1. What is the theme or topic of your trip?
suggest you use a topic that you are very familiar with to go on your
first trip. Use a theme that you already have all the resources
for, such as your books, posters, hands-on manipulatives etc..
Think of your V-trip as another way to enhance an already existing unit
of study. Tell your students how this trip connects with the
unit/theme they are studying. Explain what they will get out going
on this special V-trip.
2. What is the purpose of your trip?
Is your trip planned as a special project? Are you taking one to
increase community/cultural awareness? What are the curriculum
objectives you want to meet?
3. What objectives does your trip meet? Think of your
school's benchmarks in all curriculum areas, including technology (ISTE
Technology Standards). Use phrases such as "Upon
returning from out V-trip, students will be able to..."
4. Search the Web for sites that relate to your topic.
This can take time, so ask colleagues for sources to check out, look in
website referral books, check out all related links on pages you
find. Keep track of all the sites you are interested in. You
can bookmark them in Netscape or add them to your favorites folders in
Internet Explorer. Once you have collected several possibilities,
each site for its age appropriateness, content, ease of use, quality,
current facts, and how it meets your objectives. Take notes on
what you liked and didn't like about each site. Note things such as fees,
the time it takes to complete the tour, how fast the site loads, any
roadblocks your students might face, etc...
5. Fees-Some trips have a fee that you need to pay in order
to participate. Don't let this stop you! Email the site's organizer
and see if they have a free preview day or any special discounts you
may qualify for. Ask local businesses or your parent-teacher
organizations for support.
6. Now, choose the best site for your class to visit. Have
a backup site (or 2 or 3) in case you experience difficulties with
the first site in the day of travel.
7. Decide how you are going to implement your V-trip into
your lesson. Do you want to go to special place to spark your students
interests before a unit of study begins? Do your students need to
have prior knowledge before visiting the site? If so, what do you
need to provide them with- handouts, books, other web resources...?
Will you go on a V-Trip during a unit of study to gather more
information on that topic? Will the V-trip
serve as a culminating activity?
8. How will you present your
V-trip? Small groups, whole class, individually? Using a large
screen, SmartBoard or TV monitor will help all children view
the site. Keep in mind that many school TV monitors do not have high
resolution. If there is a lot of text to read, it may be difficult
to present your trip as a whole class this way.
8. Inform and Involve Parents- send home a note to
families describing your upcoming trip. Ask for volunteers to
share their expertise on the topic or to help with the trip
9. Additional Resources: What do your students need to
know before and during the trip? Do you need to provide any
reading material, maps, or notebooks? Do you need any
additional technology equipment? Are there real life models that you
can let your children explore as they visit the online component? Do you need to enlist
volunteers (parents or older students) to assist your students? If you
have volunteers, make sure they are given time to prepare themselves and
become familiar with your plans and expectations. Make sure your
students know how to behave while on-line. Let hem know the
consequences if they fail to follow the rules.
10. Create activities to enhance and support your trip
before, during and afterwards. Ideas: collecting maps, researching the
climate, estimating the cost if you were really going to travel there,
research travel modes (car, bus, plane...), recording the trips events in a
travel log, creating travel brochures or posters, typing a review of the
trip, send e-mail messages to the V-trip site, write articles for the class or school newsletter,
prepare a broadcast of the
highlights of your trip, posting items on the Internet or classroom
WebPages, older students can prepare a multimedia presentation about
their trip or creating a meal common for the place you visited to
celebrate your learning.
large wall map is a great way to keep track of the places you are
Click here for more ideas!
A few final tips... If
you are visiting a site that has live webcams, remember they may not
always have action at the time you visit. You may have to
visit several times to catch the animal/people/butterflies in
action! It's worth the trip(s)!
Excellent Web Cam sites:
Bay Aquarium-scroll down and choose live web cams http://www.mbayaq.org/
One last suggestion.-. Go on the trip from beginning to
end BEFORE you take your students on it. This allows you
to see how exactly how long the trip will take. You can also
see where your students may need extra help and make plans to assist
them. Having solutions ahead of time can save you and your
students a lot of time and frustration later
V-trip Planning Sheet