Saturday, October 02, 2010

Aquarium Field Trip

Yesterday was the first field trip of the year for Caroline's 1st grade class to the National Aquarium.  Thank goodness for small favors that the day was yesterday and NOT Thursday.   I can't imagine having to deal with torrential rain on a field trip.  I'm guessing it would have been cancelled.  But it wasn't and it was a great day!

I was one of 2 parents that went along in addition to the teacher, Ms. B, and her assistant, Ms. J.  The other 2 first grades went along too and the kids were VERY well behaved.  I was assigned a group of 7 kids, all of which were on excellent behavior.  I had a straggler and a wanderer but once I got their attention, they were fine.  I'm not really sure how much they truly absorbed or how many fish they really saw because it seemed we rushed through there so quickly, but the general consensus at the end of the day was that they had a great time.  We finally got started at 10:30, saw the dolphin show at 11:30 and then had to be out to the buses by 12:45.  I thought that was a short time frame but it worked out well as kids don't need to stand and look at anything for very long.  And fortunately, the Aquarium wasn't very crowded so kid control was probably the best it was going to be although it was still a bit stressful for me.  Keeping 7 excited first graders together is no easy task, especially when you take them into a fairly dark area and many of their silhouettes look alike.
My little group - such sweet kids!
I decided to call our group "Team H" and every time we moved to the next tank, I yelled out, "Hey Team H, this way" and the majority of them would fall in line.  Each of them was assigned a number and we'd count off to make sure we were all there although I was counting to 7 myself over and over.  Two of the girls wanted to hold my hand pretty much the entire time and I got a lot of hugs and attention from many of the kids too.  Reminds me how many kids don't get showered with love and attention as my kids do - makes me really sad when I think about it!  All 8 of us made it out to the front of the Aquarium in plenty of time and we all made it back to school by 1:30, the projected time.  Ms. B said I could stay around until the end of the day and I did.  I actually helped her out a lot as her assistant went to get lunch and Ms. B needed to run down to the office to reconcile a few things that had gotten messed up with payment to the Aquarium.  Leaving me alone with 28 first graders who were eating their lunch was a little overwhelming, but they were fine.  I opened countless juice boxes and applesauces and answered lots of questions.  I felt like I got to know so many of the kids in her class, which is really important to me.  I also got to meet the little girl that I think is probably Caroline's newest friend in class, Reece.  A really sweet little girl and I'm glad they sit near each other in class.  I hope she doesn't move away like the other 2 friends Caroline has taken a liking to since last year.

Another thing I came away with yesterday is how great of a teacher Ms. B is.  I was amazed at the control she has over the class along with the respect the students give her.  Even with as wound up as they all were before the trip, she just had to say a few words and they were all silent.  My favorite saying was if they were getting loud she would say, "123, eyes on me!" and without much of a pause, the class would answer back, "12, eyes on you!" and they would be silent.  She never yelled at them but could get their attention with just a few words - clearly she's good at what she does.  Her classroom is so organized and such a great vessel for learning.  And best of all, the bulletin board with the erroneous "their" had been fixed to say "they're."  I felt so much better and I'm looking forward to helping with the Halloween parade and party at the end of the month. Yay 1st grade!!

1 comment:

Lisa :) said...

I always loved going on field trips with my kids.

My oldest works at a before/after school daycare and they do the transitions (123, eyes on me) as well. She is always telling me different ones that they use. They really do work and what a great idea!