Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 116 (4/27): Field Trip with 2nd Graders

I guess I was in need of a healthy dose of birth control so I signed up to go on my son's field trip. They were going to Rock Springs Ranch and I hadn't been back there since 4-H camp when I was about 12 or 13 years old. So I was kind of excited to see the old stomping grounds but still not excited about four 2nd grade classes combined! 

The bus ride was torturous and I could not wait to get off.  Those 2nd graders are loud!  They were shoved in like sardines with practically every seat holding 3 students except for those with adults in them. I kept on wondering..."Are we there yet?" because it was a 40 minute ride to Rock Springs if you had a vehicle that could go the highway speed limit but buses do not go that fast so it was a long loud ride.

There were 4 stations that we visited throughout the day.  At one station we learned why Rock Springs was named such with the spring water that was prevelant.  It was cold water and the students kept on getting real close to it as we walked across bridges and roads. I wondered if I would have to save anyone because but thank goodness that never happened.

One station they tried to make a human chair circle to correlate to how animals need all aspects of a habitat to make a whole living area - the space, shelter, food, and water.  It only lasted for about 3 seconds but they had fun trying.

One of my favorite things to watch was when the guide threw food into this stream to get the rainbow trout to come up to the surface. They splashed the students and they were so surprised to see them jump out of the water. The guide explained a bit about the fish and talked about their habitat. He also showed them watercress that was growing and mentioned how it only grew in fresh spring water.  I learned something too that day along with how I didn't want to be stuck on a bus with 60 loud second graders.

The teachers had the students play various games around the camp. One game involved them joining hands across the circle and then trying to undo their human knot.

One game had the students playing Team Rock-Paper-Scissors. The team had to all decide on one pose and then they challenged the other team.  Whoever won then had to chase the other team as in tag and if they caught them they joined their team. I was hoping and praying that all that running would tire them out and the bus ride home would be a bit quieter.
Another one of my favorite moments was out in the prairie habitat. The guide had the students kneel and then be quiet for a minute or two. He wanted them to listen to the sounds of the prairie. The silence was heavenly. Now you know why it was one of my favorite times - the silence. You could only hear the sound of the grasses "waving" in the high winds of the day.
Overall the trip was fun but there definitely needed to be more structured learning activities for the kids. It was good to see what had become of Rock Springs and it was funny to hear some of the things that students said. One student commented how students couldn't drink alcohol when the guide was talking about how we, as humans, need water in our habitat. Alcohol was definitely needed in my habitat after the long loud bus ride and the chaoticness of the field trip.

The other kids didn't fall asleep on the way home but Colton sure did. It was still loud and thus it was still a great dose of birthcontrol.

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