I personally feel one of two ways about field trips: generally, I’m really excited about them. You have a chance to do something beyond the typical routine, and your kids get opportunities to be out in the community. If you’re like me and my colleagues, you may even have an opportunity to practice skills in real-life situations. The contrasting feelings I experience usually occur during or after the field trip: exhaustion, anxiety… but it doesn’t last long and I’m typically excited to take my kids on a field trip once again.
Go over the rules
Prepare your students
Sometimes field trips tie in perfectly to a unit you’re in the middle of (sometimes it doesn’t, let’s be honest). Either way, make sure to prepare your students. For community trips, I really like make social stories based on the skills we will need on the trip and what behaviors are expected. This is especially important if this is a place/experience your students have never experienced before.
Give them an assignment
Keep the reinforcement going
This might be an obvious one, but it’s the most important. Make sure your kiddos have name tags. For my middle school students, I love making name tags that look identical to actual ID tags and putting them on a lanyard for easy access. This might vary for the age/abilities of your students. Younger kids may bode well with a larger name tag. Older, lower support guys may do great with having an ID that you have them keep in their wallet or on a lanyard. I like using this website to make photo ID cards. You can find the website I like to use here.
What are your must-do’s before a field trip? How do you generally feel about field trips?