. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: Billy and the Cliff, Revisited.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Billy and the Cliff, Revisited.

Remember the time Billy almost fell off the cliff on a fourth grade field trip?

Well, we went on that same field trip again recently. Thankfully, no one came close to Butch and Sundancing it this time.

Per my usual, I drove the "emergency car" while my fellow teachers rode on the buses, therefore I arrived fresh and ready for a hike…

and my coworkers placed a hex on my kind.

We divided the kids into groups, assigned parents and teachers to each of the groups, and started off on our hikes.

Although it is tempting to assign only parents to groups with the rowdiest kids, we thought it better that we be professionals about this and take those groups ourselves. We rock-paper-scissored to see who got the group with James in it.

(I know I haven't told you about James, but I feel that previous sentence speaks plainly as to his popularity among his teachers.)

I got his group.

So it was James, 3 girls who barely speak English, and 2 other boys who can hardly read.

Now, James is a smart young man. He's a good thinker and learns things very quickly. If only he'd use is powers for good. He does struggle with some severe ADHD issues and a "touch" of Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Let me tell you, a "touch" is all it takes to drive every adult within earshot to drink.

Our first stop is the Plant Identification Station where students are given a clue card with a plant description on it and they must wander among the foliage and identify the plant on their card.

Did I mention about the non-English speakers and non-readers?

So this station became the "Three little girls huddled together giggling while two little boys pulled leaves off of bushes and James hopped up and down on a log" Station.

Stop One: check

At this point, our guide pulled me aside and asked about the group.
I just smiled at him and said that today he would earn every penny of his salary.

Next stop: bird watching.

When we arrived at the edge of the estuary, binoculars were handed out and students were given a quick demonstration on how to use them. There were about a billion birds within 50 feet of us, but my students were using the binoculars to look at bugs on the ground, up each other's noses, and at a drainpipe three feet away.

And then disaster struck.

The guide said, "Oh! I almost forgot to warn you. Never use your binoculars to look directly at the sun."

At which point, six little heads with binoculars firmly in place over their eyes snapped their heads back and looked directly at the sun.

I imagine the screams were audible several miles away, which is, I also imagine, where all the birds flew.

Sorry next group to arrive at bird watching…

"OOwwwww. My eyes burn!"

"I can't see anything! Everything is covered in splotches!"

"¿Por quĂ© el hombre mal nos dijo mirar el sol?"

Don't worry, I called the nurse and she said that if they only glimpsed the sun, the splotches should subside and they should be fine. I was to call back if they couldn't see in an hour.

Stop two: check

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Their vision quickly returned to normal and we had a fun time digging in a midden and digging for "decomposers" in a dirt-filled shoe box with rubber worms in it.

All in all, not a bad trip this time!


Ashley said...

Reading on your back posts and stumbled upon this read. I cracked up. Glad that was your only "adventure" for that little field trip. Hope there's many more fun and exciting trips with your students to be had.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your blog. I believe I have taken my fourth graders on this exact same field trip with very similar results. This year, no field trip- Inside the Outdoors is coming to us.

Edna Lee said...

Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoy it! I wish I had more time to blog this year. Alas, I do not. I hope to get back to it very soon.

Thank you again for the kind words!