TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL FIELD TRIP
The world can be your classroom, but ensuring that your field trip is a productive learning experience for students takes planning. Here are a few suggested tips to help.
- Decide on a field trip location and time of year: Kansas State Fair - September 8-17, 2023.
- Objectives of field trip - How does this field trip support the curriculum? Check out KSF Educator's Guide and online Lesson Plans.
- Pre-visit site - If this is a new field trip location for you , take the trip yourself beforehand. Decide what specific items at that location fit your students and make your trip schedule based on that information. Check to make sure it meets your criteria for a successful experience. Take pictures to build background knowledge with students prior to trip. Note locations of bathrooms, parking, places for children to have lunch or snacks, and any safety concerns. Many teachers come the first weekend of the Fair, to check on traditional stops and new exhibits.
- Don't forget to confirm directions for drivers. Your class will enter the Little Red Schoolhouse at Gate 5. Buses must enter the Fairgrounds on State Fair Road from Main Street, drop students, teachers/chaperones and lunch coolers off at Gate 5, and then follow Parking Attendant instructions for parking in Lot B. Lunch coolers will be transported to the Encampment Building for you.
- Print map of Fairgrounds.
- Get administration approval
- Make bus arrangements - call and re-confirm the bus a few days ahead of scheduled trip
- Make meal arrangements - Students usually bring a sack lunch that the teacher stores in clearly labeled coolers. The coolers will be transported from Gate 5 to the Encampment Building, which is a great location for your group to meet up to wash hands, eat lunch and use the restroom.
- How is the trip and busing being paid for? Sponsor, local Kansas Farm Bureau, each student, PTO
- Create a schedule for the whole day - Refer to Educator's Guide, Kansas State Fair Visitor Guide, or KSF website schedule.
- Create name tags for the students - Make sure name tags are sturdy and won't fall off. (Pinning them to the back of children's shirts or coats works well. They're easy for adults to read, and children aren't tempted to remove them.) Include the school's name, teacher's name, and phone number.
- Have extra clothing on hand for those students that don't come prepared (jackets, proper shoes, etc)
- Create and send home parent permission slips
- Create emergency contact list for students
- Medicines - Talk to the school nurse and procure any and all medications that your students usually take during the day. While on the field trip, make sure you administer the medications accordingly. If you have students with allergies, you may need to get trained on how to use an Epipen. If so, the student involved will need to stay with you at all times. The KSF has a First Aid Station located on the west end of the Administration Building.
- Choose adult chaperones wisely - make sure to give your chosen chaperones a "cheat sheet" with the information they need to monitor their group, the schedule and information on how to contact you in an emergency.
- Make sure all teaching staff and adult chaperones have cell phones and exchange numbers.
- Plan how you will group your students to ensure the best behavior by all
- Let other teachers affected by the absence of your class know that you will be gone
- Code of conduct - Explicitly discuss field trip behavior and bus behavior with your students.
- Start preparing students for the upcoming trip - get them excited and engaged in the upcoming activity. Give the students an idea of some of the questions they should be able to answer after the field trip. Brainstorm questions and ideas they have.
- Decide what kind of trip format and after trip debriefing you are wanting - scavenger hunt, drawing and pictures of what they see, oral presentation, written presentation, picture board, etc.
- Arrive early - students will be very excited.
- Be organized - be ready for adult chaperones and have coolers for lunches ready, etc.
- Go over conduct code one more time
- Count heads
- Don't forget to bring along emergency information: a list of parents' phone numbers, allergy concerns, and children's special physical needs. Make sure you have a first-aid kit and, if necessary, sunscreen.
- Have fun at the Kansas State Fair!