Saturday, November 27, 2010

Teachable Moment and Field Trip Plans

The other day, I was sitting in my office when one of our program teachers and a preschool child came in. "L", the child, had been working in the classroom with some blocks and balls, and had approached the teacher, "Miss W" to say, "I sure wish that we could all go bowling together." Knowing that this idea had field trip potential that fit with the work and interest of many of the children in the classroom, "Miss W" decided on the spot that "L" would be a full part of planning for the trip.

They walked down to our offices first, so that "L" could ask the Director if they had permission to go on this field trip. He then helped "Miss W" fill in the field trip request/planning form, including helping to decide that the trip would be called "Bowling with Friends." By the end of the day, they had called the bowling alley, selected a date, and had started writing a letter home to the parents inviting them to join the class on the trip (with "L" drawing pictures for the letter).

A week later, the children (along with the children in the classroom next door) had a busy but fun time bowling together at a bowling alley that was within walking distance of our school. I could spend time going into detail about the learning that took place during the trip, but my interest lies in the teacher's ability to listen to a child in her classroom and notice an opportunity to honor that child's ideas. She was able to fully involve him in the planning and completion of the field trip, and tie it in to other interests and learning going on within the program.

It may be a field trip, but it may be the planning of another big or longer term activity that you were able to support by listening to a child that you spend the day with. If you have a story to share, I would love to hear it (and share it with others who read this blog). If you don't, see if an opportunity may arise over the next week and feel free to come back here to share!

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