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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Book Study: Worksheets Don't Grow Dentrites {Chapter 3}

It's time to discuss Chapter 3 of Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites! It's all about Field Trips.

The first sentence of the chapter really spoke to me, especially since we're in the beginning of test prep season. 

"The purpose of the brain is not to make good grades or to score high on standardized tests". 

This is so, so true to me. Learning should real, hands-on, and engaging. Preparing to fill in bubbles on a standardized test is not real learning. 

Although the text offers a lot of theoretical framework supporting field trips, I felt that one was particularly convincing:

"Enhancing higher-order thinking skills, refining observation and questioning skills, and increasing the confidence and attitude of students are all benefits of field trips" (Davis, 2002)

What more convincing do you need? Take your kids out of the classroom and give them real-world learning experiences. We are responsible for educating the whole child and field trips are a great way for us to do that!

Now that I teach in a resource/inclusion setting, I don't have the opportunity to take my students on off-campus field trips. Our school allows each homeroom class two field trips a year, which is is wonderful because some districts don't allow any! 

I love to take my students outside. We have a wonderful courtyard at school and I plan to utilize it more as the weather gets warmer. I've heard that kids are really lacking Vitamin D these days, so I'm trying to do my part to reverse that! Having class in nature is also very calming for kids! 

I could really do a lot more in this area. I want to find more ways to utilize the courtyard space. The chapter suggests finding ways to incorporate nature into lessons and activities, especially through nature walks. My kinders are working on addition, so I want to create some activities using natural objects to help them with this skill. 

Now that the weather is warming up, I am super excited to get outside with my students and enhance their learning! 

To check out other blog posts on chapter 3, visit Mrs. Will's Kindergarten. If you blog and are reading the book too, make sure you link up on her page. 

Next time our blog posts will focus on Games! Stay tuned. :) 

Thanks for reading!

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