Monday, May 27, 2013

Reflections of a Student Trip

              Tuesday Slice of Life is thanks to Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers!  Come visit everyone's posts!


            I am back from the camping trip with this ‘new’ class of nineteen students (one student sadly could not go), the assistant teacher who will be the core teacher next year, the experiential education trip teacher, and one other chaperone.  We camped, did chores, learned how farms become sustainable, heard coyotes in the night, admired the moon and beautiful Mt. Sopris as we went to bed and rose each morning, ate food that was prepared from the farm’s bounty, and used an outhouse. Thursday night we had the pleasure of swimming in a nearby hot springs pool, and Friday, on our way back to Denver, stopped to go ziplining across the Colorado river.  The only way it could have been better was to have been longer. 

a favorite chore-feeding the chickens, turkeys and ducks

              What are the things we value when we travel with our students?  Among those particular to the setting described above, there is also
·           Learning one can manage without adult help to unpack and pack one’s clothes, set up a tent with tent mates, arrange the tent so that each has comfortable and personal space, awaken without waking others and without being crabby.
·           Learning about reflective listening to all group members when working in small groups for common goals.  Conversely, learning about speaking up with a group so that personal ideas and opinions are heard.
·            Meeting time commitments without reminders.


·      Arriving at destinations prepared with proper equipment and dressed appropriately; i.e., journal and drawing bag, plenty of layers for putting on or taking off.
·      Assessing the food wished on the plate, serving oneself, and eating what’s chosen.
·      Learning to SEE:  what details surround us where we find beauty and what people around us need help, and then taking action to capture the details or offer the help.
·      Attending to the goals set at the beginning and finding ways to nurture them throughout the journey.
·      At our ending, applying the knowledge learned in some important final project.  Whether three-dimensional, reflective writing, entertaining response, etc., the new information gained should be shown in some way.

another favorite-feeding the goats

learning about the bees

indoor classroom-the parts and their connections

more discussion of the critical parts

Adding some of our labor for the pleasure of future visitors!


a bigger view of the planting time

making plans for later discussion

one of our 'wake-up' callers

"fowl" duty also means washing the eggs


My favorite breakfast-granola & cream right from the cows!
preparing the mud/adobe to repair one of the chicken house walls

applying the mixture-all washed later in the water canal, or the hose

a special evening, campfire, the moon, and music

view from most of our tents-one of the farm dogs sleeping in the sun-a Great Pyrenees 

one of my favorite scenes

Creating their vision of a future community!








            







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  I imagine you too could add to this list.  We do not have set experiences that guide us, but choose according to the class needs assessed through the year, academically, socially and emotionally.  I’ve shared some photos that reflect some of our good time.  It may be my final school trip and I will treasure it.
the 'boss' dog-Mojo!

43 comments:

  1. Sounds like a fantastic trip! So many worthwhile things to learn! Did you zipline?

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    1. It was terrific! Yes, I did the zipline-very fun and over all too fast!

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  2. "Learning to SEE what details surround us" is the line from your reflection about this trip that I will put in my own writing journal. That's what it's all about really! In both our personal and our professional lives, it's about noticing the little things and people that keep us grounded and allow us the grow. Your pictures and words depict an exhausting but wonderful opportunity to learn and grow - for all of you!

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    1. Yes, you're so right, Anita. It's just so important to slow us all down to look and notice! Thank you for 'noticing'!

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  3. Oh my gosh, I would have loved that trip. I love the pictures (especially of the ones with kids covered in mud and the girl writing in her journal as she sits in the rocking chair). What an amazing experience for all of you. Your reflection on lessons learned made me smile. So many of those lessons lay important groundwork for being a human being (be on time, wake up without being crabby, listening to others, speaking up so you can be heard). I'm so glad you shared your trip.

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    1. Thanks Julie. The trip experiences are special for sure!

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  4. What a wonderful experience and I love the lessons embedded into it. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Katherine-I imagine your class would have loved it too!

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  5. What an awesome experience. No wonder you will miss it.

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    1. The trips are always a pleasure Deb. I will miss them, & am so glad I got to do it one more time!

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  6. Thanks for sharing about this wonderful experience. So much to treasure and remember for all who were there. Your breakfast looks delicious and those eggs are so pretty :).

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    1. I imagine you would have loved the food, Jama, another post of delight! That cream was something I haven't had for years and years.

