Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Today was our field trip to the farm.  An interesting prospect since it's February in Michigan, not ideal weather to be outside.  However, as luck would have it, the weather finally broke and today was a balmy 39 degrees, a virtual heatwave.  So much so, that I had to be extra vigilant as I reminded the little ones that, yes, they really did need to still wear their gloves and hats and zip up their coats.  

So, let's break this down.  Kids love animals. Kids love being outside, no matter what the temperature.  Kids love field trips.  Put them all together and you have a few hours, outside, at a farm with animals and it's a win-win.   It's also a great time for me to stand back and listen to the students outside our normal classroom walls.  Today, like every other field trip day, I found myself chuckling and giggling over some of the cute things that came out of their mouths.

My favorite comments of the day occurred in the chicken coop.  Seems like every year this is where I hear the most comical things for some reason.   Maybe it's the cramped space.   Perhaps it's the awful smell.  Could be the squawking and quacking we hear from the wall beside us as we talk outside of the room. 

For last year's farm field trip blog click here: Farm Field Trip 2013

"Welcome to the chicken coop," said our guide, holding up an egg for all to see.  "Does anyone know what this is?" 

Several excited little voices responded, "Eggs!" which got our field trip off to a great start.

"Does anyone know what a male chicken is called?" she asked.

"A rooster," replied one little boy as a couple nodded in agreement.

"That's right.  And the female chicken is called a hen," said the guide, pointing to a chart of chicken pictures.  "So how do we get eggs?"'  

"Well, I know," came the confident response from a little girl.  "When the boy and the girl chicken get married they have little chicks."  She smiled looking at her quiet audience of friends, amazed at all her chicken knowledge.

"Yes, well that's kind of right," the guide continued.  "Except chickens don't get married.  It's more like they just have lots of boyfriends and girlfriends."   

"So they cheat on each other?" interjected one little boy.

"No, they just do the chicken dance," countered his friend, moving his arms up and down like a chicken.  

Our guide looked at me, smiling weakly, but I wasn't going to bail her out.  She started this conversation, after all.  

At this our guide very wisely and quickly ushered us into the chicken area where the kids could look at lots of chickens, quail, and even two pot bellied pigs. 

On the bus ride back, the other 3rd grade teacher and I told them all that we would be heading outside as soon as we returned to school so they could play.  They had missed their recess today and really needed to get some important play time.  Simply by adding the recess onto our afternoon schedule, the field trip was becoming the "best day ever!"   Sometimes it's just the little things. 

Forty-two little kids raced outside onto the playground, with snow piled in some areas over five feet high.  The temperature and sun provided the perfect "packing" snow and the kids took off in all directions to have some fun.  We have missed way too many recess times this year due to the frigid temperatures so it was wonderful to see them all so happy and enjoying the snow. 

I scanned the playground and was instantly struck by the random snowballs everywhere.  There were big ones, small ones, oval ones, and perfectly round ones. There were lopsided ones and square ones.  The students must have been busy at recess.

Interestingly, none of them were piled on top of another.  They were all just singular snow balls, abandoned and alone, waiting for another bell to call the kids back out.

I snapped a couple of pictures because I found the entire scene very interesting. 
Do you see it?  

A tribute to winter.
Created by children.

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