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.
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 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!!