Spring Fever: The Pop-Up Classroom & Field Trip Mini-Grants
Right around this time of year...when we all start to get a little stir-crazy in schools, it becomes really important to give students opportunities for learning outside of our classroom spaces.
If you don’t have the necessary funds to go on a field trip with your students, then consider these options:
The POP-UP Classroom
Get out of your classroom and hold class in another part of your school building. On a recent trip to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), I was really impressed by the learning spaces on campus that seem to ‘pop-up’ in buildings for students to congregate, collaborate, and even for a class of students to be able to meet. These spaces were in lobbies, between traditional classroom spaces, and along the hallways in many of the buildings on the MIT campus. What spaces in your school could serve as a ‘pop-up’ classroom space for the day...or even for just one class period? How about your school cafeteria when it is not in use for lunch, or what about a lobby or quiet hallway? If the weather is nice, find a place for your students outside. Even if you don’t have a designated outdoor classroom space, find a spot that can host enough space for a class of students and hold class there for the day.
Field Trip Mini-Grants
There are several organizations that provide funding for field trips. One such field trip grant is the Civil War Trust Field Trip Fund, which “provides funding and assistance to K-12 teachers, who are planning field trips to Civil War, War of 1812, or Revolutionary War battlefields or related historic sites.” Another source of funds for field trips might be the Parks & Recreation agency for your state. For example, New York State Parks & Recreation and Historic Preservation offers a field trip grant that covers the cost of transporting children to a “New York State Park, Nature Center, or Historic Site (Parks), or a Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Education Center, fish hatchery, or selected DEC site” through The Connect Kids to Parks Field Trip Grant Program. Another option to help cover the expense of a field trip is Target Field Trip Grants. If none of these options work for you, then try requesting funds from a local business organization to sponsor a field trip for your students.