Showing posts with label Arizona Field trips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arizona Field trips. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Arizona Field Trips/Butterfly Wonderland

butterfly wonderland
Butterflies as Big as Your Hand!
We took a great field-trip last week to the new Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale, Arizona. I recommend it highly. Here is the rundown, it is expensive, $9.95 for kids and $18.95 for adults and it doesn't take very long to explore the Butterfly Wonderland especially if you have energetic or older children, however, for the experience alone, you have to go at least once. I recommend going before your children are too old to really enjoy it, although some adults have said they could spend hours at this place.
We are studying pollination in Apologia Botany, so this field-trip fit into our lessons perfectly. My son, who is seven enjoyed it the most. In the butterfly garden they have butterflies as big as your hand that land on you randomly. It is just beautiful. They also have a room with poisonous Arizona insects, a traditional aunt farm and an aunt farm crafted for a space mission. One of the highlights of the trip was the in closed bee hive where you could find the queen bee and watch her in action.
Butterfly wonderland
Thousands of Butterflies in Flight
These are actual pictures that we took. Aren't they beautiful!? They also have a fantastic movie on the migration of the Monarchs that is included in the price. I highly recommend this field-trip, just know that you need to budget for it. There is a cafe, however it was pricey as well. I recommend taking a sack lunch or leaving for lunch and returning for the afternoon to get your moneys worth. Finally, the gift shop did have some lovely items, however highly over priced. Are you catching a theme of "over-priced"? We purposed to stop by the Dollar Tree for souvenirs at the end.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Field-trip Reports, Storytelling and Teaching Writing

We spent all day Monday writing reports about our weekend field trip to Prescott, Arizona (home of the Wild West). Although Prescott is known as the Wild West, my kids spent the majority of their time at The Heritage Park Zoo and Geo tracking with dad as I was in a conference all day Saturday. We also toured the old buildings in downtown Prescott, very cool and walked the square. It was a fun family weekend and we plan to go back soon. I am told that the Zoo alone was worth the trip and very affordable according to my hubby. It was a mere $18 for one adult and two children.

Anyway, the kids were instructed on Friday to take good notes because I would expect a full report on Monday and that they did! If you are a regular reader, you may be wondering if I really make my first grader write reports....yes, yes I do. Are they long? No. Are they detailed? Not really, but my point here is to lay a foundation, and that we do. I think the best way to describe our process is in steps.

Step one begins when they are old enough to sit up. I start reading to my kids and telling them silly stories from the beginning. I make sure they have a good foundation of classics and we story play as well. If you are not creative, don't sweat it. Take your children to the Arizona Museum for Youth. They usually have several areas where kids can roll play their story adventures. The last time we were there we acted out a lovely Alice in Wonderland scene as well as Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Step two comes along around age 4 to 5 and that is to get them to start making up their own verbal stories. We sometimes do this by drawing pictures or using puppets. Many times I will simply say, "tell me a story," at the end of circle time and this sparks a whole book. I also try to reinforce their confidence by writing their stories down for them.

Step three comes in the form of story boards. This is where your teachers intuition comes in. Sometimes you will give them a story board and they will be overwhelmed by it. If you cannot talk them through it, push it aside and try again in a month or so. Don't frustrate them with it. Eventually they will love it. You can find a great storyboard worksheet for print at Kid Zone.

Step four is to break up the parts of a story or report into beginning, middle and end. There is another formal worksheet at Kid Zone for this. I have found it is helpful to pair the story board worksheet with the writing worksheet for 3rd thru 5th grade. We even use story boards for reports. It helps them organize their thoughts.

Finally, we use bubbles. My daughter is doing 4th and 5th grade work and she is just starting with the bubbles. A bubble is a sort of story or report diagram. the middle bubble is the theme of the whole story or paper, the topic if you will. Off that bubble springs three or four other bubbles, these bubbles house the topic sentence for each paragraph. Tiny bubbles spring off those topic sentences with supporting details. Again this activity helps them to organize their thoughts.

Finally, we try to give the work a formal presentation for whatever level the student is at. For my youngest, I help him write out the paper nicely, for my oldest I usually ask her to type it up and if it is really good I post it on the blog. She also loves to add pictures to her reports. The important thing is to let them own their work.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Great Arizona Field trips/Sea Life Aquarium

We took the best field trip last week to Sea Life Aquarium Arizona. We went on a family field trip to the aquarium last Spring and I wasn't impressed for the experience and the price. It was expensive and we didn't really get an educational bang for our buck. However, this past week we went during Home school Week. We dissected a squid, which was an awesome experience, and toured the aquarium for a mere $6 per person. The squid lesson was extensive and it came with a learning packet. You don't have to wait for the next Home school Week to get this special rate. You can schedule your own educational tour by visiting the aquarium website.

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

Legal Disclaimer

While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home, health and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. I may sometimes endorse a product that I love. This is simply my opinion, you must try all products at your own risk. While I personally do not use tracking cookies or share information, my affiliates are third parties and they may do so. Please click, travel and purchase at your own risk.

frugal advice

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8