We went on our first field trip today! Destination -- The Science Place! This is a really cool center with lots of hands-on activities, visual aids, and graphic displays. Though it's not Chuck E. Cheese's, it IS a place "where a kid can be a kid."
After the bell rang this morning, we didn't stay long at the school. Mrs. Educator and I took the attendance, collected homework from last night, took care of the kids' water imbalances (move some out, move some in), and sent the SIX students from our classes who were staying behind to various classrooms around the school.
The third grade filled up three school buses for the journey to The Science Place. Actually, the REST of the third-grade packed into the first two buses, while Mrs. Educator and I rode in comfort and luxury with our classes in the third bus. Or, as close as one can possibly get to comfort and luxury inside a loud, stinky, graffitied school vehicle.
The Science Place is located southeast of Dallas in Fair Park, right next door to where the Texas State Fair is held annually. There is an enormous Ferris wheel in Fair Park, and when that wheel came into sight, I heard several kids gasp, "Oooh!! Six Flags!!" These are no doubt the same kids who shout, "Oooh!! Disney World!!" every time they see a duck.
Once we got there, we really had a lot of fun. There were simple machines to try out, sound and light experiments to play with, restrooms to use -- it was like Christmas in April.
Over in the Health and the Human Body area, there was a full-sized ambulance, with a "trauma patient" in the back. By the time I wandered over to that area, there were about 10 kids packed into every available space around the gurney, and they were all trying to get their hands on the heart-stimulator paddles. Clearly, some of these kids have been watching ER or something. Because they understand that before you can use these paddles, you have to yell, "CLEAR!" But what they DON'T seem to comprehend is the true function of those paddles. In their minds, the object is to strike the patient's chest as violently as possible with the paddles. How this could possibly aid the recovery of a human being, I don't understand. But then, I've never really understood the mass appeal of Hot Cheetos, either.
Lunch was nice and serene, out on the side lawn. But after everyone had eaten, we found that we had a problem. When we had picked up our lunches from the cafeteria this morning, we also took three coolers full of milk and juice cartons. The cafeteria ladies warned us not to bring back any of the milk or juice. Well, when lunch was over, one cooler was still filled to the brim, and the other two were more than half full. A-ha, I thought to myself, I have a mission.
When I asked my kids who wanted another milk or juice, I only got about eight takers. That wasn't even enough to put a dent in the amount of liquid we had left over. So then I started telling all of the kids that they would really be helping me out by drinking another milk or juice. Surprisingly, this actually got a lot of response. Pretty soon, we were down to one cooler, but it was still nearly full, and the kids seemed to be starting to get a bit lactose intolerant -- or at least tired of milk. When I discovered that there was a lot more CHOCOLATE milk hidden under a couple of layers of white milk, the kids got motivated again. I can't believe I have so many milksists at my school!
Anyway, I was soon standing over a cooler with about ten cartons of regular white milk in it. Nobody seemed to want to drink it. But then I got an idea. I reached down into the cooler and pulled out the object I had spied. I held it up over my head and shouted, "Who wants an ice cube?" Almost every hand shot up, and I was assaulted with cries of, "ME! ME! MEEEE!" So I replied with, "Whoever drinks a carton of milk gets a free ice cube!"
The kids closest to the cooler almost got trampled...
Now WHY can't I motivate my kids like that when the subject is math?!?