Sunday, November 15, 2009

playing catch up

A couple of weeks ago I came along on the twins' first field trip to a local natural science museum/small native wildlife zoo. It was K&A's first time on a school bus, and they were thrilled about the experience. Allison was seated with Alison, a friend from her class.

Aside: I volunteer in the kids' classes every week. One day in Allison's class her teacher called my Allison up to the board help demonstrate something and the teacher asked the class, "How can we tell this Allison apart from our other Alison? That's right, this Allison's name has two L's." Mkay.

Allison and Kate's whole village (3 classes = 60 kids) were on the trip together but I had to pick one class to be assigned to, so I volunteered to be a chaperone for Allison's class. Erin and Kate were each less than thrilled with this decision. Erin already had her first field trip and I couldn't go withher because it fell on a workday for me. I told Kate I'd chaperone for her class as soon as I could (I hope they have another field trip on a thursday!)

After a "relaxing" bus ride, for which I forget to take along John's earplugs, again, we assembled out front for a few class photos. Allison's class is first, then Kate's.

Here is my assigned group of kids to supervise for the day. We all had a snack before entering the museum and getting started.

We broke up into small groups and listened to lectures about some of the insects. The kids got to touch giant millipeds and cockroaches and all sorts of similarly cuddly things:

Then they looked at some other insects in another room and dug for earthworms, and inspected the earthworms they found with these magnifying viewers:

And then my group and I set out around the museum, checking out the displays and animals and answering some questions about them on a worksheet that I was given by their teacher. This was the first field trip for probably all of the kindergartners and Allison and the rest were SO excited the entire time. I mean, I took my kids to this museum just earlier this year but that obviously paled in comparison to visiting it with their school. The kids were running and yelling and jumping and running some more and it was so hard to keep track of my particular hyperactive orange-shirted 4 kids in the sea of so many other hyperactive orange-shirted kids. At least I could always spot Allison's blonde hair.

So I was forever struggling to corral the right kids much less have a conversation with them about what we were seeing and what they should be learning from the displays.

Every now and again Kate's group would pass by us and Kate always ran over and hugged me but then she went pretty willingly back to her group.

After an exhausting 3 or so hours we assembled outside at a nearby park & picnic area and had lunch together with the teachers. Kate's teacher is on the left and Allison's on the right and the third teacher in the village, in the middle, has K&A every day for math.

And after lunch the whole village assembled for a picture in less than ideal lighting. At least they took my advice and shifted the whole group to a different position when I pointed out that they had the restrooms in the background. My skills in setting up a good shot pretty much ends there, and if I were really talented I'd had left them alone and photoshopped the restrooms out.

Back at school, I was pretty wiped out but the girls reported a fantastic time when we met up with Erin and went home for the day. All 3 wanted to know when they would take another field trip, and whether I'd be coming along. I hope I get a chance to go with Kate's and Erin's classes sometime this year, though I'm a little field tripped out for now.

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