Update, Field Trip and SALE!

Hi folks! So much for blogging more regularly! I am on modified bedrest since this little guy thinks he should be coming out on his own schedule, rather than mine! Unfortunately my laptop died, so I'm not able to blog as much as I'd like (sitting in a chair is killer - he protests being squished by kicking vigorously or causing contractions - he's getting huge, my husband jokes that I'm going to be like that woman in Indonesia and give birth to a 19lb baby!) so its laying down, semi propped up reading on my Kindle app and watching tons of Food Network shows - I can now identify many esoteric contents from Chopped baskets and give you a break down on how they should be prepped and cooked!

I have been able to work on a few things for my classroom and TPT store though. My team is going with a Western theme and I am sooo excited about it! We have a ton of ideas for it and I think its going to be a super fun theme to work with during the year! I have no idea if I'm teaching 1st or Kinder next year - it will all boil down to who gets hired over the summer and our enrollment numbers. I'm crossing my fingers that the numbers for K are high and that we can justify 3 classes again!

I wanted to share a few pictures with you - one of the things that I'm going to be working on soon is my application for my Target Field Trip Grant.  They start accepting applications on August 1st, and I've been lucky enough to get one 3 years straight which is amazing since our district has $0 for field trips so if I don't get a grant we don't get a field trip. I want to encourage you to apply for a grant if you haven't before - the process is remarkably simple and quick and soo worth it!

I took my kiddos to the Science Museum in Oklahoma City - it is absolutely my favorite field trip destination - enough to do to spend the entire day, hands on activities, a playground to let energy out, and exhibits that are self-contained so that the kids can explore without me worrying too much about them wandering off. 

The Science Museum is about 1 1/2 hour drive from us, so we have to go on a Saturday since the district can't spare a bus for the full day on a school day. Its one of the reasons that I'm the only teacher at my school to apply for the grant, but I don't mind giving up a Saturday to do something this fun! Now, taking 20 six year olds on a 1 1/2 hour bus ride is a bit nerve racking, but over the past three years I've figured out some things that make it much easier:
Dry erase boards and markers are a must! This little guy spent his time trying to write to 100 - a skill he'd been working on in class. It always amazes me that when you give them a board and marker and let them go to town, chances are they will end up practicing a skill and having fun doing it! 
We also always bring books to read - in our case we grabbed up our favorite Elephant & Piggie books by Mo Willems. Some students chose to read them, others chose to illustrate the characters. One little girl even copied the story down word for word and managed to get almost the whole book on one board!

We always have a bathroom break before we get on the bus, and immediately once we get to the museum. I was lucky this year and we spent considerably less time in the bathrooms than last year - I swear that group had to pee every 30 minutes! This year I had to to make it a rule - "You're all going in and you're all going to try. I don't care if you think you don't have to go." Thankfully, we've never had an accident yet! I also pack snacks - our bus drivers don't mind as long as we make sure to take all of the trash with us! I bring a cooler with juice boxes, and then have little things like fruit snacks, individual bags of chips or crackers and dried fruit.

At the museum, we had a ton of fun:
Here's some of my kiddos crowded into one of those tornado simulators - they really had fun, but it also reinforced that tornadoes are not something you mess around with - which is really important for them to learn since we're in Oklahoma!

My favorite exhibit is the Tinkering Garage - the kids can stack cups, build Lego cars and race them,  and experiment with cutting paper sups and plates to see if they can ride wind currents.

See how much fun we had? And that doesn't even cover the Science Live! show, the Omniplex or even 1/2 of the other exhibits! When we got back we wrote some incredible pieces about the experience too, so we hit some writing skills too!

Since they start accepting grant applications before the school year starts, its a good idea to take time in the summer to start figuring out where you want to go, the purpose of the trip and contacting your local museums to find out their prices for school groups so that you can get your application submitted before school starts and you get caught up in all the Back-to-School craziness! Once you have that info, its a simple matter of writing a few paragraphs and submitting it all online. Then in December you'll get a letter saying if you're approved and then you have from February to the end of the school year to schedule your trip! I love Spring field trips since the kids are more mature than the beginning of the year, plus their skill set has expanded so much its possible to do a lot more with the experience!

Oh! Exciting news! My Kinderland friends and I are hosting a sale TODAY ONLY!  You will find my friends linked up below. Come check out some stores and get a jump start on your new school year! My sale will be 20% on Sunday - June 30th only, so hurry to check it out!

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