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  7. Reminds me of childhood even though I did not grow up on a farm. We camped. All across the country. Also the people who lived next to my grandparents' summer spot had chickens and ducks and roosters. There was an outhouse on that property, though the house had regular bathrooms, thankfully. They also had an outhouse at Girl Scout camp. Not a favorite! Do your kids read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books still, probably a little young, but the ideas are meaningful for this experience? Just think this was real life at one point in time. I think it is fabulous that the kids get this opportunity. Another set of books that are true stories of a similar time period which I love are Caddie Woodlawn and its sequel Magical Melons. Have you read them? I wish they were more popular.
    Janet F.

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    1. For our kids, the Wilder and Brink books are a little young, but many have read them in earlier years. You're right, perfect for this farm time. My favorite is Farmer Boy! Thanks, Janet!

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  8. What a glorious gift of a trip! And how lucky these students are to have had you, such a thoughtful and appreciative person, there to guide them. Thank you for these beautiful pictures and words, Linda. I am drooling over that cream! xo, a.

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    1. Thanks Amy-I certainly thought of The Poem Farm when I at on this beautiful place.

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  9. What a wondrous experience, Linda. I'd been thinking of you all week, assuming that you and your class were making the most of this fantastic learning experience. But, I see, the reality far exceeds my expectations - bravo to you all!!!

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    1. Thanks Tara-it was a fabulous time & along with the students, the animals were wonderful too!

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  10. I love the "lessons" learned through this experience. This is such an amazing experience for youths and adults. When we are able to step out of our usual surroundings and comfort zone, we can discover so much about ourselves. Great photos!

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    1. So, so true, Elsie. It's so healthy for us to step outside to do different things, learn about new ways of doing/living.

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  11. Such a valuable experience for these students! They will not forget the lessons they learned. These lessons will become part of the fiber of who they are. Thanks for sharing the pictures and reflection. Sure makes me want to go to a farm.

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    1. We all wanted to stay longer, Margaret. It was truly a magical place. Thank you!

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  12. ahhh...this is absolutely the best way to learn...I'm green with envy. I had a professor in college that said, if we could take everyone away to a working farm-camp they would learn more than we could possibly teach in the classroom. I agree. It has always been my dream, my husband's as well. xo

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    1. Whether day or overnight, we try to get our kids out as much as possible, you are so right! Much fun for the teachers, too! Thank you!

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  13. That looks like a great trip, Linda! I love all of your pictures--especially those with the beautiful mountains! I'm actually moving to Denver this summer from NJ!

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    1. Hi Rachel-I hope you'll let me know when you're here! We'll have to meet & I'm happy to help any way I can!

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  14. Wow! I love the way you documented with photos and words and more photos! Thanks for letting us peek into your trip.
    Ruth

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    1. It was such a special time, Ruth-had to write about it! Thank you!

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  15. What an extraordinary adventure for these students! Wow!! So much incredible learning. I suspect the students will never forget this trip.

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    1. Yes, it was a terrific experience, learning and growing! I know the class had a wonderful time. Thank you Maureen!

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  16. What an excellent experience! Thanks for giving us an idea about what went on through both pictures and words.

    BTW: Have you ever heard of my "Green Eggs" piece of writing? Your photo reminded me of it.

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    1. Thanks Stacey. It was a pleasure capturing the trip in my slice today! No, I don't know your 'green eggs' piece, I don't think. Please send a link!

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  17. Sounds delightful! Those students will be able to apply those lessons for their whole lives! I loved seeing the joy in learning in your pictures and in your words.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. All the experiences we give students are for life aren't they? You are so right!

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  18. How wonderful to be in the moment with these group of kids and as a teacher making the experience deeper than it might be without the thoughtful reflections of a teacher.

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    1. It was a wonderful time for sure, and thanks for the compliment too, Bonnie!

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  19. Wow, what an amazing trip! Thanks for sharing a little slice of it with us!

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    1. You are welcome, Robin. Good to put some of it down right now!

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  20. What a wonderful trip! So much learning and fun! The pix were wonderful!

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  21. Pretty area, wonderful opportunity, forever memories...and brave-hearted woman! Zip-lining! I don't think I could have done it!

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    1. Luckily for me I'm not afraid of heights at all, so it wasn't hard. Actually it was over so fast, I was sorry it wasn't longer. We did do it twice--over & back. The trip was very, very good!

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  22. Your photos took me right back to my childhood outdoor education camping trips. What a great learning experience and environment for your students!

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