Celebrating Hands On Learning

celebrate link up


I’m  celebrating our trip to Catalina Island.

Over 1,000 students, 140 parents, and 7 teachers have gone with me on this trip over the past 11 years.  Every time I learn something; every time it is thrilling; every time there are challenges.

For our fifth graders it’s a life changer. They put on wet suits, that keep them warm and buoyant; masks and snorkels that allow them to see all the wonders of Toyon Bay. With the sunlight shining overhead, they go into kelp forests. Garibaldi weave in and out. In sandy spaces,  bat rays, shovel nose guitar fish and leopard sharks swim below. They pass schools of  blacksmith and opaleye. They snorkel at night to see bioluminescence. They participate in labs on squid dissection, invertebrates,  sharks, algae, plankton and oceanography. Students set up, clean up and eat together for three days away from home. They face and overcome fears.They have the magical experience of going to camp.

As one fifth grader said, this is heaven.and then another responded, no this is paradise.

2014-04-10 09.16.02  2014-04-10 11.48.36 2014-04-10 11.43.14 2014-04-10 11.40.512014-04-09 19.27.01  2014-04-10 20.28.392014-04-10 09.16.07 2014-04-11 07.37.25




11 thoughts on “Celebrating Hands On Learning

  1. I want to see the things you described! But I’m not much of a camping person, so is that a deal breaker? I’ve never been to Catalina, it is on my must visit list. Perhaps one of my trips out west will put me there. 🙂

  2. So happy you made it, Julieanne. I’ve been there twice sailing with my students, and studying on the island. It’s a magical place, I agree. Too bad it seems always anxious time the way you describe it. Cheers for the right decision & allowing the kids this experience!

  3. These trips are so valuable for students, some of the best learning of their lives. So glad the paperwork issue was resolved.

  4. This is incredible! We are on spring break, but when we return I want to share this with my Ss so they can ask your Ss all about it! Hope you blog so we can learn more and comment! What an opportunity!!

  5. I’m sure it’s a lot of work and stress (it seems even “simple” field trips can be), but what an amazing experience! And it’s so nice to see that the students appreciate the incredible opportunity.

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