
  • Training through a first time introduction of HOW to do it
  • Housed in my District's platform so that it keeps students trained on how to use it should we need to go virtual again
I am so excited to venture into this in the school year.  The benefits are there - exposure to new place, thinking, and ideas.  Integration of technology with learning, rather than game based play.  Critical thinking to pick out the key components of the learning.  Real application of Science and Social Studies Skills!  




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As you can see, Field Trip Friday saved my virtual teaching!  It can save yours too!  I've shared some Tips and Treasures for Field Trip Friday on my blog, so check me out here!  Let me know what you think by dropping a comment too!  


Thanks, 
Julie 


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by Julie from The Best Days Classroom

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7 comments

  1. Hello! Thanks for sharing such a creative idea! I'm a first ti e teacher and would love to learn how this works in detail. Here in NY we are unsure of how things will continue in the durure. This sounds extremely doable and useful, as well as a needed life preserver at end of week. Any specifics you can share would be great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have added a free Friday Field Trip Guide! Be sure to sign-up to receive it in your inbox!

      Delete
  2. Hello! Thanks for sharing such a creative idea! I'm a first ti e teacher and would love to learn how this works in detail. Here in NY we are unsure of how things will continue in the durure. This sounds extremely doable and useful, as well as a needed life preserver at end of week. Any specifics you can share would be great!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Are you virtual fieldtrips for sale somewhere?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am working on one now! But, you can grab my Friday Field Trip guide now! Just sign-up above!

      Delete
  4. Loved the field trip idea...in Kindergarten we utilized it to enhance our topical read alouds like a trip to the farm, all about baseball, habitats of whales. WE found lots of shorts on youtube and were able to give directions on a simple assignment to compliment the books. REALLy liked doing this one day a week and the kids got to virtually visit topics different than video games!

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  5. So excited! Thanks for this! Can't wait to create this for our kindies!

    ReplyDelete

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