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A new field trip

May 15, 2010 pm31 7:54 pm

New for me.

For years I taught freshmen, and went on our school’s big freshman trip. Last year I could not (bad timing). And this year I don’t teach freshmen.

So I volunteered that if they were short a chaperone, that I could be their last resort. You see my mistake, right? And if it is so obvious, why didn’t I see it at the time? Anyway, I went. At least my regents classes don’t meet Thursday, so I only lost one day…

Our freshmen used to go to Boston (and Lowell). Now they go to DC (and …)  New for me.

Places:  Fort McHenry with a scavenger hunt. The Newseum in DC. Washington Monument photo-op. Jefferson Memorial scamper. Mill around the White House gate way after dark. Next morning: Mount Vernon. Baltimore Inner Harbor for lunch.

Itinerary: There was a pretty good academic focus, while giving the kids plenty of time to have fun. Good choices, IMHO. Timing was tight in places, but within reason. Had we shifted the time elsewhere, it would have been tight somewhere else. And how can I complain when we got home a few minutes ahead of schedule?

Details:  I liked Fort McHenry. The Newseum?  I would go back on my own. The old newsclips were fun. The old newspapers, too. Would you rather watch SNL, 9/11, or Edward R Murrow?  Really, why should you have to choose? And Mount Vernon was pretty, and the museum had lots of stuff. Unfortunately for me, the commentary was more in praise of Washington than in examination of him. I don’t know that I should have expected anything else, but I was hoping.  I would have liked to have a walk some point along the way. That’s a complaint. But a very minor one in the face of a very pleasant and successful trip.

Kids: strange being on a trip with kids who I don’t know. But actually, even not teaching them, I’d managed to meet maybe 40% before the trip. And then it was relatively easy because they were relatively well-behaved. There was no incident to cast a shadow over the trip. My group got along fairly well with me, and stayed with me even when I offered to send them off on their own (mostly).

Math:  I teased them with 3, 3, 8, 8. One got close, but I eventually shared the solution a few miles from home. I taught them a divisibility rule for 7. I taught them some bad math humor. And lied to them about factors, which led to a bunch of kids getting involved in counting factors and making predictions. And I taught them Matthews’ card trick* (which I did not learn from Matthews) which involves counting permutations. We practiced impressing other teachers and kids.

Summary:  Kids were nice. Saw the Newseum, Fort McHenry, and Mount Vernon for the first time. I lost one day of trig. But I got to play fun math with some kids, who now may even look forward (a bit) to my classes. Good trip.

*I’ll blog this, then link it.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2010 am31 8:58 am 8:58 am

    I haven’t been on a trip for years. I’m jealous.

    • May 16, 2010 pm31 11:53 pm 11:53 pm

      But you take so many more non-school trips… I mean, with kids it can be fun, but never as much as a real vacation. What are you counting down to these days? Bali? Australia? Cancun? Myrtle Beach?

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