Best Field Trip Ever!!

Today I took my class on a field trip to the Science Museum in Oklahoma City thanks to a grant from Target. I just have to say - totally worth giving up a Saturday! We had a good day - no injuries, no accidents and a lot of fun! On the way there (1 1/2 hour bus ride) we sang songs and I read aloud - I had been saving the new Pete the Cat book for this occasion - they absolutely loved it and after I read it they all wanted a turn to read it too! Once we got to the museum we got to see "Tornado Alley" in the dome theater and then we spent 4 hours exploring the museum. I could type up a whole page worth of all the ways it rocked, but let me give you a photo highlight:

 One of my favorite things was the Tinkering Room - lots of hands-on activities, plus all in one room with only one exit - making it easy to keep track of the kids without hindering their exploration.
 

I LOVE this marble run wall! I am seriously thinking of figuring out a way to add one of these to my classroom over the summer. It's just peg board, but then the kids can add wooden dowels to hold up the metal tracks, pvc pipes, funnels and plastic tubes and then see if they can get their marble to run the length of their creation. This took so much teamwork, problem solving and spatial reasoning that I know it would be great for a classroom setting as well, and probably not too expensive to do. There's another project to rope my husband into helping me with!
 
 The kids got to create Lego cars and then race them down a ramp. Some of them had never played with Lego before!

 Even large foam blocks were entertaining - and it was so interesting to see which kiddos gravitated to which play area and the different things they thought of to do with the same materials!

 I managed to refrain from singing "Red Solo Cup" while the kids were stacking these, but just barely! Cup stacking was so popular that I am adding it to my indoor recess repertoire - cheap and simple and easy to clean up!

 I am seriously coveting this water table - the white pegs allow kids to put  plexiglass dividers in to create dams. Watching the kids experiment with the water flow was a lot of fun! At one point they had some foam blocks in there but gave those up after realizing that they were too porous and allowed too much water through. Once again, a lot of teamwork and trial and error as they tried to dam up whole sections of the table.
There was such a nice mix of solo activities versus group activities that everyone was satisfied! There were quiet activities as well as opportunities to yell their throats out.

This is the 3-story playground in the center of the museum - it features pulleys, a see-saw, levers, inclined planes, and a screw-slide - all simple machines that we learned about in our Scott Foresman reader two weeks ago! The kids had a blast of course!

One of the most surprising things was this little guy who did not go to the playground. Let me reiterate - he CHOSE NOT TO GO TO THE PLAYGROUND. Instead, he spent 20 minutes standing at a little cart that the museum had set up to promote some of the toys from their gift store. When I went over  to see what he was up to I fell in love:
He spent the time building a spaceship from these LaQ Constructor blocks. Now, this little guy is not one for sitting still or displaying a lot of focus, so I was confounded when I realized he wasn't running through the play area like everyone else. I played with him for a few minutes, both of us building side-by-side and I have never seen him so intense. I had to literally pry him away from the display! When I got to the gift store I grabbed two sets! I found them on Amazon too if you want to check them out, the prices look comparable, just click the picture to check them out!

 

To top off the great day, as we got back on the bus to go back home, our bus driver handed me two books that he had picked up while he was out shopping while we were in the museum - how sweet is that?! We had a restful bus ride home - about 5 of the kids fell asleep and everyone else was tired too so they mainly just read or talked quietly. Of course the Capri Sun and goldfish crackers I had packed helped keep them quiet too :)

By the way, be sure to check out my BragTag Giveaway! There will be three lucky winners! Click here to enter!

2 Rustle Up A Response!:

FirstGradeBlueSkies (Jennifer) said... Reply to comment

Looks like a blast!
Jennifer
First Grade Blue SKies

School Sparks Renee said... Reply to comment

Looks fantastic. I love the peg board idea. Keep us posted if you get your hubby to make one for you! :) Renee

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