Field trips can be so stressful, but they don’t have to be. My first ever field trip was an absolute disaster! It began with me making over 20 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in my kitchen the night before because I didn’t know teachers in my school district were supposed to order bagged lunches for each student and ended with me frantically trying to find a missing group at Sea World in Orlando (not a location I recommend taking for your first ever field trip as a brand new teacher). The good news is that over the years I have perfected the art of the field trip and have combined all of those tips for you into an easy to read guide. Read below to learn more!
This blog post will…
- offer information about an easy to read guide for field trips
- provide information about two supplemental resources for field trips
- ease your stress surrounding field trips
Field Trips Guide and Supplements
It includes lots of printables for you to use when planning and prepping for the trip as well as lots of great activities for the kids to do before and after the trip to make it a purposeful event. It also includes lots of fun printables to use on the bus to keep the kids engaged…the chaperones and bus driver will thank you.
Also, check out my field trip supplements:
- Field Trip Supplement: Aquarium/Ocean/Beach/Tide Pool Specific Theme
- Field Trip Supplement: Science Museum Specific Theme
ORIGINALLY FROM THE POST: HOW TO ORGANIZE FORMS, PERMISSION SLIPS, AND MONEY
Teachers like you have a lot to manage when it comes to planning and attending field trips: Collecting and organizing forms, permission slips, and money, finding chaperones, setting up groups, bringing inhalers and other medical devices your students need, keeping track of your class while on the bus and field trip, and more! There is a lot of responsibility that goes with going on a field trip. If money is not accounted for guess who’s pocket it comes out of… You guessed it! Yours! If an emergency occurs during the field trip and you need to get in touch with parents and you don’t have the necessary forms at hand, guess who’s liable… You guessed it again! You! It is very important to protect yourself and your students by having all of the forms, permissions slips, and money organized and in a safe place, but how do we manage all of that seamlessly? Check out the recommendations on organization and management tools and strategies below!
This blog post will…
- recommend tools for organizing forms
- share strategies for managing forms, permission slips and money
Tools for Organizing Forms
- Small Envelopes or Ziploc Bags: If I am collecting money I attach an envelope or zipper baggy that is also labeled with the students’ names or numbers. This really helps to prevent the need to do detective work to match a rogue $5.00 bill with a permission slip.
- Large Envelope: Use a large envelope to collect forms and money. Preprint a class list along with the items you are expecting the students to return and attach it to the cover. As they begin bringing them back to school you can highlight their name on the cover and store it inside.
- Go Digital: While most permission slips require and actual pen and paper signature, there are many forms that can be completed digitally. This is especially true if you send home monthly book orders. Taking advantage of their online ordering process has many benefits including more free books for the classroom and not needing to actually handle the money or order forms. Whenever possible replace an actual paper form with a digital option.
- Student Numbers: Prior to sending home the forms I take a minute to write each student’s number in the upper right hand corner. This serves two purposes: it allows me to easily order the papers to see who is missing one and proactively takes care of any forms that may come in without a student name and a squiggle of a parent signature that would require a handwriting expert to decipher.
- Collaborate with Colleagues: If you do send home book club forms you might want to consider doing so as a grade level. The bonus points tend to increase based on the amount of sales you have which will get you more books for the classrooms. Also, you can alternate the responsibility of handling the orders which can be quite time consuming.
- Security: Be sure to have a secure place to store the money you are collecting. If it goes missing from your classroom you will most likely be responsible for it.