Thursday, August 27, 2009

Field Trip to IMMS-Marine Education & Research Center

Outside my window...It is cloudy, it was raining earlier in the day and down right storming in the morning--threatening to ruin a great day. Yet the rain cleared and left us with just a cloudy day so we were able to go on our field trip.

I am thinking...that today was one of the best field trip days I've had with my class. I've had some great field trips; and this one is up near, if not on the top, of the list.

I am thankful for...the paid workers and
volunteers that work at the Institute for Marine Mammals Studies Marine Education and Research Center. Those folks are AWESOME. They took my special needs students and gave them a field trip experience that was one that was so great. They treated them similar to general education students and at the same time were patient and ready to do things WITH them.

From the field trip...our students were able to see and touch (in some cases) hermit crabs, blue crabs, horseshoe crabs, seastars, shark teeth, shark & dolphin skulls, sawfish saws, sea life fossils, and so much more. They were treated to a big (theater size) screening of Bill Nye the Science Guy & Mammals. They learned how a sick sea turtle was nursed back to health and then returned home to the sea. They were able to play touch screen games including games that taught about sea life, recycling, the food chain, and the coral reef.

I am wearing...a goofy grin and my field trip shirt. Two years ago, we were going on a field trip and I wanted all the kids to be dressed in the same shirt so that they would be easily recognized as being with my class. I used an iron on transfer paper and made a design that was put onto shirts for the students and then I made smaller images that went on the pocket of shirts for the staff and frequent chaperones (people like my DH that goes on most all of our field trips to help us out, or parents that go everywhere and do everything with us). I pulled those shirts out of the (virtual) mothballs and wore it today. My assistant and my husband wore their shirts as well.

I am reading...up on a few fish that we saw today that we'd never seen before. For instance, have you ever heard of a sea robin fish? Their fins appear as if they're flying when they're swimming and it almost looks like they are walking as across a sandy area. I have found out that they are thought to be part of the flying fish family as their tail fin will make the fish appear to jump out of the water when they are in shallow water. But the actual scientific classification does not put them into the same family.

I am hoping...that my students enjoyed this field trip as much as I did. I know that there were several times when the staff and volunteers of the center were watching us trying to figure out who the "kid" really was--is she just a kid or is she the teacher? Hmmm, I'd say the answer is BOTH! LOL I'd hoop and holler when the students got answers right or would touch things. I was the one with all the excitement as we went from one exhhibit to the next. Even though my students don't always show their enjoyment and enthusiasm (like a lot of other people I know as well), I certainly hope that they felt as good about this trip as I did. I know that the 3 chaperones that were with us, the bus driver and my teaching assistant all loved the trip as much as I did. So that only leaves the students. Unfortunately, there's not really a way to determine if they had a good time or not--as a post trip evaluation. Besides, they were all so tired when we got back that I think they were all just sort of zoning.

I am creating...a picture slide show or maybe I'll put it into a power point file all the pictures that were taken so that I can share the experience with the students' parents and other teachers so that they can see the fun we all had. I am also trying to write up an article for our local newspapers that will provide exposure for the Education and Research Center, exposure for our school, and some good words for the folks that helped us out so much today.

I am praying...that our school/school district will have enough funds to allow us to go on more field trips throughout the year. Field trips can provide experiences that nothing else can--not even virtural field trips. They have the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of things in a particular environment that you can't always describe or teach.

One of my favorite things...the discovery of this new Marine Education and Research Center!!


Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Dragon's Dolphin said...

Betty, you're free to read along any time you'd like. I don't always say what people want to sit and read about, but occassionally I hit the mark! Thanks for commenting and letting me know that you enjoy reading it.

Don Blankenship said...

Dedicated to the understanding of marine life through research, education,.Now Scheduling Field Trips for Grades K-12! At South Mississippi's premier marine education and conservation center.
Don Blankenship